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"Hours of arduous practice" - Common app - orchestra/violin


perplexity215 3 / 17  
Dec 29, 2010   #1
I had written a short answer for this, but decided I hated it and wrote a new one.
Please tell me what you think, no matter how brutal. Thanks!!

PROMPT: "Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences in the space below or on an attached sheet (150 words or fewer)."

Hours of arduous practice has led to this moment-the concert. As we move onstage, we make the proper adjustments and warm up to quell our nerves. Soon our beloved conductor strolls on stage and takes his place at the podium. He lifts his baton, and we lift our instruments simultaneously. Then we breathe and the music begins.

For seven years, I have been playing the violin. I love making music with my fingers. My favorite part has been playing in an orchestra; I love being a team member and listening to the way different instruments collaborate to create harmonious music. My journey with the violin has also taught me one lesson about myself: never let discouragement prevent you from doing what you love. At one point, I almost quit playing because I wasn't superb at it, but glad I realized passion, not skill, is what matters.

It's 150 words exactly, unless "onstage" is two words...
Jarose 1 / 6  
Dec 29, 2010   #2
I really like it, you make it clear you're passionate about orchestra and playing your instrument.

In the second paragraph it seems kind of start and stop, perhaps connecting sentences or using punctuation other than periods.

For example, instead of:

"My favorite part has been playing in an orchestra. I love the teamwork and the way different instruments work together to create music."

Try

"My favorite part has been playing in an orchestra; I love the teamwork and the way different instruments work together to create music."
genevieveedu 5 / 14  
Dec 29, 2010   #3
I really did enjoy the second paragraph.
I'm not so sure the first paragraph is necessary; with only 150 words, 'setting the stage' isn't quite so important - at least not important enough to take up 75 or so of those words.

The first paragraph is pretty general, and I think it works, but I also think it could be improved into something a bit more personal, or something more resemblant of your second paragraph.

Good luck!
YPan 10 / 28  
Dec 29, 2010   #4
For seven years, I have been played (playing) the violin.
I love making (composing) music with my fingers.
My favorite part has been playing (played) in an orchestra.
I have played in various orchestras throughout my career. (you need some transitions here) Violin has also taught me one lesson about myself
Jpuck 4 / 28  
Dec 29, 2010   #5
At one point, I almost quit playing because I wasn't superb at it, but glad I realized passion, not skill, is what matters.
- I feel like you may have missed the word "am" before glad. I know you're working with a character limit but it just seems to end kind of awkwardly/abruptly.

I think it is very well written.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jan 15, 2011   #6
It's 150 words exactly, unless "onstage" is two words...

Ha ha, that is cute. Well, the way my word proc. program works, if they appear together as one word they are counted only as one. Onstage can be one word, I think.

Here is a barely noticeable grammatical error:
Hours of arduous practice has have led to ...

:-)


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