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Longy School of Music of Bard College Reviews

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  • 05/11/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 of 2

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    Harvard Square is close by with lots of great coffee shops and restaurants.

    Academic Rigor

    As a pedagogue, harp faculty Franziska Huhn was able to support my musical interests while encouraging me to continue exploring new avenues of harp repertoire and technique. Franziska has also helped me enormously in injury-prevention and in my own technical thinking by giving me tools and problem-solving techniques for exploring pain and tension in my playing and then taking steps to remove that tension so that Iâ??ll be able to enjoy a long and healthy life as a harpist. When I first began studying with Franziska I was on the verge of developing tendonitis and had extreme pain even after playing for 10 minutes and she has coached and guided me to the point where I could present and hour-long recital with strength, confidence and very little tension or pain. I feel incredibly lucky to have found her and had the privilege of working with her. As an artist Franziska embodies true musicianship in her own thinking and music and in her performances. She encourages her students to really climb inside the pieces they are studying - analyze the harmony, solfege and sing the melodies, explore parts of the piece one day as technical etudes and the next day as opera arias. She has taught me how to turn my daily practice into much more than the preparation of each individual piece - rather, the time I spend behind the harp has become part of my daily growth and experience of being an artist. Franziska shows incredible attention to musical detail that is absolutely stunning in its comprehensiveness. One of her favorite teaching stories is to tell about the Emerson Quartet onstage performing a Beethoven quartet when suddenly the violist realizes he cannot remember his solo which is coming up in the music (the Quartet is playing from memory). As the music approaches the moment when the solo happens and the violist is getting more and more nervous, he suddenly hears the cello enter playing his solo and is able to recover and finish the performance. Afterwards he asked the cellist how he knew that he had forgotten the solo and the cellist responded, 'Your finger was in the wrong place.' As a chamber coach and performer, and as a studio teacher, Franziska brings this level of musical passion to everything she does. She is clearly a born teacher - someone who loves supporting, encouraging and problem-solving in tandem with the student. Educator Grant Wiggins writes that 'great teachers get more from us than we thought possible to give.' Franziska sees what is not yet there in a way that only a special kind of teacher can. I had never dreamed of being able to continue my harp studies in a conservatory setting, and hadnâ??t even realized that harp performance was what I really wanted to do with my life, but Franziska saw something in me and helped me grow into the harpist that I have become today. Her mentorship and support go far beyond the hour she spends in harp lessons with her students - she sees each student as an individual and tailors her approach as a teacher to ensure that each student finds what they need from their harp studies, be it a career, a hobby, a second career, a respite from other stresses or an outlet for emotional stress. Franziska is an amazing artist and incredible teacher and working with her is a wonderful experience.

    Tips for prospective students

    Find a studio teacher who really connects with you and encourages your artistic development. What brought me to Longy was the harp teacher here (Franziska Huhn - see review under Academic Rigor section) and it really made my experience here amazing.

    In three sentences

    The harp studio here is amazing. Franziska Huhn is an amazing teacher and mentor and is an incredible asset to the Longy School of Music of Bard College where I studied with her in the process of getting my master's degree. During the course of my private studio instruction she has helped me to grow both technically and artistically.

  • 05/24/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 of 2

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    Student government/council is active in providing socialization and outreach opportunities.

    Great for these types of students

    Musicians that want quality studio instruction as well as challenge in the academic portion of their musical development. If you want more experience in chamber music as a undergraduate or graduate this school provides plenty of opportunity.

    Bang for the buck

    Tuition is comparable if not a little less expensive than the bigger schools of music.

    What to do for fun

    Harvard Square is a 5 minute way from Longy. Boston downtown is a short 15 minute train ride. Boston's Back Bay that houses Symphony Hall, Berklee College of Music, the Museum of Fine Arts are all within short reach of Public transportation.

    Food and Dining

    Longy provides a fridge for bringing meals to school as well as a microwave and seating cafe/study areas. Coffee machine, vending machines for snacks and healthier options are in the main student building. Within walking distance to the school you have Harvard Square which provides many mainstream dinning options. Boloco, Chipotle, Subway, Starbucks, as well as local small business options.

    Dorm Life

    Off-campus housing only. There is a housing board sent out to students regularly to find living situations in families or roommates.

    Academic Rigor

    Undergraduate diploma program for solfege and theory are comparable to the larger conservatories.

    Tips for prospective students

    For undergraduates, you will find this school emphasizes chamber music, theory and solfege. You need to remember that you pursue conservatory training not only to better your technique at your instrument but to become a better musician as well. You will have to spend time on solfege and theory not just practicing your instrument at this school.

    In three sentences

    The undergraduate theory and solfege are one of the best in the country. Using the textbooks of the Paris Conservatory, you will get a rigorous musical education here.