Task: Write an essay reflecting on a topic you are passionate about, remembering to include your thoughts and feelings

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Task: Write an essay reflecting on a topic you are passionate about, remembering to include your thoughts and feelings.

Playing My Passion

Sitting on a stool in my bedroom, totally shut away from everyone else. I am completely still, completely calm and nothing can disturb. My mind escapes from the real world, and I am free to concentrate. When the silence breaks I am at one with the music. I am totally absorbed in the sound. It is this simple act of playing my Cello that makes me feel so relaxed. I can fade away to my very own place where it is just me and my Cello, and it fills me with passion.

I have been playing the Cello for four and a half years. I saw a Cellist playing in a con cert on the television when I was eight and I was totally memorised. I thought the sound was absolutely stunning, and I was amazed by how elegantly it was being played, with such precision and accuracy. I instantly knew that exactly what I wanted to do, more than anything else, was play the Cello. I was one hundred percent determined from that point on that one day I would become a Cello player. When I was given the opportunity at the start of Primary Five to learn how to play the Cello, I was certain that it was my chance, and I knew exactly what my answer would be. Since then, over these four and a half years I have become more and passionate about playing the Cello. As soon as I heard someone playing the Cello I was inspires to play the Cello also. My Cello instructor, Mr Mustard, ahs pushed and encouraged me so much, and I don’t think I would be in the position I’m in now without him.

I am sure that most people would imagine that playing a musical instrument takes an awful lot of hard work and practice, but that doesn’t phase me. Although there is an awful lot of hard work involved, it doesn’t bother me. In fact I find practising my Cello the best part, and I really enjoy being committed to something. Playing the Cello is a hobby that I can improve; I’m always trying to get better in terms of my technique but also to become a more advanced player. When playing a musical instrument, I feel that it is always important to have something to aim for, or a goal. For most people, including myself, their goal is to practise, learn and prepare for grades. I think that it is all about playing to the best of your ability and disciplining yourself to work towards grades. It is important to me to pass the grade, so I can start to progress towards the next grade level. For the Cello, the first grade you work is Grade 1, followed by Grade 2, then Grade 3 and so on. The highest grade achievable is Grade 8, which consists of the same criteria, but of a far more advanced standard than the lower grades. For every exam you sit, you must perform three pieces (that should ideally vary from each other in style), several scales that the examiner will ask you to perform, and a series of aural tests. Everyone who is examined is marked using the same guide lines and placed into one of four categories (ranging from ‘below pass standard’ to ‘distinction’), depending on how well you do.

I am currently working towards Grade 5, however I don’t feel that playing the Cello is only about passing grades. It is about playing for enjoyment, pleasure and changing who you are as a person through what you enjoy doing. My passion is maintained by strengthening my musical ability, so I would definitely say that you are not just as good as your Grade certificates indicate you are. Yes, it may be important to pass grades, but they certainly aren’t all that playing the Cello is about for me. I feel that it is wrong of people to simply look at the last exam you have passed, and judge you on that basis only. It is just like the phrase “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover”, because you can’t judge a Cellist by the grade they have passed and nothing else. That would be unfair. I would hate to think that I am nothing but a Grade 4 cellist, just because that is the last grade that I have sat. A grade is technical mastery, but, the passion for the playing the Cello that I have is what creates the drive that allows me to achieve the grades, and make me an individual musician.

Another important aspect to playing the cello for me, is being part of an orchestra. It is something that means a lot me and makes me feel special. I have enjoyed so many new experiences, and met so many new people, due to being a member of an orchestra. Playing as a solo Cellist is very different from playing in a full orchestra, and also from playing in a string orchestra. It means a lot to me to be able to do any of these. Playing in an orchestra has really improved my sight reading skills, encouraged me to play more advanced music, and made me a more ambitious person. It has also allowed me to see my progress, improved my stage presence and performance, and become a far more confident player. Not only that, but it has also boosted my confidence as a person because of performing on stage in front of large audiences. I am a member of Moray Music Centre and I also attend Moray Youth Orchestra.

I tend to feel very calm, and relaxed when I am playing the Cello, however I get very stressed and anxious when exams or performances are close. During stressful times I try my best to remain calm and concentrate on practising, but I find this hard when nerves kick in. Some of the time, sheer intensity and pressure of an exam can cause me thrive and to do surprisingly well. However, most of the time my nerves get the better of me and result in a less successful exam pass. Although, I never fail to be proud of playing the Cello. I enjoy practising and performing so much, even though it takes a lot of mind set and determination. Of course, I am always delighted when I pass an exam or perform well in a concert, because it shows that my hard work has payed off. I feel very strongly about playing the Cello, as it is important to me and had added a lot to my life in terms of goals.

Playing a musical instrument is a passion of many other people around the world. I think that more people should begin playing musical instruments, because it is something that can be developed. You can watch your abilities flourish, and your progress improve significantly, but most of all enjoy it. By playing a musical instrument, you will learn many new things, whether it be for enjoyment and pleasure, or for a career option. I have grown passionate about the Cello because it has given me goals to aim for, grades to achieve, something to do that makes me feel calm and relaxed. However, just the pure pleasure of listening to the sound that I am capable of making on the Cello, and the astonishment of being able to play a piece that I thought was too difficult to be possible is what makes it such a brilliant passion. This is also why I feel it should be taken up as a hobby by more people.

I think that it is very important in life to have at least one subject, hobby, or object that you feel strongly about. Without a passion, a person’s life would be so empty. If I didn’t have a passion I would have missed out on such a lot. I wouldn’t have as many goals to set myself, or achievements if I didn’t play the Cello. Having a passion can give you ambition in life and allow you to become a different person. I have become more confident by playing the Cello and experienced new things, so therefore I feel that everyone should have a passion. I know that I would be heart broken if, for whatever reason, I had to stop playing the Cello.

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