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From when I was a toddler mashing piano keys to now as a high school band student, music has always been a hobby of mine. But it was not until last year that I realised it was more than just a hobby, and that I would have to start treating it with nearly the same level of respect that I treat academics. The deciding moment was a 4th of July event at a nearby park. I had been invited by the conductor of Tuxedo Junction, a local jazz band, to play alongside them at this event. I was flabbergasted to say the least and I started preparing immediately. I put forth tons of effort to make sure I was ready to play in a professional setting. When the day arrived it was one of the best experiences I have ever had and from then on I knew I wanted to devote a part of my life to music. I also realised I it would take massive amounts of hard work and dedication to make this dream a reality. This event has pushed me to work even harder in developing my musical abilities. I practice diligently every day not only to become a better musician but also because I simply love to play music. My efforts have not gone unnoticed either, as, more recently, I was invited by a jazz trio to play at a local resort.
Jazz is not the only music I like to perform either, I also love to play in my high school’s marching band and wind ensemble. Marching band is an excellent way of showing school spirit through music. A marching ensemble builds camaraderie like no other group I have known. It pushes you to try hard for the good of the band, while also having a ridiculous amount of fun. It is an experience that develops both social bonds and musical ability. Wind ensemble takes a more serious approach. The rigidity and perfection of the music is mirrored by the no-nonsense approach to mastering the art. It pushes you to learn and practice, not only to perform up to standard, but to go beyond that to satisfy your own love for performance and music.
For me, jazz band is the perfect middle ground between the laid back approach and being performance focused, but all three have increased my motivation to succeed not only in music but in everything that I do. The extra drive to achieve my goals has also helped me in my academic career. I took on more AP classes and extracurriculars, and thanks to the motivation inspired by my fourth of July experience, I have been able to get ever closer to reaching my dreams.
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