Day in the life of vocal performance major Kaitlyn Bourne

Written by: 
Gosuke Kawano

Kaitlyn Bourne, a senior vocal major from Utah, said she hopes to use music to inspire others and bring people together. “Music is so uplifting. That is why I think we use music so much in the gospel,” she said.

What made you decide to study this major?

“I’ve always loved singing ever since I was little but was inclined to study medicine to be a doctor. When I went on a mission, I felt this divine inspiration that God didn’t give me this talent for me not to use it. So coming out of my mission, I knew that I was going to sing and pursue something that I love regardless of whether I thought it was practical, which I now realize it is.”

What makes your major unique?

“I think in a lot of majors, a lot of it is memorization or gaining knowledge, which is also in music, but music is also about training skills. I can memorize all I want about music history, music theory, and composition, but fundamentally if I cannot perform, then what am I? For me, what makes this major so different is that it is not only studying and memorizing all the time - the way most college students are - but also spending a lot of time practicing.”

What do you want to do with it?

“My plan is to go on to grad school to study opera and train more because I’m still so young. A bachelor’s degree in vocal performance is kind of just scratching the surface as far as talent and training goes. I would also like to go to Europe. There is a huge classical music market there.”

Favorite class

“I love all of the music history classes talking about what we know about music, where it came from, and how it was built and has evolved. I also like the vocal and opera literature classes where we dive into songs that we would never be exposed to otherwise, because there are thousands upon thousands of songs to sing. I love finding new music to love.”

Describe a typical day

“I wake up early and have class basically from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. everyday. I teach private lessons to students and people from the community in the evenings. Then I usually get home between around 6:30 and 7 p.m. and do homework. I also need to put in an hour of vocal practice a day. So I usually get all things done by around 9 in the evening. It’s a long day, but when you do what you love, it’s worth it.”

Number of people in the major

“I believe there are approximately 20 students in vocal performance. It’s not a huge program. Even in the music program, maybe there are about 50 to 70 students in total.”

Time spent in a day

“I usually spend about 10 hours a day working and doing homework like singing and listening to music. We have a lot of listening.”

Pros

“We get to do what we love and do it to influence other people. I cannot think of a better way to spread peace than with music, because although we might not speak the same language, everybody can listen to a piece of music and take something away from it. I think as a music major, you have that ability to unite others though these musical experiences.”

Cons

“It’s very time consuming. I can say that if you are not dedicated to it, you’d hate it. You have to put in the effort because if you didn’t, you wouldn’t progress and you’d be frustrated. The music field is very saturated with very talented people, so it’s very competitive.” 

Date Published: 
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Last Edited: 
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

NOTE: This story's online publishing was delayed because it was featured in the June 2017 print issue.