Student Group Fine Work (Japan)
"Toward the Future"
Yuki Fujinawa, 3rd Grade, Toyama Prefectural General Needs Education High School for the Visually Impaired

I am a third-year high schooler. I am going to say goodbye to my school that I have been attending since the kindergarten very soon. I will miss it very much because I won't be able to come back to school I liked so much in quite near future. I am very nervous about my future after graduation.
When I was a junior high schooler, I answered, "I want to take the manual therapy course" when I was asked about my future in my junior high school days. The reason was that one of my senior students who I liked very much went to the manual therapy course and that I believed I ought to do the same. But I was told I wouldn't be able to take it because the study would be too hard for my present level. In fact, I wanted to learn massaging and massage the shoulders of my grandmother and other aged people to make them happy. But that chance was gone, and I was so sad.
It was at that time that one of my senior students, who began music career after graduation from a music college, told me he read my essay entered a contest hold by ONKYO Corporation and asked if I would joint the concert he was going to hold. I was not sure if I was qualified or not, but I was so happy when he asked me. So I returned a swift reply, "I'd love to."
Although I had opportunities to play the piano in front of other people, I never played in a concert in my life. What was great about my first opportunity was I would be able to perform with experienced performers, including both amateurs and professionals, who played at various places. I was a bit nervous because I was not sure if I could play well, but my excitement beat my anxiety. My stage time was 15 minutes. I consulted with my mother and together decided what to play there. I was also asked to recite an essay, so I practiced a lot, both the piano and recitation, until the concert day.
Now my debut in the concert came. In the concert hall, I found my family members, my aunts, and my piano teacher. To my surprise, there were also some of the people, who I came to know during my internship, happened to know this concert and came to listen to my performance. I also saw big flowers delivered at the venue, which was another big surprise for me. I had an enjoyable time playing the piano. 15 minutes went by like a flash. A large number of people gave me a big hand. "I love concerts. I love many people listening to my performance." Like my senior students, I wish I could give a concert at various places. I came to think like that. And then, I started receiving many requests asking me to perform. What a happy surprise! I am trying many ideas about what piece of music to play or what comment to make about the program depending on the venue or event. Every performance I did is a very good lesson.
Last May, I joined a charity concert for the victims of the Tohoku Earthquake. I myself am always given the helping hand of many people. Now it's my turn I give others a helping hand. What can I do to attract as many people as possible to the charity concert? So I sent Braille letters to many people, and fortunately many of them answered my letters and came to the concert. Perhaps I was of a little bit of help.
Now I have a feeling the road to my future is getting a bit clearer. I wish I could continue my performing activities like this. I hope many people come and listen to me. It may be an extremely difficult thing to do, but I just want to continue. This dream of mine has just begun to come true, and I will try my best to keep on going five years, ten years and many more years in the future.

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