Life @ Longy: Hannah Meloy, Vocal Performance
Name: Hannah Meloy
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Area of study: Vocal Performance
Degree program: Master of Music
Class of 2016
Ideal career: Any career in which I perform art song and opera regularly (and get paid for it).
Why did you choose to attend Longy?
My decision to come to Longy was very last minute and somewhat spontaneous. I had already completed auditions at the four other institutions to which I had applied when my teacher suggested I look at one more school that a friend of hers had graduated from called Longy School of Music. She told me it focused quite a bit on chamber music which she believed would be a good fit for me. I thought, “may as well give it a try,” filled out an application and signed up just in time to audition for the last available date.
Almost immediately after stepping through the doors to Zabriskie House, I knew I belonged. Students and faculty alike were warm, inviting, and eager to divulge all the ins and outs of the school and its programs. At other conservatories where I had auditioned, there was a tension and sense of cold competition in the atmosphere. Though there will always be some healthy nerves that come along with audition day, the people at Longy made the experience much more human and inclusive.
Now that you’re here, what do you think makes Longy special?
What I experienced during my first moments inside Zabriskie house still holds true. The people at Longy are the exception in the world of music conservatories. Instead of creating a feeling of cold, competitive exclusivity, the faculty and students at Longy have opted for a warm, inclusive and supportive environment. Everyone is pulling for one another, which in turn makes better musicians, better collaborators, and ultimately, better people.
How would you describe a typical school day?
As a Master’s student, I often just have one or two classes a day. I’ll get to school around 9:30am to warm up, get coffee, chat with friends, then head to class. After classes are over I often have time to meet with my assigned pianist for about an hour to rehearse current studio repertoire. I’ll often take a break and get written work done or look at new rep. in the library after rehearsal time. Then, head back to a practice room to sing on my own, and perhaps meet with another assigned collaborator from one of my other repertoire classes. I might take a break to grab something to eat (or just skip a meal and get more coffee…) before attending a recital, concert, or masterclass in the evening. On a typical school day, I usually get home between 7pm and 9pm.
What is your favorite aspect of the Longy curriculum, and why?
I love the variety that Longy offers. I know that each semester will bring a whole new wave of music and information different from the last. There are standard requirements: theory, history, research, studio. However, most of my semester fills up with classes like Schubert Seminar, Spanish Song Repertoire, Yoga for Musicians, Opera Workshop, and so on. These are classes that are challenging, fun, and full of the information that I really want to focus on during my master’s degree.
Biggest unexpected challenge in your coursework?
During my undergraduate years, I worked with a staff accompanist for all my performances and rehearsals. I always knew what to expect from her and she was always coaching me. As a student at Longy, I work with many different collaborators, especially from the piano department. I would say the most unexpected challenge has been learning to adapt quickly to working with vastly different musicians with varying work ethics, personalities, and musical tastes. Yes, this is a challenge, but it is an extremely useful lesson for me to learn. Out in the “real world” of music, I will need to adapt quickly to working with lots of different kinds of musicians.
What advice you would give to incoming/prospective students?
Savor every moment you have at Longy and don’t take it for granted. Don’t get too stressed or overwhelmed. It’s important to remember it’s all for making the best music you can and you can’t do that without having fun!
What’s your favorite non-musical activity?
I like to do yoga, binge on Netflix, and play video games with friends.