Essays from recipients of High School Senior Scholarship Awards 2023….
One weekend, I might be standing tall in my band uniform, hitting the mallet against the bass drum, encouraging my friend and fellow drum soloist to play faster, both of us mastering the tricky beats and hyping up the cheering crowd and our school’s football team before their game. Next, I’ll be playing the piano before a hushed crowd, my fingers flying fast up and down the keys, making that tricky finger work I’d labored over for months sound effortless. While these instruments and environments may seem very different, both have allowed me to grow and develop my musicianship over time. I started piano as a five-year-old, picking out notes to simple tunes while my piano teacher sat patiently, as the hours ticked by. Today, I’m a level 10 in the Royal Conservatory of Music, a competitive player. Piano offers me both independence and ambition. At the moment, there’s no one else to help on the piano bench but myself. I love to hear a tricky song and decide that I want to play it, to tackle something really hard and practice up and down the keys over and over, to know that I can set out to accomplish something difficult. Drum line is different. Marching band allows me to experience music in a whole new way: with others. Marching band is communicable and team-based, with opportunities for bonding, learning, and celebrating. Here my accomplishments come not only from my own mastery of a tricky beat or complicated footwork pattern, but also from knowing that I can help my newer band mates find their own footing and achieve something big. While I might say that my greatest talent is musicianship, that talent works hand-in-hand with others that I’ve developed over time: finding ways to continuously learn and improve in what I do; keeping myself motivated; and using my skills to connect with and bring joy to other people. Music has been a major part of my life, and I’m excited to see where–and to what–musicianship leads me next. —-Mia Kim, Scripps Ranch High School Batch 2023
Music has been a part of my life since I was roughly five years old. I’ve enjoyed playing both the piano and the violin. They have been great ways for me to exercise different aspects of my personality. I’m someone that loves to challenge himself. I like setting goals, accomplishing them, and setting new ones that are more difficult. Doing my best to fulfill my potential has been exactly what I’ve done in my piano studies from the age of five up until now at the age of eighteen. Since the beginning, I’ve been involved with the Royal Conservatory of Music program, and each year, I’ve prepared for, and passed each level all the way up to Level 10. Although passing these exams was never the reason why I kept playing the piano, doing so served as a measuring stick for my progress over the years. Although it may sound cliche, it’s pretty amazing to see how much my skills have improved since I started. On more of an emotional level, playing the piano has been a great way for me to relieve stress from the other pressing obstacles life has presented me with such as the feeling of disappointment in my performance on a test in school, feeling alone being at home alone during the pandemic, and having a loved one in the hospital. Playing the piano has helped me get my mind off of the low moments I’ve experienced. Playing the violin has exercised a very different aspect of my personality. I’m a very social person that likes to make new friends, and being a string player has provided me the opportunities to meet and play with people in chamber and orchestral groups. I’ve always heard the same old saying that “music brings people together”, but it wasn’t until I played with a group of people that I truly realized this because I was able to bond with others through the love of music we shared. I also enjoy having leadership opportunities, and given the fact that the first violin is the leader in all chamber groups, I’ve had my fair share of chances to be a leader as well. For the past thirteen years, I’ve experienced many different facets of music, which is why learning music has been one of the great joys of my life and I wouldn’t trade my musical experience for anything. —Kian Mehrayin, Francis Parker High School 2023