In a high-level performance environment, hard work and dedicated practice predicts success far more than innate ability. Music performance offers opportunities to fail. Students learn the value of persistence, and of working hard for an uncertain outcome.
Music has helped me find my place. I've always been a person who doesn't make friends easily, but music classes offer an avenue for me to meet people and make connections. I have gone through some rough times that could have damaged me, but because of music and the people I have met through it, I can proudly say that I'm still standing, I'm still fighting, and I don't give up. Now I'm a music education student who wants to create a safe environment for other people.
My "gift/talent" is music. Fortunately, because of my district's commitment to music and the arts, I was given the specific outlet I needed to fully apply myself and achieve success at the highest level unique to me. Had music not been in schools, I wouldn't have loved school. I may have struggled in math, but music gave me the confidence to keep trying.
Music has taught me how to work hard, how to work with others, to give of myself for a greater purpose and, most importantly, music gave me a family and a home within my school. When I joined marching band sophomore year, my attitude experienced an incredible shift. I learned there how to work persistently and with an attitude of determination. This is also where I found my second family. Concert band has also been important to me and gives me a haven from the rest of the school/school day. Without music, I would not have reached the level of academic or personal success which I have. I wouldn't have this outlet for emotion and creativity, or this great group of friends and family.