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UC Prompt 2: Music

lissc6 2 / 8  
Nov 25, 2009   #1
Prompt: Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution, or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?When I opened my eyes I was stunned to look down and see something strange in my hands. It was black, long, and had many holes. Beautiful sounds would come out when air was blown into it. But for those sounds to come out it would take challenge, dedication, and practice. In my daily life it was not so easy when I had many other obligations. It was not until one day that the strange thing, "my clarinet" shifted my life and taught me a valuable life lesson on never giving up.

When I was in third grade I remember playing a simpler version of the clarinet called a recorder. Everyday my teacher would teach us how to play. Kids with enthusiasm played their recorder even if their music was not right. As for myself, I would cry because it would not come out correct. I could not wait till class was over. My parents always told me that "practice makes perfect" and if I wanted to play wonderfully I was going to have practice because it was not easy to pick up something and do it perfect right away. I never understood this advice and was relived when the school year was over and I would not have to play anymore. From that point on I thought music was just out my mind that it was not for me.

It is true when people state, "When you don't like something it always comes back" as when music came back again in seventh grade. The class I stepped into was beginning band. It was not a dream; it was reality I had to face once again, which made me nervous. My teacher showed us many instruments to see which one we wanted to play. I decided to pick the clarinet since it looked fun and not too hard. I was afraid though to play, I did not want any bad things happening to me. I was shocked though when in little time I not only began to like to play, I became a good player. I loved playing so much I became second chair, and before I knew it, I was playing for two years already.

When I enrolled in ninth grade I was not able to get into a band class, which made me sad and mad but there was nothing I could do. A year passed and I never opened my clarinet box nor bothered playing. In tenth grade when I joined band once again, to my surprise I had lost most of my skills. I was frustrated when I could not play my high notes. I knew I was stuck and had to deal with the class for a year. When we had to play the "First Suite in Eb" I was terrified because it seemed like it was too hard. I could not get the music; little by little I lost the passion to play my clarinet. This not only affected my music class but the rest of my classes because I was so discouraged and upset over losing my clarinet skills. When something looked difficult I would not even bother trying it because I thought failure was evitable.

One day, my music teacher told me I had potential for playing and could not just give up like that. This conversation deeply inspired me; it brought tears from my heart. My problem I figured out was that I never took dedication seriously or the step for a challenge to relearn my skills. I decided to accept the challenge to practice everyday to become a good clarinet player. Today I don't consider myself the best player but I know that continuing playing the clarinet has brought me much joy. I learned that to have a successful life I must have the dedication to take a challenge when it is presented to me so that I can prosper. Everything is not easy in this world, and I cannot give up without trying. This lesson I learned while playing my clarinet can be adapted to all areas of my life. Never give up without trying, and try and try and try until you can succeed.
jefftwomey 2 / 2  
Nov 25, 2009   #2
It's good to show your development and how you came to learn this lesson, but you might want to spend more time showing your good qualities. The majority of this essay seems to be putting yourself down and pointing out flaws, try to condense the first couple paragraphs and expand on how you will never give up. Maybe give a brief example of when you put this lesson into action.

When I opened my eyes, I was stunned...

...when air was blown into it, but for those sounds...

When I was in third grade, I remember...

From that point on I thought music was just out my mind that it was not for me.
that is a little bit confusing, try something more like this
From that point on, I put music out of my mind because i thought it was not for me


My problem, I figured out, was that...
shanemrys 2 / 14  
Nov 25, 2009   #3
It's not bad, but there are quite a few cliches that need to go ; they're sprinkled throughout the essay (e.g.,"practice makes perfect", "When you don't like something it always comes back" etc.), and particularly in the end and last sentence. avoid cliches at all costs. it makes the UC readers cringe; that's what my english teacher has told us.

also, try and think deeper about how the music has effected you. music can be extremely powerful and life-changing (as a pianist, i can relate); so try and convey that in your essay by wording things a little more eloquently (e.g., instead of saying "I was frustrated when I could not play my high notes." be more poetic and powerful in conveying that... "my high notes came out mangled as they struggled their way out of the clarinet, leaving me breathless and defeated", or something)

just work on depth, sit down in a quiet space and really think about it. i find that helps me write my essays. good luck!

ps - i also have a UC essay if you'd like to give feedback. :)

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