I sat in a circle with twelve musicians on the floor of LaGuardia Airport, anxiously waiting to receive my sheet music. Initially, my nerves were quickly taking over my mind but I knew that spending the next ten days in Florence for “Violin Boot Camp” would be the most extraordinary experience that I would ever encounter. My private violin teachers, Dr. Linda Sinanian and Dr. Jeffery Forden, selected young string players to take part in intense music training. After receiving my sheet music, my excitement dipped into fear and intimidation. Although I was severely nervous about the events for the next several days, I was hoping that something brilliant would come out of this adventure. Most importantly, I had to eliminate my fears, increase my confidence and prove to myself that I was capable of reaching the experience level of my fellow musicians.
As I got off of the airplane and stepped into the oppressive heat, my eyes widened as I realized that I was thousands of miles away from my home in completely unfamiliar surroundings. A bus drove us to the convent where we would be living during our time in Italy. Almost immediately, the intense practicing began. Being the youngest violinist, I was struggling, at first, to concentrate since the other musicians intimidated me. Despite my lack of confidence, I worked extremely hard and devoted all of my free time into improving my skills on violin. After a few days passed, Linda realized that my low confidence level was causing poor performances. She later decided that I needed to do one courageous act everyday in attempt to put an end to my negative attitude.
Being in a different country, there were plenty of opportunities for me to try to be confident and independent. Communicating with waiters was a challenge, since everyone spoke Italian. One of my courageous acts was to converse in Italian to purchase a drink. I was uncomfortable, but understood that small acts of courage would eventually lead to improvement. More of my actions included standing up for myself, helping my fellow musicians, being a leader and being optimistic. I soon realized that my pessimistic attitude had negative affects and I understood that I needed to be positive if I ever wanted to achieve anything. I was aware that it would take time to progress, but I was willing to make the change in myself.
By the tenth day in Italy, Linda told me that I had come a long way since the beginning. I was proud of myself for making this personal change. To this day, I still do courageous acts and see the benefits from them. Now, I confidently tell people that I am going to make something of myself and l will not let anything get in my way. The progress that I made to sustain my self-esteem is tremendous! Overall, I owe it all to Linda for her support and for not letting me be timid or apprehensive. The result of this experience is that I will continue to keep a positive attitude and live a dynamic life!
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