Noteworthy Students have Big Goals

Noteworthy+Students+have+Big+Goals

Ryan Nowak, Editor-in-Chief, Wildcat Pause

Learning music at a young age is common for many students. What many don’t know, however, is that having a passion for playing music has benefits that are carried throughout life.

According to the website of Youth Orchestras of Fresno, music training for students improves academic skills, and student musicians typically show higher knowledge in math than students who aren’t involved. Student musicians can also have an easier time learning a second language as well as having strong reading comprehension skills.

Learning music is not only academically beneficial, it can also be attributed to improving other aspects of life, such as social skills and stress relief. Musicians are brought into a world of fellow musicians where they make friends and other connections by playing music. According to the Youth Orchestras’ website, music allows “a path for artistic expression and emotional release.”

It also makes people happier. A study from the University of Missouri, states, “people were successful at raising their positive mood as long as the music they listened to was happy and upbeat,” according to Dr. Yuna Ferguson, the lead author of the study.

SWR is home to many talented musicians, such as senior Sophia Mastrangelo.

“I danced for around 10 years, played field hockey, and was pretty involved in other activities, but eventually I had to choose, and music is what makes me the happiest. It’s something I’m always going to keep in my life,” Mastrangelo said.

She has been involved in music since age 5. She plays piano and cello, but her main instrument is her voice. Mastrangelo is undecided if she will major in music in college, but she has gone through the process of college auditions at various music schools.

“I do think the SWR music department is a little under appreciated. In freshman year it was a little sparse with the amount of music-related things we had, but my junior and senior years Mr. Creighton has done a really great job of getting the chorus a ton of concerts and places to perform at, and with preparing auditions for college, Mrs. O’Connor was a big help,” Mastrangelo said.

Other SWR performing musicians have also found success in the high school music world, performing with various honors ensembles and groups such as SCMEA, LISFA, NYSCAME, All-State, All-Eastern, and All-National. SWR also has some successful graduates who are making it in the music industry, such as Eric Anthony Lopez, who is on the world tour production of The Phantom of the Opera.   

Mastrangelo isn’t the only senior considering continuing a music career throughout college. Christopher Wygonik and Andrew Liguori are also en route to following their passion in college.

Wygonik, who has been involved in music since third grade, plays five instruments: trombone, double bass, bass guitar, euphonium and piano. He is also in SWR’s concert choir and Vocal Express. Wygonik said he practices about two to three hours a day with his various instruments. His current plan is to attend college for a degree in Musical Performance on double bass and tenor trombone.

“In freshman year it was a little sparse with the amount of music-related things we had, but my junior and senior years Mr. Creighton has done a really great job of getting the chorus a ton of concerts and places to perform at, and with preparing auditions for college, Mrs. O’Connor was a big help.” -Sophia Mastrangelo

However, choosing music as his main focus in life has left Wygonik with some regrets.

He said he has not been able to “devote my time to other things like sports and not being able to explore new things as much,” Wygonik said.

Liguori, like Wygonik, started with music in third grade. He plays three instruments: saxophone, guitar, and piano. He said he practices around two hours a day and has had no regrets in choosing music as his main passion in life. He cites the SWR music staff for contributing to his growth as a musician. He is undecided about what college to attend but plans to major in Music Education.

When it comes to advice for any young musicians, Liguori said, “The advice I have is to keep it up. Entertaining yourself and others is the most important thing in life.”

SWR teachers have seen many young musicians excel. “Studying music is tough. We all want to get to the point where we can just play or sing things well. The hours of practice it takes to get there often turns people off. Stick with it and make sure you set small goals you can meet regularly so you experience some success,” Chorus teacher Dennis Creighton said.

Senior Andrew Liguori practices saxophone on stage. He’s planning to pursue a degree in music education next year.

 

Republished from Shoreham-Wading River’s print newspaper, The Wildcat Pause (April 2019 Issue).