A CSU student watches the sun rise

Happy New (Academic) Year!

And Happy Solar Eclipse Day! I hope this first post finds you all well, and excited for the new year. I took a blog hiatus for a bit last spring, but I am resuming with a slightly different focus for this year. Even though there are a lot of very good blogs about careers in music and the arts, I want to give you my personal perspective and thoughts from articles and postings that I find particularly interesting.

This is a good time to take stock of your goals and your plans for the new year. I am guessing that readers of this blog are students, whether high school, in college, or beyond. If you’re in high school and thinking about studying music in college, fall is a perfect time to think about what kind of life you would like to have as a musician. Keep in mind it’s not always a straight line!  Look for schools that fit your needs: degree, faculty, performance opportunities, and facilities. Also, schedule a lesson with a faculty member – remember that this is someone you’ll be with for four years, so this is really important! Visit a campus, sit in on classes, talk with current students. It may seem like a lot of work, but you want to be sure your college of choice is a good fit.

Dawn of a new academic year at Colorado State University. Photo by CSU student Ben Thomas (@itsbentumnus on Instagram)

If you’re reading this as a current university student, think about where you are in your studies. Are you taking advantage of all of the opportunities available to you? I’m talking about non-musical as well as musical opportunities, such as working with your composer friends, being part of the event staff so you get experience in that realm, or other aspects of life as a musician. We have to wear a lot of hats as musicians (more about mine in the next post). Networking is important because you never know where a friendship or collaboration might lead in the future. And remember that talking with people is still important, especially in this age of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

I encourage all of you to make a list of your goals for the year-as a person, as a musician. Keep it handy so you can look at it on a regular basis and make changes as you need. My goal list is quite lengthy, as usual, so take small steps if yours feels overwhelming. You will find your own routine.

So, take charge! The semester is just getting started here at Colorado State, but I am very excited about this year.

Until next time,
Margaret Miller
Assistant Professor of Viola
Coordinator, Graduate Quartet Program
Undergraduate Coordinator, LEAP Institute for the Arts
School of Music, Theatre, and Dance


8 thoughts on “Happy New (Academic) Year!”

  1. Deep Jandu says:

    Am also excited for the coming year. Being a music student in Malaysia, I have set my musical goals to achieve.

    1. Jennifer Clary Jacobs says:

      Happy New Year and best wishes for your studies this year!

  2. frepyaget says:

    2018 is about to start Happy new year to all, I am about to start my educational career soon.

    1. Jennifer Clary Jacobs says:

      All the best to you this year!

  3. David says:

    All the best to every student! Keep doing your best.

    1. Jennifer Clary Jacobs says:

      You too!

  4. David says:

    Happy New Year everyone. Looking forward for good stuff like this.

  5. Vicky says:

    Music is something I always wanted to learn but my studies are over, I’m thinking of taking piano lessons. I think I should go for it because age doesn’t matter when it comes to learning something. I know this article is intended towards students, what are your thoughts Margaret about my learning?

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