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School of Music Student Advisory Council: A Voice for Students

Submitted by Joanne De Pue on July 7, 2023 - 3:30pm
School of Music Student Advisory Countil members (left to right): Hannah Chou, Alex Fang, Olivia Wang, and Mia HyeYeon Kim (Photo: Joanne DePue).
School of Music Student Advisory Countil members (left to right): Hannah Chou, Alex Fang, Olivia Wang, and Mia HyeYeon Kim (Photo: Joanne DePue).

Thank you and a huge shout out to the intrepid students of the School of Music Student Advisory Council for their ideas, participation, and assistance this past academic year.

Peer into the School of Music Fishbowl most Thursdays at noon this past academic year, and you would have seen a core group of four to five students planning, discussing, and de-briefing, quietly and steadily working on behalf of students at the School of Music. 

The School of Music Student Advisory Council, a volunteer student organization formed in 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdown, advocates for student concerns but also remains focused on small initiatives that help build community.

SOMSAC gets the word out about opportunities and initiatives through their social media channels and this past year, by partnering with School of Music Marketing and Advancement staff on various efforts. In Fall Quarter, they were called upon by School of Music leadership to participate in discussions and planning around a redesign of the School’s website. SOMSAC member Hannah Chou, a DMA violin student, provided the student perspective in that effort. In Spring Quarter, Hannah and fellow SOMSAC members Alex Fang and Olivia Wang led takeovers of the School of Music social media channels, creating content on the fly and giving viewers glimpses into the lives of real, live, UW Music students.  Olivia Wang also represented students as a member of the School of Music Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA) Committee.  All year long, the group amplified School of Music concert promotion efforts by sharing news to their channels of upcoming performances.

Community-building efforts extended to an Instagram practice challenge and a new, free class, Yoga for Musicians, offered weekly in Spring Quarter by SOMSAC member Mia HyeYeon Kim, yogi and DMA piano student.

A big accomplishment in 2022-23 for the group was its assistance in working out behind-the-scenes policies and procedures around student degree recitals and public access to those performances. Degree recitals are again part of the public concert calendar at the School of Music, thanks to collaborative efforts of the group and School of Music staff.

In addition to these sorts of efforts, the group maintains an anonymous student feedback form on its channel, providing a safe space for students to air criticisms and issues, which are then conveyed to School of Music leadership as appropriate. The group’s mission is to amplify all student voices and concerns.

With more plans afoot for 2023-24, SOMSAC looks to build on its momentum and make more inroads into creating a vibrant, safe, and inclusive community for students at the School of Music.

Get involved, or learn more

Visit SOMSAC on Instagram and Facebook: @uw.somsac