right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
GUEST STUDENT OF THE WEEK: Rohan is a freshman at Dartmouth (and loves it) having gotten in ED for the Class of 2023. He's here to debunk myths regarding admissions and student life at his school. ASK HIM ANYTHING!
Make sure to check out our May Checklists for HS Juniors and HS Seniors. Consult these quick resources to get you started on the process this month.
As we work to adjust to the current reality, make sure to check out these dedicated COVID-19 resources: our directory of virtual campus tours, our directory of extended deadlines, as well as the list of schools going test optional this fall.

Music Ed Major rejected

AtTheZooAtTheZoo 2 replies1 threads New Member
edited July 2011 in Music Major
My daughter is dead-set on being a music education major but has been turned down by the University of Alabama as a music major after her taped audition. I have tried to discourage her and get her to pick a different major because I had a feeling she would get rejected. She is a very smart girl, always on the honor role, but not a good enough vocalist to be a music major. Of course, I do not want to tell her she is not good enough, but I was a music minor in school and I know how hard it is to get accepted.

I guess I have two questions...what are they looking for with music ed majors? I thought maybe it would be more academics than talent, but it looks like that was wishful thinking. And second, any idea as a parent how to handle this? I want her to make her own decisions and her own mistakes, but it kills me to watch her suffer like this.

Thank you :O)
edited July 2011
17 replies
Post edited by AtTheZoo on
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Music Ed Major rejected

  • MomofbassistMomofbassist 695 replies3 threads Member
    My heart goes out to you. It really hurts to watch them be rejected. And as your daughter found out, at audition schools, it is all about the audition and then the academics for music ed. Has she had private lessons? If not she should, find a good teacher who can help her with audition repertoire, etc. Voice is one of the toughest music majors of all to be accepted into so if she doesn't have a teacher in her corner it is very difficult. Is she in high school or college? If she is a rising senior, without years of lessons getting into an audition only program, will be next to impossible. She could look at nonauditon programs or pursuing education as an undergrad and a music minor then after working with a private teacher go towards a masters in music education. Good luck and I'm sure the vocal music posters on this forum will have some good ideas for you, too.
    · Reply · Share
  • imagepimagep 619 replies9 threads Member
    I started not to respond because I know nothing about voice programs or singers, but I know how tough this has to be on you.

    I'm with Momofbassist on everything she said.

    You really have a lot of alternatives that may accomplish the same end goal as a music ed degree, and I agree with you that a public school music teacher shouldn't neccesarally be expected to be able to perform at a "professional" level. But at the same time there are limited spots available and every school is going to pick the "best" performers. My son is going to a typical state university, not one of the "famous" music schools like a lot of people on this forum are looking into - his college just released a rosters of students for my sons studio, just 4 students accepted and enrolled for his instrument, I looked up all four and found that they were all four All-State musicians. It's a lot tougher to get into a a BM program than it is to get into most majors. To get into engineering school you don't already have to be an engineer, but to get into music school you already have to be a musician. Just because someone isn't the "best" doesn't mean that they can't do the job though.

    You should look into alternative routes to the same end goal, as MomofBassist suggested. If you look hard enough you can find a lot of alternate possibilities. A BA in Music (which doesn't usually require an audition) combined with a education minor may work, or a education major with a music minor, or a BA in music or minor in music and then a masters in education, etc.

    One of my sons friends had been accepted into a Music Ed program, but he decided before his first semester of college started that he didn't want to have to practice for a zillion hours a week, so he changed his major to Elementary Education with a music minor (with the intent on teaching music at the elementary school level). Another one of my sons friends is going to a school that offers a BA in Music combined with a Masters of Teaching degree - both degrees in 5 years plus a summer school.

    Your daughter could persue any of these alternate routes, enableing her to take music classes, and she could join as many voice ensembles as she can. I would suspect that between the classes and ensembles that her voice will improve. If not, then eventually she will figure that out on her own.
    · Reply · Share
  • Singersmom07Singersmom07 4331 replies82 threads Senior Member
    If she has already auditioned and been rejected, what is she doing this coming year? Did she try any place besides Alabama? It would help to know what her coming plans are now.
    · Reply · Share
  • violindadviolindad 922 replies11 threads Member
    For music ed schools usually look at three main things:
    a) the student's academic background (this is often more important than it would be with a music performance applicant);
    b) the student's audition (often the standards for music ed are somewhat lower than for performance, but they are usually still quite high; most students admitted to music ed will have had several years of private lessons, as well as 6 to 8 years of participation in a variety of school/community bands/choirs etc.); and
    c) indications of a serious intent to become a music eduator and of the qualities necessary to become a good teacher (some schools interview all candidates for music ed; many schools require a resume or at least look at some detailed information on an application form that shows what sorts of activities the student has been involved in--various ensembles, music camps, leadership positions in choir or band, private lessons, all-state, teaching children in Sunday School or summer camps, . . .).
    A music ed applicant can be denied admission strictly on the basis of any one of the three. So a student that has a spectacular academic record and an oustanding audition can be denied admission if the committee believes that the student doesn't possess the resolve or qualities to become a good teacher. Sometimes committees get the sense that music ed is just a back-up plan for someone that really loves performing but doesn't really love teaching. Similarly, a student with a great academic record and all the necessary qualities to become an excellent non-music educator may be denied admission to music ed because their audition is substandard.

