Why Study Music?

Dan Sytsma-Reed

Senior Manufacturing Engineer, Honeywell Industries

Playing the violin throughout my educational pursuits helped me develop skills that have been valuable in my engineering career.  Music requires discipline, rigor, teamwork, creativity, and the pursuit of excellence. In short, it involves the whole human person more than any other pursuit that I can imagine.  For me, it remains a pursuit of beauty, of elegant simplicity, and at times offers an experience of the eternal.

Heidi Haugeberg

Senior Engineer, The Boeing Company

The discipline of practicing (violin) over a long period helped reinforce the discipline I needed to become a successful aerospace engineer. It has also been an activity that gives me a…sense of mental balance in life.

Ian Graham

Correspondence Manager at the United States Senate

Orchestra taught me how to play together, to learn how to listen to my teammates and when to play my part with confidence. Unspoken communication between a quartet to know when exactly to play, how to adapt our sound to each other and how to get the most out of each other are advanced skills of communication and understanding, and the practice of empathy and listening are what make me good at my job. The lessons students will learn on the stage and in rehearsal and in the practice room are the skills you don't learn in a classroom or demonstrate on an exam, but they're the skills your colleagues and bosses hope you will have when you show up to work. And it's a pretty fun way to learn.

Kat Jonker

Elementary School Teacher

My whole self has been nourished and developed through learning the violin. I have learned to work hard, and also give myself grace. I have learned poise, and I have learned that mistakes happen, and they are ok. I have met lifelong friends that share a passion for music as well as passion for many other things. I think learning violin cultivated in me a larger passion for learning, which is something I bring into my fourth-grade classroom every day!

Elisha Richards

Valedictorian of the Beaver Island Community School/Freshman at the University of Michigan

My many years of practice, lessons, rehearsals, and concerts helped me develop academically to become my school's valedictorian by instilling in me the sense of how important work ethic is and how it can determine how far you excel.