With You Every Step: Anish

Date Posted: December 02, 2021

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Why did you choose your instrument and what was it like playing it for the first time?

I chose my instrument after hearing a variety of others, both brass and percussion. The saxophone just stuck to me as such a warm, bright instrument, and I really wanted to play it. Even now, when I look back at the past, I am so glad to have  chosen the saxophone at that time!

Playing it for the first time felt satisfying, but at the same time, I realized the amount of practice I would have to put in to get everything sounding good, get my articulations spot-on, and these are still things I work on now! For the most part, playing the saxophone for the first time felt cool, and I knew I would enjoy it for years to come.

Who have been your musical inspirations?

I have a long list of musicians that inspire me, ranging from classical composers such as Bach and Mozart, to bebop and swing-era saxophone players like Sonny Stitt, Charlie Parker, and Dexter Gordon, to more modern players like Chris Potter.  

How often do you practice, and why? 

I try to practice 4 to 5 days a week for at least an hour or two each day, but sometimes I am only able to practice 1 to 2 days in a week because of schoolwork. However, I try to stay consistent because I always aim to get better at my instrument. I strive to be like my musical influences one day, and I try to set practice goals every session to work on all of the aspects of playing.

What have been some of the most challenging parts of your musical journey so far, and what has kept you going?

The hardest part so far is sometimes feeling worse than another player, skill-wise. I know I have a lot of room for improvement and I continue to work hard to achieve my goal. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed or I feel like I am not improving, and get discouraged from that.

But, in the end, I know that I will eventually see the result, even if I don’t see major improvements in a few weeks. Especially with being around a lot of talented musicians, I have seen how practice can really pay off, which has definitely kept me going. 

Do you have any favorite musical memories so far?

The most fun thing that I've done with music would be participating in the middle school wind ensemble competition in Hershey Park. After we finished the competition, we stayed at the park for the entire day! I distinctly remember and will cherish this memory because it taught me that music is not all work, and that there should be fun along the path of becoming a better musician.

What other musical things do you hope to do when you’re older?

I hope to one day be at least a semi-pro in music, or at least get to some sort of event or venue where I can play with other band members. Even if it is only a small event, I enjoy playing music and making someone’s day!  

What do you like to do outside of playing the saxophone?

Musically, I’ve played piano since I was 4. Outside of music I really enjoy science - especially biology and anatomy. I also enjoy reading books and playing tennis and golf.

"Especially with being around a lot of talented musicians, I have seen how practice can really pay off, which has definitely kept me going." - Anish

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