This week, I got to participate in a recording session with my choir, the University of Illinois Chamber Singers! We have done a few recording sessions, and we performed informally outside last semester, but this more formal affair was a much-needed return to the performing on which our group thrives.
It’s Saturday, which means I’m back at the Music Ed. Annex. Of course I should be working on chapter two of my dissertation, but after getting back from a walk around the Spurlock Museum and Alice Campbell Alumni Center, I figured I would put it off for a few more minutes and write a blog post. Hold on though, this is a turn from the fun posts and more about the necessity for self-care while working towards a PhD in Music Education.
If you know me, or if you’ve read my “about me” on the blog, you’ll know that I am a violinist exploring conducting! Here are a couple of reasons why I’m considering this as my next step:
Audition season for graduate music programs is a crucial time for music school seniors. Applications open around September, pre-screening videos are due by December 1st, live audition invitations are sent later that month or in January, and auditions typically occur throughout February or March. My virtual live auditions were mostly in February, but this past weekend, I completed the last audition of my season, for the Curtis Institute of Music opera program.
As a sophomore, I have definitely have learned the necessary tools one needs to have a successful academic life so I decided to share my thoughts and what I learned with those who may need the advice the most. I hope this list of items is a helpful tool for current and prospective students in a (hopefully) less stressful college life.
My freshman year has certainly been an interesting one with ups and downs, new restaurants, new friends, a pandemic, and the list goes on. I’ve picked up a lot of new information over the last semester and a half that has made life a lot easier, in serious and silly ways. I hope you all enjoy, and maybe learn a thing or two if you’re someone entering college!
One year ago this week, the music stopped. We had our last rehearsal. No masks. Standing shoulder to shoulder. Plenty of emotions, confusion, and fear that we might not sing together again for quite some time. That our community was somehow dissolving, disappearing with the distance that was being implemented. I was afraid. Afraid of losing this connection and the ability to make music, afraid of losing the bond that I had with the singers around me, but more than that, I was afraid that Covid might take my friends away from me.
You did it! You’re done! You’ve made it through the college visits, prospective lessons, pre-screening tapes, and auditions! Now, before you go and do anything else, congratulate yourself and take some time to relax. You have made it through the most difficult part of the music school admissions process and you deserve a break.
Then, before you know it, the acceptance letters start coming in and you are forced to start deciding where your home will be for the next two to four years. Although this may seem like a daunting decision, it can actually become quite easy if you consider three important factors when weighing offer letters and schools against one another. In my experience, the three most important things to consider are location & community, your primary teacher, and the cost.
One of the great milestones of any undergraduate music student’s career is their senior recital, which truly serves as a culmination of the previous four years. I am just over a month from giving my senior recital and finishing off my musical requirements here at the University of Illinois.