36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 047: Preparing for entrance exams


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 47 — Preparing for entrance exams
18-September-1971 (Sat.)


Typical day. Not spending as much time doing academic work—German and music. Started doing reading and work on fugues and chorales in preparation for composition exam. I come to the conclusion that I am grossly inadequately prepared for a major in composition. I still want to study, though, so I think I’ll try it anyway.

Met with a minister who gave us some hints on finding rooms. Very nice.


Getting ready. It looks like I am preparing for entrance exams to the academy, and I am studying fugues and chorales that I may have to write or analyze for my exams. I come to the realization that I may not be ready for a graduate major in composition.

Undergrad studies. As I may have mentioned, at Montclair State I was an undergraduate in music education. My major was French Horn. I took the standard humanities, science, and math courses along with many music courses—music theory, music history, and many music education courses and pedagogy. I participated in many performance ensembles as well. I did take one course in music composition, where I remember writing only three or so very short compositions. (Those compositions, if I remember correctly, will bring me a surprise at the end of the year.)

I wonder where I got my interest in composition from? Was it that one course? I don’t remember. Although I don’t know it, music composition will become more important later in my life.

Finding our interests. I find it very interesting as to how we develop our interests and begin to choose our career paths and life interests. What we do—from our early schooling to high school—is important. Nurturing and exposure from family and friends also shapes us. Classic examples: sports, music, school activities, and the areas that interest you in school are the things you often decide to pursue as you head off to college. Finally, we like and enjoy the things that we are good at, whether basketball, science, or music. We gravitate to these activities and often pursue them as a career path.

If you’re young, in college, or just graduated, you are experiencing these career and school choices and will continue to do so.
Don’t worry. Just make the best choices you can. You can always change your “career path” in college and throughout your life—in fact, most people have several career paths throughout their lives.

Need a room. This journal entry is the first hint that I will not be staying at the student dorms during the school year and that I'll need to find a room. Now, that's a bit of extra pressure in addition to exams. Looks like we are getting some valuable help.

Take care.


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