The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) has designated March as Music in Our Schools Month. To celebrate, the jsquared music performance center will be highlighting people who played instruments in grade school and the impact it made on their lives.
Today, we feature Michael Plachinski. Michael is a First Sergeant with the 9th Army Band.
What instrument do you play?
Trumpet - Drum Major
At what age did you begin to play your first instrument?
Why did you start playing?
I wanted to be in band and thought the trumpet was the best. (I was right, lol)
What was your experience with music during your elementary, middle and high school years?
Playing in the band had many positive impacts on me. I learned to be disciplined at a very early age. Practice taught me that I needed to work hard to get better. I also had an immediate group of friends from the band and it definitely helped me to fit in while in junior and senior high.
Who was your favorite music teacher? What made them your favorite?
Bill Pease. He allowed us to be kids but set the standard high and pushed us to be better.
What is your favorite band memory from grade school?
Probably all the friends I made while in band. The trips and football games were always a lot of fun.
Mr. Pease also took care of me one year at the solo and ensemble competition. I was dealing with a personal situation and he stepped in and helped. I'll never forget him or be able to repay him for that.
Did you play an instrument in college? Did music impact your college choice?
I joined the Army right out of high school. I've been a musician in the Army for almost 24 years.
What is your current occupation?
9th Army Band
Fort Wainwright, Alaska
(Still get to play a little)
How has music helped you in your current occupation?
The Army values focus on a lot of the same things that we did in band. Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage are all traits of a good Soldier and musician.
How has music played a part in your adult life?
It's a universal language. While deployed to Afghanistan, I was able to work with the Afghanistan Army Band. Although neither of us spoke the others language, we were able to communicate through music. It's been one of the coolest experiences in my career.
What advice do you have for young musicians?
Practice. Enjoy what you're doing. Music should be fun and entertaining.
We (the 9th Army Band) will be participating in Music in our Schools here in Fairbanks, Alaska. We will visit approximately 27 schools in the local area and tell our Army Story about how music "inspires" us.