CMPI trumpet fellow Nando Cordeiro takes us on his journey of the last few months, transitioning to online learning, taking trial lessons while at the same time navigating the college application process. As far as pre-screening videos, Nando only had to submit videos for Juilliard and Northwestern. His father, an avid supporter of Nando’s musical development, helped record the pre-screening material with professional recording devices they own at the Merit School of Music; they recorded on Sony Video Camera and Auxiliary Microphone.
Nando has taken trial lessons at Roosevelt, DePaul, Northwestern and worked with teachers from New England Conservatory and Manhattan School of Music during the summer. He spent a few weeks studying at the New England Virtual Trumpet Summer Festival, where he worked with many artists. “The virtual summer program was a suitable replacement for traditional summer festivals, teachers were great, and we were able to do fun stuff despite being in a pandemic,” says Nando. The festival included musicians from Boston Symphony. He enjoyed lessons with teachers on faculty at New England Conservatory: Thomas Siders, Benjamin Wright, and Thomas Rolfs.
Nando also spent time working with Metropolitan Opera Principal Trumpet David Krauss at the summer festival. Regarding audition material, Nando found it helpful to stay organized, because as he says, “it is easy to let things fall behind.” He also suggests you get to everything you need to work on every day, even if it is a little bit. Making a list of repertoire colleges require early on is essential. Nando wrote everything prospective colleges ask for at auditions and noted similarities in the repertoire to hone in on the pieces he needed to learn. Nando also mentioned the importance of writing down all necessary deadlines as soon as possible.
“Colleges were changing things on their website, given the pandemic,” he says. Many schools use the same format to fill applications out. Some schools use CommonApp, where you can enter data once for multiple schools. Nando recommends listening to music while filling out applications. “Listening is the best practice you could do away from your instrument. Listen to different interpretations, different pieces,” he says. Nando took many notes during his trial lessons and summer studies. A valuable principle he is applying from his summer studies is always to play your best! “It can be challenging, but don’t do something without intent. Take the time to be musical and give it your all, even if you’re not feeling like it,” he says.