Posts Tagged ‘playing music’

Connections Through Creativity

Wednesday, October 18th, 2023

Having a creative outlet is something that I believe is essential for everyone, but especially college students. The route memorization and endless readings that all students suffer through for the sake of their degrees can be incredibly draining, and it is so helpful to both take a break and exercise a different part of your mind through creative activities. Granted, I am a film student, so all of the creative stuff is a pretty integral part of my degree as is. However, that’s not to say that I don’t find ways to express my creativity in other ways outside of film.

For me, music has always been a core way for me to express myself, for myself. I started playing piano at age 5 and absolutely adored the way that playing music could express emotions in a way that words are not capable of. At first, it was a private way of showing up for myself and working through things through a creative medium. However,  the summer after 4th grade, I started my journey with the cello.

My very first cello recital

I think what first attracted me to the cello is how human-like its register is. The warmth and depth of the tones that can be produced on the cello are just so reminiscent of the human voice,  which gives cello pieces an extra layer of complexity and emotion. Starting cello is what finally helped me bridge the gap between finding my voice through music and sharing that voice with others. 

From elementary all the way through high school, I was able to have so many amazing experiences through playing the cello. I got to perform with the amazing trio Time for Three, play a movie-themed concert, and participate in the pit orchestra for two school musicals. By the end of my senior year, it was difficult to imagine a life without the cello and orchestral music. However, I wasn’t sure how to incorporate cello into my college life.

Going to school in Ireland definitely complicated things. If I wanted to bring my cello from home, I would have had to buy a whole extra plane ticket for it. With a connecting flight and a lot of baggage, it just didn’t seem like a viable option. The other choice was looking to buy or rent a cello in Dublin, but the research I did at home yielded very few results. So, with little choice to do anything else, I flew to Dublin for the first time without knowing the next time I’d play the cello.

Thankfully, with the help of fate, it didn’t take long for me to find out. My school had a society fair, and I went straight up to the orchestra’s booth to enquire about auditions. I was hoping they would have auditions later in the year, so I could have the time to look for a cello, but unfortunately, they were holding the only auditions of the year in just a few days. 

I booked an audition slot, and the panic to find a cello set in. I traversed all over the city, going from one music shop to the next with no luck. Finally, I made my last stop for the day at a music store that was set to close in twenty minutes. To my surprise, they had a single student cello for sale. It was in my price range so after sending a few photos of the instrument to my teacher back home to make sure it was okay, I bought the cello and brought it home.

I didn’t have much time to practice, but thankfully the audition went okay and I got into the orchestra! (It would have been pretty awkward if I didn’t…having just bought a cello and all). I was a little intimidated by how talented the other players were, but after a few rehearsals I settled in and found myself looking forward to the weekly rehearsals as a break from my classes and an exciting way to continue playing cello.

I had a number of incredible experiences through the cello my freshman year of college as well. I played Beethoven’s 5th and 9th symphonies, performed in the pit for the musical “Sweet Charity,” and even got to play some ’90s music for Trinity Ball, the largest private party in Europe held right on my university’s campus!

The Trinity Ball crowd!

Overall, I am so grateful that I was able to continue playing cello in college. It has given me a community and so many memories that I wouldn’t be able to imagine my college experience without. I would highly recommend to anyone starting out in college to find their own creative outlet, whether it’s an instrument, visual art, creative writing, or anything else. There are so many opportunities to connect with the arts through your school, and once you find the thing that’s right for you, you’ll be so happy for both the outlet and experiences that it will provide.


  • I started playing piano as a musical outlet, and eventually switched to cello
  • I had amazing experiences in high school playing cello, but wasn’t sure how to continue in college
  • Thankfully, I was able to get another cello and join my university’s orchestra
  • The orchestra has provided me with a strong community and unforgettable experiences performing
  • Having a creative outlet in college can be an amazing way to establish a community and take part in new experience

Treat yourself to a boba study break with this 20% off coupon!

By Bella Littler

Bella is a second year film student within the Trinity College Dublin / Columbia Dual BA program. She grew up in Iowa, but is currently living and studying in Dublin. On the average day, you can find her watching obscure movies, going on aimless walks around the city, or raving about any and all Taylor Swift lyrics.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


How to Live Stress Free and Musically: How Music Imitates Life

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Before I start, I’d like to give a quick shout out to the Campus Clipper. The Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC, from the East Side to Greenwich Village. The company helps support students in so many ways, from their coupon booklet to their Official Student Guide. Now, on to the blog!


A lot of the people that I have been lucky enough to have in my life have either been musicians or music junkies. When I started college, I played guitar but not well. It wasn’t until my second semester of my first year that I developed a passion for the guitar thanks to Professor Kizzie. As my guitar instructor, he taught me the fundamentals of musical notation, listening to music and writing music. But often times, the conversation would turn from the notes on the treble clef to my future. Like a grandpa, he would sit back in his chair and ask the ultimate question anyone’s dad or grandpa might ask- “So what are you going to do with your life?” When the lesson took this turn, I would always be a bit flustered and reluctant to answer. How do I know what I’m going to do with the rest of my life? I’m an English major, isn’t that enough? It wasn’t until the second semester of my junior year that I was able to hear him ask me this without feeling like he just asked me how much I weighed. I was finally able to answer confidently, “I want to write.” There was a pause and the second half of my answer, “I want to play music too.”


Coincidentally, this was the same lesson in which I mastered a piece by Bach, one of the most difficult pieces I’ve actually ever played. I think his point in asking me what I was going to do with my life was to get me to say what I really wanted to do. Until that day, I felt I wanted to just write because it was a reasonable use of my time, a way to make some money and it is something that I genuinely enjoy. His point was that he knew that I loved music as much as I loved writing and he said, “There’s nothing wrong with making it a part of what you do for a living, the money part will come eventually.” As far as how I plan to combine my love of writing with my love of music, I haven’t quite figured it out yet but I will eventually and so will you.



By Janet Reyes

A few words from the Campus Clipper –

The Campus Clipper not only help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create these amazing E-Books, but we give them a platform to teach others. Follow each new blog post to read a chapter of our various books and to learn how the Campus Clipper can help you follow your dreams!

Craving student savings while you catch up on your reading? Click on the link to download the Official Campus Clipper Coupon Booklet! And check out our newest YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during this year’s Welcome Week!