[Transcribed from video] Hallo, ich heiẞ Naomi und ich komme aus New York. Ich studiere Mathematik und Informatik in Atlanta bei Emory aber nicht dieses Semester. Ich bin aufgeregt, weil ich nach Wien für ein Musikprogramm gehe! Jetzt spiele ich Klavier für euch.
[Translation] Hi! My name is Naomi and I am from New York. I study Mathematics and Computer Science in Atlanta at Emory, but not this semester. I am excited because I am going to Vienna for a music program. Now, I will play the piano for you.
This is an excerpt from Rachmaninoff’s Prelude Op. 23 No. 5 in G minor, which I will be using in my audition in Vienna (more details to come). Disclaimer: my German and musicality are far from perfect, but that’s okay!
This weekend, I will begin my study abroad experience by flying from New York City to Dublin to Vienna. Going to Vienna is a dream of mine because of my passion for music and art. I attended LaGuardia Arts High School as an instrumental music major, where I studied piano, viola and harp. At Emory, I am a math and computer science major and music minor. As a second-year student, the first chapters of my academic career have been marked by my passion for technology and dedication to social justice. In addition to studying for my classes, my busy schedule filled with meetings for various student organizations has not been completely void of music. I often attend concerts through Emory’s music department, student-initiated performances, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Atlanta Opera. However, I realized my musical desires were not being fulfilled, and the opportunity to spend an entire semester focussed on music in a new environment appealed to me.
To study abroad is an honor and a privilege; I am grateful to have the support and time necessary to embark on this journey. My college, family and friends have all been understanding of my intentions and I realize that I am lucky. In planning my trip, I want to make the most of the next four months. I have been researching museums, public transportation, supermarkets, parks and memorials since the possibility of going to Vienna became a serious consideration. I am eager to practice my German with native speakers and immerse myself in Austrian culture. Simultaneously, I look forward to meeting other students in my program, connecting across our diverse backgrounds and sharing our perspectives. I am curious about different motivations for studying abroad, specifically for the IES Abroad Vienna Music program.
I am anxious (in a positive way) about what our three-day orientation will be like and the schedule for our German-intensive class. In addition to being in another country, IES Abroad is different from Emory in the way classes are formatted. After a few weeks of a German-intensive class, I will have a final exam and a week off before beginning the rest of my classes in February. I hope I remember how to study for a class (just kidding). All of the classes I pre-registered for are focussed on music, besides my German language class. I am most interested in “Music and Politics” because I support interdisciplinary learning and exploring connections between seemingly different topics.
I will audition for the orchestra and individual performance studies. The thoughts of auditioning and performing for an audience make me nervous, since I haven’t been on stage since high school. I hope the conductor is understanding of my circumstance! I miss being in an orchestra because the unique community is different from any other group that I have been a part of. Collaborating with the common goal to meaningfully create music is special, and I look forward to participating in this art again.
Most of all, I hope to learn as much as possible and have fun! I know this semester will involve many changes from what I am used to, but I am confident in my ability to adapt and find my role in a new setting. Tschuss! (Bye!)
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Naomi Keusch Baker
<p>As a math and computer science major and music minor at Emory University, my passions range from increasing diversity and inclusion in technology industries to advocating for arts education. I want to combine my skills in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) to work toward social justice in my community and beyond. On campus, I am involved in Girls Who Code, the Interdisciplinary Exploration and Scholarship (IDEAS) Fellowship, Refugee Revive, Hillel and the Media, Literature and Arts Outreach (MLAO) themed house.</p>