The Music Connection & North State Parent Teen Music Contest Winner

We are happy to announce that Jacob Dotson is the winner of a $400 gift certificate from The Music Connection for his winning essay on the contest theme “Why playing a musical instrument is good for you.”  Congratulations Jacob!

Look for details about the Spring 2013 Music Contest in our January Music and Arts Issue.

Winning Essay by Music Contest Winner Jacob Dotson of Chico:

I started to learn how to play the guitar when I was ten. In these past four years, my passion for guitar has taken me places and introduced me to people I would never have otherwise met.

I am usually quite shy, and meeting people who share my interest in music has been a great ice-breaker and has introduced me to people who have become close friends. I hang out with several classmates and we enjoy frequent jam sessions. Our common interest in guitar was the catalyst, and now we enjoy many other shared interests. The guitar introduced us, but now we are full-fledged friends in general.

When I am playing guitar, I don’t notice time passing. It is endlessly entertaining, if not for my family, at least for myself. The discipline required to improve my guitar playing has also been beneficial for my approach to my school studies. Focusing on my guitar has also improved my ability to focus on other activities and my academics.

Mastering an instrument is challenging and pleasurable. I get a true sense of accomplishment after conquering a new technique or difficult passage. Like in any sport or endeavor, learning guitar constantly motivates one to improve. I believe I could play my entire life and still not feel I had completely mastered the instrument.

The guitar has been a gateway to learning other instruments for me. I have picked up the ukulele, and dabble in didgeridoo on the side. Next I plan to start learning the basics for bass guitar, and, if Neil Young can do it, so can I: I am going to start playing the harmonica!

Learning a musical instrument has been great for me. It has taught me self-discipline, brought me friends, and enriched my life.


North State Parent
About North State Parent

North State Parent is a free monthly publication that circulates within five California counties: Butte, Glenn, Shasta, Southern Siskiyou and Tehama. Our pages are filled with family-oriented places to go, services and products geared for women and things to do; a focus on parenting, community, health, education, teens, youth, and much more.


  1. Dave Schrader says:

    Way to go Jake! Great essay that should be read by all young musicians, parents, and school teachers.
    For those about to rock (or write or read) we salute you!

  2. Lia Kochenderfer says:

    Congratulations on your winning essay, Jake! I’m so proud of you. It was a pleasure to hear you play over the Christmas holiday–you are very talented and I could feel your dedication and passion for the music. This will carry you far. I’ve been playing piano on and off since the age of six, and as you so accurately described in your essay, it does take you new places…new people, new challenges, and new ventures into self discovery. All the best to you and others who are so inclined to pick up an instrument!

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  1. […] we could only pick one winner for the generous prize from The Music Connection (a $400 gift certificate), we want to commend all […]

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