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Music Messages If ever there is a moment of silence in my home, it is quickly taken advantage of by my mother, who will whip out her violin, or walk over to the piano whenever given the chance. At these times, I journey to the living room to hear her play for myself, amazed by her ability to play her instruments without a sheet of music. I watch her in awe, imagining the passion she must feel for her music, a spiritual connection with the melodies she creates. Whether she plays Bon Jovi or Fiona Apple—or anyone else she has ever been inspired by—depends on her mood, and the tone of the music signals to me how she is feeling. Perhaps that is how I gained my analytical personality—from diagnosing the enchanting sounds of my environment, and connecting them back to their creator. My mother made me want to create such a captivating environment, evoke such emotion in others, and speak my mind through music. However, though I have played the clarinet, violin, piano, and guitar in anticipation of the day when I will influence another person just as my mother has influenced me, I have found that mimicking her same musical talents did not leave me feeling as though I was being true to myself. My mother graciously allowed me to explore new instruments as I attempted to find my own musical outlet. Coming to the realization that I would never have the same connection to an instrument as my mother, I took a break from following my mother to the living room to hear her play, and vowed to find my own way to express myself musically. For quite some time, I just did not know how. My mother gave me a push in all sorts of right directions, knowing that I needed to decide the best way to express myself on my own. I decided to stop guitar lessons at fourteen to explore the other activities I had taken a part in throughout my childhood, but never considered to be an opportunity to truly distinguish myself. Shortly after I gave up guitar, my dance teacher asked me to choreograph a routine for the junior dance company at my studio. And so, after dance class one day, in the momentary silence of my house, I walked down to the spacious basement and plugged in my iPod. Click. When I faced the full-length mirror and closed my eyes, my worries drifted away, lost in the backbeat of a song. I began to move with fluidity, re-positioning my limbs in soulful expression. As the beat intensified, my body movement shifted effortlessly to correspond with the pace of the music. I was in my element. After ten years of piano lessons, three years of violin and clarinet, and four years of guitar, I had finally discovered that my true passion is for choreography. In silence, I communicated my emotions through the choice of song, and in dance. Frustration. I jumped, energy extending through the tips of my fingers and out to the floor as my hands slapped the ground. Determination. Double pirouette, hands spiraling upward, I kicked on an angle reaching upward towards my goals. Confidence. I leapt into the air, landing with grace, and swayed my hands and hips while pursing my lips. As the sound began to disappear,

and the room faded into silence, I saw the reflection of my younger sister watching me from the doorway. Finally, I inspired a reaction in someone else. Someone had heard my music, and followed me.

Writing Sample #1  

Essay I wrote to gain admittance to The University of Texas at Austin's Moody College of Communication, written November 2011