Mentoring Monday: Time Management & Prioritizing Schedules

Time Management & Prioritizing Schedules
Theresa Whitehead, School of Music Mentor

Time management and prioritizing are important for everyone in many aspects of life. For us as music majors – it’s critical. With our busy schedules, it is essential to figure out how to fit everything within 24 hours of the day. So how do we do it? For some people, prioritizing & figuring out a solidly planned schedule comes naturally. For others, it takes time & practice. The key is to stick with a plan that works for you. Our music major life is insane (as I’m sure you already know & will constantly be reminded). Generally, our days are packed from 8am to at least 9pm. The hour breaks in between classes will fly by before you remember where you have to be for the next one.

My first tip is to not let time get away from you. Especially time where you need to grab food. Music majors have a habit of “forgetting” to eat. Don’t let not having enough time in your schedule be an excuse not to grab nourishment for your crazy day. You’ll be surprised how lenient professors are with allowing you to eat during class (as long as you’re not singing/playing an instrument at the same time!). Didn’t wake up in time to grab breakfast before you start your day? Set out cereal or a poptart/granola bar to grab on our way out the door the night before. Do you have back-to-back classes from 11-3? Keep snacks in your locker to munch on between or during your classes, or keep a packed lunch in the lounge fridge & grab it before you head off to your next class. Sleep is another habit music majors often skip out on. It may seem silly now, but sleep is absolutely a part of what you need to prioritize & keep as a part of your schedule. Always make time to keep yourself healthy & energized throughout your day. You will need it.

What about the rest of your day with classes and practicing? You will discover a natural flow of daily music major life. Utilize your breaks (however they occur) to practice and do homework. Also make sure you have time to breathe. Keep an open slot for your own personal downtime, whether that is reading a book, taking a nap, exercising, social time, etc. Taking time to let your brain absorb everything that’s happened during your hectic day will help you feel better about accomplishing your next task.

So how is it done? Some people know their schedules, & get through their day as it happens. If that works for you, great! Personally, I am quite the opposite. If you’re like me here’s a tip: write everything down. Look at your schedule and write in what you will be doing in the blank spaces (like eating lunch!). On my busiest days, I write out my schedule hour by hour with what I’m doing during that time. Having this list with me throughout the day keeps me on track. Plus, crossing out what I’ve done each hour feels awesome! If it’s easier, get a white board to help you plan your day. A planner or notebook is also a very handy tool for music majors. With a lot of tasks to accomplish daily, it’s hard to remember everything. It’s a good investment for those who will use it!

Whatever your strategy may be, stick to it. When you are overwhelmed about not having enough hours in the day, just remember that many of us have done this before & continue to be successful. Stick to whatever plan works best for you.

Philadelphia International Music Festival

Philadelphia International Music Festival
June 20 – July 3, 2015
Now is the time to register!
The first 100 people who register in September receive $400 off their festival fee;and there’s only 87 spots left.

While it might seem early to be thinking about a program for next summer, the Philadelphia International Music Festival attracts quite a lot of attention as well as repeat students. For a limited time, available only to the next 100 students who register, the Festival is offering a $400 discount for registrations that are paid in full – or a $150 discount for those who register with just a deposit. To claim the discount, click here for the registration site and be sure to enter “DCSS150″ in the “Source Code” field where prompted (near the end of the on-line registration process).

http://www.PhiladelphiaMusicFestival.org | 856.875.6816

Mentoring Monday: Instrument Classes 101

Instrument Classes 101
Michael W. Pettis, School of Music Mentor

Instrumental Classes, for most people, can help add some spice to the sometimes daunting tasks of practicing, doing theory and aurals homework, or even general education homework. Although it seems like these classes are useless now, they are not useless at all, TRUST ME. As a composer, it was great to get a feel for how the instrument worked, and the mindset of the musician as they play their instrument. However, as a teacher, these classes are the first times you are able to teach in front of a group of peers. If this sounds scary at first, don’t worry. The teachings you’ll do are low-pressured environments. The only pressure will be how well you push yourself to present or teach your given project, which is always good pressure. Now while you are in the class, it is very important that you not only enjoy the class, but take notes that will help you remember what you learned semesters after taking the class. You will need to know most of the information for classes such as elementary band, elementary orchestra, etc. Also, it doesn’t hurt to know these things after you graduate as well.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends, your mentors, random people in Swope (make some new friends), and most of all, your professors. The professor is practically required to help you, but it’s more awesome that they want to help you. They all have office hours just for you, you can even schedule an appointment with them to meet at a specific date and time. This will take the worry out of not knowing if they are actually there, or if there is somebody else working with them. These classes are not supposed to be hard. An “A” is quite attainable for all of these instrument classes. Just remember these things: Be prepared for class. Bring all of your materials for class. Go to class!

