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Our Time At NEC

As the school year comes to a close, five graduating students have taken time to reflect on their different and unique experiences at NEC. On May 17th they, along with 240 other graduating students will walk across the stage at Jordan Hall one last time to receive their degrees. Join them in reliving some fond memories from the last few years!

by EVELYN & PAOLA MOLINA
Second-year MM Guitar

 

 

Two years ago, my twin sister and I arrived in Boston from Guatemala, carrying the highest expectation of becoming masters of the classical guitar. We were very excited about joining Eliot Fisk’s guitar studio. His amazing teaching, kindness and support has made these two years at NEC, a unique and unforgettable life-learning experience

At NEC, we learned from great musicians who inspired us through their love and passion for teaching music. In the Fall of 2013 we joined the CPP with a Performance Fellowship which allowed us to share guitar music in Boston’s Community at a  variety of venues. The experience has been heartwarming and priceless, as  has the opportunity to spread music to young generations through [Music in Education] MIE internships, which is such a promising effort.

It is surely very gratifying to achieve the Master’s in Music degree with the MIE concentration. In May 2015, our dream of M.M. becamea  reality, and we feel very proud of being NEC graduates! Now a new path to go together, as The Molina Twins.

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Incremental Changes

As the school year comes to a close, five graduating students have taken time to reflect on their different and unique experiences at NEC. On May 17th they, along with 240 other graduating students will walk across the stage at Jordan Hall one last time to receive their degrees. Join them in reliving some fond memories from the last few years!

by ANDREW NISSEN
Second-year GD Trombone

 

 

Goodbyes are strange. They are, at least to me, never quite satisfying. It’s like your new favorite Netflix binge-watch show – the mystery at the beginning is what draws you in, entices you. Somehow the wrap-up of that mystery – (SPOILER ALERT!) they were dead all along, it was all a dream, they all live happily ever after – is never fully satiating.

Could it be, then, that we expect too much from endings? Do we have unrealistic expectations for how things are “supposed” to be? Perhaps. After all, it’s been said before that the destination is not the important part, but the journey is. Fitting, then, is the phrase touted by trombone guru and NEC faculty Norman Bolter “Wherever you go, there you are.”

You’re here, now. You’re graduating. You’re reading this article. You’re enjoying the much-deserved sun on a much-delayed Boston spring day. You’re at NEC! And what a “you” you are. You’re more “you” than there ever has been a you before in the history of the “you”-niverse. OK, that was cheesy. But it’s true, in a way.

Everyone has a story to tell, not the least of those people called musicians. Music speaks something to us deeply on a personal level that makes us want to shout it out to everyone around us at every opportunity. Performing isn’t the only way to do that, of course, and being the loudest in the room isn’t the only way to get someone to hear you. If I learned anything during my time at NEC, it was this.

I fell into writing for The Penguin by accident. In my first week at school, the then-editor hosted a party boasting a free dinner and hey, who wouldn’t be enticed by that?! There was a caveat, however; in order to earn the dinner you had to bring along one idea for an article in The Penguin that year. My idea must have been half-hearted, because I can’t recall for the life of me what it was about, but nonetheless it was convincing enough for the editor to urge me to bring that idea to fruition.

Equal parts terrified and excited (kind of like before playing a big orchestra concert) I pressed “send” on an email a week or two later containing my first contribution to the newspaper for that year. And when the paper came out, the world didn’t end. In fact, it was kind of cool to see something I’d done without a trombone in my hands out in the public for people to see!

It’s not groundbreaking or revolutionary, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s natural that, as artists, we continually strive to best the best we can be at all times, but just because you “can’t be the best at everything” doesn’t mean you can’t strive for the acceptable, applaud the mediocre, or celebrate the mundane along the way!

Nothing we do pops into existence fully formed and perfect. Much of our favorite things take shape like the snowball effect – start small, build on success. Start small – like with an idea. Press send. Build upon that.

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Opportunities Knock

As the school year comes to a close, five graduating students have taken time to reflect on their different and unique experiences at NEC. On May 17th they, along with 240 other graduating students will walk across the stage at Jordan Hall one last time to receive their degrees. Join them in reliving some fond memories from the last few years!

byFrankie FRANKIE YU
Second-year MM Trombone

 

 

There are a few small wisdoms that I do my best to live by. One of my favorites is this: When presented with the opportunity, do your best to try something new.

As I’m sure most of you know, this is not always an easy task. I, as many of you, like my routine. I like the way I do certain things a certain way at certain times, and I am completely happy with what I’m doing and how I’m doing them. So when I catch myself in this bit of a rut, I not only try and make myself try new things, but to also see the importance of doing so. To do something you have never done before is kind of like soul searching, it helps you learn new things about yourself. You figure out what you like and what you don’t like, how far you are willing to push yourself in situations where you feel uncomfortable—what you can and cannot handle. Often times I think we surprise ourselves with how far we are actually willing to go. And it is only through the action of trying that we find out these things.

Living with this little mantra in my mind has lead me to experiencing some pretty cool things in the past couple of years. In high school someone ordered tarantula at a restaurant and when the plate was passed around to me, the excuse of “because it’s gross” didn’t seem adequate enough to chicken out of trying it, so I did. And it was good!

Three years ago I was asked if I wanted to go skydiving because there was, “a discount and it would never be this cheap again.” “Well”, I thought, “I guess I have always talked about being a bit more adventurous … ” And it was an unparalleled experience! Each experience I went through, and each one that I went through since then, I learned more about myself, I pushed my limits, and I left my comfort zone. I try to take the word “no” out of my vocabulary … at least where it should be taken out of anyway.

And when I was approached by a certain editor of a certain school publication to see if I was interested in writing an article for the first issue of the 2014-2015 school year, it was an opportunity that had always been on my mind but one that I had consistently put off. I never had much faith in my writing abilities, but instead of hiding behind my normal shy excuses, I took the jump. Eight articles later, here I sit writing you my last article. It has been a great adventure putting my thoughts and personal experiences into words and sharing them with all of you readers.

My parting advice is predictable: try something new as often as possible! You could start small by, say … writing for your school newspaper and seeing where new opportunities arise.

My experience at NEC was indescribable because of the warm learning environment, encouraging teachers, enthusiastic students, and wonderful opportunities. – Alex Gilliam

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