Why I Chose Juilliard
About a year ago this time I was a total stress-ball. Once the excitement of getting acceptances to grad schools wore off and I realized I actually had to choose one, I started to doubt myself. In order to avoid disappointment if I didn’t get in to my top choices, I had told myself that I loved all of the schools I applied to and would be happy to attend any of them…a pretty unhelpful mentality for making a decision. I started to ask a ton of questions about the programs I was considering: Will I learn a lot from this teacher? Can I see myself fitting into this community of people? Is there a good sushi place nearby? You know, the important stuff.
Enrolling at Juilliard has been one of the best decisions I’ve made, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Here are my top five reasons I chose to come here:
1. My teachers.
Jonathan Feldman and Andrew Harley have been incredible sources of knowledge, guidance, and support this year. They are fiercely loyal to their students, and they understand that each one of us is a different musician with different goals. I really look forward to my lessons every week and am so happy with the progress I’ve made. Not to mention, they’re two of the most generous and warm human beings I’ve ever met.
2. The performing opportunities.
Where else do you get to perform in Carnegie and Alice Tully Halls multiple times a year? I’ve had way more opportunities to perform in incredible venues this year than I can count. What’s the point of spending hours practicing if nobody gets to hear the fruits of your labor? There’s ample opportunity to take what you’re learning in your lessons and classes and show it to an audience, which is extremely rewarding.
3. New York City!
It’s pretty awesome to be a young artist in this place. There’s never a shortage of concerts and performances to see (many just across the street from Juilliard at Lincoln Center), and there are so many opportunities to perform and build your network. In the little free time that I have, exploring the many neighborhoods of this beautiful city has become one of my favorite activities. Also, BAGELS. I’ll leave it at that.
4. The network.
People who graduate from here tend to accomplish a thing or two (see above for the talented goddess that is Viola Davis, graduate of the drama program, Group 22). When you come here, you get to enter a huge community of students and alumni that are doing incredible things in their fields. Getting to be part of the Juilliard network and seeing what your fellow classmates and alumni are doing is so inspiring, not to mention extremely helpful for building a career.
5. I trusted by gut.
Obviously, everybody’s circumstances are different, and there are so many factors to consider when choosing a school. At a certain point, I found that after I waded through all the logical stuff—comparing curriculums, financial aid packages, reputations of the schools I was considering—it didn’t matter a whole lot, because my gut was telling to come to Juilliard. I’m so glad that I trusted it. Juilliard has totally delivered on all the reasons that I chose it in the first place.
And yes, there is a good sushi place nearby.