Youth Orchestra Violinist With Remarkable Collaboration Skills - Kumon

Youth Orchestra Violinist With Remarkable Collaboration Skills

Iris, 13-years-old, Math Level J, Reading Program Completer

Iris has been playing the violin for the past seven years and her love for music has only continued to grow. In fact, she has received many recognitions at various music competitions.

In addition to playing for a youth orchestra, she also volunteers at the Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra. She enjoys contributing her time every Friday after school for five hours. The orchestra brings live music to the community through regular concerts and ongoing music education for music lovers in the community.

With music education on the decline, it’s a pivotal time for dedicated musicians to share their passion for music and keep students engaged. Playing an instrument is such a rewarding experience with so many opportunities of growth within oneself and others. Iris can attest to this.

Music hasn’t always been rainbows and butterflies for Iris. A couple years ago she encountered a memorable challenge when she and her friend competed to earn a violin duet.

“We had very different playing styles and initially weren’t the best match. With our varied skill sets, we had trouble coordinating the song. However, I couldn’t give up,” says Iris.

“Every time, we had a problem we carefully analyzed and solved it. After countless hours of practice, we successfully participated in the competition, and brought home a hard-earned trophy.”

Overall, Iris thanks Kumon for her perseverance through this challenge. The strong foundation that she has worked so hard to develop at Kumon really helped her work with another person to get the job done.

Iris continuously leverages her collaboration skills when she is leading the student council and participating in the orchestra.

Her flexible work ethic granted her the opportunity to be 1 in 56 students to attend the 2019 Student Conference in Chicago, IL.

“I was very excited, as the Conference would be an eye-opening opportunity for me to grow,” says Iris.

She enjoyed the conference and the opportunity to share the unforgettable experience with new friends from all around the United States.

What is the most beneficial thing you’ve learned in Kumon thus far?

I think everyone should be an independent lifetime learner, and Kumon’s method takes us there naturally. The Kumon Method of thinking for oneself is a powerful mindset and approach to start with. Right now, we have our teachers and parents, but they won’t always be with us later in life. Kumon taught me to think independently and to not always rely on others. Life comes with different twists and turns, and our parents won’t always be with us.

Kumon Student with KNA President shaking hands looking forward

What do you feel most proud of about yourself?

I joined Kumon at age three following my brother. At first, I was proud to follow him. However, Kumon impacted me in ways that I never expected. It helped me overcome challenges in and out of school. It taught me discipline, diligence, and persistence at a young age. I learned not to give up, and to keep practicing. As a result, I excelled at every single subject I tried. To this day, I utilize these skills in my daily life. From practicing violin, to leading student council, I used the skills repeatedly. All in all, I am most proud of the hard work and dedication I learned from Kumon.

What do you enjoy most about Kumon?

Kumon teaches me life skills like diligence and persistence; in particular, it teaches me to think for myself and solve problems on my own, which I enjoy very much. In turn, it helps me get above grade level, allowing me to finish my schoolwork quickly. With the extra time, I can enjoy other activities, such as finishing artwork or hanging out at the barn.

What is your favorite book and why?

My favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee because it teaches so many beneficial lessons like actions speak louder than words and don’t judge a book by its cover. Atticus reminds me to reach out and get to know someone and their perspective before passing judgement. I also learned that we are defined by our actions and the way we treat others regardless of race, social rank, gender, or religion. All in all, this book teaches me many life lessons that I can utilize throughout my life.