Mid-Year Artistic Check-in | Student Blog

Thursday, Dec 20, 2018
Maggie Valdman
Admissions Blog
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Maggie in a blonde wig

I have to say I can’t believe I’m already halfway through my third year here at Juilliard.

I have had so many amazing experiences so far and now being a third year, I finally feel as though I have really taken control of my path and my education. All of the wonderful opportunities that I have gotten just by being a student here are beyond anything I ever thought possible. I have just finished my last final and will be on my way home soon. I’m very excited to finally take a small break from all of my studying, singing, working and creating to go skiing and to relax with my family back at home in California. Of course I have many assignments and music to learn for the new semester, but I figure a few days off wouldn’t hurt.

I think one of the most important things that I have learned so far this semester is how to take over every single second of every single day. I have been telling everyone this semester that I feel as though I’ve become a grandmother. In reality though, I think it’s just a sense of maturity that I’ve developed from making good choices and focusing completely on my passion for what I do. Going to sleep at 10 PM as a 20-year-old kind of seems like a crazy thing to do, but the work that I get done throughout the day is completely worth the earlier bedtime. Having a routine and making sure that I stay healthy and happy throughout the process of learning and bettering myself has been so crucial to my success in the semester. Because of the routines that I have put myself through, this semester, I managed to accomplish more than I ever imagined. I was able to perform an opera with my colleagues that challenged us all to go against the traditional structure and “rules” of classical performance. I put together and performed a work of five Russians songs from a cycle by Mussorgsky that I absolutely loved putting together because of the difficult music and extremely interesting dramatic challenges that I was able to take on and excel in. I was also able to keep up great grades, learn so much, finish my ear training classes with a bang and learn a lot of new music. Finally, I was cast in a second opera which I will be performing here at Juilliard and then touring with some of my fellow cast mates in Europe in the summer.

These personal accomplishments don’t even begin to describe the amount of other outside opportunities I have by studying here. This semester alone, I’ve seen about 5 shows at the Met, talked personally with at least 6 of the singers from the Met, got to sing for some incredible people in the opera world, and have gotten to collaborate with amazing musicians, dancers, actors, and other artists. It is so easy to take for granted, occasionally, the immense talent, work ethic, and attention to detail of the artists, coaches, and professors of Juilliard and of New York City.

All in all, I am very ready for this vacation and very much looking forward to next semester. I already have 4 different collaborative performances scheduled in addition to many hours of rehearsals for our upcoming opera.

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you in the New Year!!