One thing that is glaringly different in college is the way that professors convey material to students. In high school the curriculum is extremely structured, and I’ve heard many people refer to high school education as a process of “hand-holding.” However, in college this is drastically different. In any type of course, there is an extremely open-ended aspect to assignments and the overall method that students can use to be successful.
Everyone that I have talked to has said the same thing about their courses, but I thought that surely a choir would just be a choir. I knew that Essence was going to be more professional than the high school choirs that I performed in, but a choir is a choir and I expected it to be relatively similar.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. One interesting aspect of Essence is its returning members, and that portions of our repertoire are the same every year. That was a rude awakening for me and the six other new members mainly because Dr. Leach doesn’t usually bother to teach those returning pieces.
For the returning pieces we are rarely given sheet music, and usually have to figure it out based on a printout of the lyrics and 10 minutes learning the parts during rehearsal.
But then there are the pieces that the six of us literally had to learn during a performance, like “There is No Failure in God.” For me, learning something on the fly or in a way that I’m not used to is relatable to college in general. I think that learning in new and unfamiliar ways has an extremely positive effect on education, and builds skills that can be used in any walk of life. I would argue that during a performance is perhaps a little extreme, but is still a sure way to learn.