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College App essay - flute playing - critique needed

kaykaykatelyn 1 / -  
Sep 22, 2012   #1
Topic given: In the space provided, please write a concise narrative in which you describe a meaningful event, experience or accomplishment in your life and how it will affect your college experience or your contribution to the campus community. You may want to reflect on your ideas about student responsibility, academic integrity, campus citizenship or a call to service.

I remember opening the car door, clambering into the backseat, and being tormented by the hot, angry tears that accumulated behind my eyelids, dangerously close to emancipating themselves from the small barrier of willpower that coerced them to stay back. As my father, in a consoling tone, inquired how my audition went, all I could think of was how disappointed I was. Specifically, I was disappointed in myself. To answer his question, I told him it went terribly and that I believed I didn't perform well enough to be accepted into the middle school all-county band. Mortifying scenes from the eight minute audition plagued my mind, including a few instances when I forgot how to breathe (a necessity when playing the flute) as well as when my fingers sloppily massacred several crucial scale patterns that I swore I knew by heart. It was my first time auditioning for anything on flute, but it wouldn't be my last. Little did I know, this instance was simply the prelude preceding a developing passion for music. It was the soft beginning of a crescendo that would ultimately reach its peak, a full fortissimo, when I mastered my flute and played it the way I dreamed it to be played.

Quicken the tempo and take a leap in time to the spring of my junior year of high school, three years later. As I was entering the broad, looming wood double doors of a church, I knew this audition was much unlike any previous one. It was a multi-county competition between wind-players, and only a 1st and 2nd prize winner would be selected. As I warmed up in the hall where services were given, my sound echoed off the walls and reverberated back to my ears; I recognized the sound of quiet confidence, the sound of devoting countless nights since eighth grade to becoming well-acquainted with my metronome and conditioning my fingers to do exactly what I demanded of them. The devotion paid off. Despite the fact that my piano accompanist was obligated to suddenly cancel, I played on, determined to hopefully demonstrate my true skill. In my mind, what I truly won that day was not first prize, but rather the accomplishment of being able to transition hard work into beauty, to communicate such beauty to the human beings that were judging me, and to pursue years of self-improvement.

Music, as an entity, is one of my most knowledgeable teachers in my present education. It has taught me persistence, discipline, precision, expression, and perhaps most of all, how to chase perfection after accepting failure. It has taught me how to keep marching on, and that I will do, whether in my musical studies or through high school, college, and life in general.
EF_Susan - / 2,364 12  
Sep 22, 2012   #2

This is a really well done, well written essay. On a quick read through nothings jumping out at me as far as any spelling or grammar errors.

While it is a very nice story, the last sentence about what the assignment is may need more attention. It seems you briefly touch on these ideas at the end with what music has taught you but it think it could be expanded further to cover the themes they seem to be looking for. Rather than listing off things like persistence, discipline etc. maybe you could expand your closing to give more specific examples of these things and or examples on the themes mentioned like academic integrity. I would consider expanding your closing to fit more content about these things and possibly your goals further down the line of other thing you want to achieve through music. Basically, you're trying to steer the content of your writing towards the specific program you're applying for.

good luck!!

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