This I Believe

Christine - dallas, Texas
Entered on September 19, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that persistence makes perfect. Many people that I know believe that practice makes perfection but in fact, it does not.

When I was about six or seven, my cousin David came to Dallas for a piano competition. He plays very well and I enjoy hearing him perform. Because we knew where his competition was going to take place, we decided to go and support him. Before the judges were going to announce the scores, they invited a speaker to address us. The speaker started talking to us about the importance of practicing, not only practicing, but persistence in whatever instrument we play. I did not know what to think about this at first until he started explaining it. He went on about how we can practice for a long time, but we still might not improve. We can practice over and over again, but we can also be practicing our mistakes over and over again. Persistence is important in mastering any instrument because we have to learn from our mistakes and learn to go on even when make those mistakes. I was amazed at this thought, but it did make sense. In this way, this speaker started my belief in persistence.

Later on during my own musical training, I was enrolled in a competition, but mine was not as challenging as my cousin’s had been. My piano teacher had enrolled me into the Guild competition. In this event, the pianist must memorize four or more songs to present in front of a judge in order to be accepted into the National Guild of Piano Hobbyist. To prepare for this event, I practiced about forty-five minutes to and hour each day but I still did not see any improvement in my performance. I decided to just practice at the most three songs a day in order to focus more on each song. When I took the time to discover my mistakes and work in dynamics, I found that my playing improved vastly. When the day for the competition came, I presented four out of my six songs and the judge complimented me. She said that I played each selection like I had composed it myself. My piano teacher and dad were both very proud of me.

Because of both of these events, I firmly believe that it does not matter how long you practice, even though that is a very important factor, but the quality at which you practice and how you stick to it is most important. Persistence has helped me continue with my piano training even though sometimes I wish I could give it up. Persistence in what I do has helped me achieve everything that I have today and continue to improve and learn from my mistakes. In the end, I suppose persistence does not make perfect, but better and I hope to get better as the years go along.