Talking with Bears is a series where we take a few minutes each week to talk to some of the current graduate students at Baylor and discuss their experience at the university and in Waco.


Name: Jillian Storey

Hometown: Clarksville, TN

Undergraduate Degree: B.A. in Music Performance, summa cum laude, 2012

Undergraduate University: Tennessee Technological University

Graduate Degree: M.A. in Music Performance

Expected Year of Graduation: May 2016


What was the biggest factor that persuaded you to attend Baylor for graduate school?

I was truly inspired by my faculty mentor, Dr. Francesca Arnone and wanted to come study flute with her. In my field it’s so personalized that it normally comes down to that one person you want to trust to teach you. I also think that the campus is beautiful and was offered a full teaching assistantship.

What is one thing that has surprised you about graduate school at Baylor?

How relatively small the graduate school is, at least within the music department. We are like a little family.

If you had to describe your graduate school experience (so far) in three words, what would they be?

Busy, Challenging, Rewarding.

If you were Dean Lyon for a day, what would be two things that you would change?

I think that a lot of the professional development seminars that the graduate school offers is fantastic, but not always applicable to the field of music or fine arts in general. I would offer more broad range seminars, like entrepreneurship (since often musicians are self-employed), things outside of giving the perfect financial presentation or perfecting the cover letter, etc. I’ve also heard from a few other graduate students that we would like a hooding ceremony, even for master’s candidates.

What activities are you involved with outside of the classroom?

I read and love spending time outside. I enjoy visiting museums, especially art museums, and baking.

What does your average Saturday look like?

I wake up, possibly clean and tidy my apartment (because anyone in grad school knows that this isn’t always your first or second priority during the week), enjoy a cup of coffee, practice for a hit, and the rest depends on my part time job. I work at Crickets and often work on Saturdays, but if I don’t, it’s more time for me to practice and have a bit of down time with my boyfriend and friends.

How has the city of Waco impacted your time during graduate school?

I love the culture! The size is similar to my hometown, but is much more eclectic. I love that we have our own art and music festival in the fall and that there’s a river that runs right through the heart. I don’t find myself often having to drive long distances for what I need, which has saved a lot of time and energy.

What is your go-to lunch spot in Waco?

I love Clay Pot! Asian food of any type- Chinese, Thai, Indian, has a special place in my heart.


If you could give one piece of advice to prospective graduate students that are interested in Baylor, what would it be?

Prepare yourself for a whirlwind because there is so much to do between school and everything you can enjoy around you! Never lose sight of why you wanted a higher degree and trust that there are ALWAYS people here to help you with whatever you need.

Compiled by Matthew Doyen