Music & East Asian Studies Personal Statement
Growing up in a family of music lovers, I was accustomed from an early age to different genres ranging from progressive rock to jazz. It was classical music though that gave me the impetus to move on from being a passive listener to actually playing an instrument myself.
At the age of 12, after hearing and reading Mozart's Magic Flute, and being profoundly moved by the beautiful sound of the flute, I knew I wanted to convey the same emotions to other people that I myself had felt so strongly.
Yet, only a few years ago, I was convinced that my desire to connect with others would be best served through studying medicine; this changed as I came to realise that what had helped me overcome the difficulties I had faced so far in my life was not medicine but music.
I now fervently want to help people and further their sense of well-being through music. What better way to learn more about the subject which intrigues and moves me than study it in depth with others who share the same passion?
I graduated with a Scientific Baccalaureate including a Music option, which I prepared on my own. My motivation, determination, self-discipline and analytical skills allowed me to pass the exam with success. The exam focused on the fusion between Middle Eastern music and Jazz. I studied Avishai Cohen and Ibrahim Maalouf who awakened my curiosity in the fusion of folk instruments and modern western music.
My interest, lying in East and South East Asian instruments, led me to discover the soundtrack for Geisha by John Williams. I was inspired by how western instruments could convey such a vivid Asian feel.
At school, I keenly participated in music-related activities: I was part of the fanfare, played during masses and held several lead singing roles in musicals.
Outside school, I participated in several concerts as both soloist and part of a flute choir. Through my diverse performances, I learnt how to listen, pay attention and be a team player. I learnt to share my love for music and experienced the uplifting connection between performers and the public.
I had the opportunity to acquire work experience backstage at l'Opera Garnier where I observed and contributed to the preparations required for La Sylphide. This experience was insightful and impressive. I started an anti-bullying campaign with friends that was sponsored by UNICEF; the discussions with the students taught me empathy and oral skills.
The organisation of each talk made me ressourceful and confident which will help make me an active student. During my gap year, in order to explore and understand music, I am gladly helping my flute teacher with music classes for children, where I am learning to relay my passion through teaching. I have joined a firemen's orchestra, am also studying piano, which I started 2 years ago, and beginning the ukulele.
My attraction to East and South East Asia was partly unveiled through music but is anchored in my love for Thailand, where my grandparents live and my mother grew up. Since birth, I have had a bilingual education and have bathed in Thai, French and English culture.
This is why, to be able to experience Thailand differently, I will be going there next February for 5 months as an English teacher. There I was introduced to traditional South East Asian music as well as Korean pop music. "Kpop" then led to traditional instruments such as the gayageum or danso. Whilst studying the region's rich history and geography I was attracted by its dynamism.
Notably, South Korea with its rapidly growing importance on the international scene, being represented by the UN Secretary General and China with its complex history and language.
Since I made the decision to study music to soothe and cure, I have worked with conviction towards this goal. My experiences have made me flexible, enterprising and inquisitive. Healing, conveying emotions, changing the world in small but significant ways through music and languages is my ultimate goal.
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I got offers from all my universities.
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