This I Believe

Lauren - Cincinnati, Ohio
Entered on November 8, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: purpose, work

This I Believe…

Practice Really Does Make Perfect

My biggest passion is music. I know we’ve all heard the phrase “practice makes perfect”. A few years ago I would’ve said “it’s just a phrase, why does it matter so much?” But now I believe practice really does make perfect, or at least close to.

Music has always been a huge part of my life. Whether it was singing, dancing, or playing an instrument. I’ve always wondered why my parents made me practice so hard. I always thought that I would never be the best in anything.

I’ve been playing the cello for about four years now. I started in sixth grade when I got tired of playing the violin in our orchestra class. At the time, we only had one other cello player, and she did her best to teach me everything she could. I spent an hour after school practicing, and sometimes I came in before school to get a little extra help.

In the beginning I was often frustrated. I always played the wrong notes, or tuned my instrument a little too flat. Many times I felt that the frustration wasn’t worth it. I wanted to give up and try something easier. At one point I was jealous because my best friend learned faster than I did. I was convinced that playing the cello was not for me. But then my orchestra teacher told me not to give up. “With all this practicing you’re doing, I won’t be surprised if you become first chair in a year or two.” He was the one who truly convinced me to stick to it.

I studied the notes, clef, and fingerings, as well as memorized the music. Often, my mum wouldn’t let me out of the house until she knew that I had been practicing. My uncle taught me the scales and helped me in anyway he could. My parents even put me in private lessons.

I’ve played in dozens of concerts, and preformed in front of many. I’ve been asked to play at weddings and also for my church. I’ve even got to work with Mark Wood, who plays in the Siberian Orchestra. I’m thankful that I have had many wonderful opportunities and I’m happy with how far I’ve come. I know that I will continue playing for many years to come.

I taught myself many things as well. Not only did I learn how to play the cello, but I learned that hard work pays off. I learned to challenge myself and not give up on something you really love. Most importantly I learned that practicing is the only way to get better at something.