Welcome!

Whether you're a current AMPD student at York University or hope to become one, this blog is for you! All of the content you will find here is written by AMPD's Student Ambassadors and Mentors (SAMs), upper-year students in each of our seven programs.

Do you have an idea for the blog, or an upcoming event you want covered? Send us a message through our 'Contact Us' page, and we'll be happy to set something up with you.

Check out the latest content below, or click on a program heading above to see what's going on in your area of AMPD!

You can also find information on new blog posts and upcoming AMPD events at our Facebook and Twitter pages. Be sure to like and follow us!

Richie Nieto Visits YorkU Music

Written by Emilio Bernardo-Ciddio

Richie Nieto is a composer and sound designer currently working as the Audio Director at Ubisoft Toronto. Nieto has worked with many companies such as Dreamworks, Dimension Films, HBO, Electronic Arts, Sony Music, Lucasfilms, the Discovery Channel, and THQ, and has worked directly with Hans Zimmer, Ramin Djawadi, and Klaus Badelt. In this field, Nieto has worked as an audio director, team lead audio, re-recording mixer, sound supervisor, dialogue editor, ADR and voiceover director, engineer and editor, sound designer, sound effects editor, music editor, music recording engineer, music producer, composer, songwriter, and studio and live musician.

On January 19th, Nieto was invited to the York University Music Department by the Music Students Association to speak about life as a media composer, and to share valuable advice with our students. Richie focused on 10 specific useful tips for media composers: Read More

When Is Stress Not Good For You?

Written by Laura Clark

There are both positive and negative effects of stress. Some of the positive effects of stress are: being a motivator, challenging you to push your limits, encouraging personal growth, and improving time management skills. The important thing about positive stress is that it doesn’t leave a lasting negative impact on your body, and that it is a continuous cycle, not a continuous state. Constant high stress levels take more of a toll on your body, which weaken your immune system (making you sick more often, and leaving you more ill when you do get sick), and can have a long-term impact on your health over time.

Read More

The Vagina Monologues: A Celebration of Diversity, Inclusion, Empowerment, and Worth

Submitted by Maryana Parfenyuk, with edits by Alex Colle.

Vagina.
Just say it. Come on, say it.
Vagina.

How did that feel? It’s not a scary word by any means, but many people treat it as so on a daily basis. But why? How can the ultimate embodiment of individuality receive so much scrutiny on a daily basis? Why can’t it be embraced as the tool of female empowerment that it is? Read More

Falling Behind In Your Life Plan

Written by Laura Clark

University changes you. It helps you grow, challenges you, and opens you up to new perspectives. It houses some of your most vulnerable, challenging, saddening, frustrating, and energizing moments. It makes you question what you want to do and who you want to be. You experience new things, your values change, and your plan for life suddenly becomes less firm than you thought it was. Read More

Finding Inspiration

Written by Chevon Gilzene

Ironically, one of the biggest problems I face as a musician is staying inspired to create. I sometimes find myself taking the easy way out of creativity by imitating when I should be emoting. How do I overcome this? I look inside for inspiration. I have been told many times that inspiration can be found all around me. I don’t deny the power of nature in providing inspiration, but I also insist on discovering the power of finding inspiration within yourself.

What does that even mean, really? When I feel happy, excited, in love, overjoyed, or at peace, I put it in my music. When I get frustrated, stressed out, overwhelmed, or angry, I put it in my music. This has not only allowed me to reconnect with the music I play or sing, but it allows practicing to be therapeutic for me. It’s hard to not be creative when I’m constantly inspired.

Now, of course I am not my only source of inspiration (that would be narcissistic). As a matter of fact, I usually turn inward only after failing to find inspiration elsewhere. I began turning inwards as a way to channel my emotions during private lessons that weren’t going well (we all have those days), but it turned into an almost daily exercise.

Many of us decided that music is what we want to do with our lives because of how it made us feel. Why not use your passion for music to make your music sound more passionate!

Learning from Jim Carrey

Written by Ehin Gukhool

Advice that will change your life.
We experience fear and anxiety in our day-to-day life.
It may be in class, home, or even a girl you may like. 
But this advice has changed my mindset and the choices I make.
I would like to share this short speech, and I hope that you are inspired by it today. 

As a theatre major, I find that I am sometimes put on the spot. It may be in my acting class and the TA asks me to do something a bit bizarre. I always think back to this speech and ask myself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” I am here to learn and this is how my TA is helping me.
Jim Carrey has been an inspiration to me since I was a child. The energy that he brings in his films and in real life is something that I admire about him.
He says “In life we really only have two choices, which are fear and love. Please always choose love.”

The Awesome Part About Being A Small Fish In A Big Pond

Written by Laura Clark

If you ask anyone over the age of 25, most people say that university was a life-changing experience for them. Good or for the not-so-good, it’s a big step in the grand scheme of life. Depending on your experience growing up and your previous school experiences, the transition to the diverse (and exclusive) York Fine Art program can be very different.  Read More

Streaming in Dance – Choosing the Right One for You

Written by Jessica Ortaleza

It’s that time of the year where first-year students start thinking about the next steps of their Dance degrees, as streaming applications draw near. Though how do you know which stream is the right one for you and your dreams? After a first year experience of dabbling into the specialized streams, it’s time to settle into one that fuels your passion and creativity. May this guide help you decide which stream suits your interests and desires, and lessen any overwhelming feelings you may have going into the streaming process!

The Dance BFA Honours Degree offers two streams of study: Choreography/Performance and Dance Education. Read More