Step Up to the Beat

Macy - Sacramento, California
Entered on November 3, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

My life began to transform when I started sixth grade. I always seemed hesitant around other students like a reflection of others. I cowered from the world, trapped in my own mind. I never felt like I had the courage to guide my younger siblings. I had no idea how much music would change my personality.

The band and orchestra assembly had the entire school gathered inside the multipurpose room. I found the band’s sound so powerful to my ear I believed the sound echoed through my bones. The students in the band were all dressed in white-collared shirts and black slacks. I pretended I was one of them, all dressed up, with an instrument in hand, and playing contentedly and gracefully. I imagined myself playing the flute, how the sound surged through the instrument so beautifully, but in reality, I was just listening to the music flowing gently in the room.

After the assembly, Ms. Mosley handed everyone flyers for participating in the school’s band or orchestra. When I received my flyer, I read every word. The school day was extremely long, I could not wait to come home and tell my parents about band. Tic toc, tic toc. The clock must be broken, I though to myself, I could not wait any longer. Most of the school day, I didn’t even hear a word Ms. Mosley was saying, I was busy picturing myself playing the flute. Finally, the day was over, and I came home eager to share the information with my parents.

That night, I convinced my parents to let me enroll in the class. Our discussion took hours of debate. My parents have never seen such passion in me; they decided to let me take the class. My hours of debate led o weeks of learning to play the flute.

The following December, the band and orchestra held their annual ‘Christmas Concert’ and I had invited my mother and siblings to the concert. While they were trying to identify me in the whole band, I stood tall and confident. In my mind, I was shouting, “Look at me! I’m right here.” I waited for my solo and when it was time, I played the solo self-assuredly. The audience was fixed on my performance. I can feel the eyes on me and normally that nervous tension would have sent me dashing but somehow the music kept me anchored.

I never thought I could perform. Music helped me destroy the mere reflection I was before. Now I am a performer and a true paragon for my younger siblings: a scholar with a talent. The extra band class changed my life in a way I never anticipated. All I needed was my own accomplishment to prove that I did not lack confidence and have inner strength. No matter the difficulties I will face, the independence and confidence I have will never be taken away. Now, I take risks because I know I am the force and can now clear down any obstacle before me.