William Blake once wrote...
"I give you the end of a golden string,
Only wind it into a ball;
It will lead you in at heaven's gate;
Build it in Jerusalem's wall."
And so, I give you the end of a golden semester. Not only have I triumphantly reached the end of 15 weeks of grueling conservatory classes, but I have now finished my first semester of graduate school. I am humbled when I look back and think of my first college class as it occurred 6 years ago. 18 year-old Jared sat in college algebra and had no idea that he would attempt a Master's degree on day, or that it would be in music. I was on a track to enter architecture school, but music resumed its alluring call. For those that don’t know, after high school, I earned an Associate’s degree in Architectural Drafting and then returned to a four year college to study Music Performance.
Let me just say, graduate school rocks! I love my classes, I love my professors, and most importantly, I love what I have learned. In a single semester, I have seen myself grow tremendously as a musician and as a person. Thanks to often mind-bending classes, such as Future of Classical Music, I have learned to think and analyze in ways I had never previously considered. In particular, I contemplated my role in the future and history of music. I haven’t developed a Beethovian posterity complex, but I am much more keenly aware of what I can do to leave my mark, and make music last in this world. To me, the biggest determining factor regarding the prosperity of music in the future will be collaboration. Any art form that simply prances about alone will not endure. The arts must come together! The arts in general fight against an erroneous stigma in society today. They have to strive harder to prove their appeal and legitimacy over cultural giants such as athletics and sporting events.
So again I say, thank you to everyone for an amazing semester. I have enjoyed reading your posts and engaging in passionate discussions with all of you. Let us all be grateful that we have been a part of this education experience. An experience that is yet another lesson in the life-long pursuit of continual growth and knowledge.