This I Believe

Jeremy - Trafalgar, Indiana
Entered on November 4, 2006

Dreams and Ambitions

I believe that people should not give up on their dreams and ambitions for their lives, even if they are shut down by other people or if they just do not seem possible. When I was 12 years old, I went to a school district that had two thousand students just in the high school. I was going into middle school the next year, and I wanted to join the band. The middle school had a band tryout session one school night. Since I had no prior experience with instruments of any sort, I went in not knowing what instrument I would play. I knew one thing; I wanted to play the drums. I told the teacher emphatically of this wish. We went to the snare drum to see if I had any rhythm. The teacher handed me a sheet of music and I just stared at her, not knowing what was on the sheet of paper that she just handed to me. She glared at me and said, “Maybe since you can’t read music, how ‘bout try something like the clarinet or the saxophone?” I knew that those were the instruments that people got when they could not play anything else, so I chose to play the clarinet since that section had more girls in it than the saxophone section. I wanted to give myself the best chance of getting a girlfriend.

I was mad and upset at myself and at the teacher for not allowing me to play the drums. But then, a wonderful thing happened that gave me another chance; I moved to another school district.

When I told the band director at my new middle school that I wanted to play the drums, he encouraged me to practice over the next month before school started again. So I got a private instructor and learned how to play the drums and other percussion instruments in a month. I worked hard; playing on my pillow at night with my drum sticks to improve my technique, and practiced anywhere I could in order to improve. In high school, I ended up being the captain of the percussion squad for two years and was awarded the John Phillip Sousa award from my high school, the top band honor that a student could receive.

When the tough got going, I did not settle for playing clarinet and not follow through with what I wanted to do. I went for my goal and I stuck to it. I might not reach every goal that I set for myself, but if everybody tries to play percussion and not just stick with the clarinet, everybody will be a lot happier in life.