I’m not sure why I thought it was a good idea to join a punk rock band with a bunch of freshman guys, but I did it, and it was probably one of the most stressful experiences of my life. It all started with my decision to post a video of myself playing a mellow song on the ukulele. I never realized how much that decision would change my life. About three months after posting it, two 8th graders commented on the video and asked for my number. I wasn’t sure what to make of this, but I started talking to them. They seemed nice and wanted to know if I would be in their “punk” band. I had always written laid back acoustic music, and these guys wanted me to sing songs by the Ramones and other punk bands. I decided to give it a shot, and our first gig was amazing. A few weeks later the sound guy from the previous gig asked us if we would come and play at a party he was hosting the following week. We had to put an hour long set together in 5 days, which was really stressful since we hadn’t been playing together for that long. The gig was an absolute disaster. I had never wanted to run and hide as much as I did that night. We called it quits for a while after that, and later got back together, only to break up again. Needless to say, I wasn’t meant to be in a punk band, but I’m glad I did it.
I learned a great deal from my punk band experience. Music education doesn’t just have to happen in the classroom. It can be found in a basement with a bunch of lame high schoolers rocking out on old Ramones songs. I learn something new about music everyday. Whether I am standing in the back of a band room playing a concert snare or jamming with friends, music seems to fill my life in every way. Even if some experiences are more challenging than others, I’m so thankful to continue to become a more will rounded musician. That is truly what I love about surrounding myself with other musicians, my friends are constantly pushing me to pick up a new instrument or tryout being in a choir, or even spend some time in a punk rock band. I may not look like the typical punk rocker, but I can say it was an experience that I will never forget.