Failure used to be a frightening experience and I never felt like I failed as hard as I did in middle school. I was in kindergarten when my brother used to bring me along with him to mariachi practice. It was there when I fell in love with violins. The instrument was fascinating to my little 5-year-old mind. I couldn’t wait to get to middle school and take mariachi as an elective.
Fast forward—it’s my first day of 6th grade, and all I wanted to do was get to the 5th period. I get to the music room, my fingers tingling with electricity as a teacher walks in. I remember being antsy, just waiting to get to actually hold a violin. The first time I played a note wasn’t my best. But as time went on I started to get the hang of it.
I never thought about auditioning to be in the school’s performing group until my science teacher pushed me to it. I spent weeks practicing until my wrist gave out. While practicing I kept telling myself this work will pay off, that I will get into that group. After some time, the day finally came. It was 3 p.m. and schools had been out for an hour. All the kids that were auditioning for guitar, bass, and trumpet had cleared out of the room. There were only a few kids remaining, anxiously waiting to get their audition over with. I was soon called into the room where I was to perform the piece they gave me weeks ago. It was scary, to say the least. After I was done they thanked me and informed me that I would take a week for the sheet to be posted.
A week after my audition, the sheet was posted. It did not have my name. “I have failed,” is what I told myself. I have never poured myself into something so much just to be rejected. I couldn’t look at it violin with the same feelings I had before. I was overall broken down. I put music down for some time. I felt that music was my whole life but when I wasn’t accepted, it forced me to take a step back and take a look at what I’ve done; seeing the effort I’ve put in. It showed me that I can do so much more than what I think I’m capable of doing. The fact that I spent endless nights trying to perfect my technique, along with reaching out for help was worth it, in the long run, seeing that. Failure has taught me that it isn’t the end of the road, along with the fact that it didn’t matter if I got in or not. What mattered was my love for music and the instrument.