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What it's like to study music at NYU
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ceilidh wrote in little_details
setting: New York University
time: real-world, present day (or near future, say 1-2 years from now)
search terms used: "what is it like to study music at NYU" "NYU music student experience" and variations thereof; scoured NYU's website as well as a couple of tumblrs of NYU students that give information about student life, etc (not music students, unfortunately)


I'm writing a story in which one of the characters is studying jazz (piano) at NYU at the undergraduate level. I'm a musician who has attended a couple of different schools for music, so I don't need info about what the core curriculum would be like (basically the same everywhere you go, at least the first couple of years). I've also found a couple of tumblrs of students who attend NYU that have advice for new students navigating the campus/finding things/getting around/what the dorms are like, which is very helpful, but they aren't music students so I didn't get any music info there.

What I'm looking for is:

* what do students call certain music related places? For example, at one of my schools, the building the music classes are held in is called the "School of Music" but no one actually calls it that in conversation, it's usually "the music building". Where are most music classes actually held and what do students call that place(s) in conversation? (The "facilities" page of NYU's music website talks about performance spaces but not classroom/rehearsal spaces.)

* Where do most people practice? From the NYU website it looks like there are practice rooms in different buildings. This character lives in Third North for part of the story (as a freshman) and I understand there are practice rooms there but she won't be there forever (I'm also getting conflicting information about the practice rooms in Third North, whether it's A room or multiple rooms).

* How much interaction is there between jazz students and other music students? At both schools I've been to, everyone is sort of lumped together for the first couple of years while taking core classes (music history, theory, aural skills, class piano/keyboard skills, etc) and then everyone kind of goes their separate ways and the jazz people sort of separate themselves from the rest of the music students. I'm wondering if that happens at NYU as well.

* In most music programs a student will have private lessons on their instrument/voice with a professor and then once a week everyone who studies with that professor has a class together where you perform for each other, get critique, etc. I'm assuming this happens at NYU as well--what is it called? (At various schools I've been to it's been called studio, rep class, masterclass...)

* are there ensembles that are seen as most/least desirable? (thinking specifically of jazz)

* Where do music students tend to hang out during the day when they are not in class? I'm thinking in particular of students who are new to NYC and haven't quite learned to navigate the city yet.

* are jazz majors required to have any classical proficency? Where I am right now, jazz majors have to have at least 200-level proficency in classical studies on their instrument (so, sophomore level), but I couldn't find if that was true for NYU as well.

On your last point - have you checked the university catalog/handbook for NYU, which would probably answer that question. For the first question, you might go see if there are any old LJ forums for NYU students - and see if anyone mentions it. I've been out of college for so long, I don't know what the popular places for kids to chatter online is anymore (my alma matter, GWU, seems to have a lot of current students chattering about on instagram, so you might have luck seeing how people are talking about different things if you look at #nyu and the like).

I didn't even think about Instagram since I don't have an account, but I can fix that easily. Thanks for the suggestion!

I have no idea whatsoever about any of the questions really, but I did some Google-fu just for fun and found this YouTube channel with several "Inside NYU jazz" episodes that look interesting. I don't have time to look through them at all but they might have something useful for you. The first one mentioned master classes for example, so that's something.

http://www.youtube.com/user/nyujazzstudies

-Third North has multiple practice rooms. Some of them are small (can barely fit two people in them), some of them are big (piano plus room for many people).

-I wouldn't say I know this for sure since I was not a music student at NYU, but Kimmel (formally called "The Kimmel Center" but all student just say "Kimmel," e.g., "I'm going to Kimmel later") is a large facility on Washington Square Park that has MANY practice rooms and small theaters and such. It also has a dining hall (arguably the best and maybe one of the largest---at least around Washington Square) and lots of quiet places to study or just hang out---it's nice because the front of the building is basically all glass facing the park so it's a really nice view, lots of light, different atmosphere than Bobst library next door which is much darker and quieter and generally more "serious." I imagine most freshmen (and people in every year) spend a good amount of time here regardless of their major, since it's centrally located to many classes and dorms. Good place to kill time in-between classes, to study, meet up with friends, etc.

Also, there is a Steinhardt building just around the corner--I forget the actual address, sorry, but it's literally right next to the Starbucks that's on the corner of Washington Sq. Park. This building is where I know SOME music classes are held, because I used to run into people carrying instruments and a friend took a voice lesson course there. Also many students (especially lower class) socialize/take breaks/take naps in that Starbucks, so that's another good meeting point.

Hope this is helpful; let me know if you have any other questions you think a general NYU student could answer!


Source: I went to NYU and lived in Third North.




oh, this is helpful, thanks! Especially the information about Kimmel and the kinds of things you can do there.

What was Third North like? Did you like living there or wish you had lived in a different dorm? Do you mind sharing where you lived after your freshman year?

i really loved living at third north. i thought it was a pretty social dorm. it also had everything i could need---dining hall, computer lab, quiet rooms, public social courtyard, etc. at first i was nervous that i would be isolated because it's "so far away" from the washington square campus, but again, i had to go to wash. sq. at least once a day for classes anyway my freshman year, so i never felt too far away from all the action. in fact, it was kind of nice, because third north dorms felt more like a real apartment. we had our own kitchen and common room, and we had a nice little "commute" to class (~8 min walk) which made us feel like "real new yorkers." there is a movie theater across the street that does (or did do) events for students, pizza place, convenience store... and at least when i was there the bar across the street didn't card all the time. and union square is only a short walk away (there are other dorms there---uhall (short for university hall) being one---we used to walk there for parties).

i lived in greenwich hotel my sophomore year, which is a dorm in the west village. there wasn't a lot to do around there and it's pretty far from campus. i don't remember how long of a walk it was, probably more than 10 minutes. there is also a free NYU trolley that would come pretty regularly. i liked that dorm too, but i did actually feel isolated there because it was mostly upperclassmen and the dorm was a lot smaller and WAY farther a way. i was lucky that pretty much all of my friends also got stuck in that dorm, because i feel like otherwise it would have been harder to see them. it was also kinda dark and small. it's hard to say what the popular choice for sophomores would be now because they've switched around the housing system a couple of times, but our first choice then had been palladium, which is pretty close to uhall on 14th street. gramercy green i think is the other big sophomore dorm (it's fairly new).

The person who created one of the tumblrs I was reading lived in Third North her first year and Gramercy Green her second year and posted pictures of them--I am jealous of the appliances in Gramercy Green, lol, they are nicer than mine! Thanks for the info about what's around Third North, that's super helpful. I appreciate all your information! :D

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