Of your work, volunteer, and extracurricular activities, which has been the most intellectually stimulating, and why?

On July 1, 2001, the summer before my sophomore year, I was introduced to the University of Michigan’s All-State Piano Program at Interlochen. Since I had never attended All-State, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. Little did I know that this camp session – and the two additional sessions in my future – would become the most intellectually stimulating experiences of my high school career.Before Interlochen, I had never been exposed to much music instruction – or many other dedicated musicians, for that matter – outside of my Piano Preparatory Laboratory Program at Michigan. The day after my arrival at camp, however, I found myself in a music theory class – something I had never truly experienced before. It was there that I learned of concepts such as counterpoint, fugue form, and the music of Charles Ives (which I believe is a form entirely in itself!). In addition to music theory, I was placed in a piano literature class, where I was taught many aspects of music history to which I had not been previously exposed. This class operated much like a college musicology class, so it gave me a taste of college that I could not have gained anywhere else. Along with taking these classes, I had the opportunity to meet roughly forty other pianists from around Michigan who were at or above my level of musicianship, which was an amazing experience in and of itself. For these reasons – and many more – I will always count Interlochen as the most intellectually stimulating experience of my high school career.

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