Quotes from Recent Academy Graduates

"From the moment I arrived, Interlochen opened up my world. It opened up my eyes to what was possible after school and in college. And the people who inspired and motivated me then are the same people who inspire and motivate me now." -- Kevin, 2003

"Interlochen was a great place to be different and weird. I met my first Democrat there. I met my first gay person there. My first wealthy person. My junior year my roommate was Japanese. Coming from a lower middle class family in Lansing (where all the people were like me), Interlochen exposed me to the world," -- Christina, 2001

"I loved that it [the Academy] was so diverse. My suitemate was from Korea, and there were people at Interlochen from all over the world,” she said. “One of my fondest memories was having all the flags from around the world hanging over Kresge." -- Tatiana, 2005

"At the end of every school year IAA holds Street Beat – our own one-night outdoor music festival where students performed an entire album cover of Radiohead's Hail to the Thief and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. It's incredible stuff. I remember listening to Street Beat both years in a row, and feeling like the luckiest person in the world." -- Margaret, 2003

"I remember feeling tired at the end of every day with the good kind of tiredness that you get when you've really accomplished something." -- Andy, 2004

"The faculty in general were so encouraging and supportive of us and what we were trying to do. They really embraced individuality and let us figure out who we were, even if that meant going against the grain." -- Elliott, 2006

"They were role models and sources of inspiration. They taught me how to think ethically and how to balance passion with analytical skills and reason. I learned how to be a person of integrity. With the faculty, it was so much more profound than just a dissemination of information. I think of what they taught me every single day." -- Seth, 2000

"Interlochen made me independent and self-sufficient at a young age. I learned to think more critically about what kind of life I wanted to have, what kind of artistic and intellectual person I wanted to be. I learned that you have to find your own motivation and intrinsic ambition. It allowed me to be more confident. When I got to college, I felt more prepared for life." -- Jill, 2000

"What made my education so special was all of the opportunities we got, the individual attention we received, and the extreme gifts and passion for the arts that was passed on to us by ALL of the faculty. Their gifts and drive and love of teaching us inspired us to grow as artists, citizens of the world, and independent human beings. I learned to love learning." -- Bethany, 2009

"For most students, Interlochen is the first place where they can, in a way, see themselves more clearly than ever before. Without the immediacy of families, homes, social and cultural restraints, many students learn a lot about themselves and learn to either embrace or detach themselves from what they have learned previously. That said, I would not be where I am today without the incredible musical classes and lessons I had, nor the insightful and sometimes surprising academic classes. One could think, 'Why would a musician want to waste precious practice time in a class entitled Ecology, or Russian Literature, or Non-fiction?' I took all of these classes and more, and I will never forget the moments in those classes nor the incredible teachers who taught them." -- Clara, 2009

"It was the best three years of my life. I was learning from the best dancers in the world and really brilliant teachers academically. More importantly, though, there were so many diverse people, so many singers, musicians and artists. These were people I never would have met if I had stayed in my hometown. I moved to New York for college, and Interlochen really prepared me for that experience." -- Kelly, 2006

"What brought me to Interlochen was the chance to surround myself with talented peers and exceptional teachers." -- Margot, 2003