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Fri, Aug. 12th, 2011, 11:15 am
mozartzbitch: Perhaps my final revision

Before I go any further, I would just to take a moment to express my amusemet in the fact this long since gone from a group site to post writing to my own personal blog essentially. So octaveleap thank you for keeping it up. I actually looked among the archive posts and unless someone posts before September 10th other than me, I will have been the only one to post here for 4 years. Well it amuses me. Oh well. On with the post.

You can always do something more with an essay, but I'm starting to reach the point where I might be wise to just leave it. If I didn't have 500 word limit, I'd certainl build on it more, but I've really done what I can to squeeze in all the content to thoroughly explain my points in 500 words or less. Well this essay is exactly 499 words according to the word counter on the site. So I'm fine on that. I think I should actually include the questions TFA wants the essay to answer, so here there are:

1. Why do you seek to join Teach For America?
2. What would you hope to accomplish as a corps member?
3. How would you determine your success as a corps member?

Through Teah for America, I wish to provide underprivileged students necessary privileges from music education. I have always embraced mentoring children's growth through music and aspire to continue pursuing such achievments in TFA's high-needs schools.

I aim to develop students' abilities and music appreciation. Children are inherently artisitc; but many lack opportunities to discover it. I approach this by providing progressively challenging activities to my students with concise instructions to nurture their creativity. The intent is for them to learn to apply creativity within and beyond music. Completion earns them the reward of accomplishment and tangible proof of what their creative efforts earn. They aspire to future endeavors with a framework to model after.

An excellent music teacher's guidance for me exemplified how I aim to teach. Originally, my voice blended poorly. He taught me to trust my voice and make sure I always heard the rest of the choir. This taught me the musical skill of blend, and core life skills in focusing, teamwork, and self-confidence. The performances showed what my efforts earned. I hope future students grow from my guidance as I have from such teachers.

My success depends on students' grasp content and how their music appreciation develops. Students should develop skills directly and indirectly connected to music, and gain deeper music appreciation. A model of success to me was my first ever forth-grade class. Preparing for concerts, I implemented games at rehearsals' ends, rewarding their efforts. More motivated towards games originally, they were extrinsically motivated toward music. Steadily, their appreication grew as they sacrificed game time to rehearse. Growing from extrinsically motivated children to intrisically dedicated performers, they earned the intrinsic reward of creating a beautiful performance.

Every student deserves arts education, but many are deprived of it. With today's need for effective teachers, I hope to inspire underprivileged youth through my musical passion.

Fri, Aug. 12th, 2011 04:59 am (UTC)

I think this flows a lot better, and really hits the targets set out by TFA, so well done!

Just a little bit of housekeeping:

Semicolons are used to connect and separate two independent phrases in one sentence. The idea is that it could be replaced with a period, but you want to string those two ideas together for some reason. If BOTH phrases, on either side of the semicolon, can read as a free-standing sentence, with a subject and object, your semicolon is OK. If one of them is a sentence fragment, you're better off with a comma, or maybe a dash if it calls for that sort of drama. A conjunction is a word that links or serves as a transition between two ideas, like 'and', 'but', or 'however.' It has pretty much the same function as a semicolon, so using a semicolon with a conjunction is overkill. Some people argue that you shouldn't even use a comma with one, but [see what I did there?] I think that's a matter of taste, and/or whether the sentence feels like it needs a pause there.

Children are inherently [artistic]; but many lack opportunities to discover it should be either:

Children are inherently artistic; many lack opportunities to discover it.


Children are inherently artistic, but many lack opportunities to discover it.

Because your intent in this sentence is to draw attention to the discrepancy between childrens' inherent artistry and their unequal opportunities, I recommend going with the latter, as that 'but' is central to the thesis.

They aspire to future endeavors with a framework to model after.

This is really splitting hairs, but I think 'after' is unnecessary because it's implied in the verb 'to model' (one cannot model without modelling after something, just like 'following'). You could trade it for a word that implies how they will use this experience. I suggest 'with a learning framework to model' or even 'with a learning pattern to model.' Or possibly 'follow' instead of 'model,' as the student is following the path you set out for them, even when they apply it to something else; they are not demonstrating it for anyone, which is more what 'modelling' would be.

To get even more persnickety, I think 'approach' is a more appropriate word than 'aspire,' as you don't need any framework to aspire to something, but you do when you actually take action to accomplish it.

My success depends on students' grasp [of] content

It's fourth-grade, not forth – a spellchecker won't catch that so I thought I should point it out.

Steadily, their [appreciation] grew as they sacrificed game time to rehearse.

I would argue that this sentence should be the other way around – as it is phrased now it sounds like the sacrifice of their game time deepened their appreciation. In your previous draught you made it sound like because they were appreciating the music more, they sacrificed their precious game time. If that's the way it happened, perhaps your sentence should read As their appreciation for the music grew, they sacrificed their game time for additional rehearsal.

Not sure you need the 'intrinsic' in they earned the intrinsic reward, especially as you had it earlier in the sentence, and I think 'reward' is strong enough on its own.

Good luck with your application! I think you're off to a good start!