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Oboe Prodigy Plans to Graduate by Taking 72 Half-Credit Music Lessons

Photo from Wikimedia Commons// CC by 2.0

Curt Curtis (C ‘22) had a single dream growing up. Recognized at the age of two for his precocious musical ability, Curt found himself on track to be the greatest oboe player of our generation. But it all fell apart when Curt (who had his name legally changed at the age of seven) received a rejection letter from the Curtis Institute of Music. Bitter and defeated, he settled for Penn.

But then Curt found something that would change the entire course of his academic career.

“I don’t think anyone’s ever tried it before!” he exclaimed breathlessly to our reporter, “sure, a lot of people take a half credit music lesson course or two per semester, but has anyone tried to take 12?”

With his current plan, Curt will take a full 36 credits of music lessons over four years, enough to fulfil Penn’s graduating course unit requirement.

When asked about sector requirements, he laughed and noted that “everything crosslists.”

Fair point. We decided to send a reporter to observe one of his lessons. According to him, the “graduate student [instructor] spent the whole time slack-jawed watching this guy play, and then he ended up sobbing over all the twenty pages of notes he’d been taking.”

“I’ve been learning a lot!” noted Curtis, and then, with a hint of steel in his voice, “those bastards across the river better let me transfer in this year, or I swear I’ll change my name to Julius Julliard.”