“When Words Fail, Music Speaks…”

This is me singing during the Spring Concert of 2018 as a freshman of MHS.

This is me singing during the Spring Concert of 2018 as a freshman of MHS.

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What is music? From my personal perspective, it is so much more than instruments and vocals producing sounds to create harmonies. Music has such an influence in the way I work and live. Putting on headphones and listening to my favorite jams is my escape from stress and worry for a moment, and teaching music to others is an indescribable feeling in and of itself.

The Origin

Since I was 3, I was exposed to singing and dancing. There wasn’t a day when my Hispanic family wouldn’t sing or dance to a song from their generation, passing it on to me. The positive energy roaming in my home ignited a spark in me. I remember performing for my family, mumbling every lyric, and moving as if I had ants in my pants.

As I grew older, I was able to attend elementary school, but didn’t take an actual music course until it was mandatory in 3rd grade. My first music instructor did not teach much; filling out word searches and knowing the names of different instruments were our only assignments.

One day, however, he mentioned a different music instructor in the school that held choir rehearsals after school. My 8-year-old self was curious as to what choir was and what I could do. Once I received my parent’s consent, I stayed after school and met the choir director. I learned how to read music, how to harmonize with other vocals, and other musical elements. Since that first day, I have never missed a rehearsal for any of my concerts, field trips, and other school programs.

Unfortunately, my middle school, Citrus Grove Middle, didn’t have any choir programs. I was into vocals at the time and learning an instrument wasn’t on my agenda. Nevertheless, I wanted to expand my horizons and dive into the depths of music. Therefore, in 7th grade, I enrolled in a music program known as Guitars Over Guns Organization (GOGO).

GOGO has given me various opportunities to advance my vocal capabilities, improve my stage presence, and boost my confidence. Visiting different recording studios, participating in music videos, and performing all over Miami helped me become a better vocalist. The experience was so wonderful that I returned as a mentor to GOGO during my 9th grade year.

These are all the awards I earned during the 2019 Choir Banquet! A sash for “Best Alto Voice” in the Lady Stings choir. FLACDA trophy, FVA All-State trophy, a letter-man for being in choir for 2 years, Superintendent’s Honor’s Choir trophy, 2 District Solo & Ensemble medals, and 1 State Solo & Ensemble medal.

Choir Creating Change

My freshman year at Miami High has been filled with music. Choir director Ms. Cid has shown me different outlooks on singing, from explaining the quality of a sound (blending together as one) to the meaning of every music piece. Her knowledge and wisdom took the purpose of music to a whole new perspective. She truly inspired me to participate in events outside of MHS such as Florida Vocal’s Association (FVA) Solo & Ensemble and FVA MPA (Music Performance Assessment). My fellow choir members have also encouraged me to strive for my best.

This year as a sophomore has been my best year musically, being accepted into the following vocal events: FLACDA (Florida American Choral Director’s Association) High School Choir, FVA All-State High School Mixed Choir, FVA District and State Solo & Ensemble, FVA District and State MPA, and Superintendent’s Honors Music Festival 2019 (Choir). I sincerely couldn’t have done it without the empowerment of my director, my friends, and my passion for pursing music.

 

The Impact of Music

On the other hand, this year has been my worst year academically and personally. Many thoughts and feelings have disrupted the way I work and the way I act in delicate situations, resulting in bad grades and loss of connections among people.

Music never fails, however, to be my savior. Practicing choral music and/or taking a walk as I listen to deep lyrics are ways I escape the toxic negativity in my home. There is something about certain notes played together…or special words being sung that triggers all my senses. It captures my mentality, making me forget what I’m struggling with. Imagine all your worries vanishing into thin air just by a tune. This ability to feel relief is something that cannot be described by words.

The choir room is my other getaway, my second home. It gives me a sense of comfort, freedom, and safety. I can genuinely feel at ease, expressing who I am and what I’m becoming in that environment. All the negativity slowly melts away as I step into that space. Ms. Cid has authentically made the room a cozy place to hang out after school for her students! There is no other place I’d rather be than in my music territory.

What’s phenomenal about music is how everyone can interpret a song in their own personal way. I love the possibilities of connecting to a piece on a sentimental level. Choir allows me to connect with others emotionally, reaffirming music’s purpose: to come together as one.

The Struggles of Music

At the same time, I have had my downs when it comes to music. Specifically, how musicians get judged is what gets to me at times. Many people are aware of the challenges that musicians face. Some examples are that music is not a sustainable career choice and the stereotype that most musicians are unintelligent. I have faced these at a different point in my life and still do. Regardless, I defy those stereotypes.

My plan is to obtain my master’s degree as a choral director, taking music theory, musical composition, and conducting as my courses. Being accepted in most choral events is an advantage I have. I also have a weighted GPA of 3.7 and an unweighted GPA of 3.1, taking honors classes. With this academic record, I can reassure a stable future with music.

Some are rather bothered by the constant singing and playing from musicians. “Keep it down”, “Take a break already”, “When are you not singing”, and “Don’t you have something else to do” are repeated phrases that I personally have grown numb to. I cannot let those comments get the best of me when it comes to me practicing music or passing time.

Influencing an Audience

What I have learned throughout my musical journey is to share my love of music with others. Ms. Cid has never failed to express the impact of music. Yes, you need the technical aspects of music to have a good sound to please the crowd, but she has always said that when you are up on a stage performing, you must sing or play with expression, not just physically. You must take what you learned from your piece of music and convey it to the audience.

As musicians, we should express our devotion and hopefully change someone’s point of view. Of course, not everyone will comprehend our message; however, that shouldn’t disrupt the reason why we present ourselves on stage.  I hope I can influence a person’s mindset upon a situation, creating a positive change wherever I go. I am honored to have the chance of spreading compassion, love, and strength just from a piece I taught to my future students. Once I become a choral director, I will pass on my wisdom, finally showing others the meaning of music…one music note at a time.

This is a song choir director Ms. Cid will be presenting for the MHS Spring Concert and Graduation, representing that the choir is one family, “uniting like a tribe”. 

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