Mysteries of the Music Division (As told by a Drama Student)

Mysteries of the Music Division (As told by a Drama Student)

This past week I decided to leave the familiar west wing of the third floor, home to the actors, to explore where musicians might hang out.

This is what I found:

MUSICIANS ARE EVERYWHERE!

They're in the student lounge, they're on the front steps, they're all over the fourth and fifth floors, and there really isn't a place at Juilliard where you won't bump into one.

Musicians make up most of our student population so- was I shocked? No.

Unlike dance and drama, the music divisions requires a lot more individual practice. The practicing usually happens in the fourth floor practice rooms.

I walked around the fourth floor, just to see what really goes on. A few steps in to the maze of practice rooms, I found myself surrounded by a cacophony of muffled sound. Almost every room was full. People were chatting at the lockers surrounding the practice rooms, or waiting directly outside one to use after someone. I saw student sprint from their room to the bathroom or water fountain. I quickly realized the hurry was caused by the fact that if you left your room for long enough, the lights went out, meaning that room was fair game. And people weren't shy about conquering the rooms while someone was away.

On the fifth floor, I walked past classrooms that I would have liberal arts in, realizing music classes were being held. Again, music was surrounding me. I passed an Alexander technique class with the student playing their instruments while being examined by the class. I passed the library that was packed with music students, there wasn't another actor or dancer in sight. And on the second floor, I found musicians working in the mail room, in the computer lab, brushing by student accounts, at the vending machines.

Drama is a small small division, there are only about eighty of us in total. But there are roughly 600 musicians and Juilliard. I realized this past week that, while we take classes and perform with our group constantly, there is a lot more individual rigor in the music division. Every student seems to hop from ensembles to small groups to individual practice all through the day. Usually with their instrument strapped to their back, or being pushed in front of them.

What would you be interested in learning about the music division?

-jlj

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