School of Music from a freshman lens

Freshmen speak on their perspectives of the MU School of Music in its diversity, intensity and creativity.


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MU School of Music kick-starts the year welcoming an ensemble group of roughly 50 incoming freshmen. Several students in the class of 2022 vouch for the immediate sense of creativity as well as earnestness within the department.

Auditions for various shows throughout the year took place at the start of the semester. This year’s audition team welcomed a range of students with varying majors. A handful of students in this year’s group of freshmen are double majors and are in fact not music majors at all.

One freshman, Katie O’Russa, who plays the saxophone, intends to double major in both art and music.

“In the saxophone studio there are actually a lot of students who aren’t music majors,” O’Russa said. “It’s just a way for them to stay involved,”

Elizabeth Ihrke, a freshman who plays the bassoon, shared her thoughts on the diversity in majors she has noticed. She said that students who don’t intend to major in music still find value in becoming a part of the music community on campus.

“There are a number of engineering majors involved in the music department and they all love it,” Ihrke said. “It’s certainly hard to balance, but it’s worth it..,because it’s a way to express the creative part of your mind and step away from the traditional academic setting.”

O’Russa also speak on the shift from pursuing music in a high school versus college setting. She associates high school music involvement as more of a leisure activity whereas she compares college level involvement to a long-term passion and potential career.

“In high school, it felt more like a hobby and I feel like if you’re in one of the bands here, it’s more of a deep passion,” O’Russa said. “My high school band wasn’t as intense as it is here; it was just more relaxed. And with the band here, everyone is really talented, so it’s a different experience in that it’s taken more seriously.”

Some students expressed their feelings on involvement in the School of Music from a creativity standpoint as well as a stern perspective.

“[MU School of Music] provide(s) courses of study that prepare students as emerging music professionals in a wide variety of career paths,” according to the MU School of Music’s website.

Julia Gaines, a director at MU School of Music, said students will gain a wide array of skills through music that should prepare them for a career not only in music but also in the general workplace.

Students from the class of 2022 appear to be feeling a sense of creativity and focus with a side of excitement to kick off the year.

Edited by Alexandra Sharp |

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