Doubt into Confidence

By
Doubt into Confidence

An ordinary-looking classroom: flutes tweeting loudly. Judges
waiting to listen to the same song a thousand times. The sound of my heart
pounding in my chest, beating in my ears. This is a band competition. Band
people just call it Region or Regional's. In Regional's, everyone is given random letters like D or BA, so we'd know when to play our cuts (a section of a chosen music). While I waited, I listened to flutes, both very good and...not so very good. I continue to wait while a classroom clock interrupts a few tense silences. Finally, it is my turn to play. I sit on the chair in front of the room and start to play. I am so nervous; I'm shaking all over. After everything's done, I get my results. I didn't make region band,area,-nothing! I felt discouraged, of course, but I decided to keep trying. I thought to myself, "I have plenty of time! I'm only in seventh grade."
I continue to go to Regionals and every time I went to Regionals, I didn't make anything. Every time I came back, I was disappointed. For two years, this continued. You can probably guess what that did to my self-confidence. I had always been shy and quiet, but I became so timid that I couldn't stand up for myself. I even started to doubt myself in other subjects as well, such as math or dreaded Spanish....
Well, last year, I tried out for Region and I made it! I could even move on to Area! I was so happy and proud of myself! When I went to Area competition, I heard other flutes play either as good as or better than I did. I played the cuts, but I was so nervous and intimidated that I didn't play very well. Sadly, I didn't make state, and to make matters worse, I overheard a flute player, who sat beside me in the tryout room. She said, "I don't know if
some of those flutes were nervous or what, but some of them sounded really
bad." That made me feel worse.
I think the main problem was my old lesson teacher, Mr. Karl. Mom said he
didn't really encourage me. He didn't really play flute much, just clarinet
or sax, and he mainly taught people who either played for fun, played with
no thought of becoming a great musician, or just didn't have the talent to play well. I was fond of him, but later, I finally realized that he wasn't going to help me develop my skills.
My mom and I searched for a new lesson teacher. After a few weeks, we found Mrs. Hackney. She played flute in the Houston Ballet. She encouraged me and she even taught me things I was supposed to know already but didn't, like double tonguing. I went to Region tryouts again this year. I played well and made Area. I went to Area, and I got lost! I went to the wrong practice
room (5A instead of 4A), and didn't ask if I was in the right room. I thought I was, so I didn't ask. A few hours later, I went to the college's band hall, and waited desperately for the judges to call 4A flutes. After hours of waiting, my band director, Mr. Aiken, came in the band hall and told me that I was in the wrong room and that I wasn't on the signup list because of it. I felt terrible. Mr. Aiken said, "So, you basically came for
nothing- you didn't play." He walked off to tell the judges that I was in the wrong room. They put me on the list but as DNA. I don't know what it stands for, so don't ask me. All I know is that I was counted absent, and that this entire experience has been a lesson for me and others with whom I
share it.
Even though I failed many times in region tryouts, I never gave up and I
never will. With my new lesson teacher, Mrs. Hackney, I will steadily become
more confident in myself, and I will become a great musician.

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