Orchestra Summer Camp and Things I Learned, Loved and Cherished

Last Saturday was the last day of Orkes Unpad summer camp program. Sitting on the side of my bed after driving home for a half-hour, the bottled-up feelings, the endorphins, and afterthoughts are still lingering in my head. Here, inside my chest, there is a mix of emotions and everything I can’t figure out before I sit down and flush every word out and compound my feeling after what is happening throughout the five-day program.

It was only five days, but I learned and reflected so much that it is commensurate with the amount of wisdom and growth I would have experienced in a year. Although I’m happy because I finally checked one of the big tasks off in June (in fact, I fell into the pit of anxiety just before the first day of the camp) I’m also sad because it’s ending. When I finally said goodbye to my friends who would soon travel back to their hometown for the semester break, and then saw our practice room was empty from music stands and scores and instruments and flashcards and electric fans and laughs and sweat and food waste and the cracking sound from the violin bows and the barking percussion and pitchy notes and wrong rhythms… I was drenched in jarring emotions.

Ada total enam orang yang bekerja keras menyiapkan acara ini, but all the exhaustion pays off when we saw it went well. We are so glad that people are happy participating in the event and experiencing what it feels like practicing not on Zoom calls. Even as an introvert, this social gathering didn’t eat my energy up as much. This is exactly the evidence that giving is a powerful pathway to happiness. Or, as Leo Tolstoy would say “The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity.” Today, I learned about the connection between altruism and pleasure.

Running this summer camp has taught me what it means to have a solid team, good communication, consistency, and ~positive vibes~ in doing immense work. You have to make a fuss over petty details and always look at the brighter side simultaneously. You have to be (very, very) devoted, disciplined, and enthusiastic because positive energy radiates and impacts others.

Lo tau apa yang bikin gue bangga sama acara ini? Kita bisa bikin kegiatan yang selalu tepat waktu. Selalu. When we told the participants to come at 10 am or 1 pm, they did. Every. Single. Time. Mungkin karena panitia mengancam dengan denda yang sampai sekarang tidak kita kasih tahu nominalnya (haha). That’s actually a good strategy. Tapi yang penting di sini adalah bahwa aturan kedisiplinan bisa banget ditegakkan untuk orang Indonesia yang jamnya karet.

At that point, I learned that forcing people to be disciplined is not supposed to be overburdening buat instead, it’s liberating. Dengan datang tepat waktu, kita membuat waktu latihan lebih lama. Kita tidak membuat orang-orang yang sudah datang tepat waktu jadi kesal karena menunggu. The frustration of waiting is real, folks. Disiplin artinya menghormati orang lain dan consequently makes the following activities much more effective from the get-go. Enthusiasm also grows from this habit.

Untuk yang belum tau Orkes Unpad, ini adalah UKM orkestra mahasiswa Universitas Padjadjaran yang terhitung baru berdiri. Total anggota dan alumni kita tidak banyak, dan juga musik yang dimainkan tidak bisa yang requires high technical skills karena belum banyak yang jago. Sebelumnya aku pernah dapat nasehat dari pengurus lama bahwa bahan musik untuk UKM ini tidak boleh terlalu sulit karena tidak mungkin dimainkan. Tapi guess what? Selama summer camp ini, kita untuk pertama kalinya melatih lagu dengan teknik lebih sulit daripada biasanya. Dan anehnya, people can play it very well. Extremely well. It was an insane phenomenon it could give you an instant goosebumps. Even our music director, Kak Dika, acknowledged the quality we offer at the end of the practice session.

Pencapaian ini tidak melulu disebabkan oleh skill individu pemain yang meningkat. I’d rather melihat bahwa para pemain bekerja dua kali lebih keras untuk memantaskan diri bermain lagu-lagu sulit. We’re doubling-down the energy and attention we used to give in a practice session. Ini adalah bukti bahwa manusia akan selalu memantaskan dan menyamakan derajatnya pada standar yang sudah ditetapkan. Ketika sejak awal kita membuat standar rendah, we’ll never improve across the predetermined line.

Dengan bermain dengan baik, di saat yang sama aku merasakan pengalaman menjadi pemain orkestra yang sebenarnya. It was surreal to be surrounded by majestic voices all around you as if you were sitting in a cinema, except you produce the sounds yourself. You are a part of the harmony, the constellation of melodies, and the energy it creates. These moments were priceless and sent shivers down my spine.

Overall, this event has evoked some of the best wisdom I might never learn from other occasions. It once appeared to be daunting to run an intense and long event, but it turned out very well and was worth the effort. The power a group of people can have to generate big things is undeniable, and I’m proud to be a part of it.

(note: jangan lupa follow ig @orkesunpad)

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