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The Sound of Motivation


Eric Cao is an 8th grader here at McCullough who is in Chamber Orchestra, the best orchestra, playing the violin. He was in Concert Orchestra, the 2nd best orchestra, last year, but he successfully auditioned to move up to Chamber this year. I asked him what his motivation was for doing this.

To move up to a better orchestra, you must learn specific music and record yourself playing it. Some of these pieces are quite difficult, so I wanted to know why he went through all that difficulty to get into Chamber. When I asked him, Eric said, “[My motivation is] To see myself improve. When I improve, I like seeing that because it makes me feel like I’ve achieved something.” He wanted to improve, and he felt like he needed to move up to unlock his true potential. 

Another reason he did it was because he just likes orchestra. “What’s fun about [orchestra] is being able to improve in a setting with others.” In orchestra, it’s not about any one person. It’s about working together to make amazing music, and that’s why Eric and many others continue to be in orchestra year after year. It’s fun to work together towards a common goal. Another thing that Eric likes about orchestra is “being able to see yourself improve.” The fact that he can actively see his growth in orchestra more than in any other class leads to him having more motivation in orchestra than in his other classes. 

He’s probably going to need that intense motivation, because when I asked him how he felt about the difficulty of Chamber at the beginning of this year compared to Concert at the end of last year, he said, “Right now, I don’t think the difference is very high, but I feel like once things start moving faster, things are going to get more intensive,” and that’s not a bad thing. Eric is always up for a challenge, because that’s the only way to improve. 

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When asked for advice, Eric gave some that applies to all parts of life: “Once you know why you want to do something, it becomes a lot easier to actually do it, so just stick to your motivation.” And that’s all you really need to do: Find your motivation and stick to it. Do that, and you can accomplish great things, just like Eric did.

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