The Composition of Goals

What is the best advice you've ever received and why? Explain in detail.

The most insightful, relevant advice I have ever been given was the suggestion that ultimately shaped my career goals-to pursue a major in music theory and composition.

During the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of high school, I continued my involvement with the University of Michigan's piano preparatory program and was studying piano with a doctoral candidate in performance, Alan Huckleberry. At our first or second piano lesson together, I mentioned that I was also interested in composition. A few weeks later, after working through my traditional repertory, I played a recently completed piano piece for him. He asked me more about my compositional background, and he finally suggested, "You should major in theory or composition. You really have the mind for it, and not many people can both play and compose."

Throughout that summer and the following school year, I thoughtfully considered pursuing Alan's advice and focusing on composition instead of performance. My new teacher, Kelley Benson, who also happened to be the coordinator of the preparatory program, embraced my new college plans and introduced me to Andre Myers, a doctoral candidate in composition who was searching for composition...

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