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'my school chorus' - common app essay


zhouyihao 1 / 2  
Dec 24, 2011   #1
Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

The bond between me and the piano is indissoluble. With it I played, learned and enjoyed. In memory, I was lifted up onto the piano stool, with feet suspended, choosing to play it, not the violin, simply because I could sit during the performance. That year, I was four in kindergarten. The sable skin of that wooden giant beside me dazzled in sunlight, and I stared in confusion. How my five fingers can play the seven notes from 'do' to 'si', I barely understood. And my voyage out of ignorance and into the wonder thus began.

I played the children's tune cheerfully and unmindfully as any kid would do, not knowing its meaning. To me, it was the movement of fingers and its value only appeared when a teacher asked, "What are you good at?" And I would proudly claim, in my peers' admiration, "Piano!" It never dawned on me that this little trick would demand patience and pain to improve. Until one day, I signed up for a competition.

I would play for my school chorus, and my performance suddenly became not a demonstration of myself but a support to my friends' success. It left me no excuse for any slip. I went back home, seized a fistful of rice into a bowl and took one grain out after I practiced once. My plan was to get out all the grains until I achieved my excellence. When my hands were hot in perspiration, I cooled them in water and came steadily back. I didn't want to let others down.

I strived to keep trying, never knew that miracles would come. When the notes eventually blossomed harmonically upon my fingers, I seemed to understand why some people craved for music. It was like to set free a song locked inside. The notes danced and set up in me the hum of delight like summer dreams. Practice was no longer painful, not even noticeable, for I was lost in the feeling of the pages burst into music in my hands.

In the final, when the sound of the last note came to an end, I saw the judges smiled their approval. My friends pat on my shoulder, and I was enthralled by a harmony between myself and the people around me. With the songs still playing in my head, I was carried away by a sympathetic vibration between inside and outside. It was a surpassing joy.

As time passed by, music had provoked in me an answering vibration to life. What offers me joy might be a bird song or a Bach sonata or the purl of water over stone. It might be a line of poetry, the stroke of a painting, or a gentle smile on an old lady's face, yet in each case the same surge of gratitude and happiness wells up in me. I am thankful to the piano, my faithful companion, for the delight it brings. It reminds me to strive for my dreams of wonders, and spreads my happiness to the people around.

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priscillaaa 1 / 29  
Dec 24, 2011   #2
this is so well-written, almost like poetry (: I love it.
but make sure you focus on the impact of your experience. don't forget that!
talk about how your connection with piano has made you you.

I would appreciate it if you could critique my essay as well...thanks!
princedynasty 15 / 57 4  
Dec 25, 2011   #3
hj zhouyihao, I have corrected my essay according to your suggestion.

I hope you will check it one more time and give some necessary feedbacks. That will be very helpful!
:D
I have no comment about your essay, it's so wonderful. How long have you been studying English?
desm2012 6 / 36  
Dec 25, 2011   #4
I really love the imagery of a you practicing with the fistful of rice, etc. It reminds me of something George Antheil once said about getting the chance to play in Europe, and practicing 16 hours a day even after being called one of the best young pianists in America.

Your joy really comes through.
A few things:

I think you could combine these two sentences "In memory, I was lifted up onto the piano stool, with feet suspended, choosing to play it, not the violin, simply because I could sit during the performance. That year, I was four in kindergarten."

to I remember, as a four year old, being lifted up onto the piano stool, feet suspended, and choosing to play it simply because I could sit while I performed.

I changed "sit during the performance" to "sit while I performed" because the latter is more active. YOU are performing.

"I played the children's tune cheerfully and unmindfully as any kid would do,"
I think I played the children's tunes cheerfully as any kid would flows better, because when you say 'the children's tune' it makes me wonder what song you're talking about exactly, and I think you mean children's tunes as a generality.

There are a few words I think you could substitute with others- you say vibration, and harmony twice each. This wouldn't normally be a problem, but in such a short essay, that kind of stuff is much more noticeable.

Great essay, all in all.

Would you mind reading my EC one?


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