Today was my first day of graduate classes. I know I’m a total nerd, but I love school! If you could see my face, it would look like this…
Maybe slightly more human-like…but you get the gist. First and foremost, I must tell you, I passed BOTH of my diagnostic exams. I know that you all were super stressed and worried about it even though I knew it was going to be fine (ha! yeah right…) so I thought you would be put at ease knowing that I did, in fact, pass! I went to the secretary of the music department yesterday to find out my grades and this is about how the conversation went…
Me: “I’m here to find out my test grades”
Secretary: “Okay, what’s your name?”
Me: “Emily. Emadian, E-M-A-D…”
Secretary: “Alrighty….*scans down the page of names*….well, you passed musicology and…”
Me: *processing what she just said as music theory then realizing that she said musicology* “Wait…what?”
Secretary: “You passed history..”
Me: “……are you sure? You looked at the right name…?”
Secretary: “*laughing* Yes ma’am…Emadian, right?”
Secretary: “And you passed theory as well. You’re set!”
Me: (I will not admit to the squeal that happened here)
I asked my advisor if she double-checked to make sure that I really did pass. She said she did. It took me almost all day long to realize that I passed both exams. I didn’t get excited about it until about 9:40pm — I found out at noon. haha :-)
SO – moving on to my first day of classes. Mariana and I decided that we were going to take the bus to school because neither of us wanted to buy parking passes. The parking passes at UT are ridiculously expensive and a bus pass for the entire semester is only $50! I got up this morning, got ready, and left for Mariana’s apartment (there is a bus stop at the end of her complex). We met around 8:00 and caught the 8:15 bus for our 9:00 class. So, in reality, it didn’t really take much extra time to take the bus than it would have if I were driving to school instead.
We made it to school and went to our first class — Advanced Choral Conducting with Dr. Batey. It was the first-day-of-class stuff: introduce yourself, talk about the syllabus, talk about the semester, etc. but to me it was the most exciting moment of the year. The thoughts going through my head during class were “Oh my gosh, I’m finally here” and “I don’t want the next two years to fly by!!!” And I have to say, after being out of collegiate music for the past two years…it is good to be back.
In between conducting class and my second class, I went to the ear training computer lab. I still have two more tests to pass — ear training melodic and harmonic dictations. New graduate students have a week to complete the two sections of the test. You have to pass five melodic and five harmonic dictations with an 82% or better. From the orientation about the lab, it sounded like you really had to get used to the computer program so I decided to go in between my first two classes to start becoming acquainted with the computer program. It’s not as bad as everyone was making it sound but it’s definitely one of those things you have to practice at to get used to. I just did one or two examples so I could get used to the program.
Second class was Music Theory Pedagogy: Aural Skills. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this class. Obviously, I was thinking it would be a class of methods to teach aural skills. Which, technically it is, but it’s approached in a little bit of a different way. As a class, we have to come up with a proposal to present to the director of the music school at the end of the semester. We are acting as a music theory committee at a large institution who is reviewing their aural skills program. So we are going to research different textbooks, music software, techniques, etc to see which best will suit our “program” and ultimately will write a proposal collectively as a class to present. I think it’s going to be really interesting. I’m excited about it :)
After aural skills pedagogy, I went straight to concert choir. That’s one thing I’m not excited about on Monday and Wednesday — no lunch break until 2:10. Concert choir was amazing. It was such a different experience. We did voice placements right away and sight-read through two pieces. AND learned the Latin on the first 4 1/2 pages of the second pice. Sight-reading through the Bach was a little bit of a challenge, but I’m excited for the repertoire that we will be learning in that choir!
Last, but not least, on Wednesdays from 3:30-5:30 I have Choral Literature. It’s basically a study of…you guessed it…choral literature. Today, we talked about Gregorian Chant and the different mass parts in the Roman Catholic church during the times of Machaut and Dufay. It was kind of a review of musicology, too, in a way because we had to review what isorhythm, talea, color, etc were. I have to say, it was good to know what those words meant. Before, I would’ve been thinking “please don’t call on me, please don’t call on me, please don’t call on me”.
We got out a little bit early from choral literature so I went back to the ear training lab to do some more melodic dictations. I ended up passing all five of the melodic dictations that I did so tomorrow I’m hoping to work on the harmonic dictations and get it done and over with! That’ll be nice! Although, when I passed the fifth melodic dictation I was like…”can I do more…?”
…I’m a nerd. I’m just so excited to be back in school!
Day two is tomorrow! Until then, BFs! (I promise all my posts won’t be this long. I’ve just got lots to talk about today!)