A 3rd Draft for Fordham. Advice Please!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
tombnorton
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:25 pm

A 3rd Draft for Fordham. Advice Please!

Postby tombnorton » Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:25 am

As a professional guitar player, I’ve done some thrilling stuff. I’ve nailed killer licks. I’ve laid down a track in the studio with one perfect take. I’ve found myself entranced by a melody and high on sound. The biggest thrill, though, comes when I’m in a five-by-five-foot lesson room with a student. Usually, professional musicians consider teaching lessons a necessity to make ends meet. I consider it the best part of the job.

Students are like complex puzzles. Once have a student figured out, though, I can teach him or her in a focused, personal way. For instance, one notoriously reserved student opened up after I began each lesson by asking her about her day; over time she became an excellent guitarist, and she now performs solo concerts. Another student would chatter incessantly about video games instead of playing his exercises; we compromised that if he stayed focused, he could talk about his games for the last three minutes of the lesson. He improved quickly and significantly thereafter. For a dyslexic student, I altered my teaching methods and taught him to play songs by ear instead of by reading music notation. For one very talented student, I assigned a difficult piece that pushed the boundaries of his ability. It drove him to a point of extreme frustration, but he persisted and learned the piece well, and it eventually became one of his favorite pieces to perform.

To help student like these overcome obstacles and find success was extremely satisfying. There was nothing quite like seeing the prideful smile on a student’s face after he or she had finally mastered a tough passage or chord. These smiles were students’ recognition of personal success. Nevertheless, they filled me with an overwhelming sense of achievement: for me, they were also tacit acknowledgements of my own success.

As a teacher, I watched my students grow from adolescents to young adults. When I was their age, I had few musical peers and little opportunity to share my love for music. My bedroom was my stage, my parents my only audience. My students, though, were too talented to be limited to only their bedrooms or to my lesson room. I wanted to provide a forum where they could join together to share their skills and ideas while learning and playing music.

To realize this goal, I created and directed two student programs: a guitar ensemble and a summer jazz band. The start was bumpy. Though every ensemble member was skilled, each had a different specialty: some students were strong music readers, others were more adept at improvising, and many played best by ear.

To equalize these differences, I created custom, individualized music arrangements. This way, each student was responsible for learning a part written for his or her personal strengths. I wanted the ensembles to be fun for my students, so these arrangements featured well-liked rock and pop songs. In initial rehearsals, there was cacophony where melody and rhythm should have been. But as I honed my rehearsing techniques and helped students master their parts, noise transformed into music.

Both groups performed publically, and I often organized concerts at local colleges and high schools. I aimed to develop my program, so at each concert I recruited prospective members from the audience. I asked existing members to convince their brothers, sisters, and friends to join. I recruited capable students from other teachers and advertised using online social media. At the start of each new session, new faces joined the groups. Ultimately, I increased enrollment in my ensembles by 300 percent and, most importantly, succeeded in creating the forum for music and community that I had envisioned.

It could be said that passion, ambition, and creativity are the recipe for success. For me, this couldn’t be truer. My passion for music led me to become a music educator so that I could share my talent and skill with others. My love for education gave me the ambition to create a music program so that my students could learn from one another. My creativity helped me to develop my program so that it would thrive.

In law school, I will engage this same passion, ambition, and creativity to master music law. As a professional musician, I sharpened my skills and found fulfillment in sharing them with a community that I created. As a lawyer, my passion for music, my ambition to share my skills with others, and my understanding of music law will combine so that I can share my specialized skills with a larger music community.

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

Re: A 3rd Draft for Fordham. Advice Please!

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:52 am

This is an effective law school personal statement essay because it shows that you are passionate, ambitious & creative. Teaching others by developing individually tailored approaches demonstrates a mature & caring attitude.
Readers may not understand the term "music law" as used in your concluding paragraph. Perhaps "law as it relates to music, musicians & the music industry" is more appropriate.

tombnorton
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:25 pm

Re: A 3rd Draft for Fordham. Advice Please!

Postby tombnorton » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:16 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Readers may not understand the term "music law" as used in your concluding paragraph. Perhaps "law as it relates to music, musicians & the music industry" is more appropriate.


Thanks for that tip, I'll make that change in my next draft.

blackeyeliner
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:36 pm

Re: A 3rd Draft for Fordham. Advice Please!

Postby blackeyeliner » Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:52 pm

Fix the grammatical error in this sentence: "Once have a student figured out, though, I can teach him or her in a focused, personal way"

bmore
Posts: 302
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:28 pm

Re: A 3rd Draft for Fordham. Advice Please!

Postby bmore » Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:12 pm

I like it. Please proof. There are other mistakes. One example "To help student like these overcome obstacles". Also, I agree. Not sure music law is the right term. I would be even more vague. Business law, corporate law, IP law?

psach44
Posts: 275
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:45 pm

Re: A 3rd Draft for Fordham. Advice Please!

Postby psach44 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:38 pm

im not sure about this but it seems that this is a little long. i was under the impression that a PS needs to be ONE page...

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

Re: A 3rd Draft for Fordham. Advice Please!

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:04 pm

Many, maybe most, PSs are two pages; Some are longer, for example, UC-Berkeley encourages applicants to write 3 or 4 page personal statements.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PurplePirate
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 4:01 pm

Re: A 3rd Draft for Fordham. Advice Please!

Postby PurplePirate » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:07 pm

Your statement is so heavily focused on music that you hardly spend any time discussing how that may be applied to the legal world. Perhaps balance the two a little bit more.

Your last paragraph sounds like you just added it at the last second without putting much thought into it. It doesn't tie everything together enough.

With that said, I like where you're going with it.




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