Juilliard Vocal Arts | A Week in the Life

[singing in a foreign language
with piano] This is a very special week for me at
Juilliard because I’m presenting my third-year recital. At Juilliard, we get a
recital- style performance every year. In your
third year, they say “OK, you get twenty- five minutes to sing whatever you
want.” And it’s one of the first times I can really say, “I found this beautiful
music that I want to share with you and I really believe in it so join me in
this experience.” [singing in a foreign language
with piano] The focus of the Vocal Arts curriculum
is how do you sing honestly. How do you perform honestly? I am from South Africa.
In my junior year of high school, I came to the States on
exchange. We had come to New York five or so times just to visit, and every time we
would leave I would be like, “that’s that’s where I want to be.” It clicked for
me–whoa this is actually what I want my life to be.
[singing in a foreign language with piano] I take the subway to school,
and I use the 66th entrance mostly, but before I go into the building, I get my
coffee from coffee carts over there. It’s the cheapest. Being at school is kind of
my most productive time, so I like to come in early, sit by the windows. It’s
like a ritual. You kind of want to be ready for anything, at any point in the
day. We have this schedule with our classes that we know happen every week.
But then on a Friday, we get another schedule with all of the extra stuff.
Juilliard gives you space and the means to produce your own work. It’s really
inspired me to keep searching out those experiences. This is my favorite thing
about Juilliard. All of these students and artists who are here, and they’re
willing at your fingertips–that is something I actually didn’t foresee, but
it’s the thing that I don’t want to live without now. When you’re singing in
operas your go-to language of expression it’s probably not gonna be English.
Learning what you’re saying and understanding what you’re saying in
these different languages within a song or an opera is essential. –ITALIAN TEACHER: “In Neapolitan,
you double everything so that it will be the only place you can say ‘amore’, OK
with two M’s. But don’t overdo it, because we are not
Neapolitan. We don’t need to sound fake either do you see? Allora.” –We are
not just being recorded for people’s ears, we’re on stage
so with John Giampietro, when we come together in the class he asks us what we
noticed, and then he says, “Okay so let’s play with that.” –ACTING TEACHER: “What does it take for you
to be present in this moment. Despite everything else that
we drag in with us.” I’m in a scene in Handel’s ‘Orlando’ in the
showcase that we’re having. We get language coachings
on that, and we get music coachings and then we also get drama coachings,
essentially what’s it gonna look like. The amazing thing is just that you have
different people’s opinions and that helps you really establish your own
opinion. [singing in a foreign language with piano]
–VOICE COACH: “Oh, I love that.” –Going to a voice lesson with Marlena is like the thing that you work
for every day. [singing warmup] –MARLENA MALAS: “This whole thing
that we’re doing the big word is trust and
not “make,” but “let.” You want the most efficient, the most beautiful, the most
elastic, the most flexible that gives you a palette of colors and the ability to
communicate the text and the music of the composer. However,
it is your choice. [singing in a foreign language
with piano] I think Juilliard really sets up the
curriculum very well in terms of–you have more choice the further along in
your degree you are. Modernism in Opera is taught by Dr. Anne-Marie Reynolds.
We’ve got composers in Modernism in Opera. We have singers–instrumentalists,
mostly. We watch two operas every week and you write, like, a 300-word
response and then when we get to class, we have a big discussion about it. –ANNE-MARIE REYNOLDS: “Yeah, it’s
almost like a reversal, in a way isn’t it? Because they are not
that way in the opera. It’s a switch!” –Steve Laitz got me to fall in love with
music theory. It’s like a deeply meaningful course to me. I had no idea
how many people would show up to the recital. My friends were there; some of my
professors were there. It meant the world. My default is to push, and it takes real
courage for me to let go. And in my recital, honestly, it’s the
first time I’ve publicly done what Marlena and I have been working on. And I
feel proud–maybe not in every moment– but in some moments, the important ones for
me, I trusted. [singing in a foreign language
with piano] I think one of the most amazing things
about Juilliard is the confidence it instills in me. They’re saying, “Believe in
what you’re saying, believe in your work and if you believe in it, they’ll believe
in it.” [singing in a foreign language
with piano]

65 thoughts on “Juilliard Vocal Arts | A Week in the Life”

  1. THIS is literally my dream. I live in Paris, France right now but I've always felt this pull to NYC just like her.
    I will be going in New York for the first time this summer, actually and I was wondering if we can have tours of the campus and all. I was also wondering if you were looking for voices technically mature or young voices with great potential but not the whole package, technically speaking. Because if it is more the first option, then I need to wait a couple of years more to improve technically but if it is the second option I may be able to apply sooner than I expected.

