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September SOTM: Max Ma

Updated: Nov 2, 2022

After a long summer break, we are pleased to announce the return of our monthly student spotlights! Please bring your attention to our September Student of the Month, Max Ma. Max is currently a sophomore who found a passion for Symphony Orchestra, in which he portrays his talent through the violin.

Max’s first instrument, like many others, was the piano. But in the fourth-grade, when the music program was introduced, he wanted to open up more, and choose something in the string family. He has only a vague memory of his thought process on why he chose the violin, but Max concludes it’s because the violin seemed the easiest for a 9-year-old.

However, Max explained that his strong love for the violin only grew “after hearing what [he could] do on the instrument.”

Furthermore, music has impacted Max’s life in multiple ways. Through his rigorous rehearsing sessions, playing the violin has shown him how important discipline is; and giving up after one try is unacceptable. He was also introduced to the idea of how music teaches you to create something original.

“Every composer creates music that sets a tone, and the composer wants you to convey that. It’s not necessarily just a copy-and-paste,” said Max. “It’s something you have to inject yourself into.” He believes that this is one of the hardest parts of playing music.

During this year and last, he found great interest in the French piano composer, Joseph Maurice Ravel, specifically Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major and Piano Concerto for the Left Hand. He found it inspirational on how Ravel applied modern jazz themes to his pieces, and how he overstepped traditional classical aspects. This teaches a valuable lesson on there being no boundaries in the art of music.

Now you can find Max indulging in some of his hobbies, including partaking in intense tennis games and heart-racing math competitions. However, he is still grateful for the orchestra program, as it has given him the opportunity to portray emotions through music. “The orchestra program is certainly the most unique organization on campus,” said Max, and he wouldn’t trade it for anything else.

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