Coyote’s Straight A Band


Madison Murphy, Reporter

You stand patiently in line almost in complete darkness awaiting your time to express every emotion that one could never fully convey. Your knees begin to feel tight as you begin to care about appearances and worry about any future mess ups. Your heart begins to pound representing the beginning stresses of a band concert, something our middle school Coyotes didn’t let ruin their passion.

Our school received all superiors, which represents straight A’s at MPA. MPA stands for Music Performance Assessment, a competition every middle school band in Pasco County must attend. The judges themselves are band directors and have to meet very strict qualifications in order to properly judge each band. The scores are extremely hard to master because they are a combination of four music pieces. Three pieces are practiced, allowing students to feel comfortable. The fourth piece is in a separate room judged by someone different. This mind breaking challenge is where most bands give up their perfect scores. The piece of music is one these kids have never seen before. They have a few minutes to go over the piece in their head and then as a band before performing for a grade. Imagine being taught something you have never even heard of before, then after a few minutes of revision a test is handed to you and you’re expected to master the test. Music is indefinitely provoking and one of the most challenging human activities available.

According to playing an instrument involves multiple components of the central brain including; motor, auditory, sensory, visual, and emotional systems. The motor is the element that allows the movements necessary to play the instrument. Auditory isn’t just for listening, but also helps the musician determine whether the instrument is in tune, something a musician must check with every note they play. Sensory is how the musician can play without looking at what keys or “buttons” that are being pressed. Visual of course is a tough one. Music is a different language, because to someone who has never played an instrument before the sheet music looks like black dots on lines. Our eyes take in every dot to our brains, allowing the dot to be translated into an alphabetical letter or a note, which can then be sent to our motor system. Finally, emotional. Emotions are what get people to feel something while listening to the music being played. Believe it or not, emotions are something that can not be taught to a young musician it’s involuntary, really showing the love for music on the stage. We must deeply feel the music ourselves in order to get the audience something to remember. Without passion, music would be nothing.

Superiors are rare, yet our school got all superiors in their first ever MPA.  The skills that were explained are just what the brain does naturally when playing any kind of music. Just picture how much more information crosses the brain while actually playing, like everything taught to you in class… yikes.