This week’s student spotlight is on Veronica Bianqui, a student at UCLA and an ethnomusicology major. Here, Veronica answers a few questions about life as a Bruin.
Jaye: So what exactly is ethnomusicology?
Veronica: Ethnomusicology is the study of music around the world through an anthropological/sociological perspective. On the academic side we study the social context in which music is found. We also study the music itself, such as learning to play the instruments.
J: And how did you end up choosing this major?
V: I am a singer/songwriter, and I thought the exposure to world music would influence my own compositions in a positive way. I thought it would be a more interesting route than studying purely Western music. I also liked the fact that I could audition for the program with any instrument in any style. It allowed me to show my strongest point, which is writing songs. On top of that, I’ve wanted to learn to play sitar for many years, and never thought it could happen so soon!
J: What has it been like to be a student at UCLA?
V: UCLA is a school that has grown on me. I didn’t always love it, but I like it more and more as time goes on. Being a student at UCLA has been a great experience, especially for transitioning to being my own person, apart from my parents. What I love about the school is that even though there are so many students it is easy to make it feel smaller by joining clubs or just by being in the small Ethnomusicology department. At the same time there is always someone new to meet.
J: What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not studying?
V: I absolutely love traveling, meeting people, and writing.
J: What advice would you give to high school juniors or seniors who are starting to make decisions about where to go for college?
V: Follow your gut instinct! I thought I was going to go to Sarah Lawrence College, but when I visited something inside did not quite click, even though I liked the school. Because of that feeling I chose UCLA, and I do believe it is where I’m meant to be. More advice I would emphasize is to follow your passion. Don’t worry about being a cookie-cutter student (in a million clubs, all APs, etc. ) unless you actually want to do those things! Take risks, do what makes you happy, don’t be terribly occupied with the future, and you will end up where you belong.
Visit Veronica and her music on MySpace!