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Music vs. Sports in Admissions

clinegirlclinegirl Posts: 464Registered User Member
edited May 2009 in College Admissions
On many chances threads, I have noticed people listing all sorts of music-related activites. Even if they only play one instrument, it seems to add about five or six ECs to their already long list, as well as a good number of awards. I understand that music takes a lot of time and dedication, but sports do as well. Do colleges recognize the amount of effort put into varsity sports, even if you are not the captain or the best player? It seems like sports count as one thing, while music often covers an application. What do you think?
Post edited by clinegirl on

Replies to: Music vs. Sports in Admissions

  • T26E4T26E4 Posts: 16,938Registered User Senior Member
    Intuition should tell us that file readers are familiar with what JV/Varsity level sports require. Don't sweat it. An additional 6-7 lines of music competition awards doesn't overshadow an athlete's dedication.
  • ________ Posts: 440Registered User Member
    Sports for sure. Leadership, discipline, hard work etc.
  • silverturtlesilverturtle Posts: 12,496Registered User Senior Member
    Both take dedication and ability. Adcoms recognize this.
  • bopllbopll Posts: 42Registered User Junior Member
    on a related question, what do you musicians even put on your resume? I've played piano for 10 years now and guitar for 5, and i'm pretty dang good at them, but what else could i put? i dont do it for anything in school (there really arent any options...) what on earth could i put on my resume besides "plays piano/plays guitar."

    i invest tons of time into these hobbies, probably moreso than any other, and yet i have the least to show for them...
  • clinegirlclinegirl Posts: 464Registered User Member
    thanks for the input everyone!
    as to bopll...take a look through the chances thread. I have found many people who play(apparently) for like ten orchestras and are first chair in almost all of them, plus numerous other awards. For sports, unless your team wins state or a tournament, you don't get the "awards" a musician would have.

    With same grades/other ECs/etc -
    App A: 4 yrs V baseball, baseball recruiting camp
    App B: First Chair state orchestra, first chair school orchestra, first place in the solo ensemble competition, first chair youth philarmonic orchestra, music camp, etc
    Who would you choose?
  • bclintonkbclintonk Posts: 6,487Registered User Senior Member
    Unless you're a recruited athlete, I'm not sure HS sports add all that much luster to your application. Yes, it shows hard work, discipline, and so on; but so does a superior HS academic record or a substantial commitment to music, theater, or any of a dozen other EC, many of them distinctly more intellectual than sports. On the other hand if you're good enough to be a recruited athlete, or at least sought-after by a coach after you introduce yourself, athletics could be a golden ticket, probably better than music or theater because athletic coaches tend to be more relentless in pursuit of the individuals they want.
  • urmomgoes2colegeurmomgoes2colege Posts: 512- Member
    What about sports such as Tae Kwon Do. I do Tae Kwon Do five days a week (about an hour and a half each day), but I don't do it for school because my school doesn't have a Tae Kwon Do team. I have been doing it since 7th grade. I am now a Black Belt. Will this help?
  • einnobeinnob Posts: 956Registered User Member
    For sports, if people are at state or national level, colleges will definitely notice, defintely. I know people who got into top schools like stanford for synchro swimming and track (nationals), and especially UCLA, there was a wrestling guy and someone who also did track/xc at state level and some others. Varsity sports are good, junior varsity only if the person did all four years durign high school, not just one or two years.

    Music is more difficult to "rank" unlike sports. Theres not many competitions out there for music, unless youre like in a famous symphony or solo player for so and so performance.
  • violadadvioladad Posts: 6,641Registered User Senior Member
    bopll, to address your question it depends on what you are doing. If you are applying to a college or summer program (or any app that requests a specific music resume, cv or repertoire list), take a look here: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/music-major/615116-writing-music-resume.html?highlight=resume and at the links within. There are standards and a couple of acceptable formats.

    If you are listing musical activity within an application or as a supplemental, it's often easiest to list detail under the appropriate existing headings ("Extracurricular Activities", "Awards/Honors", "Clubs, organizations/leadership positions"). In many instances you can expand more detail within an essay, a "Tell us about yourself" heading, or a general statement.

    Hope that helps.
  • vincehvinceh Posts: 2,291Registered User Senior Member
    S and I attended an admissions presentation put on by a local university, the admissions counselor made a few interesting points regarding ECs:

    First, if you're a recruited athlete, we don't need to know about you, the individual sport's coaches already do and will tell us.

    Second, if you're a "competitive" musician, the School of Music will know about you through auditions.

    For everyone else it's about showing a level of commitment to a particular activity. The average four year athlete is viewed no differently than the 4-year member of the band and theater orchestra. Both have shown a dedication to their particular area of interest. Admissions committees have a idea of what's involved in both types of activities.

    He went on to say that they also like to see students who have explored a variety of different activities without looking like their resume padding, e.g, the varsity football player who's acted in the school musical or the number one violin who played a couple years of JV tennis. There seemed to be some disdain for the applicant who's EC list looked like the phone book.



    P.S. "Competitive" music is as time consuming and demanding, physically and mentally, as any sport out there. If you don't think so, imagine practicing 2-3 hours a day for two months to perform a 6 minute audition that decides whether you "make the team" and if you start (1st chair etc). Not better or worse, just under appreciated.
  • ctyankeectyankee Posts: 1,410Registered User Senior Member
    It seems like sports count as one thing, while music often covers an application. What do you think?

    The prior two posters both make great points.

    If you aren't a scholarship level athlete, a D3 college will still be quite interested in hearing about you. For example, someone playing golf could have won an award for most improved player as well as being a varsity starter or could have contributed to a county or state title. Last I checked, high school bands weren't giving out awards for 'most improved player.' Meaningful music awards really around making state and regional bands there is not much you can win in high school band other than your chair. True there are local, regional and national competitions for marching bands (which is also interesting to a lot of schools.

    Either music or sports, e-mail the leader/coach and express an interest and start a dialog.
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