A Second Place Winner
Crystal Cheng, Division 1, 4th grade

The best experience of my life so far was also a big event in my life. It was when I won second place at my first piano competition in February, 2016. I was nervous, and not to mention scared when the judges called to play, but became happy and excited when they had announced I won. When the teachers announced my winning, I just couldn’t stop smiling. I felt like my hard work had paid off, my parents were proud of me, and I had gotten a shiny silver medal and a certificate. All of these reasons show why I was so overjoyed to be called a second place winner. 

When I said hard work, I meant the hard work I put into piano every day. I practiced for six months, spending two hours a day to practice piano. Sometimes, I played for about three hours to perfect my skills with difficult exercises. I complained about practice a lot, but looking back, practice actually seemed to be worth it. Plus, every Monday, my piano teacher, Lena Grozman, would guide me through mistakes, dynamics, how to play phrases, and more. One mistake I made was several wrong notes. She always played the piece, Prelude, very carefully at the lesson. Then she would notice the wrong notes and tell me. Sometimes, when I played phrases wrong, Lena would guide me through. For example, on YouTube, one part of the piece was dreamy. I didn’t know how to do that, so she showed me how. Her teaching helped me win my medal.

As I mentioned, my parents were proud of me. I had to wake up really early to compete and even slept for about half of the one hour trip to Oakland! My tiredness and nervousness mixed, but I still played anyway. My tiredness drifted away as I ended the piece with the single last chord.  

My mind caught the two words that the judges said: Crystal Cheng. I smiled the whole ride home. When my mom and dad said that they were proud of me, I was really glad. This was because just like any other child, I was always happy to hear those words.

 Lastly, I had gotten a shiny silver medal and a certificate. The medal declared my winning, and the certificate declared my participation. It was my first ever medal, and I had dreamed of this. Not only had they proved that I had really won something, every time my mom looks at this, she says she is proud. The certificate is now taped to the wall in my bedroom. I still think of the competition every time I glance at it.   

Not only had I felt like my hard work had paid off, my parents were proud of me, and I had gotten a medal and certificate. This proved what both of my parents always say: Your hard work will always pay off.  Playing piano every day paid off by letting me be a winner.           
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