I am currently a senior applying for Georgetown University. I was really hoping that you guys from the community are willing to help me with this essay. This is the first of three essays that Georgetown requires in their application. Please feel free to make ANY suggestions or criticisms, as I am looking for feedback. It would also be very helpful to hear from current students at GU about my essay. Thanks!
In the space available discuss the significance to you of the school or summer activity in which you have been most involved.
Music has always been a keen interest of mine. Over the years, it has not only helped me establish invaluable friendships, but also opened my mind to another dimension of expression. Sitting at my piano, and gliding my fingers across the keys, I am struck not only by a sense of pride for my dedication to this art, but also by a powerful feeling of humility as I bring the works of great artists, Beethoven and Chopin to name a few, to life.
My earliest memory of musical intrigue goes back to my third grade band class. Like many things in third grade, our lessons were more play than anything else; for the first few weeks, we listened to soundtracks from the Lion King. Our goal was to identify and follow the melody and rhythm of just one instrument throughout a piece. Needless to say, a class of third graders could not sit still for long, especially not while listening to music as familiar as "I Just Can't Wait to be King". Quite suddenly, the calm atmosphere of the classroom transformed into that of a clamorous musical, as students heartily sang along with the parts they knew best. Caught in the blithely spirit of this improvised chorus, I merrily chanted and hummed along. It was in that moment that I first discovered the vitality and emotions that music can invoke. From then on, I was mesmerized.
It was only in middle school, however, that I chose to actively pursue my musical passions. Emboldened by my parents' warm support and envious of my friends who started before me, I started taking piano lessons early in sixth grade. My first lesson started with my clumsy banging of notes, contorting recognizable chords and scales into an incoherent and often dissonant mixture of sharps and flats. An overpowering sense of frustration sprung from my incompetence; I had never experienced such a sense of helplessness.
Yet here I am, in my last year of high school, and still just as enthralled by the beauty of music as I was in that third grade class, listening to the Lion King. I've since learned that early failures should not inhibit me from reaching for success. Instead, they should challenge me for future greatness. A week after my first lesson, I returned to my tutor's house, confident about my newly refined skills. I sat once again on her bench, which squeaked loudly, as it was worn with the coming and going of old and new students, and began playing. Gradually, I felt my heartbeat slow as the notes became identifiable, the redness from my face faded as my focus shifted from my mistakes to improvements. A deep sense of serenity blanketed my attention and drew me to a fiercely concentrated, yet mentally relaxed, state.
Reflecting on that moment, I am simultaneously astounded by my progress from such a humble beginning and by the considerable changes music has brought to my life. It has instilled in me not only the virtues of patience and perseverance, but also the discipline and willingness to chase what I love. Now, I find myself playing everyday, drawn to the piano as if it was my private sanctuary from responsibility. Each day, the experience grows sweeter, a mesmerizing blend of personal enjoyment in music and mental escape into harmony.