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Common App Beat Boxing Essay (Prompt Background/Identity/Interest)

g1nplus 1 / 2 1  
Oct 9, 2016   #1
This was my answer to the background Common App prompt. I'm running about 100-ish words over the word count so any feedback to shorten or remove redundant information is greatly appreciated! I don't know if i hit the mark with this essay and was hoping you all could check this out and help me improve me writing. :)

I try not to spit on people. So on a quiet Saturday evening, I have my hand over my mouth as I beat box a rhythm I've been practicing for weeks. The sounds echo briefly through the almost empty skatepark. My friend shoots me a weird look as we stand on the edge of the half-pipe with skateboards in our hands. "Dude, you're doing it again. " he says with a grin, and I reply with a shrug. "Alright, alright." He looks down as he does a kick flip, "You practice that the most out of all the hobbies you have?" He doesn't get an answer though; I'd already kicked off.

Being the new kid is hard, and with a family that has traveled across the globe - from Beijing to DC - making friends was a challenge. Adapting to each situation was hard, especially in terms of making new connections. Beat boxing was something I developed during my time stumbling through various new schools. By delving into this skill, my talent became more than just a hobby; it made me a confident and outgoing performer, which has helped me foster connections among family, friends, and strangers.

I was first introduced to beat boxing through Youtube, when I chanced upon a video of a man beat box seemingly bizarre noises that manifested into an old school hip hop beat. Here was something that didn't need a prepared piece. Didn't need memorized notes or lines. Didn't need a formula. It was free flowing and impromptu in nature, something that has always kept me interested. I'll never be done with beat boxing because I'll never know what I'll do next. The vacuum of what has yet to be discovered and learned pulls me in to take a cacophony of random sounds and transform them into a tapestry of euphoric rhythm and music.

Like any music art form, becoming skilled requires hours of work. A year went into learning the basics. I searched for and watched tutorials daily. I made horrendous noises in the privacy in my own room, trying to hone the inward snare. Throughout this process, rhythms came and went, usually due to my music taste. I would pick up a bass line from a hip-hop song, meld it with some reggae, add a few tweaks, and a new beat was born.

However, nothing alone for me is fun or interesting as working in groups has always been my niche and always will be. I was determined to form a Beat boxing club at my school. First scheduling a meeting with the principal to be verified I then I sought out my Orchestra Teacher to become the club adviser. Everyone needed persuading. Everyone thought it the potential club was a fad, a one and done. "You need members to form." He said light heatedly. So, at the annual club fair, I put on a live show with three of my beat boxing friends attracting an audience that crowded our booth and our club was greenlit the day after. It drew a crowd of people who not only loved doing what I loved to do, but also future mentors, those who were much more experienced than me. I learned how to time breathing cycles, and use word play, and hum and beat box at the same time. In turn, I taught them, I showed them techniques I had made, nurtured enthusiasts that were too shy to beat box but confident enough to join.

Beat boxing has become an integral part of my identity. it has changed the rhythm of what I walk my life, to kicking up the tempo when invoke confidence or marching a 4/4 time that inspires leadership, the journey I've undergone to pursue something I love has transformed me. By starting a club, I hope it does for others as well. I chuck my skateboard into the trunk of my Honda Accord, and Lukas throws himself into the front seat. My car has only a CD player - no auxiliary or Bluetooth. The radio doesn't yield anything to our liking, and my CDs have been overplayed. So as I drive back to Loudonville, Lukas and I do the same thing we did on our way to the park. He freestyles, and I beat box.
admission2012 - / 481 90  
Oct 10, 2016   #2

Absolutely well done! 10/10. This is the very first time that someone has answered this prompt correctly. I actually believe, from reading your essay, that if I were to ask 10 of your friends to describe you, that at least 5 would say that he loves beat-boxing. You also touched on several elements of a great student such as leadership and working in groups and tough situations. If you need to save space, simply cut from your closing paragraph as it doesn't really add anymore power to your already strong essay. Again, great job. -selective admissions

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