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Musical Mindset: Students on the importance of music in their lives

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While many students engage in hobbies outside of school such as playing sports or watching TV, some take a more creative approach by playing instruments. For many, creating music is a way to release stress or kill spare time; however, for others, it is a much greater commitment as many decide to play in school and local bands which require hours of creative practice.

   Junior Sean Goldstone, a symphonic band student, explains the influence of music in his life.

   “In a week, I spend four out of seven days on just music. It’s about two hours each day, and I have symphonic band every morning,” said Goldstone.

   In addition to this routine, Goldstone also plays in the Petaluma Community Band and in the SSU Wind Ensemble.

   “Ms. Burney runs the community band, which is mostly older retired adults, and we meet every Monday,” said Goldstone.

   Although the Community Band is open to the public, Goldstone joined the SSU Wind Ensemble through an audition.

   “It’s generally students ages 19-25 that go to SSU, and we play high level music,” said Goldstone.

   Goldstone, however, isn’t the only student who has extracurricular involvement in music. Junior Gio Mendez shares what he is involved in.

   “For my friend’s Senior Project, we’ve been playing at a retirement home every Tuesday at 3:30 for about an hour. Last week, we gigged at the New Life Church for my friend’s mother’s birthday,” said Mendez.

   Unlike conventional ways of listening to live music, social media has created a new way for artists to show off their talent to their friends or to the public. Through posting videos or  sound bites, musicians and singers can display their work on sites like Instagram, Twitter, SoundCloud and Facebook.

   Senior Sydney Sheppard explains the benefits of sharing her music on social media.

   “I always get asked, ‘How can you not sing in front of people, but you post videos of yourself singing?’ If I mess up, I can redo it as many times as I want, so it’s not as nerve-wracking for me,” said Sheppard.

   In addition to using the Internet as a way to share her passion for music, Sheppard also uses the power of technology to increase her skills in playing the guitar through video calls.

   “My instructor lives in Marin, so I take guitar lessons over FaceTime,” said Sheppard.

    As Sheppard plans on attending the Belmont University School of Music in the Fall, she aspires to get involved in the music industry.

   “I will be studying Music Business, and my goal is to become a personal manager for an artist,” said Sheppard.

   Similarly, junior Elizabeth Boaz uses Instagram to promote her singing career and donations to support her upcoming album.

   “The campaign announced on April 1st and it goes until May 31st. I’m trying to raise $3000 which covers the cost of studio time, production, and album artwork,” said Boaz.

   Even though this is Boaz’s first time recording a full album in a studio, she is not new to singing or playing the guitar, the piano, or the ukulele publicly.

   “I perform at a lot of different places like restaurants, fundraisers, festivals, and this summer I’m doing a wedding,” said Boaz.

   To involve those who support her, Boaz encouraged people to visit her website and vote for the title of her EP album of six original songs.

   “I had a tab on my website with an open poll where people could go vote for the album title in March. It turned out to be ‘The Reason Why,’” said Boaz.

   Along with digital distribution, Boaz plans on selling the physical copies of her album at public performances.

   “At least once a performance, people ask me for a CD. I have about 500 ordered right now, and I plan on ordering more with the money from my sales,” said Boaz.

   In the future, Boaz plans on attending college after high school to pursue an education in music.

   “Next year, I’m only taking a few classes [here], and ear training and harmonic classes at Sonoma State and the JC which will hopefully give me an edge to other music schools,” said Boaz.

   Boaz’s campaign for her album can be accessed through her website www.elizabethboaz.com or at her indiegogo campaign

   The activities of playing instruments and singing serve as mere hobbies for some students; however, for others, it is a passion which they hope to pursue through their college and future careers.

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Musical Mindset: Students on the importance of music in their lives