What classes are offered?
Flute/Recorder, Single Reeds (Clarinet and Saxophone), Violin/Viola Class, Cello, Double reeds (Oboe/Bassoon), Brass Class (Trumpet), French Horn or Trombone (either of which can be taken), Cello, Guitar, or Double Bass (either of which can be taken), Pitched Percussion, Non-pitched Percussion.

What you’ll learn?
You’ll learn how to play the instrument at intermediate/middle school level depending on how hard you work at it. You’ll learn how to teach the instrument to beginners who have never touched an instrument in their life and think you play the trumpet button with two hands. You’ll be able to recommend brands of instruments to rent/buy and recommend what reeds or mouthpieces that would be best for you future students.

My favorite instrumental class: Flute Class with Dr. Grabb…probably the best class I have had a lot of fun learning and just enjoying the class. Also recorder…enough said. It was also my most recent instrument class.

Think of these instrument classes as a break from whatever you doing. These instrument classes should be fun and exciting as your learning how/why your friends chose the wrong instruments to play (Obviously, you play the best instrument).

Follow Up: All School Meeting

Date: Friday, September 5, 2014 at 3:20 PM

To: Nicole Kemp <nkemp@wcupa.edu>
Subject: Follow Up: All School Meeting
 

Students,

Thank you to those of you who attended yesterday’s All School Meeting.  Below I have pasted a summary of some of the information given out including the Recital Attendance Requirement and Tutoring Hours. 

 

Nicole Kemp

Undergraduate Program Counselor

West Chester University │ College of Visual and Performing Arts

Swope Music Building │ 817 S. High Street │ West Chester, PA 19383    

wcupa.edu/cvpa │nkemp@wcupa.edu│610.436.3261

Need an appointment with me? visit nicolelynnkemp.youcanbook.me

 

Recital Attendance

You can find the list of events on our CVPA homepage wcupa.edu/cvpa, on our facebook events, in the display case outside of the Dean’s office, or on the screen in the second floor lounge. Make sure to attend 2 faculty recitals, 2 student recitals, 2 ensemble recitals, and 2 of your choice. You must complete this requirement 6 semesters.  After each semester your Degree Progress Report on myWCU will be updated to reflect your milestone.  When you get to each concert, sign in.  We’ll keep track and email you periodically with your progress.  Keep track of your own attendance and hold onto your program booklets in case of error. 

 

Advising Timeline:

Drop/Add period is over; your only option to change your schedule is to withdraw from courses (must be completed by October 24). 

Group Advising Sessions will occur Thursday, September 25, 11:00am.  Room locations will be emailed out beforehand.

Scheduling Workshops are 10/14, 11:00am or 12:00pm in the Recital Hall.  Sign up outside 116.

You should create a tentative schedule and then meet with your Faculty Advisor.  Check myWCU for your enrollment date and double check your requirements on your Degree Progress Report.

 

Additional workshops:

·  10/21, 11am, 208: Social Media and Digital Content

·  10/28, 11:00am, 208: Resume’s, Internships, and Career Development

·  New Student Success Series (time management, stress management, writing, scheduling, housing, etc.)

 

Internships

We are working on providing a list of internship opportunities for anyone interested in gaining work experience in the music industry outside of just teaching, performing, and composing.

 

Mentoring Program

 The mentoring program has been launched.  We’ll recruit next year’s Mentors at the beginning of next semester so start thinking now about paying it forward. 

 

Blog

We launched a blog website, sommyadvises.wordpress.com to organize all of our information and resources. It feeds into our Ask Sommy account and is linked on the Current Students > Academics part of the SOM website, wcupa.edu/cvpa/music. 

 

Advising Expectations for your Faculty Advising Appointment

Go into this meeting prepared with your curriculum guide- check off anything you’ve already done and highlight all of the classes you have on your tentative schedule for next semester.

Be prepared with Academic goals – minors, dual majors, timeline for how long you want to stay, what you want to accomplish, things you want to learn outside your requirements, things you want to get involved in

Be prepared with Career goals – what do you want to do/where – when you graduate? 5 years? Dream job?

