36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 192: Dreams, hopes, and scholarships


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

Day 192 — Dreams, hopes, and scholarships
10-February-1972 (Donnerstag–Thur.)


Another good day. Good horn lesson. And about 5-1/2 hours of electronic music—goes slowly.

Handed in my application for scholarships for next year. Won’t find out till June—not expecting it.

Other future plans—will be sending in scholarship form for this summer at Fontainbleu. My disadvantage is my lack of composing, thus far, still hoping.

Fullbright info came today. In typical NYC style, not even an acknowledgment letter. After reading everything through, it seems that it might be best to wait a few years (proceed with my Higher Ed.) and then apply. Main idea: (1) Hopefully to begin study of “conducting” (take years at night). (2) Continue to study composition/El. Musik and compose (must have a few works to my name). (3) Continue to learn languages. If, these areas are well under way and I have progressed sufficiently, then my chances for the Fullbright—and what I could do with it—would be greatly increased.


Good days. Several good days in a row. Yes. Progress. Perhaps I have a focus, a project, and a goal to keep me on track.

Scholarships. I obviously have a desire to continue studying music and to learn the craft and art of composing. For this to be real, I need to apply for scholarships. I am applying to that very famous school of composition—Fountainbleu—with Nadia Boulanger in France, and for a Fullbright fellowship for advanced graduate study. I think I may have passed on applying for the Fullbright. In both cases, I did not yet have the right experience, graduate work, and composing credentials.

Hopes and dreams. Wow, looking back at today’s post reminds me of my youthful hopes and dreams—of studying, of wanting to become a composer. It’s good to have dreams, to hope, and to “work” towards your goals. I am doing that in 1972. I am doing that, slightly differently, ever since and even to this day. So my advice to young people is to do the same, but perhaps even better. Take those first steps on your journey.

Choices. As you go through life, there will be many choices and paths offered you. Take the ones that make sense and that you want to follow. Practical living comes into play—we all have to work, make money, eat, pay bills, raise families, and live. Not everyone can be a Michael Jordan or a Mozart or Mahler. There are many doctors and lawyers who are fine pianists, jazz players, and rock guitarists. Each of us will find our “spot.” Am I a composer? No, I have always struggled with serious music and still find it difficult. Have I written music I like? Yes, a lot of it, especially in the pop/commercial genre. I liked my Master’s Recital compositions. Have I given up? No, I am always trying to be creative (also in non-musical ways) as I move to new ideas.

Don’t give up too early.


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