Natalie Cressman talks about how stanford has changed her experiences as a musician in New York.

It’s right around midterm time at Manhattan School of Music, and my sophomore year is proving to be quite a lot of work. Some days I have over 9 hours of classes back-to-back!  But my experience this summer teaching at Stanford has definitely given me a leg up in learning how to manage time and energy to make it through so many classes. It took so much energy to teach all day with hardly a break that going to class from 11-9 is not nearly as draining as it would have been a year ago. Some of the music classes I take include Jazz Theory, Brazilian Music History, Afro-Cuban Ensemble, Classical Indian music ensemble, combo, Jazz history, vocal jazz ensemble, humanities, and various lectures/master classes.  The experience leading the jam sessions at Coho has also made me a lot more pro-active about getting out and playing with other musicians from outside my school.  I frequently go to sessions at Small’s, Fat Cat, Cleo’s, Creole, and Smoke jazz clubs. I also put together jam sessions at my school multiple times a week, something I didn’t do much before my experience at Stanford.  Perhaps most significantly, the networking with New York jazz musicians I did at Stanford make it so that now, when ever I go out and see a show or hit up a jam session, there are a lot more familiar faces. Many of the faculty and guest artists I’ve met at stanford (Victor Lin, Ambrose, Gerald Clayton Trio) are always playing gigs or hanging around at jam sessions. I always make a point to go out to support their shows and say hello afterwards.  It’s pretty awesome that teaching at Stanford has made it so some of the musicians I most admire are now friends of mine too.
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