Personal experience: how a Belarusian in 16 years received a full scholarship to study in the US
In 16 years, Masha Zabara went to study in the USA. One At the same time received a full scholarship. Herself. What came out of it, how participation in contests helps students earn money and how music education in the USA differs from Belarusian one, Masha told TUT.BY.
“If you ask, and people are willing to invest, it’s called business, not arrogance.”
Maria was born in the family of actor Igor Zabara and cellist Yulia Glushitskaya. For myself, I did not see any other way except creative one. Although there have been attempts: at the age of five, the girl dreamed of becoming a milkmaid or a pig-pig. And before that somersaults - she thought up this profession herself.
At the age of six Masha picked up the cello for the first time. Mom selected the instrument - the daughter did not give up.
"She said," I will play. " Mom replied: "No, I can't stand it!" But I insisted, - Masha smiles. - I think I realized already in childhood that the cello can open many doors. At first, by the way, I had no hearing - I sang so out of tune! But then my mother trained, and it turned out that I have perfect pitch. I just had to find him. "
Since then, Masha studied the cello every day, which was larger than the girl herself. But no indulgence: she wanted. Then joined the piano lessons - at least an hour.
“From the age of 7 I went to school alone, and, of course, I had to wear my cello myself. Now, by the way, when I go out into the street without a tool behind my back, it seems as if something is missing. And blows in the back, - the girl smiles. "
In 15 years, she conceived to enter the United States, the parents in the subject is not particularly dedicated. Just met with a classmate who had already studied in America. He advised to videotape his game and send it to the teacher with whom he was engaged.
“Maybe she will invite you too,” a former classmate said. I have long wanted to go to an English-speaking country to study, so I signed up and tried. The teacher listened to my game and said: “Come next year. You are still too young for the conservatory, so I expect you in high school. "
Masha began to collect documents. Parents wondered why she all this, but did not interfere.
“Both the teacher and I wrote a letter to the school. From there came the answer: "Send 60 thousand dollars." I was surprised: “Excuse me, how much?”, After which I translated my parents' income statements into English to show that they don't even earn nearly as much. The American side reviewed my situation. In each new letter, they reduced the amount that had to be paid for their studies. Ultimately, in my broken English, I wrote: "Guys, for 30, and even for 15 thousand dollars, I will not be able to come to you." As a result, they gave me a full scholarship to study and live. I only had to pay for visa, insurance and tickets. ”
This success, says Masha, taught her the main thing: do not be afraid to ask for help.
“This is something that many people do not know how to do. They are proud, ashamed, think, if you ask for help, you automatically descend to a lower level. Here in America this is absolutely not the case. If you ask, and people are ready to invest in you, this is called business, not begging or arrogance. I also have a product that I can provide to investors. And in the future, if thanks to their investments my career can develop, it will come back to haunt them in a good sense of the word. "
“Competitions were needed, including for earning money”
Masha always wanted to go to study abroad. But do not escape, said the girl.
“From childhood I was raised and tuned in to leave. Not in a negative way. Fleeing your country is not the noblest thing. I just wanted to get experience from other people. The representatives of our society have practically the same worldview. People are different, of course, but most of them are similar. I wanted to know about other people - different religions, colors, orientations, etc. And, of course, develop yourself professionally, get to know other teachers, see what competitions there are ”.
First, Masha entered high school, where she studied for three years. Here she “grew” to the conservative level.
“The study lasted from XNUMX am to XNUMX pm. Before the first semester, we chose sciences for a whole year. And this is completely different from our system. For example, biology in Belarus is taught in the seventh, eighth, ninth, etc. classes. Here - only a year, but very intensive and practice-oriented: we were given only the knowledge that could be useful in life. And if you really like the subject, you can take another year at the university level, which is called “AR”.
The school schedule looked like this: for example, literature, then a public subject (like a classroom hour, when the whole school gets together in the main hall or church), then science, dance, and the last two classes — cello practice. Once a week we were picked up by a big car, and we went to the university (University of Minnesota), where we worked with the teacher.
There were no examinations in music, theory too. Neither solfeggio nor harmony. They were not enough at first, but then I realized: this is a good opportunity to concentrate solely on practice, competitions, performances and not think about any chains and dictations.
Contests provide an opportunity to be in front of the public, to show themselves as an artist who is different from others. Only trained guys participate, there are no random ones among them. And with the technique they have everything in order, and the plays have been learned. Therefore, you need to go out and not just show that you know how to play, but demonstrate that you can play differently. To the judges broke away from their papers and discussions of minor things, while listening to the edge of the ear. This can be achieved only when they see something new, alive.
Classical music often turns into a sport: who better makes the transition, who has a more expressive touch. But this one has a limit - there is no limit only for creativity.
I needed contests to earn money. One thousand, two - such awards could be counted on in the event of a victory. At first parents and grandparents helped pay for additional expenses, but then gradually began to rely only on themselves. I was very uncomfortable, because I could stay at home and study for free, and so I had to sit on the neck of my parents. Speeches were a real way to make money, because I couldn’t make any other money, even on campus: this would have required a different, working visa.
After graduating from high school, Masha decided to go ahead. I tried right away in 13 higher institutions - she was accepted into almost everything. The girl chose Bard College: here she is also studying at the conservatory and at the film faculty.
“I chose Bard because it was possible to study two specialties at once. And the teachers are good. And how beautiful it is! In addition, I was again given a scholarship from the university. ”
In the first semester, the workload was low. In the second I decided to say “yes” to everyone, to participate in various ensembles and creative projects, so it was not easy. Now everything has more or less leveled off. There is a subject every day. Monday - scripting, Tuesday and Thursday - film history, Wednesday - camera shooting, Friday - cello.
But actually, I do more projects on the side than I study. I took off a short film, for example. I accidentally met in the restaurant with the guys who heard me play. I started to describe to them what short film I want to shoot, and they helped. Can you imagine how easy it was to find partners for the collaboration?
I would like to develop into cinema further. When I was 9 years old, I starred in the movie New Years Adventures in July. It was for me in a good way a huge shock: it was so interesting, unusual and exciting. Therefore, in the future I want to work in cinema: either make films, or play them, or write soundtracks. Making a movie amazes me: it's all arts together!
What do not like studying? I can not complain about anything. Like the intensity, freedom. This is good because it teaches us to structure our activities. On the other hand, people who do not have enough self-discipline, it is very relaxing. But I have this with full order.
In comparison with the Belarusian experience I like everything. In comparison with the ideal study that I have in my head ... I don’t like that it costs so much - finally the right girl finds. The program, by the way, costs 72 thousands of dollars a year. “Even well-to-do families cannot always afford such an education, and this greatly narrows the circle of students. And those who decide to pay, borrow and pay it all their lives.
In Belarus they teach hardcore, and I like it, because it helps to grow with a steel grip and discipline. Here teachers live well, and they want to educate in you not character, but individuality. Not “to become the best”, but “to be what you are”. It seems like “it won't work with cello, it will work somewhere else”. This is incredibly annoying.
On the other hand, there are so many opportunities in America, one of which will definitely become yours. Because the competition is not as high as it may seem. Although, perhaps, I still have a rather superficial glance.
But not everything is as sweet, of course, as it might look from the outside. Sometimes, says Masha, there are “sour” periods when you have to prove, first of all, to yourself that she can and is worth something.
“The thoughts of how globally lucky I am are saving me. I have amazing parents who don't say I should stay at home and bring them a glass of water. Yes, and it's still too early: they are young and full of energy. I have friends, arms and legs and perfect pitch. It also helps to realize that thanks to my studies in the United States, I am not stuck in one place and in one time. ”
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