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Senior Project

I hate this class.

Jayden Mackwell

on 20 April 2010

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Transcript of Senior Project

Playing for Change A Musical Malady Obsticles I Faced Personal Growth What is Playing for Change? Who was there? When was Playing for Change? Where did it take place? Why is Playing for Change important? Playing for Change was a non-for profit awareness event designed to bring the public's attention to the fact that music education is being cut from public schools even though it is scientifically proven to be one of, if not THE most important subject a student can study. Behind the table there were five musicians, including myself. I was there as the main speaker and a representative of orchestral music. Josh and Jessie, two of my classmates, were also there as representatives of orchestra. Lex, my younger brother, was there as a representative of what one can do on their own with the basic skills learned in school music, and Richard, a friend of mine, was there as a representative of how people who have nothing to do with school music can still support music in schools.

Playing for Change was free and open to the public. People from all different walks of life, a Red Cross volunteer, several self-proclaimed "starving musicians," and a few stray ballerinas, stopped by to check out what we were all about. Playing for Change was a three hour long event that took place on April 12, 2010. There may possibly be a follow-up event in the future due to the surprising amount of requests for one. Pembroke Mall has recently become very active in the promotion of the arts. They display elementary, middle, and high school art in the corridores, they offer ballet classes to young children, host art exhibitions and theater troupes, and have stores dedicated to local artists and theater props. They also have what they call the Art Space. Playing for Change was the first event in the Pembroke Mall Art Space that was dedicated to instrumental music. Playing for Change was an awareness event focused primarily on drawing attention to the VH1 Save the Music Foundation. The Save The Music Foundation is a non-profit organization that strives to raise money and put instrumenta music back into public schools. One of the key pieces to restoring and maintaining music education is awareness, and Playing for Change did just that. What is A Musical Malady? Why is music education important? How does A Musical Malady connect to Playing for Change? A Musical Malady is the title of my research paper. It argues that musical education is vital to every child's complete education and that music education should be mandated for every child through the middle school level. The need for this mandate is argued through the presentation of facts about music education and all its benefits. Some facts about music education that were presented at Playing for Change:
•66% of all students accepted to medical school were music majors.
•Students who participate in band or orchestra have the lowest levels of current and lifetime use of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs among any group in society.
•In a study of 7500 university students, music majors had the highest reading scores among all majors including biology, chemistry, math, and English.
•On the SAT, music students scored 63 points higher than non-music students in critical reading and 44 points higher in math.
•The world’s top academic countries, including the Netherlands, Hungary, and Japan, require all of their students to have musical training through middle school.
•The foremost technical designers and engineers in Silicon Valley are almost all practicing musicians.
One of the points I bring up in A Musical Malady is that people aren't fighting to keep music in schools because they aren't aware of the benefits of music. Playing for Change was an awareness event to bring attention to the benefits of music education. In fact, some of the studies and statistics included in A Musical Malady were put on display at Playing for Change. My Age Consultant Illness Musicians Myself Rescheduling The first obstical I had to confront was my own personality. I'm naturally a very anti-social person, and I truly hate being around other people. I'm uncomfortable around people I don't know really well and I have serious social anxiety. All during my high school career I've tried to avoid being around people, so it was really difficult for me to branch out and contact the people I needed to contact. My orchestra teacher and consultant got really ill in late January and had to miss school for several surgerys between late January and early March. Since she was recovering for nearly a month and a half I couldn't rely on her and I had to find other people to help me along the way. My friend and classmate, Ryan, ended up acting as my "Right Hand Man" since I didn't really have a consultant. Musicians are notoriously unreliable individuals when it all comes down to it. Of sixteen origional musicians I had scheduled for Playing for Change, only four were able to actually be there. Thankfully I already knew about this so I was able to plan for it, but it certainly caused me some unwanted stress during the week before my event. In the months between December of 2009 and April of 2010 I disovered that "legal adult" and "adult" are two very different things. Eighteen is really a "no-man's-land" as far as ages are concerned. On paper I'm an adult, but all of the venues I spoke with reguarding hosting Playing for Change wanted an "adult," not a "legal adult," to sign the contracts. My dad was willing to be my "Duly Appointed Representative" for the purpose of signing contracts. Originally Playing for Change was supposed to be on March 19, 2010 at the Sandler Center Plaza. I changed the date and location in late February when I realized that the weather was truly terrible this year and having a dozen instruments outside in unpredictable weather was not a good idea. This location change was the best decision I made during the whole project, because March nineteenth ended up being the day that we had a huge rainstorm. I moved my event indoors to the FYE at Towne Center after both Lynnhaven Mall and the Barnes & Nobel at Towne Center declined having my event at their location. At FYE Playing for Change was scheduled for April 3, 2010. This also fell through when FYE and VH1 had a sudden falling out. The local manager of FYE felt really terrible that he couldn't allow my event to go ahead, so he helped me secure Pembroke Mall for the week after my event was supposed to be at FYE. Pembroke Mall turned out to be a successful location. I've always thought of myself as a "grown" person. I went through a really tough time in middle school and came out of it being a thirty-year-old in a thirteen-year-old's body. I'd seen things that some people will never see and that nobody deserves to see, much less experience. I pretty much skipped over the part of my life where I was supposed to ease into my "personal growth" and came out of middle school not knowing where it came from. That being said, my personal growth throughout Senior Project was really more of backwards movement to fill in the years I missed out on. "Do it yourself" to learning how to ask for help when I needed it. Follow my instinct to taking advice from others. Be true to what I want to learning to compromise. Do what's safe and easy to doing something a bit more challenging and not guaranteed to succeed. Being afraid to leave my safe zone to being willing, albeit reluctant, to venture outside my own back yard.
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