Diverse Paths to a Single Goal

THIS ESSAY WAS FOR UNDERGRAD TRANSFER APPLICATIONS: Why did you decide to pursue music as a career?


At the age of five, when most of my peers aspired to be astronauts, princesses or cowboys, I had already decided to become a musician. It was not until almost fifteen years later, however, that I settled upon not only the specific aspects of music that I desired to study, but the reasoning behind my final career choice.

Soon after my music studies commenced, I decided that my goal was to become a concert pianist. My reasoning was simple: piano was something that I enjoyed and was also a field in which I showed some promise. Though I began composing almost immediately upon beginning formal piano lessons, I still considered composition a secondary interest and not necessarily something that I would pursue exclusively. Nonetheless, I continued writing music; almost unknowingly preparing myself for what would become a significant component of my future career.

As I transitioned from elementary school to junior high, I began to compose more often, at times sacrificing practice time at the piano (something for which my teacher berated me on occasion). I was given the opportunity to perform some of my compositions in my preparatory program’s studio class as well as in recitals. I found playing my own works almost more satisfying than...

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