Drumming

A carefully written essay about yourself will help readers see your potential for success in a college honors program. Remember that the college staff will be reading many of these essays, and you want your essay to be remembered. Possible topics might focus on your values, aspirations, interests, or background.

Although one may be preoccupied with the lacquer and the finish of the drum, the real beauty is in the sound of the stick striking the head as it reverberates through a concert hall. It shakes and rattles, but is contained within the stand. The shell is crafted in a perfect cylinder. The head is fused with the wood, fastened taut so that its echoes are piercing. The craftsman works for countless hours using his knowledge and precise strokes of his tools to create a divine instrument. Of course I am not always reminded of these things when I am pounding the heads and attacking the cymbals of my drum set. What I focus on is playing them to the best of my ability. I would never settle for being second best at my craft, yet I know I still have much to improve upon. Humility is a necessary component to possess when playing any instrument, but it is often overlooked by drummers. As a group, drummers are often characterized as arrogant, taking all the credit for the good and no responsibility for the bad. In truth, many drummers do act this way. However, learning from your betters is a solid pillar of learning to play the instrument well. Hours of listening to the world’s greatest drummers is not only essential to becoming better, it is enjoyable. Knowing you are not the epitome of greatness will only lead you to improve. Implementing this system can be difficult, but I have found that it has made the difference between mediocrity and excellence. Of course there are impediments, and I do have my bad days, but that is a small price to pay when compared to the joy I receive from continuing to grow and progress in my playing. I have been playing drums since the age of ten. I can remember exactly when I started, although it wasn’t as dramatic or romantic a beginning as some other musicians can claim. I didn’t scamper up onto the seat of a drum set and immediately show my brilliance. Instead, I chose the drums based on nothing more than a vague attraction and a disinterest in wind instruments that was supplemented by my asthmatic condition. I climbed the ladder of improvement slowly over the first four years. Reflecting back, it seems comical picturing my fourth grade hands attempting to grip the drumsticks correctly. Today, it is an entirely different picture. When it comes time to get on stage, I twirl my sticks in anticipation. As the song begins, I take control. It is normal to feel butterflies, but to give myself over to the feeling of nervousness would be to relinquish my moment to shine. There is no better way to reveal your hard work then to put on a display of showmanship and musicianship. Precision is expected, but I bring personality as well as skill to my performance. Personality is what breathes life into my instrument. The drums are dead, unborn monstrosities in an uneasy slumber…until I walk into the room. They sense my presence, and there is a tingling in the wood and metal. With the first explosion ignited by my cymbal crash, my creative essence is channeled through all four limbs, leaping and bounding over the drums’ surfaces. As the music intensifies, my spirit soars as I’m caught up in the experience. It is an almost religious experience.

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