Paynesville Press - March 29, 2006

Community Perspective

Life revolves around music and performing

By Caitlin Lien

(Editor's Note: March is Music In Our Schools Month, and the Press - with help from the music faculty - will feature perspectives on the importance of music this month.)

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
~ Aldous Huxley

Music has always played a huge role in my life. In my toddler years, I memorized all of the songs in the "Kid's Songs" video collection and drove my parents crazy singing them all the time, until they finally enrolled me in piano lessons.

I absolutely loved playing piano, even though I didn't like to practice the assignments. This gave me a chance to learn how to read and understand music and musical expression.

In fourth grade, I started the saxophone. I really liked this instrument, but I wanted to play the flute more than anything. This is mostly because of my cousin, Wendy Lien. She played the flute and many other instruments in high school, and I wanted to be just like her.

As soon as I learned what a flute was, I knew that I wanted to be able to play it. I took private lessons on the flute with Mrs. Pelton until I finally switched to it in sixth grade as my principle instrument.

I also joined band and choir that year with Mr. Vork and Mrs. Bungum. In seventh and eighth grade, I sang in the middle school Pops Choir. This was a boost for my confidence as a singer.

In eighth grade, a new teacher was here for a short period in band - Mr. Long. I took lessons from him that year, and I learned a lot about rhythm and expression. This was great for me because I was starting to lose interest in the flute at this time. It helped me find the enjoyment of playing again.

My freshman year was the real start of my music involvement. This is mostly due to the assignment of singing a solo in front of the class in choir. I admit that this scared the living daylight out of me, but I did it anyway. I had never really sung a solo in front of anyone before this, but after it, I always tried out for the solos in the choir pieces.

This lead to being in the summer musical, "The Sound of Music," which introduced me to a whole new kind of music and acting. Since then, I have had many solos in choir and minor and lead roles in musicals and plays.

Being on stage and performing is what I live for. My life revolves around my concert and performing schedule.

This year, I began a teacher's aide study with Mrs. Bungum during the PAHS Treble Choir, which has been another great opportunity to explore music performances and education. Mrs. Bungum has given me the chance to work with a real choir and watch them progress throughout the year.

As a senior, I am involved in many fine art activities, many of which music is involved. I have enjoyed numerous concerts, plays, and musicals, and I am planning on continuing my study of music next year at Concordia College in Moorhead, focusing on vocal music education and theatre.

Music has helped me become the person I am today. It's hard to put into words exactly what music has done for me, but I highly recommend making it a part of everyone's life.

Caitlin Lien, a senior at PAHS, plays in the band and sings in the choir.

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