Tag Archives: pressure

Here to Learn

This past Friday, the harp students had a studio class where we all play a piece for each other, give each other constructive criticism, and there’s also a teacher there who critiques as well. I played my piece, and my classmates told me what was good, and what needed work, and that was fine. I appreciated that. Somehow, the criticism from my peers was much easier for me to handle than what came next. I wouldn’t say that the harp teacher who was there (not my harp teacher) tore me apart, and she definitely wasn’t “out to get me.” I know that all of her comments were well-meaning, and she wants me to be the best musician I can be as much as anyone else. And yet, that didn’t stop me from feeling like crap once the class was over.

The class made me feel as though I have no idea what I’m doing, artistically. Maybe this is because my teacher and the teacher at the class tend to have opposite opinions, but it still felt bad, and I honestly don’t want to practice that piece now because it makes me feel like an idiot. I also felt like all the other students had all their pieces in performance condition, when I totally do not. I felt really behind.

Over the weekend I’ve thought about it a lot, and I was reminded of my pre-kindergarten self: I was determined that I had to know how to read before I went to school. I didn’t want to be behind. So, I taught myself to read. I also wanted to know how to play piano before my first piano lesson, but my mom put her foot down on that one. But I think the effects of this Friday’s studio class are an echo of what has apparently always been ingrained in me; I want to be perfect before I even get there, to not need criticism.

Well, newsflash, this is a university. A school. A place to LEARN. If we were all perfect already we wouldn’t be here, right? You’re not expected to know everything beforehand, that’s what your teachers are HERE for. If I could finally just internalize this lesson I think I’d enjoy studio class so much more.

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Filed under Academics, School of Music

Welcome to Well Dressed

As I walk around campus, I can’t help but notice how well dressed everyone on this campus seems to be. I can’t help but think, “Am I the only one around here that didn’t buy a chiffon blouse this summer?”  I mean, I worked at a clothing store this summer so I consider myself capable of getting dressed in the morning, but I suppose that since coming back to Vancouver I haven’t been trying very hard. Possibly because the walk from my place to the music building is 30 minutes, and I don’t want to sweat through all my nice clothes.

Sometimes it can feel like the pressure’s on to dress nicely, but it’s also true that if you aren’t the cutting edge of style no one is going to judge you for that either. This isn’t high school anymore guys; if you just want to be comfortable, rest assured you will not become a social outcast for that.  If you’re cool with what you’re wearing, well you know what, so is everyone else.

All I’m saying is this: students at UBC are a good lookin’ bunch, and I personally feel like I need want to come up to the standard.


P.S. Only 9 days!


Filed under Campus Life