Final Draft--Please Criticize

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

Final Draft--Please Criticize

Postby bee's vision » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:17 pm

I am thinking about sending this out tonight so any last minute advice is greatly appreciated, Ill be happy to return the favor. Here it is:

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 and bass at 14. 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 heroes have always been jazz musicians—Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins—geniuses of musical improvisation. 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. Years ago I set out to learn this unique outlet for expression. My only goal in the pursuit is to be constantly developing and improving. My satisfaction as a musician comes from connecting with this vast, ancient, ubiquitous phenomenon and creating with the ultimate medium for self-expression.

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. Essentially, I learned to improvise in an entirely different medium. 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. Earning an A on a paper and listening to the applause of the audience provided me with the same sense of satisfaction: vindication of the ideas I have expressed and the way I chose to express them.

I believe that the process of becoming a jazz musician or a writer is not all that different from the process of becoming a successful lawyer. The ability to interpret and analyze literature or music relies on the ability to dissect the complex interaction between artist, audience and 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 does when creating a plan of action to suit their client’s needs.

I originally majored in English with the hopes of developing my writing skills and maybe one day becoming a writer and critic of music. My focus shifted while working at a law bookstore over the course of two summers. During my time there I was continually impressed by the caliber of students and professionals that shopped there and greatly impacted by the conversations I had with them. One attorney in particular weighed greatly on my decision to become a lawyer. A lawyer by day and an impresario on the weekends, he coordinated the performances of a variety of world renowned musicians. In his story I found a model for my own aspirations—a career where the arts and the law intersect harmoniously. Whether I end up being an advocate in the music industry or a tax attorney who gigs with a jazz band on the weekends, with a lot of determination and a little improvisation I am confident that I too will reach this intersection.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Final Draft--Please Criticize

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:24 pm

Sorry, but I stopped reading at the misuse of the word "countless"; I think that you mean "uncounted".

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

Re: Final Draft--Please Criticize

Postby bee's vision » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:40 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Sorry, but I stopped reading at the misuse of the word "countless"; I think that you mean "uncounted".



why? countless = incapable of being counted

CanadianWolf
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Re: Final Draft--Please Criticize

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:44 pm

I read the entire essay. If you claim to be an English major intending to become a writer & music critic, then you should avoid using meaningless expressions such as "and then some" & "countless". Also, Consider in "hope" instead of in "hopes".

Your personal statement is interesting but ineffective & unconvincing. If you are going to make parallel comparisons, you need a thorough understanding of both areas as guesswork exposes weaknesses & makes you appear vulnerable due to a lack of research.
Unfortunately, the ending struck me as a bit flaky since it's more of a wish than reality.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Final Draft--Please Criticize

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:45 pm

Hours of practising music are countable, you just didn't count them. "Countless" seems to be misused even more than the word "unique". Ironically, the only thing that might be countless (def: too many to be counted) are numbers.

P.S. Your second post answers your own question unless you really believe that your practice hours were "incapable of being counted". Possible for those using hard drugs while practising, I guess.

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helloperson
Posts: 310
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:26 pm

Re: Final Draft--Please Criticize

Postby helloperson » Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:15 am

CanadianWolf wrote:Hours of practising music are countable, you just didn't count them. "Countless" seems to be misused even more than the word "unique". Ironically, the only thing that might be countless (def: too many to be counted) are numbers.

P.S. Your second post answers your own question unless you really believe that your practice hours were "incapable of being counted". Possible for those using hard drugs while practising, I guess.



I always felt this was an acceptable, and common, use of hyperbole. Indeed, the phrase "countless hours" appears frequently in the New York Times: http://www.google.com/search?client=fir ... 3020c5381d

LSATclincher
Posts: 476
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: Final Draft--Please Criticize

Postby LSATclincher » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:08 pm

Maybe I'm a being a bit too harsh because I'm a believer that a PS should be an honest recount of who you are as a person. The tone of this piece was a bit too literary and subliminal. The legal profession requires clear, direct language. I can't speak for law school, but I'd imagine it requires the same. If music is a huge passion in your life, and you can somehow show how that has sparked an interest in law, then maybe stick with it. Otherwise, this PS seemed to fail.

dddhhh
Posts: 264
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 5:55 pm

Re: Final Draft--Please Criticize

Postby dddhhh » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:15 pm

LSATclincher wrote:Maybe I'm a being a bit too harsh because I'm a believer that a PS should be an honest recount of who you are as a person. The tone of this piece was a bit too literary and subliminal. The legal profession requires clear, direct language. I can't speak for law school, but I'd imagine it requires the same. If music is a huge passion in your life, and you can somehow show how that has sparked an interest in law, then maybe stick with it. Otherwise, this PS seemed to fail.


I completely agree with this post.




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