Julia Cohen: “Music helps with our essential skills of being human.”

My approach was to do everything.

When I arrived as a freshman, they gave us a whole packet of all the opportunities. And I auditioned for everything—in my major, outside of my major, because I just wanted to see what was out there and how I could make a living as a musician.

Growing up, my parents always encouraged me to sing for people who came over to our house. I love singing, and it didn’t really matter who I was singing for—if the audience was 10 people or a thousand people, I'd give the same performance.

NEC has a similar philosophy: we might be singing a solo in Jordan Hall, or singing at a senior residence in the Boston community. It doesn't matter...if they're paying for a ticket, if they're not paying for a ticket, their age. 

Music is important, and your dedication and professionalism while creating your art carries over to whatever audience [you have].

Music is important because it helps with our essential skills of being human.