Musical Mentality

Scholarship Entrant: Jordan from Los Angeles, CA
Essay Question: If you could earn a living doing what you love most, what would it be, and how would it change the world? Describe the specific goals you would set to make that dream a reality.
Vote for Jordan: 425

When my mom initially queried my career path, at seven, I said writer, because I liked creativity. The next time I said waitress, because I found serving people rewarding. Finally, at eleven, the answer was musician, because I wanted to create feeling.

“Orchestral bassoonist” has been my official goal since, but ideally, I would do all three things at once – creativity, service, and feeling. Here’s my problem – the symphony exudes creativity and feeling…but service? The defining quality of the concert hall audience is wealth. In picking a group to serve, I wouldn’t start with them – I’d focus on people whose feeling and creativity are held hostage by a diseased mind. I believe that mental health and inspiring the ability to create has true potential to change the world because it allows people to help themselves. I will be doing what I love when I use music to help heal minds.

I’ve nearly finished my first step in this direction. In a year I’ll graduate from USC with a BM in bassoon performance. My next goal is application to the Fulbright program to receive a governmental grant allowing me to pursue interdisciplinary music and psychology research in Finland, a leader in exploration to understand the connection between mind and music. Upon returning, I plan to work with music therapists and university or professional orchestras to develop ways in which the people with the most to benefit from experiencing live musical performance may find it affordable and accessible, thus accomplishing my dream.

Vote for Jordan: 425

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