Be prepared with Concerns – are you struggling with a particular course? Are you not having as much fun as you thought? Is it way harder than you imagined? Is your schedule too busy? Are you having trouble keeping track of everything? Having trouble fitting in time to practice for everything?

 

Tutoring

Theory/Aurals Tutors: Contact Dr. Maggio rmaggio@wcupa.edu

o   Graduate Assistant: Peter Christian: Mondays 1-4pm, Tuesdays 1-4pm in 342 (Center for Music Technology). ec735630@wcupa.edu

o   Graduate Assistant: Danielle Brosious: Tuesdays, 10:00am-12:00noon in 342  db609599@wcupa.edu

Piano Tutoring: Check the Piano Labs for open hours – Nick Bavani nb724664@wcupa.edu

o   Fall 2014: Monday 2-4pm 346, Tuesday 9-11am 346, Wednesday 8-10pm 344, Thursday 12-2pm 346, Friday 10am-12pm 346

LARC – Learning Assistance Resource Center (Tutoring for General Education Courses): http://www.wcupa.edu/ussss/larc/ 224 Lawrence Center, larc@wcupa.edu, 610-436-2535

Academic Success Workshops – Free workshops on Time Management, Test Taking/Anxiety, Note Taking, Essay Writing: http://www.wcupa.edu/ussss/larc/students.aspx Contact Kathryn McCreesh,km628743@wcupa.edu, 610-436-2187

Smarthinking – Free online tutoring: Contact Joseph Mignone, 224 Lawrence Center, cube E, jm816668@wcupa.edu, 610-436-2187

Writing Center: http://www.wcupa.edu/_academics/writingcenter/ 214 Lawrence Center, kfitts@wcupa.edu, 610-430-5664

 

Input Parameters: STRM = 2145 ACAD_CAREER = UGRD ACAD_PROG = UMUSI ACAD_PLAN = ‘M147′, ‘M149′, ‘M148′, ‘M145′, ‘M185′, ‘M186′, ‘M188′, ‘M187′, ‘M190′

 

Career Development Center Newsletter

Career Development Center Newsletter

 

Ram Career Network Jobs

Below is a sampling of opportunities posted in Ram Career Network within the last two weeks. Faculty can also view job postings by creating an account at: https://wcu-csm.symplicity.com/

Music Intern: SPEAK for Those Who Cannot. Position is ideal for student seeking hands-on working experience in music. Intern must demonstrate skill (singing and at least 1 instrument) and a basic understanding music (music theory) Assist in coordinating music and participants in SPEAK music projects. Help keep music projects on schedule through communication with all involved parties.

Family Lives On Foundation Intern: Family Lives On Foundation’s groundbreaking Tradition Fulfillment program serves children once a year, every year, until they are 18. Program supports grieving children as they mature and reach developmental milestones. Aid in the day to day operation to provide high quality services to our families. The duties will provide exposure to the Program, Development, Outreach and Operations areas of Family Lives On.

Program Assistant: Interfaith Housing Assistance Corporation of Chester County. Special project and program coordination to include: publishing a semi-annual newsletter, scheduling and publicizing workshops and events for participants, and supporting implementation of additional programs pending grant approval.

Substitute and Part time Afternoon Teachers: Garrett’s Way Day Care and Learning Center. CDA or a degree in Early Childhood Education or related human services field and prior experience working with children. Knowledge of the Keystone Stars program and/or NAEYC accreditation is preferred.

Make-A-Wish Spring Internship: Assist the fundraising/development, volunteer or the wish granting departments; play a role in the success of the Make-A-Wish mission. Ability to communicate well both in writing and verbally and delicate/sensitive situations and maintain confidentiality.

American Lung Association Event Planning & Development Intern: Plymouth Meeting, PA. Plan, promote and garner support for fundraising events. This position will provide real-world experience in event planning, fundraising and day-to-day operations in nonprofits; upcoming programs and events include the 2014 Fight for Air Climb and the 2014 Fight for Air Walk.

Free Philadelphia Orchestra College Concert

FREE College Concert
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 8 PM
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Pre-concert festivities in the Kimmel Center will begin at 7 PM.
Early arrival is strongly advised.

