"MEET OUR STUDENTS": DAVID ACEVEDO (CC'19)

What year are you at Columbia?

Sophomore

What are/will you be majoring in?

Music and Astrophysics

How long have you been a participant of the MPP?

I have participated in MPP since my first semester in college.

 How have you benefited by MPP programs and performance opportunities?

Due to the MPP's diverse range of ensembles, I have benefitted from learning about a variety of different musical idioms, including jazz, free improvisation, classical, Brazilian, and Afro-Cuban. This has opened up my mind to the infinitely many avenues of sonic expression that are possible, and made me very excited to explore these on my own and with others.

Any tips on how a student might be able to fully take advantage of all the musical offerings at Columbia? 

Because there is a vast range of musical opportunities on campus, it can be tempting to join as many ensembles as possible. I did this my freshman year, and found myself spread too thin. In order to take full advantage of the opportunities here, I would recommend registering for one or two ensembles per semester, and really digging into the material taught in them. That way, you can truly get the most out of your performance groups, and also have ample time to practice independently and digest what you have learned.

How do you balance the busy academic schedule with practice time? any tips?

Attending a school like Columbia, it is almost inevitable that you will have less practice time than someone who attends a conservatory. I am not saying that this is a bad thing, but it is the truth. With the opportunity to take a diverse range of classes from different subjects at this school comes the sacrifice of some practice time. This makes efficient practicing vital, as some days you may only have an hour or even less to practice. Find a routine that allows you to progress in an efficient manner while still having time to complete your coursework.

What was the most memorable musical experience in your life?

This past summer, I did a program run by the School for Improvisational Music which they called their Summer Jazz Intensive. We explored various concepts of free improvisation and contemporary jazz and classical music, which was the most enriching and eye-opening musical experience of my life.

What does making music mean to you?

Making music is a beautiful way to commune with people on a spiritual level, one that erases all boundaries that may exist in day-to-day life. It is a conversation between people at the deepest level, something that is exhilarating to partake in in a variety of different settings. There is an infinite number of forms that this sonic exploration can take on; the possibilities are truly endless. 

Anything you would like to share with the readers?(favorite food, summer activities, favorite quote, etc)

Favorite Quote: "The genius is the one most like himself." - Thelonious Monk