Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Gear Up for Grad School

By Kat Supina

Getting a master’s degree in voice performance is a common next step after a bachelor’s degree. You’ve picked your school and have an amazing teacher lined up, but you’re only signing up for a handful of credits compared to your undergraduate degree. In some aspects, grad school is simpler because you don’t have general education requirements to worry about, but this newfound free time is really built in for you to become the musician you’re striving to be.

Your schedule will look different compared to undergrad. Your days will most likely be filled with opera or song literature seminars, theory, acting class, voice lessons, coachings, and rehearsals. A master’s degree is essentially a performance degree with academics sprinkled in, as opposed to an academics-heavy bachelor’s degree. Your focus is going to be on absorbing repertoire and performance techniques. With the guidance of your teachers and coaches, you will develop the skills necessary for building a career as a musician.

Organization is key. Create a system for yourself when it comes to class notebooks and repertoire notebooks. Have clean copies of your music and copies that are purely for note taking, translating, and diagramming. Recording your lessons and coachings are so easy to do from a voice memo app and can help you organize your thoughts.

Be patient with yourself. Graduate school is a completely different animal. You will go through a lot of vocal and personal changes, and it’s easy to be too hard on yourself. Remember that you are pursuing your craft for the love of it and that it won’t always be easy. Pursuing a degree isn’t about the piece of paper at the end – it’s about what you learn and achieve along the way.

Now go forth, grad student, and enjoy the next step of your musical journey!

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