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Young Hands - my childish enthusiasm at my very fingertips. Common App Personal Statement


tchaikovsky 1 / -  
Jan 18, 2017   #1
Please help! I feel like I haven't said enough since my word count is so low. Is there anything I need to add to make it stronger? Is there a better way to rephrase a sentence in order to make it sound better? I would appreciate any criticism or advice, thank you!

Prompt: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

Young Hands



I have young hands. Having taught myself the piano at the age of five, I had great difficulty in trying to comply with the written standards of the traditional piano. Naturally, I felt imposed by the structural orientation of my piano classes. I felt it limited me from discovering my own creative potential and defied the very definition of "musical expression." Composers like Haydn, Debussy, and Chopin used a foundation of techniques within their musical period to innovatively create their own songs; so why was I being taught to stray from the path that led to their musical success? Although the passages of intricate notes is genius written on paper, I knew it is the musician who coaxes them to life. I knew that if you were to replace one pianist with another, "Moonlight Sonata" would sound identical. This lack of individualism pushed me to produce pieces of interest and draw my pride simply from my own accomplishments. With that, I was determined to embrace my individualism and to incorporate pieces of myself and my perceptions into the music I created.

From that, I took to experimenting as I paired written melodies with arpeggios and harmonies of my own creation. I never played a song the same way twice. After composing an array of musical pieces and teaching myself four more instruments, "juxtaposition" seemed to become the theme of my musical creations. Pairing a ukulele melody with a violin seemed uncivil until I somehow pulled it off writing a rendition of Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles. I could no longer constrain this self-discovered passion and joined a small musical club in middle school. From that day on, I played the piano during lunch and after school with a group of friends I made. We eventually merged as musicians and expanded into genres like indie, funk, and rock. All these genres juxtaposed each other but we described it as "subjectively good music." Although we parted ways after I changed school districts, the universal language of music never failed to connect us whenever we met up.

Over the years, the evolution of my relationship with the piano has mirrored my own inner growth. I have acquired a lifestyle of discipline and internalized the drive for self-improvement. Music is not just my chosen lifestyle, but a representation of my need to innovate. Indeed, determination takes ideas far, but true success comes from the ingenuity and generation of my thoughts. The piano has been my vessel for self-expression and has fostered my disposition to deviate from the status quo in all aspects of my life. It is this instrument that served as my solace, an escape from the mundane activities, and the place where the generation of my thoughts collided with my passion for music. Though my mind has matured over the years, my childish enthusiasm has remained at my very fingertips
Nuverte0452 5 / 24 2  
Jan 18, 2017   #2
@tchaikovsky
Hello, Anthea! Overall, I really like your essay. About word issue, I think if you think you said everything that you want to say, the word problem is not an issue for you. But be careful if you write low words essay, in which the content is really important. I noticed some grammatical errors, but let me just correct the obvious one.

Although the passages of intricate notes is are genius written on paper....

Hope it helped.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 13,560 4442  
Jan 18, 2017   #3
Anthea, I am not sure why you are discussing your musical inclination in this essay. How does this relate to your chosen major? Are you a music major? If so, then this is a very striking but ultimately very long background story. In order to make this essay more interesting to the reviewer, you need to cut it down to only the most important elements of your character development. This does not sound like a background story actually. It sounds more like you are just pondering thoughts regarding your musical inclination. It doesn't come across as a real character building essay. Rather than discussing your questions about why you could not play freely like the great composers, you should instead, highlight the fact that you managed to teach yourself piano playing starting from the age of 5. That is a more interesting note to learn about. How did you learn about music as such a young age? How did you teach yourself to play? What accomplishments did you gain from this talent from that age or older? I think you need to focus the essay more on your being a prodigy instead in relation to your development as a person. This can be the opening statement with an additional discussion before you present your experimentation discussion. The current introduction sounds more like you are just reflecting on what you feel is holding you back from musical success and does not really present a more engaging foundation for the essay.


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