Atharv Joshi, Year 11, Christian College Geelong
The art of music distinguishes itself from any other mode of communication. It reaches deep into the human mind, far deeper than words are capable of, and provides it with another lens to see the world through – a world that is filled with much more beauty, passion and exuberance than words can hope to convey. Music not only challenges the mind in this manner, but also reaches deep into the human soul, and seduces her into feeling whatever the performer wants her to feel, while at the same time creating an intimate space where everyone can take a step back from the rat race of life, and simply feel. This form of art, which transcends human language, allows us to connect on the most intimate level – our emotions – regardless of our differences. This expression of human brilliance is why I fell in love with music.
Prior to music at Christian College, I was taking private piano lessons. I found this to be mildly fun, but it felt like I was working towards nothing, as if it was just a fun skill to pass the time. Going through school, however, many different opportunities to be involved in the program presented themselves – bands, concerts and music as an elective, which gave off homely communal vibes. At a time in my life when I wanted something richer, deeper and more eternal out of life, music seemed to be the best place to seek refuge. I am also forever grateful to my friends who urged me to join the program, a choice that would subsequently change my life.
The Christian College music program continuously exposes me to many different forms of music, constantly challenging my capacity as a musician; and it deepens my understanding of not only music, but also the themes and ideas that the music is conveying. Sharing the experience of exploring these themes with fellow musicians through our school’s different ensembles creates a unique, indescribable bond among us that only forms through playing music together. The same can be said of our mentors who help guide us through the vast world of music through their expertise and experience. Compared to the rest of the school, the Music Department feels like its own special family filled with passionate and like-minded yet unique individuals who are all dedicated to their crafts – traits that can be hard to find in others.
My most memorable moment of being a part of the music program was when I had got to school early to practise for a performance later that day. Then, halfway through rehearsing I realised I had prepared enough, and left early. On my walk to my next class, I realised I was no longer stressing out as I had for the past couple of weeks, but instead felt content. I had this tingling feeling and I realised I was completely ready – and after receiving that reassurance of being ready, the stress completely disappeared, and only child-like excitement remained. This was when I realised that I needed music in my life, and that this feeling was worth chasing. This was the moment I decided to keep pursuing music after high school, and suddenly the world seemed a little bit more colourful.
From the above heartfelt words, it is clear that developing and nurturing a good culture as an all-encompassing aspect of a school music program not only makes for optimum impact on those involved, but also reinforces the valuable role music plays in educational institutions. Creating and maintaining strong and ongoing culture can take some time but it is very important and well worth the effort!