By Ainon Hia Kazol ‘18 and Salenna Weiner ‘18
In the interest of full disclosure Aimon Hia Kazol and Salenna Weiner are members of the AMA Club.
Alternative Music Appreciation (AMA) Club welcomes students to discuss their favorite musicians and make their own music during period 11 on Thursdays, in room 450. The faculty advisor of AMA club is Mr. Kyle Manson who teaches in the science department but is skilled in playing piano and guitar. With his help, we managed to mold the club into a friendly and accepting environment that welcomes all students, no matter what genre of music they enjoy.
As creators, we started this club because of our passion for music. We decided to look back at our own history: the very reason we became friends was when we discovered we like the same music groups and decided to talk to each other about it. Soon enough, we began to grow on one another because of this one small interest. It led to us bonding more and our friendship began to blossom. This memory sparked the idea of creating a club where people, who like us have the same taste in music, can come together and get to know each other more. Hopefully, the result of it would include more new friendships among students.
Many people have a hard time communicating with others, whether it be because of the intimidating environment or lack of connection. Newcomers at high school are not the only ones who fear they can not make any friends, everyone faces these problems from time to time. In our club, we take a simple thing like music and expand on its meaning to bring all kinds of people together.
During club meetings we discuss different genres of music: rock, alternative rock, indie rock, punk rock, pop punk, indie pop, heavy metal, rap, 80’s and 90’s music, alternative hip hop, and many more. Students are encouraged to join this club if they have a great passion for such kinds of music, whether it be listening to it or playing it. They can discuss their favorite musicians and bands with other members of the club, informing others or gaining new information.
“I joined this club because I thought it was a good idea to socialize more. I like that everyone is open to new things and doesn’t judge others,” said Claire McErlaine ‘20
At the first meeting, there was an outcome of around 14 students from grades 9 through 11. We asked students to tell us their names and an artist they like along with and instrument they play.
“I can’t play a single instrument properly,” said Ryan Channer ‘19, “But that didn’t matter, it was more about enjoying the music, and talking about it.”
No matter what musician was named, there was at least one or two other people who also knew that artist and enjoyed their music. Some popular musicians named were even favorited by more than half of the club.
“I loved how when I got there, no one was being shy and quiet. Everyone was having fun and joking around,” Channer added.
Students enjoyed sharing what music they listened to, asking each other questions and getting to know one another. Overall, the first club meeting was a success. Since we provided some snacks and refreshments, students left with their bellies full but their hearts were fuller due to the overwhelming acceptance from the members of the club and the connections they made with other people over music.
Advisor Mr. Manson claimed that even after months of knowing each other, students in his classrooms didn’t communicate half as much as the students in the club did halfway through the first meeting. Everyone talked with each other naturally, like they had known each other for years, like they were best friends even though they had just met a few minutes ago. It’s amazing how a simple thing like the same taste in music can bring people together.