  2. What this singer gets at Juilliard is what’s promised at many conservatories, including my own, but it rarely actually is the case. the support and respect she has from colleagues and teachers is what I wish I had. It must be amazing and help her so much in her learning and development, being in such a healthy and supportive environment. Brava!

  3. I wish I could get my voice back from being sick so much. I need to get back into singing.. I wish so much to improve into something I could feel comfortable to actually push myself into lessons. There’s a voice coach I know who gave me a few pointers and that was helping me, but then I kept getting sick and my voice let leaving. It’s probably been 4 months since I’ve been able to sing, even just a little.. 😕

  4. Why do so many women vocalists in academia have short cut hair? Like guys and their long hair in rock. Is it a requirement? Now I'll be attacked relentlessly.

  5. If I could, I would study opera as a career right now! I’ve been in love with it ever since I learned about it in college and it has lead me to join two Choral societies I absolutely love! I wish I could sing as beautifully as she does!

  6. Based on what is shown in this video, it seems like the Vocal Arts program at Central Washington University is very similar to that of Julliard.

  7. 4
    Brünnhilde confronts Siegfried. That is to say,
    Two singers have been patiently rehearsed
    So that their tones and attitudes convey
    Outrage and injured innocence. But first
    Two youngsters became singers, strove to master
    Every nuance of innocence and outrage
    Even in the bosom of their stolid
    Middleclass families who made it possible
    To study voice, and languages, take lessons
    In how the woman loves, the hero dies . . .
    Tonight again, each note a blade reforged,
    The dire oath ready in their blood is sworn.
    Two world-class egos, painted, overweight,
    Who’ll joke at supper side by side, now hate
    So plausibly that one old stagehand cries.
    —#JamesMerrill (1926-1995), from “The Ring Cycle”, A SCATTERING OF SALTS, 1995

  8. Hi.
    I live in Australia and have just turned 15. I have been singing for my entire life, but have been taking lessons for the past few years. I have only recently swapped from studying musical theatre vocally, to classical. I have also realised that this is my dream school. A place where I can learn, do what I love with people who love music as much as I do.
    Any tips on how I can get there??

  9. What she feels there is exactly what I feel like ive been getting at my university. I got to Western Washington University and I feel like the professors here are so supportive and help you grow so much.

  10. Sorry sorry I am not being critical but this students have no vocal color! What are these teachers talking about color? These voices sound lifeless including the one from this student. Also they are the size of a mosquito!

  11. The fact that she is living out my dream speaks the most. I've always dreamed of schooling here and to see her there from South Africa (like me) proves that hopefully with hard work, I'll be there as well.

  12. I libve in California and I really feel a connection to NYC. Its like my home for some weird reason. I really wanna attend. In 8th right now. Only like five more years or maybe four so I can attend . I have an idea on what my choice for auditioning to get into Julliard is. Its gonna be " Burn" from the musical Hamilton. Love it.

  13. Omg i want to be a student as soon as I graduate from cook county high school(in Georgia)I have always been interested with the arts ever since I was a little girl and just dreamed of having singing as my career. The thought of new york and this college is very intemidating(because im from georgia) so I am going to be very nervous applying for this…..

  14. I am 20 yrs old and was never taught to sing professionally. Is there any possibility for me to be accepted in this school? It may sound silly, but ya, I don’t even know if I can at least dream about it
    Now I’m a third year student of translating studies and don’t know what to do after graduation, all I know is that I cannot imagine my life without music and really want to study there.
    Ugh ya.

  15. watching this video i felt a change in me. maybe not a change, more like a settling into place. i've really been struggling recently with what the hell i want to do with my life. i watched this video, and i knew that this is what i want my college life to look like. maybe not with julliard specifically, maybe not with even vocal arts. but the passion that comes with being at an arts school would be it for me. waking up every morning to perform is my dream. i want to act. i need to act. and this video, maybe not directly, lead me to having this epiphany. just watching this girl's daily life at a school of the arts has inspired me to pursue this dream. even though it will be scary. and there will be times when i will struggle. but this is what i want to do. i know it.

  16. I'm 14, but im professionally trained in musical theater and pursuing opera. I've been acting and singing since I was 9 and my voice coach has told me that she believes that I could get a scholarship to Juilliard. I'm hoping to get into Juilliard, NYU, or UCLA one day!

  17. What qualifications do you need to get an audition? Are there specific high school GPA requirements for the vocal arts major?

  18. I have been wanting to go here all my life and now it's time for me to really thing about college hope I can go here in the future

  19. I know her…we were once together at University of Cape Town in South Africa . I'm still at UCT …however I wish to further my studies in Julliard.

  20. I have a really important doubt. If I want to apply for vocal arts, I have to know how to sing opera? I mean, are vocal arts just focus on opera? Not in another genre of music? Thank you.

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