I recently heard an interview with the president of Barnard College (affiliated with Columbia University) and she mentioned what she looks for in the admissions process there, and previously at Harvard.
She mentioned the number of applications coming from “box-checkers”, applicants who have tried and pursued a variety of interests, but that the college is less interested in multiple extra-curricular activities as they are in seeing a passion:
“And while box-checkers may be OK, you really want a kid who’s about something, who is committed to something, who is in love with something, who is talented at something. And the box-checking actually takes you away from developing those passions…”
In thinking about my college applications, my passion was obvious. Every activity revolved around music. (You can read more about my musical childhood here.) There was no doubt that I had a passion and had pursued it in every way.
So, now, on a short visit with my parents in my hometown (Merced, CA), I find myself showing Robert, AKA Mr. Lisa, all the places where that passion began and where it was nurtured: from the piano in my parents living room to the grand piano at church where I used to accompany and lead choirs; to my high school where I played for the school musicals to the nursing home where we “entertained” the residents; from my piano teacher’s home where I’d ride a bike to lessons to the church where my first job was playing weddings. I’m not one to get nostalgic, but there is something magical about seeing the places along the way that brought me to the lifelong love of music that takes me through every day.
My passions are a love of making music and nurturing that love in others. I remain grateful that my “work” allows me to spend every day doing just that. But more importantly, I have the privilege of being one of a child’s very first “sparks” into a passion for making music. (Thus was born the name SoundSteps many years ago.)
Whether or not SoundSteps is a place where your child’s lifelong passion is born, or whether it simply awakens his or her brain and body to learning and loving something wonderful later on, I am thrilled we can be part of your family’s journey.
Here are a couple questions, feel free to reply in the comments below:
- Adults: What is your passion and where was it sparked? Who nurtured it and can you retrace your steps along the way?
- In not too many years from now, will our Kindermusik room a place your child will be able to mark as a step in his/her journey toward a passion? What a thrilling possibility!
This post brought to you by Miss Lisa.