I Believe In Perseverance

Jessica - Decatur, Illinois
Entered on December 17, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I was in fifth grade the first time I ever held a flute in my hands. My parents, both being musicians, had wanted me to join band and I didn’t object. On the contrary, I could barely contain my excitement. The flute was such a pretty, feminine instrument. It could play so high and it had such a pure tone. I had longed to be able to play it for years and was thrilled that my chance had finally come.

It didn’t take me too long to figure out how to make a sound with just the head joint. After all, it wasn’t much different from blowing into a bottle. However, when I put the rest of the flute together and tried to play it, it was a completely different story. I blew and blew, but no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t make a sound. Before long I became light-headed and I had to stop before I had even made any progress. As if that wasn’t enough, many of the other new flute players were having a much easier time than me. I became incredibly frustrated. I hadn’t even had my flute for a week and already I was ready to quit. But then I realized how silly that would be. Not everyone is able to do something the first time they try it. Most of the time learning how to do something takes a lot of hard work. Learning how to play the flute was not going to happen overnight, but that was no reason to give up. I had to keep trying.

I continued to practice, and by the next week I had finally figured out how to make a sound on the flute. I was even able to play some simple melodies and I wasn’t getting so light-headed anymore. I quickly improved a lot that year, and as it turned out, playing the flute came easier to me that most of the other people in my band. I had just needed to make that first huge leap.

As the years have gone on I’ve continued to have many difficult challenges when it comes to mastering the flute, but that hasn’t stopped me from always trying my best to improve. Looking back I am so glad that I’ve never given up on becoming a great flutist. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I had quit during those first few days, or even the first few years. Playing the flute has become an ever-increasing part of my life, and today I am majoring in flute performance in college. Not everything in life is easy, and sometimes you have to work hard before you get the results that you want. I am so glad I realized that when I was young. Understanding the importance of perseverance has helped to shape me as a musician and as a person, and that has made a difference in my life.