Please Please Please Read and Comment

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
bee's vision
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:36 pm

Please Please Please Read and Comment

Postby bee's vision » Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:39 pm

Any comments/criticism anyone has would be extremely helpful and greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance! :

My heroes have always been jazz musicians--Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Sonny Rollins are just a few names that come to mind. Years ago I set out to learn the art-form that these musicians have mastered—the art of improvisation. This pursuit started as a hobby but soon evolved into a defining aspect of my identity. I choose to write my personal statement about my connection to music because it is such an indelible part of my life that must be explored in order to paint an accurate picture of who I am as a person and, perhaps unexpectedly, why I want to become a lawyer.

There are only 12 notes that all music is composed of but mastery of these 12 notes is anything but simple. Music is a sea of unimaginable breadth and depth. I started playing piano at 5, guitar at 12. I have spent countless hours practicing, studying music theory, transcribing the work of other musicians and have only broken the surface of the water. One can devote their entire life to music and neither reach the shores nor touch the floor of this immense ocean. My only goal in the pursuit is to constantly be developing and improving. It took me many years to reach even a basic level of proficiency in jazz improvisation and I may spend my whole life playing without even approaching a level of greatness. My satisfaction as a musician comes from connecting with this vast, ancient, ubiquitous phenomenon, to create using the ultimate medium for self-expression.

To play a piece of music one must possess the ability to read the music and the technique to perform it. To compose a piece of music one must have a masterful understanding of the principles of harmony and composition. To improvise requires both and then some. The improviser must express themselves in a fluid environment, while reacting and communicating with the other members of the ensemble, all while maintaining grace, creativity, innovation and personality. The improviser is an innovator that spontaneously composes music that adheres to and simultaneously challenges the bounds of music theory. Ultimately, improvisation requires courage, the courage to reveal one’s innermost soul to a group of strangers.

Studying jazz allowed me to appreciate and develop invaluable skills, the benefits of which have had and will continue to have an impact on my life far beyond the abstract realm of music. As an undergraduate at the University of Maryland I chose to study literature, another passion of mine. The decision not to major in music was a difficult one to make, but I am confident that I made the right one. Studying literature was both challenging and rewarding and gave me the opportunity to expand my horizons in ways that I couldn’t have imagined at 17. Every author or literary critic I read expanded the base of information I had to draw upon when writing an essay. I recognized patterns more easily, my theses became more innovative and my arguments more articulate. I looked forward to writing papers even more than reading literature because, while reading is a solitary act, writing allowed me to express original ideas to an audience.

The ability to interpret and analyze literature or music relies on the ability to dissect the complex interaction between the artist, audience and an ancient art-form much like a lawyer must assess their client’s situation in relation to established laws. The improviser takes it one step further by introducing the element of creation, reaching into the depths of their specialized knowledge base for the materials to shape the environment toward their goal much like a lawyer must devise a plan of action to suit their client’s needs. A good lawyer has a thorough understanding of the law--its history, statutes, precedents, etc. A great lawyer has the ability to improvise—the ability to think on his or her feet and react to an ever-changing, and often unpredictable, environment and communicate their ideas effectively to an audience.

rebexness
Posts: 4163
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 6:24 am

Re: Please Please Please Read and Comment

Postby rebexness » Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:50 pm

Last edited by rebexness on Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mala2
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:39 am

Re: Please Please Please Read and Comment

Postby mala2 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:19 am

Agree, lose the 1st paragraph and it's a lot better! that's fairly common, I had to lose mine too

bee's vision
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:36 pm

Re: Please Please Please Read and Comment

Postby bee's vision » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:24 pm

duly noted, thanks.




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