In today’s times, what I think is missing is a sense of Sense of Purpose, Discipline and Teamwork. How does one obtain these? Hard work, determination and working with a group of diverse people. In this essay I wrote, I give the example of when I played the Clarinet.
Practice Makes Perfect
Picking, Playing and Practicing Clarinet
WHAT TO CHOOSE
Looking at all the shiny instruments lined up in the high school music room, the smell of the oils and wax, the excitement of something new. I was in sixth grade, my Mom relented, bringing me to school after work to talk to the instrument representative and pick out one to play. She had always talked about how she played Clarinet as a child and when the representative asked what I wanted to play and said Clarinet. He had me play a few notes but at first, I didn’t have the lung capacity to play it but I kept on. Here’s a tip: breathe through your diaphram, not your lungs. You get deeper breaths, bringing more oxygen into your body, increasing lung capacity.
At first I played because it was something new, it was my second year in a new school and I wanted to join something, since I wasn’t athletically inclined. Oh, there was marching season, late summer into late fall, which I did not enjoy very much, I must admit. My favorite season was concert season. Dressing up, playing in front of a crowd, listening to the other instruments. Music really is a team effort.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
When I hit high school, I decided to start lessons to improve my playing, since I was first chair. Lessons were on Saturday mornings, the music director would take a van of us an hour away. My instructor gave me hints, tips and homework to improve my performance. I can remember practicing two hours after school, playing scales in different keys, practicing band music and the instructor’s homework. If you play an instrument, set aside two hours a day, otherwise it’s just something you’re playing with, not playing.
ONWARD AND UPWARD
What did I learn in the long run? I learned team effort, both in marching competitions but concerts, listening, adjusting, playing. I learned discipline.There was two to three hours each morning of marching, practicing drills with the band before school then my two hours of practice after school. Going forward, there was a music scholarship, which I chose to decline, but the opportunities are available.
What tips I hope you remember? Pick an instrument you like; make time to practice–scales, sheet music, practice books; join a group or band-be a part of a team; develop your sense of discipline. These will take you through life.