The Barrier

When I first signed up for band, it was something I never took seriously. It was an elective and an activity I could do with my friends and I never really thought of it as anything more. The next year, most of my band friends had moved up to the top band in middle school and I remained in the second band… and it me hard. Throughout that year- 7th grade- I heard how great that top band was and I wanted to be a part of it. When the 8th graders that year went to high school and I got moved up to the top band, I felt very out of place because I did not feel as if I earned the spot. Throughout that year, I would routinely come in at 6:00 am to practice with my director. He would help me learn more advanced techniques and music and it from there I became immersed into the musical realm. I became devoted to studying music to the point where I would play my instrument whenever I had any amount of spare time. As I improved, I wanted to learn more and more and I just loved every minute of band. That experience was an invaluable one because it was the first time I was able to break this barrier that had previously prevented me from delving into various topics. Once I understood how to understand a new topic, learning independently became a much easier task for me. I learned that there are certain key themes that appear in each world (whether that is biology, film, English, history etc.) that you must really keep in mind while you are understanding the rules to each world. It almost feels like you’re playing a game. The more you understand, the more you’re rewarded and thus the further you can advance. Treating a topic like a game makes it fun for me to learn and it is part of the reason I love school so much. It allows me to feel a sense of progress outside my grades and it gives me some self-motivation. One of the most beneficial things that education can do is ease that barrier of entry fun and enjoyable. I have met many people who absolutely hate math and the most common answer is because “I don’t get it.” Maybe if math was taught in a fun and applicable way from grade school, rather than a series of problems, then we might have students who genuinely enjoy math and could further advance it. Learning isn’t fun for many people, but making it easier to understand the core concepts of a particular subject is the first step to helping someone genuinely appreciate a subject.