All students know the terror of standing in front of the crowd and giving a presentation for an English assignment. We stutter and our mind blanks out as we try to present the content as elegantly as possible. But have you thought about what these students in AT Arts and Performances experienced as they stood in front of the crowd to present their music? This is on another level of communication and presentation as they communicate and perform with their instruments and singing voices.
With the rise of many AT classes, AT Arts and Performances was one of the many unknown and ambiguous courses. Throughout the year they have gone beyond the usual level of music performance in SAS which was taking band, choir or strings classes. They have acquired professional and theoretical musical knowledge and took this a step further.
So how is this AT Arts and Performance class different from the normal band, orchestra, or different arts classes? Senior Angie Lin, a current student in this AT class, describes this new course as “different because [we] write many more reflections than normal music classes, and we also took online courses for music history and music theory.” She also points out that there is a special opportunity for all students of this course to plan their own senior recital, which is not offered in normal music classes.
This course seems to also offer a wider variety of experiences in comparison, as they “also get to work with students other music disciplines as well as dance and drama kids,” says Angie, as this class is inclusive of all arts.
AT Music students were asked to specifically explain what drives them to take a challenge in this new course. Senior Angie Lin describes her strong passion for music as her motivation for this course. She states that she wanted “to do something more than just play in the school orchestra,” as she “wanted more control over what [she] could do with music at school.”
At the end of the year when students were flooded with AP exams, finals, and graduation preparation, the seniors have prepared their own set of music to mark the end of their music learning experience in SAS. To prepare for these recitals, the seniors personally chose their music and researched the background of the pieces’ composers and compositions. These students had to make sure that it fit into the time limit of “30-45 minutes per person,” which led them to “choose pieces from a variety of time periods and styles and make sure they meet the time limit,” according to senior Angie Lin. They were to reserve a location themselves to showcase their music to the audience they invited themselves, making this whole experience more meaningful and personal. In order to make this experience complete, they were encouraged to order food, as well as have photos and videos taken for this memory to be recorded forever.
While this showcase might have required so much effort in the technicalities, the experience and memory is definitely worth it. As stated by Angie Lin, “the recital gives [us] a chance to showcase our solo material as well as an opportunity to do something that is more unique – not that many people get the chance to do a quite professional solo recital.” Not only was it a unique opportunity, for her personally, “it was also an opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and perform individually for a large group of people.”
As the audience filed in and gave words of encouragement to the performers, the seniors took the stage with a mildly nervous expression like any other presentations. After tuning the piano and explaining the short excerpt of their music piece, the seniors finally performed the music they had prepared. While not a Carnegie Hall performance with professional lighting and perfect audio conditions, but it was far more personal and heartfelt. From the students’ performances, it was very clear that these talented musicians used so much of their time and effort for their passion for music. Their hard work had paid off – all of the time that they spent choosing their songs, preparing the programs, and organizing this event, and even practicing everyday to prepare, was shown from a successful recital.
AT Arts and Performance is definitely a platform that students should take advantage of, as this class is perfect for those who want to explore their passion for music by not only studying much more deeply into the styles and history of music, but also be faced with new opportunities such as the recitals. These recitals won’t just be just another typical concert or performance, rather it is a way to let the students realize what truly goes on to make a recital happen, and even gain self-confidence by performing solo in front of a large audience.
Check below for the full version of senior Angie Lin and Angela Lee’s AT Music recital!