As a musician, it is important that I have a strong global awareness. If I do not, then I would not be able to perform music authentically. Music is not a “universal language”, as there exist a different culture for music for every culture of life, just like with languages. Each culture hears and values music differently, and as a musician, it is my responsibility to make my music familiar to those who listen to me. Even in only western classical music, there exist variations in each country. Each nation has different cultural practices and great composers, who all generally created their own styles. Therefore, it is my responsibility as a musician to study and understand what the composer’s intentions and his or her cultural influence to perform with the most authentic sound. In the next several semesters, I will be studying cultural influences of western music in depth through music history classes. Afterwards, I would still be studying each piece I perform individually.
In the future, I also want to gain awareness for Chinese cultures. I want to become more involved with Chinese or Chinese-American student organizations that focus on cultural events and presentations. I was not introduced to them, despite being a Chinese immigrant, and now, I want to relearn some concepts to improve my personal outlook.
The Honors Chemistry sequence was very opportune for original inquiry, as I had many experiences that helped me prepare for undergraduate research. As a sophomore, I will have completed two research projects for lab classes. Meanwhile, my professors occasionally invite other professors to my classes to present their studies. With this encouragement, I have decided to conduct research with a professor in the Department of Chemistry in the summer of 2017, and I intend to research in the future.
Original inquiry is also a significant part of my music major. For every piece I practice, I need to consider three things: how the piece should sound, how I want it to sound, and what I actually sound. First, I should understand the intention behind the composition of a piece. Next, I allow myself to interpret it based on what I know about the piece’s context. Then, I need to listen to myself and adjust so that I sound like what I intend. This is extremely meticulous, and it requires several hours of practice. In my involvements with the Symphony Orchestra, I am still considering these things, only within the constraint of being a supporter instead of a soloist.
I have enjoyed learning about science and music since I was young. Chemistry had always fascinated me because it was unbelievable for me to see two species combine or create different species. They are everywhere; some sustain life while others sustain lifestyles. Music had brought much enjoyment because it taught and exemplified to me the value of hard work and commitment, as well as giving me opportunities to create ideas more sophisticated than I think I can be myself. For my time as an undergraduate, I want to learn as much as I can from both these fields, therefore I am pursuing academic enrichment through my double major in chemistry and performance.
I am aware that in the future, I will need to specialize in one of them. Currently, I want to pursue a career in chemical research. Before that, I am still studying music to enrich myself. I am learning several skills while practicing music, namely creativity, commitment, and learning through experimentation.
I had become involved in many activities that had taught me different assets to leadership. In orchestra, I had discovered what I value in a leader: expertise, criticality, sympathy, and determination. I admire a conductor who has decades of experience leading ensembles, who is always working his hardest to improve the orchestra, who is critical but sympathetic of our performance, and who prioritizes our improvement as an orchestra above all. In small ensemble rehearsals, I learn to balance my personal goals for my ensemble with everyone else’s. I listen critically and communicate suggestions to my colleagues. In the pursuit of research, I learn to communicate professionally to my mentors and to organize my time and resources by managing my time for research along with classwork.
For my career choice, as well as many other careers, skills such as professional communication, creativity, and organization are very important. With a major focusing on research and another focusing on artistry, I will gain much experience in all of the aforementioned characteristics and skills.
My largest service engagement is my scholarship in the Ohio House of Science and Engineering’s Choose Ohio First program. This organization consists of several programs, including tutoring on campus to outreach events towards elementary, middle, and high schools. This organization’s goal is to increase interest in STEM majors for primary school students. I currently work within the organization, creating and analyzing surveys and confirming that others in the organization are providing adequate service hours. In the future, I want to accept more active responsibilities. I want to tutor other students in basic math and chemistry, possibly even in high schools, when my schedule becomes less rigorous.
I would also like to be a more active musician. This would involve helping out other students in their performances, particularly in their recitals or when they are premiering their original compo