Unanswered [22] | Urgent [0]
  

Home / Undergraduate   % width Posts: 7

UC Prompt #2 - Playing the Cretan lira


lyra88 4 / 19  
Nov 25, 2009   #1
Prompt#2
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?

As my dad picked me up from a long day at school, he explained to me that I'd be starting up piano lessons that day. As a fourth grader, I told myself that I couldn't possibly be doing anything less productive than learning how to play piano. I simply didn't understand why my dad would want me to play the piano. When we got to the studio, I was introduced to the instructor, who later taught me the basics of the piano. As I progressed, I was told that I was talented and advanced. Playing piano seemed an easy task for me, as was reading music. After about two and a half years I got to a point where I wouldn't practice at all, only playing during my half our lesson. I eventually got bored of piano, and at age 12 I quit.

However, my passion for music was still alive and well. With a strong background in my Greek heritage, I soon fell in love with music from the island of Crete. Cretan music consists mainly of two instruments, the lira and the laouto. My dad went ahead and bought a lira, making a worthwhile $500 investment. After I was taught the basics of how to play, I was forced to learn on my own since Cretan music isn't written down. The only help I had was my brother and my cousin, who both played the laouto. Since we were all in the same boat, we started to progress together, making the group that we have today.

I would practice nearly every day, trying to figure out different songs and improving on ones I knew. It seemed that every week I would learn a new song on my own, as then I would share it with my brother and my cousin. With little practice, we would attempt to harmonize; it was a disaster. After about two years, things really started to come around for us. We were invited to play at weddings, baptisms, fundraisers, parties, festivals, dances, and several other friendly gatherings. As our Greek community began to recognize us, we got money together for several of our own expenses. For us, not much is better than getting together for a gig and doing what we love for people who enjoy it. I simply love playing Cretan music and having a good time with friends and family.

Other than the fact that playing Cretan music is one of my hobbies, my father loves what I have going for me as well. The reason he pushed me to learn music was because he never had the opportunity to, although he wanted to. He's explained to me that we are the first generation in the family that plays instruments, let alone authentic, Greek ones. Playing the Cretan lira allows me to express how proud I am of my culture, showing the world a part of who I am.

487 words
MonsieurWise 2 / 21  
Nov 25, 2009   #2
This is something "fresh" compared to other essay. I would only suggest that you dig deeper into your passion for Cretan music (you only told us you practiced for 2 years and play, but that did not give us any impression of your passion) and into your pride playing it or practicing like crazy with it. That would make your essay great.

Criticize mine too ^^.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Nov 27, 2009   #3
...explained to me that I'd be starting up piano lessons that day.

The last sentence of the first paragraph is an important spot. You should put a positive sentence there -- perhaps a sentence that you want the reader to keep in mind. I often advise people to use that spot for the thesis statement.
OP lyra88 4 / 19  
Nov 28, 2009   #4
Thanks!
OP lyra88 4 / 19  
Dec 18, 2009   #5
"...was told that I was talented and advanced. Playing piano seemed an easy task for me, as was reading music. After about two and a half years I got to a point where I wouldn't practice at all, only playing during my half our lesson once a week; I eventually got bored of piano, and at age 12 I quit. However, my passion for music was still alive and well.

With a strong background in my Greek heritage, I soon fell in love with music from the island of Crete. Cretan music consists mainly of two instruments, the lira and the laouto..."

Is it alright to just put the italicized sentence in the 1st paragraph, instead of the 2nd, to change my thesis, kinda...?
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 21, 2009   #6
That italicized sentence makes it better, because the para ends on a positive idea, but it is still too simple. Can you use a sentence that conveys a deep, profound idea to the reader? Let this sentence "capture" the main idea of the essay, if you can.
OP lyra88 4 / 19  
Dec 25, 2009   #7
The end of the first paragraph always seems to be a problem for my writing;
I'll update soon with revisions - thanks for critique!


Home / Undergraduate / UC Prompt #2 - Playing the Cretan lira