Tough Luck

Kaela - Watkinsville, Georgia
Entered on March 13, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: work
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I was in seventh grade, about to enter the judging room. My hands were shaking and an ominous feeling crept into my stomach. The only thing that allowed me to continue with my audition was the idea of luck. I did not make the 2006 Georgia All- State Band.

I believe that luck is only an outcome of hard work. I believe in playing my bass clarinet until my lips are numb and my fingers are plastered with blisters. I believe in practicing until my parents become annoyed with the repetition of notes. I do not stop until the audition day arrives. The phrase “you are so lucky” means nothing in my life.

A year later, I arrived at the middle school with an air of confidence. I watched other talented and dedicated students stroll through the school, cases in hand. For most people, these are the moments that pick apart a musician until he is left with nothing as he performs in his audition. I, however, was not worried because I had practiced my etude for hours a day, and I could only hope my best was good enough. My audition came and went without a memory instilled in my brain because I knew the music so well I did not have to think. I simply felt the rhythms, swells, and changes in dynamics. I have now been a part of the 2007, 2008, and 2009 Georgia All- State Bands due to endless hours of repeated notes and rhythms. My tireless work now makes me feel as though I have been stabbed with the baton of a conductor when fellow musicians say I am so lucky.

My newfound understanding of not only being driven but also putting forth the effort to achieve my goal has led me to reevaluate the term virtuoso. To most people, this word brings to mind an image of an individual who excels effortlessly at an art. However, I believe our school is overflowing with virtuosos in music, art, and drama because they have worked hard and have became an example to others. Everyone is familiar with the phrase “Hard work is the only path to success.” However, I have discovered how practice is the key to most aspects of life. I will never believe in the existence of lucky people because I know somewhere throughout their life they have worked harder than the person calling them lucky.