So a little while a go I posted on the idea of a supermetronome. I didn't see until just the other day, but someone very kindly posted a most helpful reply. If you are at all interested, I suggest you check out Brendon's comment. I just made myself one in GarageBand and practiced with it this evening! It was quite beneficial, I think.
Also, I went biking to the beach on Sunday with my friend Kate from Northwestern (who randomly lives 3 blocks away from me now!). Kate is currently working on her MBA at UCLA, and during the course of our conversation, we discovered that despite what one might think, there are actually some strong similarities between getting an MBA and an MM. In both programs, your summer plans are important. For most serious music students, every winter includes a slew of auditions and tapes for summer festivals. For MBA candidates, the winter includes a slew of interviews for summer internships, which can affect what kind of job offers you might get when you graduate. While summer festival attendance does not affect a musicians job opportunities, there certainly is pressure to get into the prestigious festivals in order to study with good teachers there, play chamber music with other talented musicians, or participate in high-quality orchestras with good conductors.
Also, while getting my MM, I took music history classes that had regular reading but no homework assignments, so that technically you didn't have to read the assignments until the midterm or final, which would inevitably result in me (and most of my friends) CRAMMING like crazy for these tests, because of course we hadn't done the reading until we HAD to. Apparently, there are MBA classes just like this, and students who do just the same!
We also get a little burned out for similar reasons. By the time a person does a masters, in anything, they've already gotten an undergraduate degree, which means they are probably a little tired of school. They are also probably getting a masters with a particular goal in mind (ie, a job). Therefore, when the degree itself actually seems to impede one's ability to get a job, internship, audition, etc. a person can get frustrated. Just as classwork takes away from time musicians would rather spend practicing for auditions, even though it probably helps us learn important information about our field of study, classwork takes away time from MBA students who would rather be preparing for interviews, even though those classes are also pertinent to their field.
Anyway, it was a very interesting conversation. I spend so much of my time with musicians, it's really nice to have a good chat with someone who is not immersed in the music world! Plus, a bike ride on the beach is so wonderful, it helps me survive and destress here in LA.