This I Believe

Amanda - East Quogue, New York
Entered on February 14, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: work
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I believe that practice makes perfect.

In the 4th grade, I received an old flute from my aunt and attempted to play, thinking I could play it perfectly. I was wrong, and couldn’t even make a sound come out. I was very discouraged. At school I joined the band where my band teacher showed the correct way to blow air into the flute. Before long with much practice, I was playing basic notes. Whenever I played notes on the flute they sound muffled, or unclear, but I was a beginner. A problem I had was that I would puff my cheeks out when I played. It didn’t affect the sound of the notes but my face looked ridiculous. I practiced for about 1 hour a day playing without puffing out my cheeks and eventually I broke the habit. My sound was still unclear and sometimes it was hard to get out notes.

In 5th grade our band teacher taught us a lot more notes and she made us practice every night. I was getting better but my sound still wasn’t the best and I couldn’t read music very well. During the summer before 6th grade I practiced on my sound, and reading music almost everyday out of a music book and I was getting pretty good.

In 6th grade I got good enough to go to Nyssma, New York State School Music Association, where I scored a 27/28. I also joined the jazz band. I was first chair in band but, there were only 3 other flute players.

In 7th grade the flute section was so big that it took up about 3 rows. I was good, but so were others who were better. We did a playing test in lessons and I sat at the end of the 2nd row. I was furious because I had been first chair in 6th grade. I didn’t give up and continued to practice, where I became a lot better. I went to Nyssma again for which I practiced for 3 months, and scored a 28/28, a perfect score.

In 8th my band teacher didn’t do another seating arrangement so I was stuck in my old seat. I was mad because I had gotten a new flute which made my sound improve immensely. I still practiced everyday, and kept on getting better. At Nyssma I got a 27/28.

High school came around and the 9th and 10th grade bands were combined. There were so many kids, especially flute players, having 5 rows of flutes. I took my flute home everyday and practiced but there were still other players that were better. I sat in the 3rd row for half the year. I wanted this to change so I prepared for the next seating arrangement, and by the time that came along I sat in the 2nd row.

Now I’m in 10th grade and first chair in band. It took a lot of practice, hard work, and determination to get there, but I did it.

So basically what I’m saying is don’t give up and keep on trying. If you try something and don’t succeed, don’t stop, because someday with practice you will be successful and it will pay off in so many ways.