After a busy half of the semester, it was finally spring break! It's rare to have days off in a semester with an intense schedule of classes, rehearsals, and performances, and also, I haven't been to any other city after coming to Urbana-Champaign to study; therefore, I decided to go out of town for spring break. Since spring break only lasted one week and the semester was not over yet, I planned to take a day trip to Chicago, which was not far away and was accessible by convenient transportation.
During the February wind orchestra concert, besides playing the piano, I also played two other instruments, the celesta and the whirly tube. I have touched the celesta before and know what it sounds like, so I am somewhat familiar with it. As for the whirly, it was my first time getting to know this instrument. When rotating it, the tube can produce a sound like the wind. Overall, I played three instruments in this concert; it was such a special experience.
I have an extensive background in cello, so when I decided to switch my primary instrument to voice the adjustment was weird, to say the least. I am a junior and I am still adjusting to it, which is fine as I had 9 years of cello education. Learning the proper technique for healthy singing has been a long journey and not a very simple one. I was used to physically playing an instrument, another being, but now I am that being.
When I first found out I had been accepted into UIUC’s voice program, I spent weeks obsessively thinking about dorm living. Which residence hall should I pick? Should I loft my bed? Which residence hall has the best food? The questions came flying and as the eldest child and the first in my family to go out of town for college, I really didn’t know where to start. That whole experience feels so long ago. Right now, I’m nearing my 21st birthday. I’ve left the residence halls and now I have an apartment, living with the same roommate I had during my freshman year. Having an apartment is wonderful, but I loved my life in University Housing, and I would love to offer advice on dorm-life from a music major’s perspective.
Even the most seasoned of practitioners need to refresh themselves on how to practice, and that includes something as simple as how to divide up your time. In my last post, I discussed the importance of adopting the mindset that we have all the time in the world when we are in the practice room (even though we don’t!). But for more methodical thinkers, there are some ways to make our time feel more manageable.