All-State: Battling the Pressure

Patrick Sarsfield, Reporter

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For years, City High has had a nationally recognized music program. City High has had many All-State members as well as one of the highest ranked jazz band programs in the state. Students in these programs get valuable opportunities. Members of these programs are having problems alongside the benefits of music including stress, pressure, and loss of free time. Some of the students involved in these programs explain what problems they have and how they deal with their problems. 

“All-State definitely causes a lot of stress, you get nervous about whether you’re going to hit deadlines or not,” said Ryan Carter ‘20.

One of the main downsides that come with musical experiences is stress. Many people alongside Carter experience stress because of their busy schedules. Last year Carter was so busy with school and his extracurricular musical activities that he would regularly stay up until 2 in the morning just to get half an hour to an hour of practice a day. Although it is stressful, students like Carter have found ways to make use of their time and prioritize school before music. 

“I focus on getting my school work done during the day so that when I get home I can finish that up, and get to my band and choir work,” said Eva Stadlander ‘22.

Manny Kaine ‘22 agrees with Stadlander and expresses his frustration with his teachers’ views towards extracurriculars and their time commitments.

“I’ve found that teachers are not very forgiving to me not completing something because of band, so I focus on school first, then band,” said Kaine.

Last year in a 5 day time period, Carter spent a little over 20 hours working on his All-State tryouts. That’s roughly 4 hours a day, on top of school work as well.

“I would get home at around 9 without having any homework done. I would rush through my homework and then practice until I was exhausted,” said Carter. 

Extracurricular music opportunities cause stress, but there are ways to reduce that stress and make your experience much better.

“You just need to take a break, or breathe,” said Carter. “Think about how you are going to attack the situation and how you are going to get stuff done.”