    Without knowing what your daughter's background is, it is difficult to offer much advice. I know that rejection from music on the basis of one's audition is very difficult to take and it is especially difficult in voice where the instrument is one's own body and therefore the rejection is much more personal. If your daughter did not have a few years of private lessons, then she definitely had the odds stacked against her. She may have the necessary talent but simply was unable to demonstrate it because of a lack of professional preparation.

    A year of serious work on her music (private lessons with an excellent teacher who works with college music majors) may produce an admission-winning audition. While a year's delay in beginning the work world seems terrible to 18-year-olds, I think that most prospective music teachers would be better off with an extra year under their belt prior to entering the teaching force. Teaching is very demanding in a variety of ways and music teaching is especially demanding.
    · Reply · Share
  • musicmommusicmom 2472 replies89 threads Senior Member
    Another parent here who sends you hugs.

    Good suggestions about other ways to skin the cat. Does your D have other choices for the fall (assuming she is applying right out of HS)?

    I'm totally with the camp that thinks it not so fair that music applicants are expected to already 'be' fairly proficient musicians at application time. But since the schools have such a deep applicant pool, I don't see any changes anytime soon.

    Our son enrolled in a state university as an undergrad performance major after rejections from his top conservatory choices. He had an extensive music resume, all-state, years of private lessons at that point. Auditioned successfully into three schools, not his top choices. The audition is the thing, performance or music ed for audition schools, I think.
    (He actually RE-auditioned the next year for transfer to his top choice, was accepted and could not attend because the $$$$ was way not possible; talk about heartbreak.)

    He switched to music ed his second year, Transferred to a second public university, graduated magna cum laude and just finished a music performance masters on scholarship. NOT a straight line.

    I'm sharing our DS's story NOT to brag on his ultimate success but to encourage you and your DD to look into other pathways to her goal. It's not just one school or one program or type of degree that can make it happen for her. One size does not fit all.
    I know the disappointment your DD is going through and what it feels like as a parent trying to do/say the right thing.

    You will find a bunch of knowledgeable folks here willing to share.
    · Reply · Share
  • AtTheZooAtTheZoo 2 replies1 threads New Member
    Thank you all for your suggestions and support! To answer a few questions, she was rejected on audition alone (just graduated HS). She had private lessons all throughout high school and made All-State chorus 2 out of 4 years. And AL was her only choice, although I tried to encourage her to take other offers that gave more financial aid. But she was just in love with the school.

    She did not get the rejection until after the deadlines passed for all the other schools to enroll & accept financial aid, so basically, she is stuck going there for now. I thought the school waiting that long to tell her was not right either. Seemed a bit slimy. The audition tape was sent in early March and she did not get the letter until last week, well after most school's May deadlines.

    I have told her to major in education with a music minor and if she re-auditions and gets in later, that is fine. She is going with that for now and so I am crossing my fingers.

    Thank you again for all the advice!
    · Reply · Share
  • Singersmom07Singersmom07 4331 replies82 threads Senior Member
    March is very late to submit an audition tape. Did she not know of the earlier dates? It seems from their web site that the March audition tape was due in February, and even then it was the last date they had. Later might mean she was in the "left over" spots. They may not have had any. So it may not be a matter of talent but timing.

    This could also be an unfortunate example of the necessity of making sure your private teacher has had students attend the schools you are interested in, or at least the same caliber of school. Such a teacher will either prepare the student for entry or help them align their expectations with their talent. They also guide them with their goals.

    There is a private teacher here who takes a lot of our HS students because she is great friends with the chorus director. None of her students have been accepted into anything other than the very basic programs in state. Her students cannot seem to break into a major program. If your teacher is cannot meet your expectations, change teachers.

    Your approach seems reasonable. Good luck to your DD.
    · Reply · Share
  • RandomAc1206RandomAc1206 40 replies6 threads Junior Member
    I have a question that is related to this topic, if that's okay. (I didn't want to clog up the board with a new thread, haha.)

