For my STEP project, I decided to purchase a Viola and take private lessons over the summer. I finished my project by performing a small recital for my family and friends. It was a great opportunity to get back into playing the instrument I love and had to give up.
During my freshman year of college, I unfortunately had to make the decision to give up playing the viola. This project gave me back a hobby and also an escape from the stresses of everyday life. This project is made me appreciate classical music again. It made me realize that there is more in the world than just school and my career. I believe that this project made me a more well-rounded and a more cultured person.
Many things led to these realizations. One of which was working with my former instructor. Corey Hall had been my instructor from 4th grade all the way to senior year. I grew close to her during this time and when I knew that I was going to do this project, Mrs. Hall was the only person I wanted to work with. Mrs. Hall is very passionate about music and teaching and she creates a fun environment to learn. Seeing how passionate she is about music really rubbed off on me and made the process even more enjoyable.
Another reason for becoming more well-rounded and appreciative is the amount of time I spent practicing over the summer. When I practiced by myself, I was really able to connect with the music. I could dive into the the creations of Telemann and Dvorak and realize how great their pieces really are. Also, since I practiced these pieces so often I became somewhat of a perfectionist which made me practice even more.
The third reason this project was transformational is that it created a new challenge for me. I am someone who needs to challenge myself and in different ways. I was always the kid that loved going to school and taking tests because they made me think and push myself. My STEP project was along these same lines. Music does not come as naturally to me as math or sports, therefore I had to push myself even harder to achieve the results I wanted.
The transformations I experienced are very valuable in my life. I learned not to be so centered around my schooling and career. Obviously, these are two of the most important things in my life but it is easy to let them take control and overwhelm. The viola is a great way for me to escape the stress of everyday life and work and just enjoy. This is also a hobby I can share with others; friends, family, and one day my own children will be able to enjoy the music of my viola for a long time.