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Mid-Pacific’s Band and Orchestra Programs Resume at Full Volume

What a difference a year makes! In the spring 2022 issue of Mid-Pacific Today, we reported how Band Director Jeremy Lawi used technology to develop ways for students to learn and share music together, despite not being able to play together physically. This spring, we are delighted to report that the Band and Orchestra programs have both returned to fully in-person programming for the 2022-23 school year, and we hope that you’ve had the opportunity to take in one of their many performances this year.

“We are rebuilding and reintroducing many programs and concepts that students have missed out on in the past few years. We’re trying to rebuild the culture of students using the Band Room during lunch blocks, and outside of class, rehearsing together, hanging out together, and forming those important social bonds.”

While the students proved themselves incredibly resilient during COVID restrictions, both Lawi and Orchestra teacher Michael Lim shared their relief that students can learn and perform together during the past school year. For the first time in years, students have enjoyed a return to participation in Music Camp, the Oahu Band Directors Association’s Parade of Bands, the Winter Concert and the Pop Concert. The Jazz Band has had multiple gigs playing on the stage at Ala Moana Mall throughout the year and all of the ensembles wowed the crowds at the Aloha Concert in early May.

Both music teachers felt that participation in Band and Orchestra gives students an opportunity to quickly bond and enjoy a shared experience.

“Music forces students to be together, giving them something in common – they can relate to each other,” commented Lawi. “Music is a different kind of learning,” Lim adds, “students tap into emotional expression through playing. There’s a very social aspect to learning to play together.”

“Music is different,” adds Lawi. “Students and teachers are practicing it together – everyone participates and performs. It’s hard work and requires focus, discipline, and perseverance. There’s instant feedback and nothing feels greater when it all comes together.”

This year, many students experienced focused clinics and workshops for the first time. Both teachers reported that participation in the programs was strong this year and they look forward to enrollment growing as students and families rediscover the benefits of the music experience. Lim expressed hope for an extracurricular string quartet program next year, providing an additional opportunity for learning and performance.

“Music transcends language and customs that can separate us,” says Lim. “It speaks to the human race and is a practice that students can take with them into the future – playing either alone or with others. It’s a skill you can always appreciate, love, and do for the rest of your life.”

The skills and mindset required to learn music are closely aligned with the principles of Deeper Learning, emphasizing critical thinking, effective communication, collaboration, self-direction, and a commitment to lifelong learning. Our music programs provide opportunities for students to learn, grow, connect, and demonstrate their learning in a delightful way with our community. We hope to see you in the audience to experience their learning for yourself.