Young Musician Achieves Maximum Success on the Stage and in the Classroom
Jai, 11-years-old, Math Level J, Reading Level GII
In the minutes before 11-year-old Jai steps on stage to perform with his youth orchestra, he reminds himself how far he has come. After seven years of dedicated practice, he was one of just a handful of sixth graders selected for the orchestra out of hundreds that applied. He takes his position as first violin very seriously, and is committed to making every performance count.
When Jai is not rehearsing for his next performance, you can find him playing tennis, volunteering at food drives, and attending Chinese school. He attributes the qualities needed to balance his busy schedule to his time in the Kumon Math and Reading Program.
“Kumon has taught me to focus and stay committed,” said Jai. “I’ve been playing the violin since I was three, and just like Kumon, I practice every day. There is no question that Kumon has increased my ability to focus so that I can achieve maximum results. Sometimes I think of quitting when I try to learn a difficult sonata piece but because of Kumon, I know if I press on and stay committed, I will master it in no time.”
Jai began his Kumon journey five years ago and has since advanced to mastering high school level math and literature, while only in elementary school. Since he is studying above grade level, he can complete his homework quickly, leaving him plenty of time to balance all of his extracurricular commitments.
Jai is committed to reaching his goals, whether he’s mastering a new violin sonata, winning a tennis tournament or advancing to the next Kumon level. As for future plans for Jai? He plans on making his dream of becoming a physician a reality, no matter what it takes.
Even with a packed schedule, Jai finds time to carry out his role on his school’s student council. He also maintains his place in both the gifted and talented program and junior honor society. Although he stays humble, Jai understands the importance of his work ethic and perseverance, and attributes much of it to his time spent in Kumon.
“I am willing to do hard work – Thomas Edison famously said, ‘Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.’” said Jai. “I believe no matter what we do, once committed, we need to put in our best efforts and finish it. Learning new concepts both in and out of Kumon can be tough, but I try to look over the hurdles and focus on the gratification of accomplishing my goal.”
Jai was one of 56 young innovators selected to attend Kumon’s 3rd Annual Student Conference. He traveled to Chicago, Illinois for a day of critical thinking, connecting, and learning with other Kumon students just like him.
What do you enjoy most about Kumon?
What I enjoy most about the Kumon Method is that it’s tailored to each individual and their goals. We all excel at our own pace without compromising the joy of learning.
How has Kumon helped you academically?
Kumon helps me academically by keeping me challenged. I get to learn advanced concepts ahead of my peers at school. Kumon’s approach of systematic self-learning allows me to make small but consistent steps towards my goal. I applied the same method in other academic areas as well. Kumon has also boosted my self-confidence – I feel more often at ease than anxiety when I study hard subjects in school because I know I can do it!
How has Kumon helped you outside of the classroom?
Kumon helps me to improve my time management skills. I regularly have to juggle academics, tennis matches, and practicing and performing on violin. Kumon has taught me to prioritize and be effective at it.
What is the most beneficial thing you’ve learned in Kumon thus far?
Kumon has benefited me tremendously with my academic study, but the most beneficial thing I’ve learned is the importance of hard work and self-motivation. We have to push ourselves to achieve higher goals. Just like playing tennis, if you want to win the game, you have to commit and give it your 100% effort.
Since you are studying three years above grade level, how do you stay motivated in continuing with Kumon when the material feels challenging or you are very busy?
I always strive to be more efficient. I tend to identify areas where I can improve my work efficiency and accomplish more with less. Keeping my goals clear, prioritizing wisely and staying focused play a part as well. Helping people is also a big motivation factor to me. For example, I love to help my fellow classmates at school solving math problems which I already mastered a couple of years back thanks to Kumon. I am grateful for having the opportunity to do so.
If you could sum up your Kumon experience in one word, what would it be?
What advice would you give to kids just starting Kumon?
Set goals and work toward them. Never lose sight of your goal and stay committed. Trust me, you will be rewarded more than what you can imagine.
What was your experience like at the Student Conference, and what was your favorite part?
My experience at the Kumon Student Conference was inspiring and fun. My favorite part was listening to former Kumon Students’ experiences.