¡Special Award
gFlute for the First Timeh
Ms. Hiroe Kihara (14), 3rd Year Junior High School Student, Fukui Prefectural School for the Blind

On September 26, our school for the blind had a festival, and there I performed on the flute for the first time. I had just started playing flute in April of the previous year, so I couldnft complete what I had prepared for the performance. Actually, I was too preoccupied to pay attention to anyone elsefs playing. However, I was happy that I was finally playing the flute, an instrument that I had long dreamed about, on the grand stage of the school festival.

I think I came to realize many things through my performance at the festival, some good and some bad. It wasnft just a performance, but also an opportunity to discover things that I had been unaware of day to day.

First, I was impressed with the hard practice habits of the music club members. In particular, Okajima, who is in an advanced physical therapy course, made an impression on me. I think Okajima was practicing ten times as hard as the other members.

In April, Okajima said, gI wonder how long it has been since I last played the trumpet.h I think at the time he meant he wouldnft be able to play as he used to, but thatfs not the case now. Itfs no wonder. Okajima would practice all the time, from eight in the morning to six in the evening. When I thought of Okajima, it was clear that I was a beginner who obviously lacked practice. Even when I could not play in the dormitory or at home, I should have looked for other ways to practice, like early in the morning or at break time,

Takeuchi, a beginner on the saxophone, astonished me equally. During the summer break, we had different practice schedules due to our supplemental lessons. But in September, when we started to practice together, Takeuchi got a lot better in a short time. I wondered when Takeuchi practiced.

Looking back, I simply didnft notice that everyone was practicing hard and making great efforts. At the time I thought, gI am doing my best.h I thought I knew how much Okajima and Takeuchi were practicing, but actually I didnft. When I think back on it now, I realize I also should have made more of an effort.

Next, about the sound. I played the recorder when I was in elementary school. I focused on not making any mistakes, and I believed that making no mistakes meant giving a good performance. When I started practicing the Electone and piano, I believed the same thing. But I think differently now. Making no mistakes is a matter of course. I have come to also consider a little bit about what type of tune it is, how I can express emotion, and how I can get the best sound from the instrument.

At the flute performance this time, I tried to make beautiful sounds. My teacher, Mr. Ohmurafs, flute playing makes me realize how immature I am, but I still strive to increase the depth of my music and improve my performance. I am glad that I practiced with these thoughts in mind this time.

I first became interested in playing the flute when I saw a brass band contest that my sister participated in. Very impressed, I thought, gWhat beautiful sounds the flute makes. The flute player looks so cool!h I immediately talked to Mr. Ohmura about joining his music club. The simple answer, gSure!,h made me so happy.

Of course my performance at the school festival does not compare to what I heard at the concert hall. However, through developing better practice habits, one day I would like to do a performance that even surpasses that one.

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