After graduating from Columbia this past summer, I’ve put my Math degree to great use by pursuing a Master’s in Piano Performance at the Manhattan School of Music. Rest assured, though, I’m a seasoned veteran of “is one thing but does another”–examples include moonlighting as a Middle-Eastern-Studies-Philosophy double major, tutoring while I was supposed to be practicing, and practicing while I was supposed to be sleeping.
While the irony of attending Columbia for undergrad with the intent of pursuing a music career is not lost on me, there’s also the unfortunate reality that I have indeed been drilled to be quite competent in math. I sat amongst the gloom & doom that is Columbia’s Math building (those drab linoleum floors do suck the life out of you). I simultaneously prepared for my next piano competitions with some deeply opinionated teachers (“if the student gets it wrong, it’s your fault, not theirs”), and learned that, yes, most of the time, it’s about owning my faults, and admitting I could be better. I can’t promise that, after a session, you’ll score an 800 on SAT math or find a “yes” letter from Yale in your hands, but it will absolutely be my fault if you leave convinced that you learned nothing. After all, I didn’t spend my college career as the world’s least coordinated mathematician-musician only to have you think there isn’t still work left to be done.