After a week of practicing until my fingers just about fell off, I have returned home from orchestra camp. I have to say, I was really surprised. To explain, 35% of the students were bass players (the bass section was largest, instead of its usual place as smallest), only 30 students were present at all, and only two other violists were there!
Because of the small class size, the teachers got to know all the kids really well, and we got a lot of individual attention. As a bonus point, they were the Texas Tech music school staff (not all of the teachers at the music school, that would be way too many teachers), so we got to know what the professors there are like. The teachers were really nice and very helpful, so everyone got along really well.
Plus, getting to live on-campus and see the school is especially great for those of us who have realized that college application time is looming in. The campus is huge, so I didn’t see all of it (the guys’ counselor said that TTU is the second largest in the US in terms of square miles, and second only to the flight academy since they have airplane fields everywhere), but what I did see was really beautiful. It was quite toasty, above 100 every day, but walking around outside at least felt like walking. Here, it’s more comparable to swimming, specifically, swimming in boiling water.
If I decide to major in music and attend college in-state, and, at this point, I have no idea how likely either of those contingencies are, I would want to go to TTU (I don’t think I’d get into Rice, but I guess technically I’d rather go there). The professors I met were fantastic musicians and teachers. Since it was so close to the end of the summer, a lot of students were there, some of them living in the same dorm just down the hall from us! I saw a lot of orientation and beginning-of-the-year type activities going on, and overheard some hilarious conversations of the cafeteria (“Wait, we need to buy the textbook for that class? And we have to read the required reading? I thought it was optional!”).
Seriously though, I think I could see myself going there. Not just because I enjoyed the camp, but more because the campus seemed like the kind of college experience I would enjoy. I guess it’s hard to know for sure at this point, but I think it was pretty good.
I certainly haven’t made any final decisions (or even any preliminary decisions), since I won’t start visiting schools seriously until next summer. I’m glad to have gotten a visit in to a few Texas schools already, though. It should cut down on the number of prolonged trips all over the place.