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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Adelphi chapter.

For the past ten years of my life, I’ve been a music student: elementary school band, high school percussion ensemble, and college percussion. That being said, you’d think I’d be immune to the uncomfortable little flubs that happen every now and then. (You’d be wrong.) If you’ve been involved with music classes for the past ten years or the last few weeks, you’ve probably had your fair share of “yikes” moments. Here are some of the wonderfully inconvenient things that are rites of passage for every music student.


1.) How the entire ensemble must feel when they have to start from the beginning because you stopped counting rests and inevitably missed your cue:

Percussionists (and other musicians) can agree that counting rests is one of the most crucial parts of playing a piece correctly. If you’re off by one beat, you can throw off every other person playing. On the other hand, can you really blame me for losing track when I’ve been resting for six pages straight?


2.) When your teacher keeps asking you to repeat your ~extremely difficult~ part over and over and you can feel your classmates watching you intensely:

I hate playing by myself in front of people, even if I’m surrounded by people I’m friends with. There’s just so much pressure! I’m a nervous wreck!! So, can you guys PLEASE stop watching?? Look away. LOOK AWAY.


3.) How my music looks at me when I go over it for the first time and am instantly intimidated:

I can’t even count the number of times that I’ve first gotten music and felt like “I’ve had it in my hands for two seconds and I’m already scared.” You just have to smile and nod when your teacher starts going over everyone’s parts. You gotta fake it till you make it!


4.) When you’ve been in the practice room a little too long and someone tries to get you to take a break:

This is that feeling of when you finally get into the groove of practicing and one minor thing completely wrecks your attention span. Like, it was taking everything in my last two brain cells to keep my concentration going and you just ruined it.


5.) When you confidently answer a simple question wrong:

You don’t even need to be a music student to get this one – or a student at all. Literally anyone can understand that horrible feeling of “I’ll just let myself out.” It’s the moments like these that keep us from thinking we’re the next Mozart – everyone’s going to get humbled eventually (some of us more than others).


6.) When your brain randomly stops functioning and you can’t remember how to read sheet music for the life of you:

Sometimes you’re just so tired, preoccupied, or distracted that looking at sheet music is like reading in a foreign language. Except there’s no Google Translate for this, so, you just have to sit there looking at it like this for a few minutes.


7.) When no one in the ensemble, not a single soul, is able to make the music sound remotely good and your teacher has had enough:

In high school, my teacher didn’t hesitate to tell us when our playing genuinely sucked. We knew it. He knew it. Anyone walking by the classroom probably knew it. We always pulled it together in the end, but sometimes you need to get hit with that reality check.


8.) Showing up to your 7:45am class and being the only one ready to start playing:

I don’t know how I ever had so much energy at 7:30am for four years of high school, but I did. When you love something as much as I love percussion, I guess it makes sense to literally ALWAYS be excited. Besides, someone’s gotta be able to play at fortissimo that early in the morning.


And two more wholesome ones (because I couldn’t resist!):


9.) When you finally get through a really tough part of your music and feel like a total badass:

All that time you spent dragging your feet about practicing that really difficult music finally pays off, and let me tell you, it’s SUCH a high. The concert, the recital, the audition, or even just a group rehearsal instantly goes from 0-100. (Best. Feeling. Ever.)


10.) Knowing that at the end of the day, music students are your people – no matter how different you all are:

I met some of my best friends in my high school’s music department, so even if they’re in a different ensemble or group than you are, talk to someone! You already know that you have at least one thing in common. All of that time in the practice rooms together really bonds you.


Hopefully you haven’t had all of these things happen to you, but more power to you if they have! I like to laugh it off – or at least tell myself to laugh it off – because I know with my luck, it’ll definitely happen again at some point. There’s no use trying to fight the inevitable, so you might as well make the best of it!


Hey there! My name's Isabella and I'm a senior at Adelphi University. I'm an English major with a concentration in Creative Writing, and while I love most fiction, I’m a sucker for love stories. When I’m not reading (or writing) said love stories, you can find me drawing, binging New Girl and Gilmore Girls, or getting coffee with my friends!