Youth Action Network Leader: Prachir Pasricha

MusicMakesUs picWe provide platforms for youth leaders to speak up about the importance of learning music in their lives.  This month, read what Prachir Pasricha, a Grade 10 student at Glenforest Secondary School in Mississauga ON, has to tell you.  He’s passionate about defending music programs in schools and calls out to other young people to join him! 

Article:    Last year, as part of grade 9 geography, our class was required to complete an advocacy project for which we chose a topic we were passionate about and took on initiatives to support it and increase awareness. I decided to advocate for music education in schools in Canada for this project, and at first, it started off as just that; a project that I needed to complete to receive a final mark in the course. As I continued to advocate for the cause, however, I discovered my genuine passion for this topic and the desire to protect music in our schools and communities.

Whether we realize it or not, music plays a vital role in all of our lives in any and every way possible. We play it, sing to it, listen to it, cry to it, record it, and really couldn’t live without it (I certainly know I couldn’t). Take my life for example; I play the piano, I take practical and theory examinations, I’m taking the instrumental music course at school, I play in our symphonic band, and I’m always listening to or humming a song. It’s extremely difficult to imagine life without these things, and that’s why I’m fighting for music education in schools not just in Canada, but around the world. Personally, music has made me a more mature and stronger individual. It has taught me the importance of forgiveness, understanding, trust, and independence. Through personal obstacles and achievements, it has changed me for the better. And that’s just me; I’m just one individual that did a project, wrote an article, and got the chance to use this platform to speak about the importance of music. Think about all the individuals around the world who’ve been impacted by the power of music, because the language of music is universal and knows no boundaries; regardless of ethnicity, culture, sexuality, gender, or age, every single one of the 7 billion people on this planet can relate to music. In these tough social and political times, something like music that brings people together couldn’t be more special, and simply cannot be ignored.

I recently saw an audition on the X-Factor USA; a young woman named Ashly Williams, who delivered an absolutely stunning performance of “I Will Always Love You”. Her mother had been murdered when she was 14, which she described as the “worst moment of my life”. As I watched her breathtaking performance and the emotional reactions of the judges and the audience, it made me think just how important music was to her, and how that audition just may have been the best moment of her life because she was able to express her emotions and connect with the world. Music allowed Ashly to understand the tragic life experience she went through, and express it in such a captivating way. Stories like this are seen all around the world and emphasize the opportunities music provides people.

Seeing the impact music can have on people, there is no question that students need access to music education to express themselves, broaden their imagination, and be creative. Students often need a means of expression and release outside of home, and so the provincial governments of our country need to realize that they need to support expression and creativity at school in order for the future to prosper. It is understood that math and science are important, but I truly believe music is as important because it allows you to be free and creative. The Canadian youth population is this country’s future; we need to realize we have the power to decide what is important to us in the years to come. I believe music is important, and so I wrote this article to reach out to you; now it’s your turn. It’s easy enough to read this article and say you’re passionate about music, but taking action to protect it is what sets you apart from others. Even starting off with something as small as a local petition or talking to the music teachers in your school can lead to something big. I did a project for school and here I am, expressing my opinion for Music Makes Us. Remember:  together we’re stronger.

Link to community newspaper article: http://www.mississauga.com/community-story/3846041-student-defends-music-programs/