I’ve sincerely enjoyed my time here so far. It is particularly satisfying for me to be out of school yet still immersed in such intensive learning. Particularly with language. But more so, due to Israel’s incessant need to create a sense of continuity which justifies its establishment, her history is preserved and expressed at every street corner, literally, through her street names. With each name that I am unfamiliar is the opportunity to peel away another layer of history and trauma caked onto each narrative, both Jewish and Palestinian. Given that I am only currently enrolled in Ulpan I have the time to ask whatever questions I please and more importantly seek out answers not only through scholarly texts but also through daily news as well as my very surroundings. I feel I have learned more deeply without the pressure of grades and professors’ lasting evaluations. I’ve found it extremely liberating and it has translated particularly well to my personal journey with my music.
As I was not able to continue my Dual-Degree in the same manner during my time abroad I have not been enrolled in Music School. This has been particularly enlightening to me. In conservatory, I often depend solely on my scheduled unversity performances, which constitute as requirements for my performance degree, as the source for performance opportunities. That said because I perform so infrequently throughout the school year there is an incredible amount of pressure that comes with each performance in which my grade is also determined. Being abroad and without a music program, I’ve been able to experience the stark difference between the life of a music student as opposed to the life of a musician. I have truly had to confront my insecurities in performing in order to create playing opportunities for myself. It has also forced me to engage with the city in a much deeper manner. I go out nearly every night to listen to live music and to network. Consequently, I have been able and fortunate enough to create a lovely community of friends with whom I play with and connect with despite our language barrier. A barrier which is weakening with each day as I continue to work on my Hebrew.
(Later on in during my abroad experience I was even given the opportunity to play at the Tel Aviv Jazz Festival. I was the only woman in the Big Band I performed with. See picture below from sound check)