Shihori Higashi (Japan)

Saitama Prefectural Kuki High School
Sugito Municipal Sugito Junior High School

The reason I decided to join band was because I loved music when I was in the 7th grade (1st year of junior high school).

I had actually learned to play the piano since kindergarten days, and was also influenced by my elder sister, who played the tenor saxophone in junior high school. That motivated me to join the wind band club in my school.

I have learned so many things through band activities, especially the delight in producing music with my band members.

When some things didn’t go our way, and on times that we reach plateau, we often discuss what was lacking in our activities, and tried to find the problems. After we made some progress from these difficult situations, I become deeply moved because it was only through the essence of teamwork in band activities that things can become better.

These hard experiences taught me the importance and patience of pursuing something through to the end, and they brought me closer to the dear friends whom I shared my youth with.

One of the biggest moments in my band life was the commendation ceremony of the band competition after the performance when I was in 12th grade, which was also the very last competition for me.

As a band leader, I remembered being on stage and seeing the seating area full of students who had performed on the day. Although I felt that not all band members seemed to be proud of their performances, I was still very impressed by their enthusiasm for band activities, and I felt happy by being at the competition.

I highly appreciate the full support of my teachers and parents. Thanks to the everyday guidance by my teachers, we had very fruitful band activities.

At the beginning of my 12th-grade school year, I met a band director and he brought us a lot of new experiences. He also introduced some musicians to our band such as a professional percussionist, a member of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force Band and a band director from Singapore. They taught us new band knowledge and carefully instructed us how to attain better music performance, so that we could make more progress.

I remember that all of them mentioned the same thing, which is enjoy music itself. They taught us the importance of bringing the joy of music to audiences through our music playing, in which we did so at our final competition where we performed our very best.

My 6-year band journey was filled with pleasure and happiness, from the leadership of our great teachers to the strong support of my parents, which I would never forget my gratitude for.

It has been three and a half months since I graduated from high school. I no longer participate in band activities now as I am now in college, training to be a nursery school teacher.

My band experiences will continue to add value to my life, paving my way through my college days and helping me to achieve my dream; which is to teach the pleasures of music to children.