This week music students Katie, Quentin, Elliott, and Abbie talk about their fall break travels and looking ahead to the rest of the semester.
Katie Jennison, Furman University
For Fall Break, I went to Ireland and it was one of the best trips I’ve ever taken. I went with two close friends and met some others along the way. We started in Dublin and spent three days there exploring around this cool city. We went to Dublin Castle, the Guinness Storehouse, Christ Church Cathedral, St. Stephen’s Green, and Trinity College. We went shopping on Grafton Street and heard a lot of traditional Irish music. Dublin is such a cool city, and it was really fun to be somewhere where they spoke English! We also ate some great food; bangers and mash (sausage and mashed potatoes), burgers, steak, Shepherd’s Pie, and lots of cider. Then we traveled to Galway for four days and did day trips around western Ireland. Galway is a fun college town with lots of great restaurants, fun shops, and pubs. We went to the Cliffs of Moher which are gorgeous, we saw a sheepdog demonstration and got to hold puppies, and we saw Kylemore Abbey, which is an old castle turned monastery turned school. We saw some old castles, abandoned monasteries, and places that have been around since the 11th or 12th century. It was so fun to have a small group that got along well and was easy to keep up with, and we
loved being in a new place and exploring a new culture. A great break from Italy, but we were so happy to be back!
Quentin Prewitt, Furman University
A big part of my adjustment when I arrived in Italy was learning to be instructed by new music teachers. I have been learning with my voice teacher at home for 2 years now, and I was nervous about a change in direction. This change has proved to be difficult in different ways, but I think I have also learned from this experience. One thing that I want to gain from the rest of my time here is a continuation of this learning. I have not only received new direction from my primary voice teacher at the Accademia, but I also have a new coach, and this past week, a guest coach spent time with all of the voice students as well. Some of this instruction included a language barrier, which can be very challenging. For me specifically, this has come in the absence of a “nice” or “sugar-coated” version of instruction. No instructor is aiming to be rude or mean, but direction is always blunt, and I am continuing to learn how to accept this instruction, knowing
that there is a language barrier involved. I have also learned that all instructors have different opinions, and that is okay!! The beauty of art is that everyone’s art is different. What I am struggling to learn, and hope to continue to learn, is what instruction is best for me. If I am to continue this art into a career, I have to learn what is best forme. This has led toan interesting examination of myself as a musician, which has been accompanied by an examination of myself as a person. With all of the leisure time that I have had here (which is absent in my normal college environment), I have been forced to think of who I am and who I hope to become in my life. This has been somewhat scary for me, but I have learned so much about myself,and I know that I have grown tremendously in this time, and I hope to continue to learn and grow throughout the rest of my time in Italy.
Elliot Cihlar, Furman University
Fall break was a well needed hiatus to take some time away from all that is happening in the villa. I traveled to Sorrento and Rome and had the time of my life. From a boat charter in the Bay of Naples to seeing the Magic Flute in Rome, I had many experiences that I will cherish for the rest of my life. However, returning to the villa was wonderful. I missed everyone and was ready to get back to playing the violin. I cannot recall a time where I have been more inspired to strive and work on my instrument other than here in Italy. My teacher, Marna Fumarola, constantly pushes and assists me to achieve more on my instrument. Since we have passed the halfway mark, I look forward to seeing what the remainder of our time here will hold and will make sure to make the most of it.
Abbie Schlichtmann, Furman University
The longer I am here in Italy, the more at home I feel. As fun as Fall Break was, I couldn’t wait to come home. Home! The Villa has become home! I am overjoyed because I have not only become closer with my musician friends, but I’ve also developed a great relationship with many of the theatre students. We are all still (mostly) getting along which is a miracle! I’m sad to know that I can’t stay here forever, but I’m excited to see what the next 4 weeks will bring.