This I Believe

Gloria - Tempe, Arizona
Entered on May 17, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: creativity, fear, work

I believe in the power of determination, the ability to not only reach for goals, but to surpass them. It is the persistence to continue on, despite obstacles or failure. Determination has been a driving force in my life, fueling my will to do more. I have been playing violin for more than eight years. Throughout this time, I used determination to motivate myself to practice. After so many years, I still have the desire to improve my skills and grow as a musician. I have struggled with various bow strokes and finger exercises. Spiccato and vibrato have been especially difficult for me, as I have not been able to master the control I need to perform such tasks. Spiccato requires a delicate touch, just enough for the bow to stroke the string and bounce off. Vibrato entails a dexterous hand, to control the swaying movements on the fingerboard. Despite my struggles to perfect these techniques, I continue to take charge and slowly work at it. It will come to me in my own time as long as I am determined to accomplish my goal.

One of my greatest fears is performing in public especially when playing solos. When I perform with an orchestra, I do not feel as much pressure, because there are others playing with me. All our sounds blend together as one, so the concert’s success does not rest solely on my shoulders. However, when I have to play alone, there are no other instruments to engulf or drown out my sound. The focus is on me, so I have to step up and play my heart out. Last week, I had a concert where I had to play a solo with the accompaniment of my school orchestra. Naturally, I grew tense and nervous. The very thoughts of possible failure engrossed my mind. Nevertheless, I could not let my pessimism get the best of me. I was determined to play my best and not let the audience or my orchestra down. With the help of some last minute practicing and a changed mindset, I was able to perform a successful concert. I focused on listening to the music and simply relaxing. I would not allow my mind to center on negative thoughts, but rather positive ones that gave me the strength to calm my nerves. Through an undying will, my impediments diminished. Determination was all I needed.