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Sydney Menees


March 11, 2010 at 6:26 AM

Spring is finally showing its face in upstate New York.  Only a few patches of snow remain and much of the mud of the past week has receded.  Unfortunately, the snow hasn’t been the only thing melting.  My resolve, which had been rock solid all last semester and the beginning of this semester, has been softening.  I am once again uncertain about my future profession.  It was comforting to have decided on Medicine; I just had to follow the path laid out before me.  My sudden doubt, however, stemmed the realization that there are a plethora of subjects I have yet to explore.  Bearing this in mind, I refuse to be set completely back to square one.  I have decided that I will continue on the track of medicine while still considering and examining other areas of study.  One thing I can say with nearly 100% certainty is that my education will not be finished after I complete my undergraduate degree.  Whatever career path I eventually settle on will involve a more specialized education.  I just need to decide WHICH specialized education….

Now onto a more important topic: Music. If becoming uncertain about my future was the negative aspect of this semester, the positive aspect is how music-filled this semester has been. I am in a piano trio and we are currently working on Beethoven’s “Ghost” Trio, Op. 70, No. 1.  It’s my first time working with a piano in a chamber music situation aside from sonatas.  With this work in particular, I have been able to appreciate Beethoven’s prowess as a composer for the piano.  The “Ghost” is so sonorous, but it’s not heavy in any way.  I will have to write more about it at some time.  This semester I am also helping to premier an opera!  The composer is a friend of mine and a fellow music major at Bard.  It’s very exciting to see and especially to be involved in the birth of a new work.  As far as private lessons go, I am nearly finished with the 21 pages of Lalo.  As is always the case in music, “finished” is relative.  I’m still working out some kinks in the Rondo, namely fingered octaves and some rogue arpeggios.  I also joined choir this semester (don’t shun me).  It’s very weird to be reading music without my violin, but between the opera and choir, I’m appreciating the voice as an instrument much more than I ever have.  We are singing Mendelssohn, Vivaldi, and Haydn this semester. I want to write more about music, but it’s so late....  I’ll be back.

From Tom Holzman
Posted on March 11, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Good luck finding your way.  Remember that the music will always be there for you to enjoy, no matter what career choice(s) you ultimately make.  The other thing to keep in mind is that you can always take time off between college and medical school to try out some possibilities.  A good example or role model is the great jazz musician, Joshua Redman.  He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard in Social Studies and was accepted to go to Yale Law School.  He decided to take a year off to try doing jazz.  The rest is history (and IMHO the world has certainly profited from the career choice he made).  So, continue to consider options and look at possibilities.  You can always go to medical school so long as you have taken the pre-med courses.

From Ray Randall
Posted on March 11, 2010 at 6:14 PM

As you grow emotionally, psychologically, and in age, you will find things, including career choices, that right now you had no idea even existed. What you're going through is very normal and common. Enjoy.

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on March 11, 2010 at 9:14 PM

It's so good to hear from you again, Sydney. 

I suggest that you make a list of your possible majors and then look up the course requirements and the prerequisites for each.  You don't want to cut yourself off from a possible major that you've settled on in your junior by not having taken the appropriate courses earlier.  Do you have an adviser or professor that you like and respect whom you could go to for advice?

When I entered college I was interested in so many things that I could not possibly have chosen a major.  In the spring trimester, I took my first chemistry class and really liked it.  My chem professor told me that I had ability/talent and urged me to major in chemistry and to carry on my studies in graduate school.  I majored in chemistry and then went on to graduate school and earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry.  Now I'm a violin teacher.  Life is full of surprises.

From Sydney Menees
Posted on March 11, 2010 at 10:55 PM

 Wow, a PhD in Biochemistry?  That is no small feat!  I'm actually doing biochemical research this semester, so who knows?  I might be heading down that path as well.

Something I didn't mention - I am so thankful I have music as a grounding point for me.  I feel like as long as I'm still doing music, I will have an easier time branching out in less familiar areas of study.

From Bonny Buckley
Posted on March 12, 2010 at 12:35 AM

You seem a bit flat in writing about your future career in sound excited, happy and passionate about what you are doing with music.  Am I reading that correctly?  If so, listen to yourself!  I started off as a physics major because it was the subject I most loved learning about in highs school.  I've done a lot of things in my career, including editing, arranging music, performing in some major international orchestras and operas, and now I get to direct the fine arts program of an international school (teaching music) and I love it!  Enjoy yourself. 

From Corwin Slack
Posted on March 12, 2010 at 4:21 AM

 Medicine can give you the income to hire chamber music partners. My city (Houston) has a Doctors Orchestra. The downside is that you won't be playing Strauss tone poems and you won't get some of those excellent experiences but face it most musicians only get to play top level repertory in college or summer camps. Once they get out of school the vast majority teach and gig. That is a very good thing in and of itself but it may not be for everyone who would like to make music a career.



From Syd Chen
Posted on March 12, 2010 at 2:03 PM

Dear Friend,

Glad to write this message to you.

I'm a manufacture of violin in China.

In my opinion the musical instruments is lofty,Isn't it?And I'm happy to know you are doing something about the violin,So I want to improve myself from the discussion with you.

Hope you can do your own fairs better,I prefer to make friends with you.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

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