What Juilliard Means to Me: Year 2
Last year, I wrote about what Juilliard meant to me as an incoming student. I was completely new to the school and I had no idea what the year would hold for me. I wrote about the exciting people I’d just met and how inspired I was by all of the new experiences ahead of me. Now with a year on the books, that all holds true, and I’ve understood what Juilliard means to me a bit more. After one year, I’ve found that Juilliard means:
Before I came to Juilliard, and in my first few months here, I knew that the name held quite a bit of prestige. I knew the school had a large number of notable alumni and that it was known for providing a top-tier education in the arts. Now, I know how and why Juilliard is such a big name. Here, I know that I am being given the instruction and the tools to thrive as an artist. I know that my teachers and instructors care about how I am doing in class and in my lessons. They know who I am and they know the tools I need to excel in whatever I’m doing. Juilliard’s excellence doesn’t just come from the success of their alumni (though there is quite a bit of that) but I also feel as if I’m able to achieve excellence while I’m still studying here.
To me, opportunity at Juilliard doesn’t just mean performance opportunities. Though I am able to perform to my heart’s delight, I am also given opportunities to learn and experience things that I may not have been able to otherwise. Being in the arts capital of NYC and living right next to the Met Opera, New York City Ballet, and the NY Philharmonic allows me to see performances and artists that I wouldn’t have a chance of seeing anywhere else.
I’ve been able to meet some of my idols, such as Frederica von Stade and Joyce DiDonato.
I’ve been able to perform with singers from the Met Opera Lindemann Program. I’ve been able to see discount Broadway shows! :-) I’ve been able to see and learn new things that I otherwise would not have had the opportunity to.
One of the most inspiring and uplifting sounds is the sound of hundreds of different instruments being played in the fourth floor practice rooms. I can walk down the hallway and hear 10 different cello suites and piano sonatas being played at once; it creates a beautiful harmony that makes me want to go practice as soon as I can. I am so inspired by my fellow students every time I see an orchestra concert, an opera, a dance performance, or a play. Being surrounded by so much talent is daunting at first, but it became a way for me to motivate myself whenever I was lacking motivation.
When I think of Juilliard, the thing I love most is the community. I feel so much support and encouragement from my classmates, and I have a little built-in family with the 8 other singers in my class. We lift each other up and we are a solid support system for each other. I know that if I’m struggling, there are students and faculty who are willing to help with any issue I’m having. Since it’s such a small school, I know almost every name and face of everyone here. The community at Juilliard is what keeps me going on my bad days, and I know that these people will be there for me even after we’ve left.