Laura Lu

Laura Lu

Music Composition student

Laura is a 19 years old undergraduate student from UC Davis. She would like to major in music composition and is building up her resume for her PhD application.

Currently undertaking a BA in Music in UC David, she enjoys music composition, songwriting and singing. For the past six years, she has taken on roles as a band organizer, vocalist and songwriter. She was selected as the “Most accomplished and talented musician in the class of 2016 at St. Mary’s Shanghai.

University admission result

★ NYU Steinhardt
Brooklyn College of Music

Scope of the program

Overall structure

Laura and her mentor had eight video/audio meetings. Laura presented her songs-in-progress and received feedback from her mentor. Laura was taught some aspects of counterpoint, melody, and harmony and provided examples. She was also given listening and analysis assignments. The first song she wrote had original lyrics in English; the second had original lyrics in Chinese.

Learning objectives

  • Complete 2-3 original songs of high quality.
  • How to craft good melodies, harmonies, and counterpoint;
  • How to match lyrics with melodies;
  • How to write appropriately for different instruments;
  • How to analyze chords and write chord symbols in the score;
  • How to produce professional score layout

What challenges did she face?

  • She enjoys songwriting, however lacked new content material to write on.
  • She aspires to be pursue a Ph.D. at Berklee and was looking to elevate her success in doing so.

How did our Music Composition program help her?

  • The program allowed her to fresher her mind for new ideas and focused on in-depth concepts on composition including counterpoint, melody, and harmony, listening and analysis assignments.
  • On the last video session, the professor had agreed to write a Letter of Recommendation for Laura.

Matched professor in Music Composition program:

An assistant professor of composition at the Berklee College of Music. Prior to that she served on the piano faculty of the Settlement Music School. Her compositions have been performed across the U.S. in a variety of venues, including NYC’s Areté Venue and Gallery and the Boston Conservatory. Honors include the Northridge Composition Prize and the Brian M. Israel Prize.

Recommendation letter

I think she has the natural talent to thrive as a singer and songwriter. She has a beautiful singing voice and a gift for melody and harmony. She has a fair amount of musical knowledge from her undergraduate work and has taught herself some electronic music production. I think she would benefit from a rigorous graduate level songwriting education.

Mentor from Berklee College of Music

Excerpts from the student’s work

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