Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I have always been interested in how music is put together and how and why it makes sense to us. During my undergraduate degree, I was inspired by faculty members who encouraged me to ask deeper questions about musical structure and engage with music not only as a listener and as a performer, but from an investigative perspective. Recent conversations about unjust hierarchies of repertoire - what we implicitly deem fit to teach or unworthy of attention - have served as a platform for beginning this research.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
UBC offers a rich interdisciplinary environment. At UBC, I am able to learn from conversations and courses taken not only with experts in my field, but also from experts in critical theory and educational research. This contact has been invaluable to shaping my research strategy!
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
Above all else, I appreciate the openness that the music faculty at UBC practices towards creative avenues of research. In my case, I have felt encouraged to integrate plans for gathering qualitative data alongside purely musical pursuits.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
Vancouver is in such wonderful contact with nature - I love being so close to beaches and trails. I didn't expect it to be so easily accessible!
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
I am very excited to begin researching in earnest, and being able to share ideas with colleagues as a member of a community of scholars.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
I will be honest: taking a break from school and experiencing upheavals - geographically, personally - have been invaluable in preparing me to enter this graduate program. We often get so focused on our work that we risk losing sight of what else is around us, or not knowing what to do when this "what else" challenges us. Taking some time to make the "what else" the focus has taught me so much about how to contextualize my graduate study.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
I'm currently entering my second year as a PhD student - after a tumultuous first year getting used to an entirely new city, trying many reading/listening/annotating/conference-note-taking strategies with varying results, and experiencing a ton of impostor syndrome, I only have two pieces of advice: ask your supervisor about your progress regularly, and listen when your colleagues and faculty tell you positive things!