The Real Heroine

December 1, 2008
By
In third grade I began piano not knowing that it would change my life forever. My teacher Ms. Austin had just moved to my city, and it was fate that brought me to her. I was a young quiet kid who began to experience the magic of her teaching. Over the years we have become a family. Not only have I learned exceptional skills from her, but she has also influenced my life outside of music. Ms. Austin has taught me, through music, that “the greater the obstacle the greater the reward” and everything I do should be done to the best of my abilities.
Outside of music Ms. Austin’s philosophies influence my decisions. I always knew I wanted to enter the health field, so instead of sitting back and waiting for something to happen; I joined the National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF) to shadow doctors and explore the environments of their professions. Waking up at 6:30am was not my idea of spending the summer, but taking Ms. Austin’s word into account, I did each and every activity at NYLF with enthusiasm believing some day it could be my profession. By doing everything to the best of my abilities, I was able to gain more knowledge of the medical field and look at the serious problems doctors are faced with today. Many people get discouraged with the idea of going to school so long to become a doctor, but I think the saying here should be “no pain no gain”. Becoming a doctor is a long journey, but in the end I believe it will be worth it because, like Ms. Austin said, “the greater the obstacle the greater the reward.”
There were many times when I wanted to quit piano, but Ms Austin, instead of persuading me to stay, told me to do what I want and not what other people want for me. I realize now that Ms. Austin knew I would never quit but instead take a step back and look at the consequences of my decisions. Ms. Austin’s passion for music has shown that she would not want to spend her time teaching a student that is not eager to learn. At times, she can seem almost crazy. Her husband is an academy award voter, and she receives all the movies ahead of time but, she is more excited about the new Murray Perhia CD and the soundtracks than she is about watching the movies. Her genuine love for teaching shows through my long lessons; I have an hour lesson, but my teacher will never stop my lesson until I have perfected my piece. I can see through her life that though music is not the most profitable job, to her it is the most rewarding.
Ms. Austin has an “ear for high-quality music” which can be seen in her strict standards. She has devoted many hours attending classes to improve her music knowledge even though she is already ahead of the game. At first, I was frustrated that I spent a whole year learning “twinkles” instead of playing pop songs like my peers, and the hour lessons I spent practicing simple rhythms and learning the notes of each piece by ear. Although embarrassing at times, she also makes me dance and clap to feel the rhythms. I am, however, grateful for the “twinkles” and the simple warm-ups because now I have a much better foundation for piano. I am dedicated to put in my effort knowing that Ms. Austin will stop me at the first note of a song until I have touched the piano with the perfect amount of arm weight. She claims that even the first note of a piece can already influence whether the piece will sound good or bad. Every year she allows students to take the Certificate of Merit test; instead of aiming to pass the test like other kids though, she will not let us apply until we are at the county and state honor level. However, her strict standards are balanced through the glow in her eyes when a piece is finally perfected and the recognition I receive for the pieces that took me all year to learn. The journey from the beginning of a piece to the perfection is the real reason to play music and in the end, all the hard work is well worth it and recognized in the masterpiece. Ms. Austin’s influence on my life has made her a perfect role model.





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lisa123 said...
Dec. 22, 2008 at 8:51 pm
Ms. Austin sounds like a really cool teacher.
 
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