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Best Music College for Violist?

juki262juki262 Posts: 5Registered User New Member
edited September 2010 in Music Major
Anyone have ideas on the best Viola teachers in music colleges in this country or outside this country?
Post edited by juki262 on

Replies to: Best Music College for Violist?

  • violadadvioladad Posts: 6,641Registered User Senior Member
    Plenty of ideas, but a bit more detail of your past training, years of study, summer intensives might make it easier to point you in a few directions.
  • violindadviolindad Posts: 925Registered User Member
    There are many wonderful viola teachers at a variety of music schools. The key is finding one that will work well with you, a teacher that can inspire you and that meshes with your individual personality and musical and technical strengths and weaknesses.

    All of the major string schools have one or more excellent viola instructors: Colburn, Curtis, CIM, Juilliard, Rice, NEC, Peabody, Oberlin . . ..

    Here's a starting list: Jeffrey Irvine at CIM; Robert Vernon at Juilliard (formerly CIM); Andre Roy at McGill; Steven Dann at Glenn Gould; Kim Kashkashian at NEC; Paul Coletti at Colburn; Roberto Diaz, de Pasquale, Michael Tree at Curtis; James Dunham at Rice; Peter Slowik at Oberlin; . . .. This list is not exhaustive and some of these teachers might be bad fits for some individuals. No doubt, many other equally great viola teachers are not on the list.

    Most of the aforementioned teachers have very selective studios--some of them probably have only one or two openings each year for freshman (as many of them teach many grad and post-grad students). If you are not quite advanced on your instrument, you probably won't get admitted and could probably find teachers at less expensive institutions that will be very good for you.

    Arrange trial lessons with some viola teachers to get a sense of their possible teaching styles. Ask them what they believe you need to be doing to improve.

    There is no definitive list of the best viola teachers: the list would be different for each student.
  • juki262juki262 Posts: 5Registered User New Member
    Thanks. My 11th grade D has played viola for 4 years and has been in a youth orchestra the last two years. She also takes private lessons from the viola coach for our states youth orchestra. She is in her high school orchestra and also in a private ensemble group. She wants to attend the Northern Royal College of Music in Manchester, England. I want her to apply to more colleges in the US or Canada also and was just wondering which ones are good for us to look into. We live on the west coast. Summer music orchestra at a state university this last summer.
  • violindadviolindad Posts: 925Registered User Member
    Be certain to ask your daughter's private viola teacher which schools he/she would recommend. The teacher will have the best idea as to what some possible good fits are for her. Not only does he/she know her playing, but as state coach, she/he will probably have considerable knowledge as to where his violists have gone to school over the past years.

    The Northern Royal is very reputable (and probably the best strings school in England outside of London from what I have heard).

    Most violists admitted to the schools I listed have been playing viola (or initially violin) for quite a bit longer than your daughter has. If she has made exceptional progress, then she might be competitive at them. Violin, viola, and cello are very difficult admits at the highest levels of school.

    Of the schools I mentioned, McGill and probably Oberlin are not as competitive as the others. You may want to investigate some of the better public universities: places like University of Minnesota and University of Michigan will have some exceptional talent, but will have a wider range of talent than places like Curtis, Juilliard or Rice. I would also recommend checking out Mercer University's McDuffie Center for Strings which is a relatively new and small program with a very positive environment and good teaching.

    You are wise to want your D to apply to several schools--music admissions can be a bit of a gamble.
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