November 25, 2020

Ending the Semester with Gratitude

Thanksgiving 2020
Pictured: Jessica Martin (top, harp) and Shannon Lee (violin)

By: Hosanna Carella and Ella Sobkowicz

CIM’s Newsroom includes a student-led blog with posts covering a variety of topics, including the CIM admissions process, student life, and interviews with faculty, students and alumni. CIM professional studies violinist Hosanna Carella and CIM undergraduate and soprano Isabella (Ella) Sobkowicz are regular voices on the blog.

Any student who has been a freshman at CIM has taken a course titled Freshman Seminar or Freshman Colloquium, most recently taught by Dean Jerrod Price. Dean Price emphasizes the importance of listing three things that you are grateful for each day. When skies seem a little gloomy or the big picture seems obscure, this type of thinking might just help to make your day a little brighter. We decided to take some inspiration from his teaching and reach out to the CIM student community to find out what they are grateful for in celebration of the holiday season. Unsurprisingly, we received some wonderful responses. 

“I'm very thankful that I can enjoy studying music during this unusual year. It is tough for all of us, but CIM made it come true. Even though we are in different parts of this world, music brings us together. CIM is the place to make the impossible become possible.” 

— Voice student Katniss Bi (Southern)


“This Thanksgiving, I’m eternally grateful to CIM for giving us the opportunity to complete a full semester in person. Not many institutions have the courage and the nerve to do what we did this semester, but CIM did. I’m so thankful for everything I have learned this semester and for my amazing teachers, Jan Sloman and Jaime Laredo. I look forward to my next semester at the best conservatory in the country!”  

— Young Artist Program student Maude Cloutier (Sloman/Laredo) 


“I am so thankful for the community here at CIM that feels like a family. I am also so thankful for all that CIM has done so that we are able to study here in person and make music together even during these difficult times.”

— Voice student Gillian Beckman (Schiller) 


“As a student at CIM, I am thankful for the privilege to craft and explore what beauty is from my perspective, to have professors who bring out the best of me and want the best for me, and to have friends and colleagues who share the same gleaming passion -to offset our world’s sorrows by sharing any unique amount, form, or quality of beauty and love that we have each been gifted with.”

— Violin student Erin Kim (Sloman/Laredo)


“I am thankful for the ability to collaborate with other musicians and learn from amazing coaches who inspire you. I am thankful for the amazing people at CIM: our lovely security guards, teachers, coaches and bosses. CIM would not be the same without these wonderful people.”

— Harp student Jessica Martin (Kondonassis)


“I’m thankful for my teacher, Ms. Dina Kuznetsova. Words cannot describe how much she means to me. I have learned so much from her already in just the first semester! It is so exciting to see where she will guide me in these next few years! I’m so blessed to have her!”

— Voice student Caroline Friend (Kuznetsova) 


“I am grateful for the super amazing friends that I’ve gotten really close with at CIM since we all were going through the same things for the past 15 weeks.”

— Cello student Benji Mekinulov (Kraut) 


“I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to perform in person during the age of COVID.”

— Voice student Madison Hurst (Billions) 


“I'm so thankful to be able to study at CIM with amazing professors and be surrounded by talented musicians.”

— Piano student Wen Li (Brown) 


“I'm so thankful to be able to play music in person with my friends and for my teachers, and to keep learning and be inspired by them. It has also been wonderful to share recorded performances online with faraway friends and family. I am grateful to everyone who makes the effort to always wear masks and keep our environment clean and safe!”

— Violin student Shannon Lee (Sloman/Laredo)


“Having just finished my master's degree at CIM, this semester I began my artist diploma degree in voice with Dr. Mary Schiller. Over the past two and a half years, I’ve found several places and people to call home within CIM. I’m thankful for never feeling alone in my environment, always feeling supported and encouraged by my peers, staff and faculty, and above all else, feeling motivated to sing every day and inspired to continue pursuing my dream of professional opera singing.”

— Voice student Emma Nossem (Schiller) 


“I’m blessed I’m a student of CIM, especially because I have the best teacher in the world. God bless everyone.”

— Collaborative piano student Yuwen Weng (Pontremoli)


“I’m incredibly grateful to the faculty at CIM for making my first semester a wonderful experience despite the obstacles of COVID-19. Thanks to all my teachers, I learned and grew more than I ever thought possible in just one semester and I had the privilege and joy of watching my new friends and colleagues learn and grow with me. I am grateful to Dr. Southern for teaching, mentoring and believing in me and to all the students and faculty involved with the Opera department for welcoming me. I’m grateful for the supportive and uplifting community the students and faculty have built and made strong even when so much of our connection was through a screen, the sense of community remained strong.”

— Voice student Ella Sobkowicz (Southern) 


The community of students at CIM couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to have a hybrid platform for learning and performing. We have remained safe and healthy throughout the year while still gaining wonderful learning and performance experiences. With COVID-19, our world has gone more virtual than ever. In fact, we, Hosanna Carella and Ella Sobkowicz, are working on this blog post together over Microsoft Teams from our own separate homes. We are both grateful to the faculty at CIM who made countless sacrifices to make our hybrid semester possible, allowing us to use technology and many creative safe ways to meet in person so that we can still share the things we love while staying connected. How cool is it that we can work together on a project exclusively through messaging? 

I think we both agree that despite being separated from everyone, we have grown to appreciate our friends and colleagues even more. So, here is to being thankful even in the tough times and moving forward and upward.