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Revolves around art and music - applying for Graphic Design (UC Personal Statements)


Seresteiras 1 / 2  
Nov 2, 2011   #1
Thank you for your time in viewing this thread -I'm actually over a few hundred words or so and have yet the time to edit them. But please pay attention to things like

-Am I telling a story?
-Does this answer the question?

I'm ready and willing to rewrite it on an entirely different topic since they tend to coincide with one another -the prompt answers that is -but music and art does take on heavily in my life so I would like for at least one of the prompts to be about these topics.

Prompt #1
Describe the world you come from - for example, your family, community or school - and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

At the age of 6, I've witnessed my father receive his diploma for a masters degree in business and finance, and my mother graduate from community

college with an associates degree in accounting. I've always believed that it was important to pursue an education for monetary and financial insurance. While I will always be grateful for them nurturing me comfortably in a home rather than a shelter, feeding me in a warm kitchen than one of soup, it was long before I recognized what dreams and aspirations they had to abandon for the sake of success. I watched my father draw for hours on end, observing the delicate point of his pencil craft out a picture, unbelieving how talented of an artist he was, and all the while not realizing that he worked as a business man by day, and an artist by night. My mother disciplined me daily even after piano lessons to practice until my hands felt numb against the keyboard, and until I began to imagine the music channeled through my fingertips dance around me. Everywhere I go, I am surrounded by the arts that I grew up with.

When I reached the age of 10, I could play Kuhlau, Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart; but at this age, my father had also stopped drawing. It was at this point in time that I also observed his sketchbook I kept close to admire had grown legs and ran away along with his dreams. My mother stopped singing, only humming a prelude by Bach when driving in the car, and stopping whenever I leaned in to hear more. By the age of 11, my parents held their breaths at my 6th grade promotion as I performed Kuhlau's sonata in rapture as the music collided along with my nervousness and overcame it all at once. They held my hands proudly, but also firmly as they lectured for the millionth time that I had new priorities. By the age of 15, I had long abandoned my drawing pencils and watercolors, admired art from afar, attended concerts in awe, and like I was told, paid more attention to my studies than anything. I found that to be one of the reasons especially why art and music has rounded me into the person I am today.

Working hard and doing well will get me places, or so the conventional wisdom speaks. I followed the path of securing my future through 6 long years of study; taking the hardest classes I could take, pushing myself to my limits, and even further, I was still able to balance in time to prepare for piano auditions and competitions. My parents were both embarrassed of their backgrounds and covered what they loved to do with things that would allow them to raise a family and keep a stable job. I've admired them for so many years to be able to take care of their own families at the age of a teenager, and now being able to raise children of their own. However, I couldn't pry myself away from admiring them more for their love of art, and yet still feeling ashamed that they would throw away such talent for the assimilation into a community of businesspeople. In the world that I live in, everyone finds that their 'family' is the item of most significance to them, but they also couple that with 'happiness' which follows shortly behind 'family.' Days before I turned 16, I found myself struggling along with my parents as they began to doubt their marriage. This was the only time I didn't have my parents' support or help in school and in life. I felt lost and almost as if I wasn't good enough to hold up my family that such a problem had to fall upon us. Mentally and physically, I found everyday harder to go through, until I opened myself to the music I once played and the colors I once painted. I was able to heal myself, slowly but surely, through the aide of music and the colors that now brightened the monochrome portrait I saw the future of my family in. Only recently have I begun to doubt that family is more important than happiness. Though I believe that my family is now stronger than ever thanks to the help of friends and family, I have found the strength within me to come from the unwavering help of music and art. My new belief now revolves around the idea that my family will always be there for me, but the bond is not completely unbreakable due to natural circumstances. I have become enlightened, as well as fully accepting of what I am passionate and happy about, over what would make me successful in life. At age 17, I became an artist, accepting of my failures and the successes all the same.

Word Count: 812

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?

I've been breathing and memorizing music since I've gathered up my memory, as though all I could remember from the early beginnings of my childhood were the luring sounds of the classical piano CD that lulled me to sleep. In essence, my life is very much so composed of music. Ever since the 8th grade, I've began playing music along with the student-led program, Lifting Spirits with Music, a non-profit organization established in Sacramento specifically for the seniors in retirement homes, and hospitals for children. At one recital, I remember so well how one of the ladies who pulled my hands to her and thanked me for studying music. Shocked, of course, but also confused, I began to reflect on why she had thanked me.

I went on a trip the summer of my junior year to Italy to further continue my studies in the Alps, subconsciously reflecting still. When I finally came upon an answer, I was on stage, a frown on my face, and bowing quickly before heading behind the curtain. It's not easy getting on stage, making a clear and prominent mistake in a well-recognized piece, and having that mistake define who you are. Although in a much less significant crowd setting, I was still amongst the students I was studying with for three weeks. I was embarrassed, and thoroughly ashamed that for once in my performing record, I hadn't been complimented out of sincerity, but out of sympathy. That one mistake had me hitting wrong notes, my hands completely freezing over, and my legs quivering from over pedal-usage. I fought with myself, wondering if I had performed that piece too early or too late when I remembered what that elderly lady had said to me. She hadn't thanked me for playing without mistakes, but thanked me for bearing through the progress I had made from day one studying music, to day one-hundred performing music.

The following week, the last performance day, I counted up more than ten hours practiced, and I took the stage once more. Incidentally, hard work does pay off, and I played the piece perfectly, receiving hugs and hand-shakes at the end of my performance. As of today, I relate myself to Horowitz and Cliburn, the men who practice 2 years before even touching a stage and who still cower in stage fright even after being pronounced the first American to win the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, respectively. I've learned through mistakes and because of them have found my own inspiration to grow stronger and work even after a strong performance. In addition, I have found that it's okay to make mistakes, so long as you always remember to return to the stage, and remember why you love music.

Word Count: 457
wyby45 3 / 8  
Nov 5, 2011   #2
you gotta cut down your first prompt because you can only have 1000 words TOTAL for both the prompts as in it has to be 500/500 or so and not 800/400
vuongluu2301 1 / 4  
Nov 13, 2011   #3
Hi, I have read over your first essay. Here are some of my little advices:
1. This prompt is about yourself, i think you are on the right track, but somehow i cant imagine whoever you are. This is the most important point on the essay.

2. Use the simple words, no big or high level academic. If I was the one who read your essay, I don't count on which English class you have, but i will consider to know you better !!!! So be simple.

3. Don't telling the admission officers that you are trying for something. Everyone does that, and you have to stand out of that area. Talk more about your school and family, or things that you are really good at to express yourself. All the hard classes are on transcript, and you don't need to explain why you take these classes. It is just too boring to read about, unless you are really competitive. If then don't write anything about that area.

4. Last one, express one best moment of your life, and describe that moment carefully. It may help you a lot, trust me!!
SallyM - / 5  
Nov 14, 2011   #4
I like the subjects, themes and most of the content of both of your essays! Comment/Suggestion: The opening sentence of the first essay does not flow very well. I would try to make it a little simpler and more direct in order to bring the reader in. You might try something like "As a passionate design student and self taught artist, I find myself constantly referring back to the Gestalt Psychology of the art world when I face any personal or academic struggles."


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