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Roberta "Bobbi" Giel ('15)

Bachelor of Music, Music Production and Technology

Why I Chose Hartt

When people think of college and declaring a major in music, they automatically think performance, education, or composition. No matter how hard I try, I can never perform in front of anyone without my hands shaking uncontrollably, my face turning bright red, and my stomach twisting into knots (even performing in front of my own parents makes me sweat). I taught private piano and violin lessons twice a week two years prior to starting college, and I still work as a pit percussion instructor for my old high school marching band. But as much as I enjoy teaching, I just couldn’t picture myself making a career out of it. As for composing – I love songwriting and arranging, but composing in a classical manner was and still is a skill that I struggle with.

So when it came time to decide what I wanted to major in and where I wanted to go to school, I was completely indecisive. I knew that I couldn’t major in performance, education, or composition, but I also knew that I wanted to have some sort of career in music. During my sophomore year at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, I took a class in basic sound recording techniques and discovered that I absolutely love the recording and producing aspect of music. However, I didn’t know anyone could actually major in any type of sound recording program until I researched several music schools – one of them being The Hartt School.

Other schools I researched offered substantial sound recording programs, but they were more focused on training their students to become simply recording engineers rather than musicians and recording engineers. Hartt’s Music Production and Technology program has a delicate balance between the technical side and the musical side of sound recording, which are both equally important. I also found that other schools required some basic knowledge and experience before being accepted into their sound recording programs, while Hartt does not. Rather, they seek passion, commitment, and curiosity from their prospective students.

I think the most important reason as to why I chose the Music Production and Technology program at The Hartt School, however, is because I felt at home. I was welcomed and encouraged to succeed by not only the faculty, but by the upperclassmen students as well. I learned so much just by assisting on various recording sessions and constantly asking questions, which no one ever hesitated to answer. The Hartt School is genuinely unique in the fact that it has the essence of a family rather than a conservatory. Whether one is majoring in performance, education, composition, or music production and technology, we are all musicians first, and our first passion will always be to create amazing music together.

More About Bobbi

Roberta “Bobbi” Giel grew up in Wethersfield, Connecticut, only twenty minutes away from The Hartt School. She began studying classical piano at the age of six, followed by violin at the age of nine, guitar and bass at the age of thirteen, and mallet percussion at the age of fifteen. She attended both Wethersfield High School and the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts for four years, majoring in classical piano. Come this fall, Bobbi will be an engineer/staff member for the Hartt Recording Studio, Section Vice Chair/Club Vice President for the Hartford Chapter of the Audio Engineering Society, and continuing her work as a pit percussion instructor for the Wethersfield High School Marching Band.

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