Ever since I can remember, classical music has been an enormous part of my life. I started piano lessons at age 3, violin lessons at age 6, and Haydn’s operas were all that I ever wanted to hear on the tape recorder at home. From a very young age, I developed a discipline of not only practicing every day, but looking into the structure of music and questioning why its composer pieced it together the way that they did. My formal instruction then followed me into high school, where I got to be a part of my school’s orchestra. At this point, I was thrilled to experience music as a collaborative art rather than a solitary one. I even got to compose for them at one point! Getting to play my own music with my peers was probably one of the most full-circle experiences I have ever had. Since then, Swarthmore has offered me the opportunity to not only play in the orchestra, but to take formal courses in music theory and ear training that will ultimately count towards my prospective minor in–you guessed it–music!
Finding out about IES Abroad’s 6-Week Long Music History and Performance Program in Vienna was extremely exciting for me because this program would not only allow me to further my studies in this subject I am so passionate about, but could also completely reinvigorate my love for classical music by showing me where it all began. The academics would be rigorous and engaging, I would also get to explore more of that collaborative spirit in me by training in a chamber group, and at the end of the day, I may even get to see where Haydn himself once lived. Through a series of organized outings and educational trips, I would be transported back in time to the era depicted in all those children’s books I read as a child. I have been given the chance to be utterly immersed in this rich and beautiful culture that so finely molded my identity as a musician, I couldn’t be more grateful for that, alone, and some help from my community would have the potential to make that opportunity a reality.
My scholarship, the Philip Evans Scholars Program, has already graciously offered to cover the tuition portion of the cost, which is already around $5200. Unfortunately, however, I was not granted the additional stipend that I would need for room, board, and travel expenses. Due to my familial financial situation, I was counting on that grant to cover those things so that I could take advantage of this opportunity and go.
In conjunction with my tentative plans to graduate early (both for financial reasons and my desires to offer my service to the Bahá’í faith for a year before I begin working or return to school) and due to the robust and substantial content of the course I will be taking, I have been pre-approved for credit by the Swarthmore Music Department to count toward my music minor. This credit will greatly aid me in the sense that it will be one of the two that I need to obtain during my summers/outside of the school year in order to remain on track and finish ahead of time.
As a dedicated music student and performer at Swarthmore, I am consistently in pursuit of new knowledge and ways to expand in my personal growth. I truly believe that this study abroad opportunity in Vienna would allow me to step out of my comfort zone, step outside myself, and focus solely on the message of the music. If I were to reach my goal on this GoFundMe, this program would tremendously enrich my thinking and broaden my depth of knowledge regarding a style of music which had a big role in making me the musician I am today.
Starting today, I have one week to let the program know if I will confirm or deny my acceptance.
Any donation is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time (:
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