The Best Gift I Have Ever Received
The last note resonated across the hall as I closed my eyes and lifted my hands in the air. The concert hall erupted with cheers and applause, and waves of emotions came rushing to me: excitement, joy, pride. The entire audience had their attention on me, and I began to tear up as I took in their acknowledgments and admiration. With another successful performance, the rewards I receive after turn into motivation and left a lasting impact on my life.
I was born in America, but when I was younger, my grandparents brought me to China. As a kid, the new Chinese culture and environment intrigued me: skyscrapers were everywhere, and people spoke a completely different language. However, China also had a sense of familiarity; the constant movements of cars and people on the roads and the streetlights reminded me of American cities that I had visited: New York City, Washington D.C., Baltimore City. I did not have a hard time fitting in this new world; I picked up the language quickly, and I made friends easily. Most of my friends played the piano, and that is what my grandparents thought I should learn. I remembered going to my first piano lesson and I told my grandparents: “I want to play tennis and play with my friends. I don’t want to sit in a chair and play the piano”. But they just smiled at me and asked me to give it a try.
From that moment forward, I was captivated by the world of piano. The piano became a channel for me to express my inner feelings and perseverance. I learned to tackle a music piece with determination; I did not stop until I had accomplished what I wanted, or when I was incapable of moving another finger.
However, when I moved back to the United States, I felt trapped and lost. In my new school, everyone was a stranger, and my incapability to speak English fluently caused me to isolate myself from others.
Fortunately, I had found my passion once again by joining the school orchestra. My voice returned to me when I performed in front of the group. My emotional barriers started to fade away, and I opened myself up to communicate with others. Piano enabled me to find the confidence to express my opinions and push past adversities.
The greatest lesson that piano taught me was how to be a leader. I wanted others to experience the rush of excitement that the piano brought me, so I started teaching my younger siblings about the concept of notes, scales, rhythms, and vivid imagery of the piano. Some pieces deliver a message of innocence with detached and short annotations, while some express the wildness and tension with more extensive chords and varying rhythms. When leading a group, rather than directing and ordering people, I focused on creating harmonies within the group and establishing a balance between individuals. There was a time when I was the lead pianist of my school orchestra; I led the group from the start and guided every performer as a unit in producing a successful concert.
As I explore and progress further as a pianist, I have formed bonds in the community. It is a blessing for me to perform in local churches and entertain people with street performances. My passion for piano grew, leading me to perform in school talent shows and accompany other musicians in auditions and competitions.
The ability to play the piano is the best gift I have ever received. It grants me the limitless possibilities in life. Through the piano, I have obtained dedication, patience, leadership, and gathered a harmonious community.
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