Entering Musicianship

Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

When asked how to get to Carnegie Hall, a wise musician replied simply, “Practice.” Although I did plenty of practicing leading up to playing at Carnegie Hall, it was performing in New York that launched me towards true musicianship. The first time I really saw beauty in music was on that stage, getting to share my work of the past year with an audience. The sheer size and organic atmosphere of music in the Hall changed my approach to music from just going through the motions into a thinker, an analyzer, and a musician.

I can clearly remember a time when music was not a part of my life. I can remember sitting in the back seat of my parents’ car and asking about good music, cool music, and what they used to listen to. Music was a body of information I knew nothing about, almost as foreign as a new language to me. I can remember sifting through old records in my basement, from Led Zeppelin to Simon and Garfunkel. This was my first exposure to the world of music. I was hearing songs without really listening and grasping at their roots.

Along with nearly all my friends, I was thrown into band class in the sixth grade. I stuck with music all through middle school, on trombone, baritone, and tuba, but never really considered myself a “...

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