Lio Kuokman Conductor
Carol Jantsch Tuba

Rimsky-Korsakov Capriccio espagnol
Bernstein Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
Daugherty Excerpts from Reflections on the Mississippi,
for tuba and orchestra
Higdon blue cathedral
Strauss Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks

Visit the website to reserve tickets!

http://tracking.wordfly.com/view/?sid=MTkxXzUzMzhfMjAyNDQxXzY3NjY&l=4283382f-b432-e411-b26f-e41f1345a486

Mentoring Monday: Lessons 101

Mentoring Monday (well, we were closed on Monday…)
Lessons 101
Alyssa Resh, School of Music Mentor

Hello, new freshmen! If you’re anything like I was at the beginning of my first year, you’re probably freaking out about lessons. As someone who didn’t take lessons in high school, getting private instruction on my instrument was a completely new experience for me – and I was nervous. Lessons can even be scary for those who have taken them before college – especially for those who are attached to a specific teacher. As a junior who takes three lessons a week, I’ve had my own experiences with different professors, and with juggling lessons and schoolwork at the same time. I promise, YOU WILL SURVIVE, just like I did! Here are some tips to make the most out of your private lessons:

1.) Be excited!
College is probably the only place where you’ll have the opportunity to study under such amazing musicians like the professors we have at Swope. The list includes orchestra professionals, Julliard grads, famous composers, opera stars, and jazz greats – ALL at your disposal! Our professors have spent their lives working on their instruments – they are professionals for a reason. Make the most of your years at Swope and go into each lesson eager to learn. Soak up every wise word like a sponge, and you’ll grow leaps and bounds in your musicianship.

2.) PRACTICE!
The best way to make the most out of your lessons is to make sure you spend enough time practicing. The amount of practice time needed is different for everyone, but don’t expect to have a good lesson after only one hour of practice beforehand (and especially don’t count on finding an empty practice room). Try and set aside at least a half an hour a day to run through things, or isolate one thing you need to work on. It won’t take long, and you’ll be retaining what you learned in your lessons. There’s nothing worse than professors having to repeat themselves over and over because you didn’t practice in between lessons.

3.) Keep a practice log.
One thing that really helps me is to keep a practice log/lessons notebook. For each practice session I try and write down 1.) what I worked on, 2.) what I improved upon, 3.) what needs work (and how I can improve it), and 4.) any questions I had. This last step is VITAL for lessons – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve struggled with something just to come back in a lesson and not remember the question I wanted to ask about it. This also helps if you take multiple lessons – it helps you keep track of and devote enough practice time to each one.

4.) HAVE A PENCIL.
Professors give a lot of advice in lessons, and it’s hard to remember all of it without writing it down. Make sure to always have a pencil and take notes in your music – if your professor says to add a crescendo, write it in; don’t just “remember” it. Something I also like to do is have a lessons notebook, where I take ten minutes or so after my lesson to write what my professor and I talked about. This helps me remember any advice they gave me (especially advice about technique). PRO TIP: some professors are even cool with you recording your lessons. Don’t be afraid to ask…you’ll be thankful when you can’t remember exactly what they said and you have a recording to refer to.

5.) Be open minded.
This is especially important for those who have taken lessons before. Your Swope professor says something that contradicts with your old teacher? He or she tells you to try something different with your technique? Resist the urge to stubbornly fight them and JUST TRY IT. Yes it may be confusing and you may not like it at first, but it might actually be a better way to do things in the long run. If it doesn’t work for you, then it doesn’t work for you (and tell your professor that), but don’t immediately discredit it from the beginning.

6.) ­Don’t be afraid to talk to someone if you have an issue with a professor.
Sometimes students and professors don’t mesh very well. If you have a problem with a professor’s attitude or quality of teaching, make sure you talk to someone about it. If you choose to talk to the professors themselves, make sure you do so in a respectful manner. If you’re not comfortable with that, you can always talk to Nicole, Dr. Villella, or Dr. Hanning. However, make sure your complaint is actually valid – don’t tattle on a professor because you showed up to a lesson unprepared and he or she was harsh to you. Now, if they’re cancelling lessons left and right (without making them up), or being unnecessarily rude in a lesson – that’s a time to talk to a department head. Make sure to take responsibility for your own mistakes, but don’t be afraid to talk to someone if your professor isn’t doing their job.

7.) Remember, not every lesson is going to go well.
You’re guaranteed to have a bad lesson at some point. Whether it’s schoolwork, sickness, or a job, life just gets in the way sometimes. Don’t beat yourself after a bad lesson, understand that you’re in college and you’re busy. Professors understand that as well. Rather than getting discouraged, use that bad lesson to motivate yourself to do better next time.

Well, there you have it! Hopefully these tips were helpful – good luck in your lessons and have a great semester!