The Choir Room
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This room is filled with old, uncomfortable plastic chairs. The linoleum floor is so faded and scratched that I’m not sure which marks are part of the pattern and which are from the bottom of someone’s shoe. The whiteboard has the previous periods’ songs of the day and the occasional doodle if Mrs. Reed was in an expressive mood. The piano’s chips and dings are covered by sheet music, worksheets, and whatever some absentminded student didn’t remember yesterday. Angel and Marcos arrive out of breath, arguing over who was first. The rest of the group trickles in, some on time and some not, and the Monticellos are ready to start singing.
There’s something about the choir room and the group that I sing with that takes me away from my typical anxious self and drops me into a state of tranquility. Perhaps it is because I don’t have to take the derivative of anything when I sing. Or that there’s not an ecological hierarchy involved in the music. In the choir I can escape from the academic classroom, the social pressures of school, and my inner concerns. Everything else just seems less important compared to what would happen if I missed my entrance or started on the wrong note.
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The choir room is where I have the chance to let out the perfectionist in me. There are so many factors that must be just right in order to create a good performance; the timing, the notes, and even our facial expressions all contribute to the piece. When there are eight different notes sung in less than three seconds, none of us wants to mess up. It can throw the entire choir off for the rest of the piece, or even the concert.
In the choir room, no one is the best. Everyone sings together as a group, and every single person is needed for the performance. No matter how good one person sounds, you need others to sing an attractive chord. My junior year, this group dynamic was especially important because there were only eight of us in the Monticellos.
I’ve always been anxious about everything, reasonably or unreasonably. I worry about how I look, how I perform in class, and seemingly everything else possible. This was true in the choir room too when I first joined freshman year. But now, going into senior year, I can sing in front of large groups and sing well. My heart no longer races before I belt out a tune or give a speech in class. I don’t have to sit to collect myself after a solo during a concert. And I’ve even gotten my teacher off my back by not scrunching my eyebrows during performances.
The choir room may be old and dusty, but I will always remember it as a place of inspiration and fulfillment. I can close my eyes, picture the chipped black piano, sing one of the catchy songs, and return to that state of contentment.