Student picks up a second instrument


Madeline Hittel

Senior Mary Beard has been playing the cello for seven years now. Along with the cello, Beard has also learned to play the trumpet from her older sister.

Madeline Hittel, Social Media Manager

Since 5th grade, senior Katie Beard has been a part of the music department, playing the cello with her elementary school orchestra.

Because of her understanding of music theory, it was easy for

Beard to learn a second instrument: the trumpet. She acquired the skills needed to play the trumpet from her older sister, who played when she was in high school.

She learned whenever she and her sister had time during marching band season and camp during the summer. Beard has been in the marching band since 7th grade because of the siblings program.

Because Beard’s orchestra class conflicts with the marching band class, she cannot be in the class during the school day.

She participates in marching band during the fall and pep band in the winter, which are both after school activities.

These groups rehearse after school. Therefore, she has to spend rehearsal time catching up on missed class time too.

“I’m still learning,” Beard said. “I don’t have the solid,

everyday teaching that kids coming into the school, already playing these instruments have because I’ve only been doing (band) during marching and pep band season.”

Even though she isn’t in the class, Beard doesn’t feel as though she falls behind in marching band.

The reason being that she has done it since middle school and has a firm understanding of music theory.

“I can always get help with music,” Beard said, “but because of my orchestra background, I already had a

solid understanding of music. It’s more of just actually producing the notes that need air and the lung capacity compared to one that doesn’t use any of that.”

Orchestra director Thomas Wright has been working with Beard since he first started at SHS. Though he hasn’t known her

for long, he feels as though she is a dedicated player in both orchestra and band.

“Anytime a student is willing to put in the extra effort and expense of taking private lessons on any instrument, I mean, it shows that they’re dedicate,” Wright said.

Wright says that many students end up picking up another instrument after learning one because the music theory is relatively the same, making it easy to learn another.

“It’s not that uncommon that students will want to pick up a second instrument and play it,” Wright said.