Recently I got the chance to talk with music student Zachary Miller and learn why he loves playing music. Read my interview with him to find out more!
Q: Where do you go to school?
A: I go to Council Rock High School South.
Q: What instrument(s) do you play?
A: I play Clarinet, Piano, and Mallet Percussion.
Q: What music ensemble(s) are you in, and what is your role?
A: I am in the Symphonic Orchestra (Clarinetist), Marching Band (Clarinetist and Mallet Percussionist), and Indoor Drumline (Mallet Percussionist).
Q: At what age did you start playing your instrument(s)?
A: I started playing Piano at the age of 4, Clarinet at the age of 10, and Mallet Percussion at the age of 15.
Q: Why did you decide to start playing your instrument(s)?
A: I started playing piano because my brother took a few lessons initially, and I decided to tag along. From there, he eventually quit, and I continued because I found such a love for playing the piano. As for clarinet, I started playing clarinet as a result of my school’s music program because it is encouraged in 4th grade to start playing a band instrument. I chose clarinet because my grandfather had played it, and I want to follow in his footsteps. Similar to the piano, I also fell in love with playing the clarinet because I enjoyed playing it, and I felt I was getting such a stronger connection with my grandfather. Lastly, I started playing Mallet Percussion as a result of wanting to join a new ensemble at my school. In the end, I enjoyed playing the instrument so much that I continued to practice and play it, and it eventually became a major part of my musical self.
Q: What do you enjoy most about playing specifically your instrument(s)?
A: For all of the instruments, I enjoy the connection that I make with the instrument. I’m able to flow with music, and just be myself. It gives me the opportunity to be expressive in the way that I want to.
Q: What do you enjoy most about music, in general?
A: One of the most enjoyable parts of music is being able to meet all new varieties of people that you will always have at least one thing in common with—MUSIC! I have met many of my closest friends through playing music and being in these ensembles. The friendships that are made through music truly are amazing.
Q: What do you enjoy most about playing in an ensemble?
A: There is always this overall sense that you are a part of something more, and that’s a very encouraging feeling. Also, it gives me the opportunity to hang out and talk more with all my friends.
Q: What was the most challenging thing you have had to overcome while involved in music?
A: I have had music teachers that have displayed extreme favoritism towards others. I had to learn to disregard those biased teachers’ opinions, and do what I can to be the best that I can be. I had to realize that no opinion matters more than my own, and since then I have built up a lot of confidence in myself.
Q: What is the most valuable lesson music has taught you?
A: It has taught me to be more open and expressive. I can be very closed off and introverted, but music allows for me to open up and become more energetic and open to everyone musically and socially.
Q: What do you seek to emphasize when talking to others about music?
A: It’s a lot of fun, and I think that everyone should at one point experience playing an instrument. After trying it, it’s their choice to pursue, and to put as much effort as they want into it! Don’t feel forced to practice and continue to play music. That being said, don’t expect results if you don’t do anything! Music requires practice, time, and patience. It’s a lot of fun, but it requires some work as well, so also put forth your best effort!
Q: If you could describe music to someone who does not play an instrument in 5 words, what would you say?
A: I believe music can be best described using these words: fun, significant, satisfying, unique, and extraordinary!
Q: What is your favorite fun fact about music or your instrument?
A: Simply put, playing music changes the way that you think, and makes connections in your brain that otherwise wouldn’t be there.
Q: Do you have any advice for students interested in starting to learn an instrument?
A: Music is a lot of fun! It’s very much worth it to at least try. If you don’t like it, then it’s still an amazing experience to have! If you do like it, then you have a new passion to pursue! It’s a win-win situation, so why not! Also, know that it will take some effort to learn and play any instrument, and depending on how much effort you put in will determine also how you view and enjoy the instrument, so try your best and give it a chance!