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What musical theatre schools should I look into?

1235

Replies to: What musical theatre schools should I look into?

  • MomCaresMomCares Registered User Posts: 3,146 Senior Member
    edited May 2015
    @EmsDad - Thanks for your lists over the years, btw! As a fellow (?) engineer I always enjoy and appreciate them!!

    As I've said many times on cc, we also know academically-brilliant kids who chose Conservatories, as well as crazy-talented kids who chose not to study MT in college at all, so my post wasn't meant to address that at all... sorry that was unclear.

    My memory (foggy since it was 4 years ago) was that a student's academic stats played very little role, if any, in CMU MT admissions and that more importantly (for the OP) MT students have almost no exposure to CMU's academic courses. Since I thought the OP was seeking both strong MT training and rigorous academics I felt drawing attention to that difference from other schools on the list might be helpful.



  • toowonderfultoowonderful Registered User Posts: 3,857 Senior Member
    edited May 2015
    At last year's auditions we were told that CMU students only take one "regular" course a semester, the student giving us a tour said his was yoga- another was taking a painting course for non art majors. They did not strike me as "rigorous" academic requirements- certainly not what a CMU engineering major would be taking. Again, the student giving the tour (who happens to be from our hometown and a family friend) said he had not written an academic paper since he arrived.
  • MomCaresMomCares Registered User Posts: 3,146 Senior Member
    edited May 2015
    @mom4bwayboy - I absolutely agree with every word you wrote, and hope nothing I've ever posted implies otherwise! :)

    In my mind, the discussions on cc have never been about which type of college is "best" for every kid but rather about finding schools that offer the college experience a specific individual wants/needs, and some kids really want to continue with challenging academics.
  • MomCaresMomCares Registered User Posts: 3,146 Senior Member
    edited May 2015
    I hear you, but oddly I think our D almost felt the opposite pressure. Everyone (parents, councelors, siblings, coaches, teachers, etc.) had always assumed she'd want a BFA or Conservatory and we were all surprised when in ED season she completely reprioritized her list to favor strong academics. Four years later, though, I can say with certainty that she followed her heart, has loved every step of the way and that her path is so far leading where she wants to be.

    Just as there are kids pressured towards unwanted college academics there are also kids who are urged toward a laser-focus on their craft in college, yet as you say they'll have the rest of their lives to continue studying voice, dance and acting. There are many paths, all equally valid, and I agree that it's best if we can let the travellers chose them.

    For those with current info, do academic stats influence addmisions to either CMU MT or the USC BFA?
  • entertainersmomentertainersmom Registered User Posts: 1,405 Senior Member
    You are my hero, mom4bwayboy!!!!! :)
  • uskoolfishuskoolfish Registered User Posts: 2,903 Senior Member
    Academic stats play little into admission for Carnegie Melon'sarts related programs that require an audition or portfolio. Husband attended Carnegie Melon many years ago as a MT major, but transferred into a double major in economics and public policy. He had the grades to make it academically in Carnegie Melon, which was good considering his change in direction. D's friend is an art major there currently and only had mediocre grades but a strong portfolio. Hasn't needed to take that many academic classes, so it hasn't been an issue.
  • MomCaresMomCares Registered User Posts: 3,146 Senior Member
    Thanks, @uskoolfish - that was my memory and also my impression from D's friends who are there (not academically inclined).
  • JoyfulmamaJoyfulmama Registered User Posts: 511 Member
    @MomCares I was surprised when my D's guidance counselor was advising her to do a BFA and she/we are looking for BA with strong academics. She wants to be able to take courses outside of MT and possibly double major or minor, every school the counselor would suggest,I would say, that ones a BFA, that ones mediocre academics..etc..it was frustrating and I was glad we have done our own homework!
  • MomCaresMomCares Registered User Posts: 3,146 Senior Member
    Yes, @joyfulmama, from what I've seen when it comes to Arts kids many well-meaning adults will automatically urge them toward conservatory-style programs without consideration of what else they might want from their college years. In fact exactly that happened to me as a high school student.

    Of course I also understand that there are folks who think every smart kid should want to go to Harvard, and I certainly don't subscribe to that philosophy either, nor do I think that many kids will suceed in getting a second major to placate their parents.

    I applaud those who do their own research and build school lists according to the attributes that fit their specific desires and needs. The college years race past, so it's great to make them count in whatever ways an individual values.
  • JoyfulmamaJoyfulmama Registered User Posts: 511 Member
    @MomCares yes, my oldest D chose a conservatory for her college career (she wound up not going bc she booked a tour) but that style of schooling was perfect for her & we supported that choice. This D feels she wants more choices in her curriculum so we support that. And of course that choice may change which would be fine too. But right now our focus is mainly BA's...Btw hoping to visit Northwestern this summer!
  • uskoolfishuskoolfish Registered User Posts: 2,903 Senior Member
    Again, it depends on the school and what the BFA requirements are. Some schools absolutely allow for a minor with a BFA and have a decent number of academic classes as requirements towards their BFA to begin with. Their classes may also require more writing/ reading/ research/discussion even though they are in theater/ acting/ voice/ dance etc.
    Often the academic bar of a school will permeate the classes regardless of the subject. In any case, I'd advise coming into a school with as many AP or college level classes under your belt, so that requirements can be exempted, leaving more room for other classes leading to a minor (or two) or a second major.
  • toowonderfultoowonderful Registered User Posts: 3,857 Senior Member
    @uskoolfish - I strongly agree with advice on APs. My kid just finished her 1st year- and will be (academically) ranked as a junior next year. One of the things she wants to figure out this summer is whether she would prefer graduating a year early, or picking up a double major/minor. Either choice has pro/cons - but the AP credits give her more options, which means all that time spent on HW in HS (after rehearsal for 2 shows - she often didn't get to start until 10:00) was "worth it". :)
  • uskoolfishuskoolfish Registered User Posts: 2,903 Senior Member
    D couldn't graduate early because of the sequential classes she needed to take--plus senior recital and showcase--but she was able to take two minors. She did one in English literature and a second in the Business of entertainment, media and technology. I felt that it was a benefit to take to have a "talent-based" major (and scholarship), combined with an academic and business minor. Kind of trying to cover all bases :)
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