There is no doubt that my music experience hasprovided immeasurable benefits, especiallythe opportunity to build my discipline, teamwork, andleadership skills. In particular, music requires both dedication andperseverance.
As a clarinet player, it took me a while to increase my range onmy instrument, because I could only improve slowly by doing lots of high rangeexercises and committing to a practice schedule. Therefore, learning a musicalinstrument has taught me the importance of patience. Moreover, as the music getsharder, it becomes increasingly difficult to play in an ensemble together withother musicians. Although each of us have worked long and hard to becomeproficient at our instrument, it is challenging for us to play together becausewe all have our own acquired style. This often results in unsynchronizedplaying, or sections competing to drown each other out. Fortunately, as we becomemore experienced, we learn to pay attention to each other and listen to othersmore than we listen to ourselves, in order to adapt our own performance. Forexample, when we are accompanying a soloist, we need to leave space and adjustour volume, so the featured performer stands out in the mix.
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This experience hastaught me the importance of mutual awareness, because in order to producememorable music in a band, we must work in collaboration to support and connectwith each other. Moreover, being a section leader is a large responsibility. Itis required that I demonstrate both musicianship and leadership skills because Iam responsible for my section’s performance and preparation. I must know mymusic to the best of my ability, so I can lead by example. Also, it is my job todetermine problem areas in the music, come up with proper practice techniquesand be prepared to lead section rehearsals to help my members learn theseintricate rhythms. Therefore, this leadership role has definitely shaped meinto a more confident person, knowing that I have the power to improve mysection and the ensemble as a whole.