Don’t stop the music

During the long-awaited heat wave in mid-May, student musicians surprised, delighted, and de-stressed peers and teachers in the courtyard socializing over lunch and basking in warm rays. Electric guitar riffs, drumbeats, violin melodies, and more permeated the area with spontaneous and refreshing performances. It was a harmonious reminder that spring had sprung.
The Vanguard would like to give a shout out to Mr. Horning for organizing this impromptu series and to the talented players who took time out of their schedules to showcase their skills. Since it’s not always possible to attend school concerts, music in common areas during the day allows enjoyment by more of the student body. It also provides an opportunity for those less involved in organized school ensembles to inspire and entertain in a more casual setting.
Moreover, informal concerts like these can draw students and faculty outside, creating a community experience. They provide unanticipated yet appreciated distraction—in other words, positive disruption—not to mention catchy tunes that enhance the collective mood. Also, the element of surprise causes more stimulation and reward in listeners by activating the brain’s nucleus accumbens, where pleasure-releasing neurotransmitters fire. ABC News reports that surprises are more stimulating and rewarding than expected events because they further activate the brain’s accumbens, a part of its reward circuit in which neurotransmitters that affect the sensation of pleasure are released. Lastly, their outdoor setting avoids interrupting nearby classes.
The Vanguard welcomes more of these ad hoc performances when the weather is nice. Perhaps another at the beginning of the year could energize students returning to school, greet the freshman coming back from Biv, and remind everyone of the different musical groups they could join.
So thanks to all involved in the execution of these mood-improving, springtime-celebrating, community-gathering performances! We’d love to hear more in the future.

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