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Learning How Practice Makes Perfect

In 4th grade, I saw a group of three girls holding up what looked like flutes. But, they were far off from sounding like flutes. The familiar church melody of “On Eagles Wings,” echoed through the church as it entangled with the presence of singing voices. That day, I felt something spark within me, and I wanted to give joining the church choir a shot.

At my elementary school, students were engaged in performing arts classes, including music. Even outside of school, I was already involved in growing my musical knowledge by attending piano lessons once a week. I also grew up in a music-loving family, and I often return to the nostalgic memories of listening to my parents’ CD collection as a young girl. 

The genres would vary from classical to modern pop, and I exposed myself to a variety of musical mediums from listening to my pastime. By the time I engaged in music class for the first time, I was enthusiastic for what was to come. What I didn’t expect was boxes filled with plastic-looking flutes. I remember receiving a blue one as the teacher handed them out to the class. One of my peers questioned what the funky-looking instrument was as others began to blow into the mouthpiece. A loud whistle sound came out, and I cringed at how unpleasant it was. 

This was my first introduction to the recorder, and little did I know, this was how I was able to discover an ongoing appreciation for the musical arts throughout the years. Now here’s the thing. I am not a great singer, but I could play the recorder decently. When our class got tested on the first couple of notes of “Yankee Doodle”, I recall the hours of practice to figure out the notes. I was also gathering foundational experience from piano and applied that to site reading each musical piece we were assigned. 

It wasn’t until I engaged myself in the church choir that I learned one of the most remarkable life lessons to date–practice makes perfect. I remember the first time our choir director recruited me to play recorder alongside the other players and the accompanying embarrassment I felt as I struggled to keep up the pace with the amount of songs we had to cover. Messing up on notes multiple times, the prevalent off-tune-sounding notes echoed throughout the church service. I remember crying to my parents after school about this incident, however, they pushed me to keep trying until I could master each musical piece. 

Over time, I began to see my growth when I practiced and I was able to accommodate the rapid changes during mass. I also attended various meetings and practices, where we would prepare to sing and play musical pieces for other important events occurring at school. Looking back upon it, because of music and its prevalence at school, I was able to reach out of my comfort zone and build my way up to achieve what I used to doubt I could ever do. I was able to foster networking, cognitive memorization, and a passion for expanding my possibilities outside of being a student. 

From my personal experience, it is important to have activities where students can engage in music and enlighten themselves through a medium that can express various emotions in several beautiful sounding instruments. Music is an art form that continues to make its mark in the world we live in today. Besides the artistic aspect of music, it can also help develop personal growth and skills that can assist in real-life situations. I became braver in making mistakes and speaking in presentations during class, and since music encompasses a step-by-step process to reach mastery over time, this can help develop timely routines that can be useful when studying in school as well. 

Music education is valuable to students because it exposes them to the realm of possibilities as they continue their journey through life. The world has so much to offer, so why not allow them to discover and foster their creativity through a beautiful art form called music?

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