Houghton Mifflin English

Opinion Essay

Why I Love Orchestra

By Donna G.

They make it look easy. Whether playing a symphony by Beethoven or an arrangement of a popular tune, the members of an orchestra seem to work together effortlessly. However, each musician faces many challenges. As an orchestra member, I have experienced them myself, as well as the fun of performing in a group. For me, orchestra is a worthwhile and inspiring experience.

Teamwork is one of those challenges and a very good reason for joining an orchestra. Just look at the “playing field”: lots of people playing string, wind, and percussion instruments must stay in tune, keep the same tempo, begin and stop playing at the correct times, avoid making mistakes, and blend together rather than stick out. There's always a chance that, with so much going on, the performance will fall apart, a big flop. Though the conductor helps keep the group together, each musician must work hard to contribute to that effort. This skill of working as a team is demanding but also really valuable.

Another positive part of playing in an orchestra is friendship. Playing music brings people together. For example, when I first joined an orchestra, I was the youngest person there. I felt a little scared because everyone seemed to know what they were doing. Then, to my great surprise, I got first chair in the first violin section! I was worried. Would I be able to play well enough? Would people criticize my playing? Right away, a girl named Jennifer congratulated me, and soon she and I became good friends. Slowly I got to know everyone in the orchestra and discovered that my worries were not necessary. We all enjoy one another's company.

Finally, orchestra has taught me the value of practice. Individuals must work on their own parts, and the group must then practice together. This is time consuming! Yet it makes the difference between a so-so performance and true excellence. I have to practice for two hours almost every day. Then I attend a weekly group rehearsal for one to two hours. I've found that these long hours produce real results. First, I don't fumble the notes and can concentrate on playing them with care. Second, I can listen to the other parts at the group rehearsal and how they all come together to create one big effect. Third, solid practice gives me confidence in playing difficult passages and solo parts. It pays off!

In conclusion, I greatly value the experience of playing in an orchestra. In my opinion, the chance to work as a team, make friends, and practice hard to create music is meaningful and exciting. At the orchestra, hard work and immense fun go hand in hand.

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