A Day in the Life: First Year Vocal Arts
A day in the life of a Juilliard student is incredibly busy and wonderfully exciting! Juilliard schedules so many things for students to do during the day so I often find myself going to be bed feeling very accomplished from a full day of work. The following is a typical day at Juilliard for a First Year Vocal Arts Student.
9:00am-12:00pm – CLASS
One of the questions I’ve been asked the most since arriving at Juilliard is “what are your classes like?”. Juilliard is a music conservatory but offers a diverse array of other classes as well. As singers, we take Music Theory, Ear Training, Piano, and Italian Diction, but we also have classes like Liberal Arts, Italian Language, Movement, and Acting already built into our schedule. I love to sing but I have a lot of other interests as well. For me, this is one of the best parts about school! Juilliard places a strong emphasis on producing well-rounded people who are literate, critical-thinkers, and good writers, in addition to great performers. Some of my favorite things about the classes at Juilliard are the sizes of classes and the individual attention I get. My largest class here is 16 people and my smallest class is 1 person. The small size of classes allows for more individual learning. Juilliard also offers free tutoring for many of the classes. I feel as though my teachers really care about me learning the information, not just passing the class (there is a big difference). Juilliard classes also begin no earlier than 9am (versus 8am at most schools). Can’t beat that!
12:00-1:00pm – LUNCH
The food at Juilliard is excellent! The Juilliard/SAB Café offers so many options that can accommodate many different dietary needs. Students have access to a Salad Bar, Sandwich Bar, Sushi, Pizza, Burgers, Soups, Fruits, Vegetables, and so much more, all covered on the meal plan. The staff is incredibly friendly and very responsive to suggestions and comments that you might have about the cafeteria.
1:00pm-4:00pm – CLASS/FREE TIME
After lunch, I generally have one more academic class left in the day, and then have a bit of free time starting between 2:00 and 3:00pm before my 4 o’clock Vocal Arts Classes begin. This is one of very few free times that I have during the day, so I try to do as much as I can in this hour or so. I often get a jump on homework, check my mailbox, or take some ‘me time’ if necessary. I do my best to be productive during this time, but seeing as it’s one of the biggest breaks I have in my week, I sometimes spend it binge-snacking, Facebook-ing, or relaxing. Many of my peers have this hour break scheduled in the morning so they can sleep in longer on some days.
4:00pm-6:00pm – VOCAL ARTS BLOCK
After we finish our academic classes, Juilliard singers begin the Vocal Arts Block, a two-hour time slot which is blocked out of every singer’s schedule. This time is reserved for Vocal Arts Specific Classes such as Movement, Acting, Alexander Technique, Phonics (International Phonetic Alphabet), and many others. The schedule between 4 and 6pm is different every week and is sent to us as an individualized weekly schedule. Sarah, who works in the Vocal Arts Office, is hard at work each week trying to coordinate rehearsals, coaching, and other events into everyone’s schedule. She is, as I like to say, a ‘scheduling superhuman’. For me, the high points of the Vocal Arts Curriculum are the Acting and Movement Classes. In an ever-changing Opera World, the Juilliard School recognizes the importance of producing singing actors who can move, not just good singers. Our education is always being adapted to best fit the needs of an adapting career. There is truly no program like ours!
6:00pm-11:00pm– Homework, Practice, Eat, Sleep, ∞
After daily classes are finished, the possibilities are endless for how the night can be spent. As mentioned in every other blog of mine, I am not often in the habit of missing meals, so I usually eat at 6pm following Vocal Arts Classes. For the rest of the night, I like to get started on my homework and practicing right away so I can enjoy some time to myself at the end of the night. I don’t always achieve this goal, but it’s good motivation for me to stop procrastinating, if nothing else. The homework load at Juilliard is manageable with the proper time-management.
11:00pm-9:00am – SLEEP
Because of the long school days, I try to make it my goal to be in bed by 11:00pm (This doesn’t always happen, but I can dream, can’t I?). The hardest thing for me, so far, has been forcing myself to put my phone down before bedtime. My ‘instrument’ is quite fussy and does not like to cooperate when it doesn’t have its proper rest. The dorms at Juilliard make for a very comfortable living environment. My roommate and I both like to go to bed on the early side, so it works out great! The space is great for relaxing and is quite spacious by New York City standards. Juilliard dorms have a million-dollar view of the surrounding areas, too!