Talynn Kuyumjian ‘13
Music major (piano performance)
“Any time you doubt your choice to focus on music, throw these thoughts out and continue practicing, because you cannot waste your talent!”
What have you been doing since graduating from LMU?
After graduating LMU, I started my music career by teaching private piano and music theory lessons to students of all ages. I wanted to take a year away from school in order to practice my conducting to apply for a master’s degree in orchestral conducting. I earned my master of music from California State University, Northridge, and am now the director of two orchestras - the LA Chamber Music Company and Harmony Chamber Orchestra. I have also been attending many networking events with film/television/video game music composers in order to further my career as a freelance orchestrator and conductor for media music.
What is your day-to-day job like?
As an orchestra conductor, I am constantly looking over multiple scores of music each day. It is my job to study the orchestral scores, rehearse my interpretation with the ensemble, and bring the score to life in performance.
How did your undergraduate studies prepare you for this next step?
I had the honor of working with Professor Wojciech Kocyan during my undergraduate studies. He was tough, and always pushed me to do better and to be my best. With him, I learned how to challenge myself and become better at my craft, which is what I continue to do every single day as a professional.
How did you decide to major in music?
I started taking piano lessons at the age of three, and while I loved it, I had never planned to major in it. When I first started college, my major was actually mechanical engineering. But after a couple of years, I realized I would only be happy if I majored in music, and I’ve never regretted my decision. Eventually, I decided to become a conductor and orchestrator for media music, as I love working with composers whose music I can record in studios or premiere them in live performances.
What was your favorite thing about LMU Music?
My favorite aspect of the music program was the chamber music classes - it was a lot of fun and exciting to perform chamber pieces with other musicians. That is another skill I learned at LMU - how to collaborate with other musicians, which is such an important quality to have when you are thinking about a career in music. Then, during my last semester at LMU, I got the opportunity to conduct the LMU Chamber Orchestra. This gave me my first experience on the podium. I also miss my professors - all of them were supportive of my dreams, and played an integral part at helping me grow as a musician.
Any advice for current and future music students?
I would like to tell music students that a major in music is not easy; it requires a lot of time, practice, and learning an enormous amount of repertoire and history. But my advice is to never give up, because it’s all worth it. There will be times that you will feel like you can never be an accomplished musician, or think music is not going to get you anywhere. Any time you doubt your choice to focus on music, throw these thoughts out and continue practicing, because you cannot waste your talent.