University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
What is your single most important extracurricular/volunteer activity and why?
I have always considered my self-employment as a private piano teacher to be my single greatest contribution, not only to my students but to myself. I began giving lessons as a freshman, after several family friends expressed interest in having their children study with me. I admittedly did not know much about what I was getting into - but since I loved music, and I loved these kids, I decided that I would begin to teach them.
As my students - three at first, then four, then five - began to grow and progress musically, I found that my own musical progress was also flourishing. The concepts which I was instilling in these children were also being enforced in my mind. When I played short pieces for my students and challenged them to describe the moods and emotions they elicited, I found myself similarly challenged to reflect on the composer's intentions through choice of key, tempo, phrasing, and dynamics. As each student climbed up on the bench and stared in wonder at the inner workings of my piano, I was reminded to take into account the mechanics of the piano sound and use them to my advantage while playing. As my budding music readers scanned the pages of Beethoven's Hammerklavier Sonata looking for notes marked with...
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