By: Diana Chen, Opinions staff writer
Walk into the music hallway at any time of the day and you can experience the musical talents of your peers; you can listen to the elegant grace of a Chamber Choir singer, or a talented, almost-prodigal percussionist rolling away at the drums. Pass down the other hallways as well and look at the inspiration that hangs on the walls- the artwork that we mindlessly pass by, inspiring those creative and ethical minds that our school strives to nurture. For many of these artists and musicians, to achieve their level of talent, it took hours upon hours out of their day that could have been spent socializing in the old Cafe, or working on last minute homework. These special people, though, have found their passion, the thing that makes them forget to eat and forget to sleep. These people have found a calling; they have found a lifestyle. What happens when IMSA does not take the time to nurture our more creative and musical abilities, simply because it is not mathematics or science?
IMSA reportedly is a school that accepts not only those who are exceptional at math and/or science, but also many talented musicians as well. The sheer musical potential in sum is nearly immeasurable. Why is it that the band and choir programs receive little funding? Why is it the choir program holds only 30 current active members in both the Chamber and Concert Choirs combined? Why do I find that if I walk into our vastly under-stocked Percussion Room, it is hard for me to find a functional matching pair of mallets or drumsticks? I realize I did not come here to learn about music, or art as a main part of my education, but that does not mean these parts of my life no longer matter either. Music is a vital addition to my life and has been since I was five. However, when I decided to attend IMSA I did not suddenly decide to throw away my dreams of becoming a better musician either. To grow as a musician takes priority and, unfortunately, money, though, which are two things the band and orchestra programs at our school do not have. IMSA aims to “inspire,” but if my inspiration is not particularly involved with the sciences or mathematics, does that make it any less inspirational to me?
I realize the amount of money we receive and a lot of the decisions made on how to use that money is determined by the state. In our current fiscal state, however, we face many cutbacks. I will ask, though, who has the right to say that our music, our art and our inspiration are subordinate to all others simply because they are not math or science? Do our artistic capabilities hinder us in our future goals toward success? No. Do our creative outlets hinder our future job opportunities? No, in fact, a creative mindset can enhance a job applicant’s appeal exponentially. With this in mind, why are the art departments in today’s education the first to have to sacrifice their funds in favor of more logically-based subjects? So, my fellow IMSA students, instead of “why?” I will ask, “why not?” Why not have a band that does not have a drum set with only one properly tuned tom, or an entire music department that is under a flooding threat after every rainstorm? Why not take a leap? Why not advance the human condition, not just in math and science, but in music, art, and creativity? Why not?