It’s no secret that this semester looks nothing like what a normal semester of college looks like. This is unlike anything I’ve experienced before, and is likely something I’ll never experience again. We are all experimenting with new ways of learning and making music, and while no one really knows how the rest of the semester will turn out, I’m excited nonetheless. Being back in Boulder, surrounded by the resources of the wider university and the students and faculty of the College of Music, I’m reminded of why I decided to be a Music Buff, and I’m so glad to be back.
Theory and aural skills
I’ll be finishing up my last two semesters of theory and aural skills, which I delayed while I studied abroad (a good reason!). In these classes, you learn basic, foundational skills, typically during your first two years as a music student. These classes help with ear training, as well as chords, chords progressions and basic forms of pieces. I wish I could have continued with the group that I started with my first year, but I’m ready to form a new study group!
As I start my junior year, I’ll also be taking some more specialized classes, including arts management, which is interesting to me as a potential career path after graduation. The class is taught through the College of Music’s Entrepreneurship Center for Music, which provides tools and resources to help musicians build sustainable, well-rounded careers.
Another reason I’m excited to be back is the professors. I have had some amazing professors at the College of Music. They are excellent teachers who push me to do better and are able to convey material in a way that really makes sense. My applied teacher, Professor Ishikawa, is always available to talk to me about bassoon literature and techniques, as well as future job prospects and my life trajectory.
When we went online last semester, I was really struggling with staying motivated for practicing. Professor Ishikawa suggested covering a song I like or doing a virtual collaboration with some of my friends to give me a goal to work towards over the summer. Having him as a resource and a confidant really enhances my experience as a student and makes me more confident in my abilities.
Being back on campus doesn’t only mean that classes are starting up again, it also means that I once again have access to the Bettina Baruch Reed Room. As a bassoon player, this space is vital. Of course, I’m able to make reeds in the comfort of my own room at home, but there are a lot of machines that I don’t have access to there. There’s also not much extra space for me to make reeds at home, and it gets a little claustrophobic when everything I’m doing is within 120 square feet. So, the separation in the reed room is helpful.
There are, of course, things on campus beyond the music community, including clubs. I’m very involved in the Bee Club here on campus, which has proven to be a great way to learn about bees and their role in the environment, and to take action to prevent the extinction of the species. I’ve also had the opportunity to connect with local beekeepers, which is a wicked fun way to learn about beekeeping. As the vice president for administration of the club, I also helping plan several virtual fall events, and this spring, we hope to host a local honey sale with BeeSquared Apiaries on campus.
There are also a wide range of things to do on campus that I’m looking forward to: the dining halls will be open again (albeit with some changes from last year), Farrand Field will be open for hanging out between classes again and the libraries will be lending books once more.
Of course, one of the things that I can’t wait to see again is the view of the Flatirons from the newly updated music building. Boulder is a beautiful city with a lot of great things to do both outdoors, like hiking, and indoors, and I can’t wait to go back. There are many reasons for me to be excited to return to CU Boulder, just as there are as many reasons for you to apply! You can start your application online today by visiting the Admissions section of the website.
Rose Hansen is a junior from the suburbs of Boston double majoring in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Bassoon Performance. When not making reeds or talking about bees, she can be found finding the best recipes and the worst movies in existence.