The summer before my freshman year of highschool I walked onto the soccer field promptly at 8:02 am and learned how to march. From 6th to 8th grader I sat myself in the cool air conditioned room of my choir class and sang my heart out until even my choir teacher had to tell me that She’d heard enough. I had learned how to sing music but I hadn’t ever taken any risks where my music capabilities stood. And I thought what’s better than joining band?
For the whole summer from June to August I was outside everyday with a marching bass drum strapped onto my chest and I was terrified. Terrified of messing up and terrified of not living up to my goals of branching out into a new domain of music. As time progressed throughout the summer I began to feel hopeless in my goals. Where all of my other peers and upperclassmen were understanding their music and learning how to march with much more grace then I could muster I wondered if I’d made a mistake. If I’d attempted to do something that I wasn’t ready for and for quite some time it took hold of me until my junior year.
Within my time of Freshman to Sophomore year I hadn’t felt I was good. I had always stressed and been bitter about having not achieved the goals I had set out so early on to achieve. I had even scored a seat in last chair my freshman year. I continued to wonder what I could be doing better and then audition season rolled on in. I knew in order to feel as if I had truly made something of myself I needed to practice. Every morning promptly at 8:00 I threw myself into learning notes and rhythms and accents. For the first time in a really long time I could feel myself getting better. I smiled every time I learned a measure I didn’t know before, I started at my music and realized that it made sense. So I pushed and pushed and more than anything I was proud to say I got third chair.
This whole process would take me 3 years of learning and tears and struggles. I had come to realize those early morning practices or those 10 minute breaks of practicing my rolls on a snare meant something. The reason I never felt the growth wasn’t because I wasn’t growing but instead my vision of perfection blocked my views on what success meant. Whether or not ninth grade me knew it at the time the experiences I had gained did nothing but shake a way a piece of me that surely needed shaking.