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NICK S. - ESSAY 1

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I wrote the following essay as part of my application letter to the National Honor Society to describe the importance music and the piano have played in my life.

February 12, 2008.

 

 

 

 

Essay Question: Please describe in detail some special interest, experience, or achievement that has had a major influence on you. Please include your educational and career goals in your essay.

Music in My Life

Music has always played a huge role in my life. The piano, especially, has always been a special instrument for me. Not only does learning piano teach music theory and the mechanics of the hand and arm, but also it teaches more important life values. The hours of practicing, good performances, and poor recitals have all left an impression on me. Together the process teaches the value of hard work, the thrill of success, and the pain of defeat, all of which are important ideas that influence my life in my educational and career goals.

Practicing hours and hours teaches me a skill that is of extreme value in school: hard work. Sometimes, success is entirely dependant on monotonous, tedious repetition. The degree of success has nothing to do with what grand musical ideas I have, or what wonderful tonal analysis I can conjure. Instead, I just have to buckle down and do the work. This is similar to my schoolwork. I can understand a physics or math principle, but if I do not spend the time to do problems, I fail. The experience of preparing a piece teaches me the value of commitment and work.

The pressure of countless eyes staring at me during recitals teaches me the importance of maintaining poise under pressure. In this atmosphere, I have to block out all fear and trepidation and focus on performance. This is so important in my daily life. During school presentations or possible work presentations, regardless of my profession, I need to block out all anxiety, focus on my purpose, and stay calm. The experience of playing piano has made this a lot easier for me, and has played a large role in my education.

Finally, when I fail with a poor performance or even a missed note, it teaches humility and perseverance. It brings me back down to earth and gives me reason to regroup and focus on the future. If I did not do this, I would focus on my mistakes and sulk. I would never advance. I do the same thing in my school life. There, I cannot focus on a bad grade and spend a week moping. I need to pick myself up and move forward. Piano teaches me how to deal with defeat.

I always want to keep music in my life. However, I also want to go to Penn State or another school for a career in engineering. Luckily, for me, the two disciplines require similar skills. In addition to the oft-cited mathematical skills acquired from music, I learn about commitment, poise, and perseverance, skills that will suite me well in my field.

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