    So, the main college I want to apply for is starting the admission process for Fall 2012 sometime this July July. Should I apply for the college as soon as I possibly can? Getting into this college won't be a problem at all; just getting into the School of Music is a worry. =) There is a separate application for the School of Music, but that application does not surface until August. (My goal is Music Ed - Instrumental, and I play percussion.)

    I guess my question is: In general, the earlier you can apply and turn stuff in, the better, right? =) Thanks.
    · Reply · Share
  • violindadviolindad 922 replies11 threads Member
    Applying early is a good idea just to ensure that you get all the different parts of the application submitted on time (prescreening recordings, references, transcripts, resume, application form . . . ; these do vary from school to school, but can take quite a bit of time).

    However, I don't think you increase you chances by applying earlier. You can, of course, reduce or eliminate your chances by submitting materials late.
    · Reply · Share
  • MomofbassistMomofbassist 695 replies3 threads Member
    Ditto to what Violindad said. Get the applications in and pay particular attention to your music school essays. They really do read them and can make a difference when the studio teachers and music ed depts are deciding who is truly motivated to attend their school. Also, my son received some great advice that worked well for him. Do not schedule your audition at your first choice school(s) as your first audition(s). As imagep, stated in a previous post, her son improved so much from the first audition until the last.
    There are so many things to get used to on audition days that can throw you off and to have one or two warmup auditions (and hopefully acceptances) under your belt before walking into your dream school audition is a great confidence booster. Also, at each early school, the studio prof invited son to stay later and take a sample lesson where they pointed out some things he could improve in his technique and he incorporated these successfully into his practice for the future auditions. The only drawback to this method is that son ended up also liking these schools and wished his auditions would have been stronger so that he would have received more scholarship money from the earlier schools.
    · Reply · Share
  • RandomAc1206RandomAc1206 40 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Cool, thank you violindad and Momofbassist! =)
    · Reply · Share
  • riku92mrriku92mr 256 replies41 threads Junior Member
    AtTheZoo - the same thing happened to me this audition process. Basically what I'm doing is attending SUNY Fredonia (where I was rejected from), and I'm going to be an elementary music education major. I'm going to try to audition into the K-12 program again next year, but if I don't get it, it won't be the end of the world. I'll just apply to master's programs with my childhood education degree.

    As the others said, there are many different paths to certification, not just the most obvious ones!
    · Reply · Share
  • Mezzo'sMamaMezzo'sMama Forum Champion Music Major 3550 replies84 threads Forum Champion
    OP, was your D getting advice from her school guidance office and voice teacher during the application process? It does sound like her audition materials for UA were late, or among the very last to get in. Since she was at the end of the line, her rejection may have been because they had no space in the class. Was she accepted at any of the other schools to which she applied? If so, it would be worth a shot at contacting them and seeing if they had any openings.
    At this point, I would consider having her take a Gap Year, perhaps taking gen.ed classes at a local community college- which is a $$ savings anyway- and finding her a good voice teacher, taking voice lessons and piano lessons on a regular basis and then going through the application process again in the winter. Do get everything together early, do as many live auditions as possible, and keep good records. Enclose a self-addressed postcard in each application packet, requesting that the admissions dept return it to you, and follow up to make sure that auditions are properly scheduled and then, keeping close track of responses so that if she doesn't hear from a school by May 1st, she contacts them.
    Good luck!
    · Reply · Share
  • AtTheZooAtTheZoo 2 replies1 threads New Member
    Mezzo's - Thanks :O) Actually, her teacher was the one who played piano and did the recordings for her so I thought they had it under control. Ugh. But the good news then is maybe she will get in next year if this year was just a matter of the timing. Thanks to all for the info!
    · Reply · Share
  • mommusicmommusic 8232 replies69 threads Senior Member
    If your D is set on being a music major she should also audition at more than one place (as she should have last year, but that is water under the bridge.) Don't put all the eggs in one basket, as it were.

    Something else to think about--go to another voice teacher just for an evaluation. He/she may say good things about your daughter's voice and the instruction she has had so far...but they may also have good advice on how to improve. Maybe changing teachers will bring out something else in the voice, maybe not. But I think a 2nd opinion is a good idea.
    · Reply · Share
  • AL34AL34 1957 replies36 threads Senior Member
    If she's dead set on UA, can you get a sample lesson there? Given that it's now post-rejection maybe they can give better insight in to what needs to happen for her to be more competitive there perhaps for next year.
    · Reply · Share
  • ixrayyouixrayyou 35 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Has she thought about Troy U in Troy Alabama.My son will a Freshman...his major is Music Ed with a minor is Leadership. He wants to be a high school band director.He has a full ride that included out of state tution and room and board.Most of the band directors from this area went to Troy. He is a trombone player and will be in the Sound of the South marching band.Just a thought..one of the students we meet at IMPACT also applied to UA but could not get in.
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity