Improving My Talent, Improving Myself

Fernando on the guitar

My talent consists of playing a musical instrument, and because I can’t be stereotypical enough, I play the classical guitar. This instrument is one of the most commonly associated with my country due to its origin and the many songs which resulted. I started playing the guitar when I was eight years old, and even though I never took it too seriously, I managed to learn a thing or two over the years.

This term though, it’s been different. Setting aside all the novelty of spending a year abroad, I couldn’t even play my own guitar because of its impracticality for traveling. So I managed to continue learning and playing with the generously provided instrument of my host family.

“What about the song?” you may ask. It is called “Julia Florida - Barcarola,” and it is a very famous melody from the early 20th century composed by Agustin Barrios Mangore. Even though he was a South American musician, the song was widely spread throughout most Spanish-speaking countries, including Spain itself, where it became part of the national culture.

However, I chose this song for a slightly different reason. Last year, when I was still learning it in class with my professor, I had trouble executing this fragment and was unable to completely polish it by the end of the term. Therefore, I set it upon myself to learn how to play it properly and if a chance such as this one were to occur, I would show how I had managed to improve, not only on the music, but also upon myself.

–Fernando (Spain), hosted by the Oestreich family (WI)