By Alfonso Syquia

ISM, due to its impressive diversity in terms of nationality, has spectacular diversity in terms of skill sets and talents ranging from athletics to the arts. Music is a huge part of the ISM community, giving Bearcats the chance to express themselves through playing various instruments in Band, Strings, or singing as a choir member.

Senior and Jazz Band member Yuyang W. has been playing the trumpet ever since 5th grade. Though he admits that he chose this instrument because “it seemed like the easiest one,” Yuyang found appreciation for the instrument and decided to continue playing the trumpet, despite the stress that comes with the IB. When asked what motivates him to continue, Yuyang stated, “being able to play and create music through my instrument, while continuing to improve and express myself, is simply amazing.”

Senior Sofia O., member of ISM’s Symphonic Band, plays both the clarinet and the piano. Though she started playing the clarinet six years ago when she first enrolled in band, she has been playing the piano since the age of seven. She enjoyed the independence that came with the ability to play the piano. She states, “rather than having to play with an orchestra or band, playing the piano allows you to play solos and really showcase your talent to the audience.” Though she doesn’t play piano for Symphonic Band, Sofia is self-motivated to improve her skills in the piano and states, “finally learning to play difficult pieces that I’ve wanted to play when I was younger makes it extremely satisfying.”

On the other hand, Yojana N., part of IASAS Choir last year, is currently part of ISM’s very own Show Choir. She had her first voice lesson 8 years ago and for Yojana, music is mostly about self-expression and emotion. She states, “[Music] brings people who have the same love for it or a similar passion for singing together. It helps me get away from reality and all the negative aspects of life that bring me down”. Moreover, though people may think that having an extra class rather than a study hall makes things more hectic, she says, “Choir class actually gives me a good break from IB and helps to de-stress me throughout the week.”

Similarly, orchestra member Savion G. has been playing the viola and violin for almost 12 years. He states, “playing the violin or viola serves as a break from all the hectic difficulties of academics and life in general.” He finds that playing the instruments, “helps [him] continue to keep [his] mind occupied with some kind of artistic medium.”

It is clear that the music community in ISM is extremely talented and gives people the chance to grow and improve in their chosen instrument. Whether you practice an instrument at home or just want to try out learning how to play one, perhaps consider enrolling in one next year, as it will undeniably give you the chance to de-stress and forget about upcoming assessments or projects.

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