Is music Flagler’s lost art?

A call to keep the music playing after high school

By Haley M. Walker |

I often use the phrase, “this one time at band camp,” and sincerely mean it. I know the difference between a bass clef and a treble clef, and at times I would rather read music than my school books.

When I first began playing flute in the sixth grade, I would have never guessed that my experience with music would become such a dynamic part of my life. At the time, it was just another half-hearted, extra-curricular activity to add to a list of many that I tested while young.

At the start of my journey in learning how to play this goofy, little instrument, I found myself frustrated and quite frankly, intimidated by the entire idea.

Music seemed like a foreign language to me. I constantly found myself falling behind other classmates when attempting to decipher the seemingly impossible jumble of black dots and lines printed on the pages in front of me.

There were many times that I questioned whether or not I had an inkling of musical ability anywhere in me.

However, after about three years of time, dedication and frustration, I found it in a place that I would have never looked.

It was not discovered physically in my fingers that were used to press the keys, nor was it in my brain that I used to distinguish the notes from one another. I found it most prominently in my heart.

I entered into a prestigious musical program in high school filled with both hope and excitement.

I joined every musical group that I heard about, including a wind ensemble, a marching band, and an embarrassing number of solo competitions.

I won awards, received a great amount of both praise and criticism, and found what I had thought to be my true passion.

Today, I have realized that the music field is not somewhere that I belong for the rest of my life.

However, I have also come to the conclusion that when I entered Flagler, I lost even the slightest inclination to practice a craft that I had dedicated so much of my life to for so many years.

I lost my ambition because I did not have a program where I could continue learning. I was no longer in a musical environment where I had the opportunity or encouragement to play.

Flagler College is a liberal arts school with so many distinguished and notable studies.

The curriculum encompasses all of the other arts, including theater, graphic design and fine arts. Why ignore such an art as essential as music?

Although this is only my second year as a student at Flagler, I have come in contact with so many amazing student musicians who practice their talent off campus, but also strongly desire a way to share their art with others through the medium of their college.

This is an institution full of students with a great amount of training and talent who are yearning to demonstrate their skills to the rest of the school and to the incredibly cultural community that we live in.

I think many would be surprised about the musical promise we have yet to unveil here.

The opportunities that could be freed through the institution of a music program, even a small one, are endless.

I think Charlie Parker may have explained the limitless possibilities of music best.

“Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn. They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But, man, there’s no boundary line to art.”

I would love to see a full band accompanying the chorus at the holiday concert, a pep band to cheer on our sports teams at their games, and possibly even a small jazz band to play at various parties and events.

An instrumental program that could be paired with the already established Flagler Singers could give students another creative outlet while at the same time showing the community one more thing that we as a college are proud of.

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