Juilliard Composition | A Day in the Life
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Juilliard Composition | A Day in the Life

August 26, 2019


When I started to practice piano
when I was younger instead of practicing sometimes I would
just kind of tinker away, and no one would really know that I wasn’t really
practicing the right pieces, but I was just kind of doing my own thing, and then
eventually I sort of became more interested in composition as just a path. I really enjoy being at Juilliard for
composition, because you’re essentially just surrounded by the most phenomenal
fellow musicians and educators and faculty to work with. New York is so
immersive in terms of its arts culture that it’s just really wonderful with the
breadth of the opportunities that are available to you. A day for me is busy but
it’s diverse in its activities. Today is just extra special. There’s so
much more happening on top of my regular classes. I study with Dr. Robert Beaser. What we do is, I bring in the music that I’ve been working on and we’ll essentially go
through what I’ve written. He often just throws me so many ideas that I
don’t necessarily have to take but really inspire me and really find a
solution of, oh, I didn’t consider that. But now that I think about that, that’s
actually — that makes a lot of sense, and I I start to think about what I can do
with what he said. — Resonance property of this chord.
— Oh, definitely. — When it comes back as an actual bell.
— Ah, yes. My piece, “Quartered,” was selected to be performed tonight as part of the composition department’s annual orchestra competition. So dress rehearsals in the morning and
the concert happens at night. The piece was something that I that I
had been just sort of working on in its — in its own self as my own project. I
initially started with the last movement, called “Snow,” which is a poem by a
Scottish poet named Carol Ann Duffy, and after I had worked on that, I moved on to
completing the set with all these other songs for the other seasons. It’s just thrilling to hear, not this
midi playback that’s happening as you’re writing the music, and to really hear
live musicians and live artistry happening. Not only is it really exciting but it’s
always a really great learning experience to hear all these things come
to life in front of you. Composition is kind of a solitary sport
but the community is really tight knit and close and we all know each other. Everyone has a really wonderful attitude
of wanting to collaborate and and to do things together and to do art together. I find really engaging with the world
around me is very important in terms of finding inspiration and finding what I
want to bring into when I’m writing. So we have this potential in film
scoring sessions where you record the orchestra in a natural way, but it
conflicts with the contemporary production style. No matter what, there’s always a challenge in terms of artistry because scoring for films is so
much more specific and programmatic and then for our final project we had a
selection of films that we got to pick from. And so we chose one and scored it So advanced counterpoint is a class with Dr. Phillip Lasser. Essentially what the course does is we go through I guess, what we call, species of
counterpoint, from first to fifth to florid and so on and then as we exit
that basic building block we move on to much more interesting things like flip
chorales and crab canons and all these other sort of really fun and exciting things. It’s always a bit of a juggling act
trying to balance between what’s happening during the day when I am
scheduling out or planning out what I’m doing from day to day. I always try and set
aside time for me to just sit and write Finding your compositional voice is one of the major things that all young composers are trying to do and I think
I’m not consciously on a quest to find my own voice, but I definitely feel like
I’m still trying out all kinds of different things and seeing where they
take me. I mean, I’m definitely nervous because
I’m kind of like, “how is this gonna go?” It’s being performed. But when I have that moment where I
hear my music come to life sonically and live for the first time, there’s just a
moment where I, it’s — it’s almost out of body. Like, I have that second where I
feel just lifted and — and elated and excited to hear what I’ve been just so
wrapped up in my mind envisioning really, come out loud and — and in front of me and in person. My world has just been expanded so much more and I’m able to get closer to delving down into really expressing what
I envisioned in my mind. I think that I’ve come a long ways from where I was
before just by being at Juilliard.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I really love what I hear from this work. It was great seeing Dr. Beasler in action for a short time. But, I wish there more videos on composition and maybe on vocal lesions. If anyone likes to talk about Jiiliard I would enjoy hearing from students or professors.

  2. This is such a precious video! I'm inspired.

    I'm in my last semester of undergrad and JUST started studying jazz composition. I'm discovering that I love the art of composing although I'm still a bit new to the whole thing.

  3. Students in Juilliard have the same routine of classes everyday? I mean, this schedule is taken everyday or only have the composition class once at week, theory 3 times at week, etc.

  4. This is awesome 🙂 I've been wanting to go into composing for about 2 years now, so it's nice to see a little bit about the education behind it

  5. The only thing i noticed was when she was discussing her work in progress with the professor, she always had to interrupt with some phrase like "ahh yes" "right" "definitely" while he was still trying to express his point. It was so quick and interjecting that it seemed very much like she wasn't listening to him at all and was trying to remain in control of her piece. Imagine if you were trying to express an idea to someone and every few words they would spurt some random affirmative phrase like "yes" "right" "mhmm" "yeah," it would be very jarring to the conversation and wouldn't make me want to keep working with that person. Just a thought.

  6. This is a very nice sneak peek of what it might be like as a student at Juilliard! I noticed the video is about a Bachelor’s student. I’m wondering what the life of a Master’s student in Composition would be like.

  7. I am an Engineer working for a defence company. Throughout my life, I've only been in the vicinity of other engineers. I had no idea, never did I actually know that music or in general arts can are taught with such a depth. Now that I look at it, I am more interested and would like to hangout with people who aren't engineers so that I can see life with a different perspective.

  8. I thought from the title of the video that she would be writing an arrangement for “A Day in the Life” by the Beatles

  9. This video is enchanting and inspiring to watch! I want to study composition but my degree is not about music and I am just a beginner right now on piano, does someone who wants to specialize in composition should play an instrument as in high level as students in other performance departments? I feel that I have this tendency to write new music frequently and analyze it in depth. However, I studied psychology and I will probably study Neuroscience in a graduate school to be a Neuroscientist in the future but I really wonder at one point of my life can I study composition which is one of my primary passsions as well. If I can play piano in intermediate level or beyond and self-study music theory elaborately and have a motivation to study composition can I make it in a conservatory in my 30s? I want to be a decent composer who knows his craft and can reach high competency in composing rather than being an amateur. Could you give me an idea about prerequisites for studying composition? Thanks in advance to Juilliard and helpful people who will reply! PS. Could you recommend me some solid music theory resources/textbooks that are used in Juilliard to reach high levels starting from beginner to advanced? Thanks a lot for that, too!

  10. Would be nice to hear both the good and the bad parts of being a composition student at Juilliard. How did it compare to your undergraduate place of study? Was coming to Juilliard a huge shift? Is it what you had expected?

  11. I am also a Chemical Engineer by qualification, but I have sacrificed the degree for the sake of promotion and awareness to western classical music education in and around my City, Guwahati, Assam (India) with my students. Being a music teacher (self-taught) by profession, I firmly do believe that this stream (Music) education can cause and foster "Unity and Harmony" amongst all citizen of our Nation and contribute to its cultural development. Thanks to Julliard for the cause.

  12. Unfortunate, today if you're a smartphone or online game your in., today most of the people just don't care about any of this kind of talent. I am a Computer Engineer ., I have no problem finding work. Finding work in performance art's, you have to travel a lot and get paid min wage.

  13. Her explanation of her day is simply wonderful! It shows such life and joy for the world she has delved into. We could use more Annes in the world. Music is love. Keep on fellow composers!

  14. So, this is awesome. I’m aiming for composition at Juilliard or the RCM. So this is a really awesome peak into what composition courses are like at Juilliard. Composition is the best, thanks for this

  15. It's kinda sad to see these highly talented musicians work so hard for their lives while Justin Bieber conveniently sitting on a pile of cash and cars.

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