Life Stuff, Musical Experiences

First Week of Two Years…

…complete! So far, I say, so good. So very good! I know the last few posts have been about graduate school so I’m sure you’re getting bored. Can’t she write about something else??? Yes. I can. But I choose not to. Why? Because I can also do that. Whoa, crazy, right?

I just finished my first week of graduate school. Will and I were talking yesterday about how we already don’t want to leave. When I graduated Maryville College, I wasn’t ready to leave…so I stuck around for two years and worked. Now that I’ve started my masters, two years seems like such a short time! Think of it this way, at the end of this year, I’ll be halfway finished with my masters degree. I’m taking 12 hours this semester. Apparently a full-time graduate load is between 9-12 hours. Which, to me, is crazy…because I was taking between 20-22 hours at Maryville. So it’s weird only having four classes. I’m sure I’ll enjoy that, though, once the course work kicks in.

Yesterday I had Music Bibliography and Chamber Singers. Music Bibliography is exactly what it sounds like — learning how to research music, annotate music, and correctly site musical references in a music research paper. It’s not actually doing any research…other than researching/learning how to research. It seems like it will be an informative class. The professor is hilarious, too…so that will be nice. After Music Bibliography came Chamber Singers.

Oh.

My.

Gosh.

Chamber Singers was unlike any choral experience I have ever had. I grew up singing in school choirs. During my college career, I sang in two collegiate choirs (one large group and a smaller a cappella group) as well as singing in the community choir on occasion. Plus, I ended up singing in a church choir at the end of my college years.

This experience was incredible. I always love the feelings you get when you’re singing with a choir. But the experience I had yesterday…

We walk into the room and there’s a table full of music that we have to pick up. I didn’t know where to sit so I just sat with the other graduate students. When class time rolled around, Dr Batey took the podium, told us to pull out a piece called “Alleluia” and sing. She had e-mailed us our part placements the evening before so we all picked our part and sang. I guess it was a different experience mostly because I have never been in a choir that can sight-sing a piece that well/at all. Most of the time, in my previous choirs, we would sight-sing a piece…waaaay under tempo. We would get through it, and have to break it down part by part. We sight-read through it once, took the tempo down a little bit, and broke it up into parts. We didn’t have to have the accompanist play anybody’s note because they didn’t know what part to sing, we didn’t have to go over a section multiple times…it was phenomenal. The second piece we sight-read through was a little bit more difficult, changing meters, chromaticism, etc. But still, we sight-read through it, made it all the way to the end, and went on to the next piece.

My favorite part of yesterdays choir experience? Hearing the words “we will not be teaching you notes in here” Thank. God. That is such a waste of the choir’s rehearsal time! Dr Batey said that we had to learn our parts outside of class and come prepared with the parts learned. Hell yes I can do that! I love that I have a reason to practice my choir music! In choirs past, I would practice my part, come into class, and have to learn the part with the people who didn’t practice their choir music so my practice time was basically a waste of time. I ended up learning that pretty quickly so I typically didn’t practice choir music. Now, I have a reason to be prepared! *contented sigh* I love school.

It’s amazing how much your outlook on life in general can change when you’re doing something you love so much. This is how I know I am meant to be in music somewhere. Nothing makes me happier!

I promise tomorrow I will write a real blog post about something other than graduate school. Although, I do remember mentioning in my blog goals when I first started that I wanted to use this blog to update members of my family on things that are happening in my life. So I feel okay about writing about grad school, too!

Until tomorrow, my dear, wonderful BFs!

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