My Journey to Juilliard
A question I’m often asked about my Juilliard experience is what it takes to get in. I wish I had a magic answer—just practice this many hours a day, or just get a recommendation from this person—something to guarantee a successful application and audition. In my experience, there are no guarantees with this process; all you can do is work hard to present the very best version of yourself.
When I applied to schools for an undergraduate degree, I was set on attending a university program and thought a conservatory wasn’t the right fit for me. I was unsure if I wanted a career in music, so I explored other things: I studied math, I took classes in marketing, I looked for business internships… if you asked me where I would have ended up four years later for a master’s degree, I probably wouldn’t have guessed Juilliard. So what changed?
Somewhere around my junior year, I realized that math wasn’t going to cut it. I was constantly escaping from problem sets and exams by practicing. I had always loved music, but I had to try out a lot of other things before I decided that there was truly nothing else I could really see myself happily doing. Once I made the choice to fully pursue music, I was committed to becoming the best I could be, which meant securing the best education. I set my sights on Juilliard for a master’s degree, and I was determined to gain admission.
I’ll admit, preparing my auditions was hard work, especially after four comfortable years of undergrad, where people already knew who I was and didn’t have to prove my ability, my passion, my commitment. Thankfully, I had a solid network of teachers, family, and friends who supported me every step of the way. After a lot of hours in the practice room, a pre-screening recording, and a live audition, I finally found myself opening an acceptance letter months later. There may have been a lot of difficulties along the way, but somehow I made the journey from sitting unhappily in a Math classroom to studying at one of the best music schools in the world. It was hard work getting to Juilliard, but it was worth every minute of it.