right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
COMING SOON "Ask The Expert" live event w/ the CC Dean, Sally Rubenstone, on Feb. 22 at 12:00 pm ET. This event is exclusively for registered members. CREATE YOUR CC ACCOUNT NOW to receive event updates!

Reaching out to jazz faculty

piranhavatorpiranhavator 195 replies38 threads Junior Member
Hello,

After getting deferred from Harvard I have actually become very fond of the idea of studying music at Columbia. I would have the possibility (if I get into the extange) to take lessons at Juilliard and pursue a special concentration in jazz while working towards a liberal arts degree in music. I really like the idea of Columbia’s core curriculum because I have a strong background in the humanities.

I am among the top jazz musicians in the United States (I was selected as the only person on my instrument in the country for jazz band of America, I am a Youngarts winner, and I have recorded an album with internationally known professional jazz musicians). My stats are on par for Columbia (4.0 unweighted GPA, 35 ACT, 780 on 2 subject tests) but they are not enough to get me in alone.

My question is, should I reach out to Columbia jazz faculty and let them know I’m out there? Will this give me an edge in admissions or even a possible hook? The strategy of reaching out proved useless with Harvard (deferred) but I know Columbia has more jazz than Harvard on campus.

I doubt I’ll get in if jazz won’t help me as there are kids from my school with published research and perfect test scores.

Let me know what you think. Thanks.
16 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Reaching out to jazz faculty

  • piranhavatorpiranhavator 195 replies38 threads Junior Member
    Idk if it helps but I also have grandparent legacy at Barnard before Columbia admitted women.
    · Reply · Share
  • jazzpianodadjazzpianodad 201 replies2 threads Junior Member
    edited December 2017
    They'll know about your jazz accomplishments from your application - and your music supplement if you submitted one - so I would suggest reaching out directly to jazz faculty only if there's something specific you honestly want to learn about. Also - and I mean this in a friendly and constructive manner - I would suggest that you not say that you're "among the top jazz musicians in the United States.". Even assuming you meant to say you're among the top high school jazz musicians, there's an arrogance to the statement that is likely to rub people the wrong way. The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of talented high school jazz musicians in this country, and you'll do better if you're respectful of that. As for legacy status, Columbia defines it as the son or daughter of a Columbia College or SEAS alum.

    I do wish you the best of luck. Columbia is a great school with a great jazz program, and located in the jazz mecca that is NYC. If you get in and decide to attend, I think you'd enjoy it there.
    edited December 2017
    · Reply · Share
  • piranhavatorpiranhavator 195 replies38 threads Junior Member
    @jazzpianodad Yeah, sorry I meant best high school in the US, I can’t believe I left that out. And I understand that even that comes off as a little arrogant. I have made no such remarks in my college applications and only used them on college confidential to describe how serious I am about pursuing jazz. And playing-wise I’m not all that amazing I just happen to look really good on paper due to some very lucky circumstances.
    · Reply · Share
  • jazzpianodadjazzpianodad 201 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Based on your accomplishments, I have no doubt you're talented and dedicated. I also have no doubt that you have lots of room to improve. Confidence and humility can coexist. My son, who is now making a decent living as a jazz pianist, says that if he ever gets to the point where he's satisfied with where he is, he should just quit. And I love the Pablo Casals quote that @compmom posted in the music forum:

    The legendary cellist Pablo Casals was asked why he continued to practice at age 90. He replied "Because I think I am making progress."

    Again, I wish you the best of luck.
    · Reply · Share
  • compmomcompmom 11113 replies78 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2017
    Did you submit, are you submitting a music supplement with a recording, a music resume (including awards) and letters of recommendation from teachers and/or directors?

    Devotion to jazz will certainly help. "Character is also important." I am sure your written statements about "being the best" do not reflect your attitudes in person, but do keep in mind that personal qualities matter as well :)
    edited December 2017
    · Reply · Share
  • piranhavatorpiranhavator 195 replies38 threads Junior Member
    @jazzpianodad thanks for the help I will stay humble but confident!
    · Reply · Share
  • piranhavatorpiranhavator 195 replies38 threads Junior Member
    edited December 2017
    @compmom I have not submitted my application yet but plan on attaching my music resume, uploading several tracks to slideroom from my album, and using a letter of rec from a well known jazz trumpeter who is both my teacher and fellow musician (he often hires me for gigs with him). He is almost like family to me. Any advice before I submit? Thank you.
    edited December 2017
    · Reply · Share
  • compmomcompmom 11113 replies78 threads Senior Member
    Choose one track and cue it for the best three minutes, or call and ask how much they want on the recording. That's great that you have that letter of recommendation.

    Did you decide against a music school?

    One reason I think competitions and even early successes in the arts can sometimes be problematic, is that they do give an impression of being "the best." Attention is sometimes lavished on precocious young people. Things can change once you are a freshman- not saying they will- but as jazzpianodad said and Casals indicated, you have a lifetime of growth as a musician ahead of you. Enjoy and good luck!
    · Reply · Share
  • compmomcompmom 11113 replies78 threads Senior Member
    Sorry just saw you are indeed still considering BM programs. Good luck !
    · Reply · Share
  • makemesmartmakemesmart 1753 replies14 threads Senior Member
    I thought u need to audition for Juliad for columbia’s Music prgroam? Please correct me as this was from a friend of mine whose daughter auditioned at Juliad for Columbia’s admission.
    · Reply · Share
  • piranhavatorpiranhavator 195 replies38 threads Junior Member
    @makemesmart you need to audition at Juilliard for the exchange but Columbia has a great in-house music program.
    · Reply · Share
  • tripletmamatripletmama 368 replies9 threads Member
    I'm just giving you another take on this. I pretty much could see that you were just qualifying yourself on here as the caliber of player that you are. I didn't assume (as others did) that you would have tooted your horn (sorry, couldn't resist) on your college apps. You are clearly very bright and astute - so I wouldn't have assumed that.

    I just want to say that I am in awe of your talent and brains! What a great combo! I would imagine that it makes things a bit difficult as from what I can see - most musicians are very focused on their craft to the exception of many other things. Bravo to you to want to try and do both. Columbia sounds like the perfect program for you. I wish I could offer up some advice - but just wanted to send you a bit of encouragement.
    · Reply · Share
  • tripletmamatripletmama 368 replies9 threads Member
    Oh - and to also say that my mother went to Columbia in the 40s - and dated the president of the Jazz Club in NYC. Can you only imagine what that was like back then? She met Louie Armstrong among other greats. This factoid surprised me since she doesn't really seem that interested in the fact that her two grandkids are pursuing the Arts (one is at the NYCB School ballet) and the other one hopes to be a professional jazz bassist). Sad - but I'm carrying the torch for them.
    · Reply · Share
  • piranhavatorpiranhavator 195 replies38 threads Junior Member
    @tripletmama thank you for your response and kind words. That’s amazing that your mom had the opportunity to meet Louis Armstrong. And thanks for helping to keep the arts alive with your children.
    · Reply · Share
  • IWillKillForMITIWillKillForMIT 710 replies20 threads Member
    You should contact Professor Robert O'Meally. He's super nice and a big wig in Jazz Studies so if you impress him, he might be able to shepherd your application through. If he can't/won't, I'm sure you'll find something to talk about.
    · Reply · Share
  • piranhavatorpiranhavator 195 replies38 threads Junior Member
    @IWillKillForMIT thanks! Sending him an email right now!
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity