Just before commencement we asked a bunch of soon-to-be grads what advice they would give incoming students.
Never compare yourself to anyone else! There are an unbelievable number of talented people at Juilliard—including you—who will do incredible things here. Jealousy and comparison will do nothing but stifle your own growth and slow down your individual journey. Life as an artist is a marathon, not a sprint.
Jakub Józef Orliński
- Be open-minded.
- Study hard and take advice, but remember that you got here because of your own artistry, so stay true to it.
- Be inspired and inspire others with what you have.
- Make friends as soon as possible—these people are amazing and have incredible stories.
- Try to attend as many performances of different divisions as possible.
Juilliard offers a unique opportunity, the Gluck Community Service Fellowship, which I highly recommend to incoming students. Nothing is more satisfying than spending an afternoon collaborating with dancers and actors and sharing our passion for the art we create with those around us. Juilliard showcases brilliant talent across all art forms and this fellowship inspires us to grow together as artists while making a positive difference in society.
A mentor once told me, always practice first if you can, which I found it to be particularly valuable advice here; there’s always a chance you won't finish your work if you leave everything to the end of the day.
- My biggest advice? To not practice more than you need to, which honestly should be about four hours of focus-practicing.
- Explore the city, read books, learn things outside of music (take classes at Columbia!), go to concerts and shows produced by other divisions.
- Look for performance opportunities—there are so many in the city, and they don’t always have to be on a big stage! And I wish I’d known about Hire a Juilliard Performer and project grants when I first entered school.
Historical Performance Violinist
Violinist Jeffrey Girton
Actively work to maintain a balanced life! It’s so incredibly easy to lock yourself in a practice room for hours, and while that is unbelievably important, you should also give yourself mental and physical breaks. Don’t forget your hobbies and the things you enjoy. Work to get all of your work done and also be a well-rounded person—in the long run, it’s incredibly important for your art.
It’s really important to get off campus and explore New York City, especially if you can find some nature—it’s so inspiring! Always show up prepared and be emotionally available to create. Take responsibility for everything you can control that will allow you to be a better artist and colleague.
Historical Performance Violinist
Augusta McKay Lodge
At Juilliard, you have constant performance opportunities, fascinating and useful academic courses, and, of course, your independent projects and valuable practice time—plus discounted tickets to concerts around New York, Remember to take time off every once in a while and see a play, a concert, or a museum! Your time will fly by, so take advantage of everything you can while you’re here.
Master the ability to pace yourself! Juilliard seems incredibly overwhelming when you first arrive, from its sheer reputation to the fact that you’re now surrounded by all the other big fish from every other pond. But if you go into every lesson, coaching, and class with a positive attitude, an open mind, and a sense of ease it will all fall into place. Also keep in mind that things that might not make sense in the moment will eventually, so be open and patient with yourself and don’t stress about the sheer volume of information being thrown at you.
Every single moment at Juilliard is so special—enjoy it and do your best!