Credit to Jordan Milewczik

Sophomore Catherine Pundmann poses with her clarinet. After struggling with music, she improved by putting in extra time and effort.

After Struggling with Music, Sophomore Catherine Pundmann Improved Her Skill

After Struggling with Music, Sophomore Catherine Pundmann Improved Her Skill Through Putting in Extra Time and Effort

Published: October 3, 2018

It’s freshman year. Music fills the ears of sophomore Catherine Pundmann. She looks around at everyone else, trying to mimic what they’re doing with their instruments. Pundmann struggles to catch up with the rest of the Woodwind Choir. Her range is off, and it’s already too far into the song to try to read the music and catch up. Overwhelmed and over it, she’s forced to sit and listen.

“I felt like everyone else around me was so good,” Pundmann said. “They could read all of the ink on the page, and I’m sitting over here barely being able to play a simple note.”

Pundmann is a clarinet player. During her freshman year, she joined Woodwind Choir and Basketball Band. She went through not feeling good about her place in band, and felt that everyone around her was on a completely different level of understanding music, especially with knowing how to read music.

“In a program like band, there’s a spectrum,” Band Director Robert Stegeman said. “Catherine came to band a little behind. I don’t think it’s anybody’s fault. But she is very determined and very focused when she’s in rehearsal. Her musical understanding got a lot better from when she started.”

By simply joining Marching Band, she bonded with a larger community of people. She fit extra practices into her schedule and worked hard to become the clarinet player she is now. Not only has she become comfortable at playing the clarinet, but she feels she’s found a home in her section.

“The more I saw her in Woodwind Choir, the more I saw her improve,” Arianna Chaves, senior and clarinet section leader, said. “Then she joined Marching Band, and things were hard at first, but the biggest thing she did is keep working at it and practicing. We were working together on a lot of things, and she has gotten so much better.”

Currently she’s in Marching Band, Woodwind Choir and Basketball Band, where she plans to stay and hopes that she can improve even more over time with help from the resources around her.

“When you’re in band, there are so many good people near you that you’re so motivated,” Pundmann said. “Whether you realize you do it or not, you pick up little things other members do when they rehearse of perform.” 

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