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Music College

jtabbott8jtabbott8 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
edited July 2012 in Music Major
Hello, i am an upcoming Senior and i have been thinking a lot about college lately, i really have my heart set on berklee college of music, but i would like to apply for many music colleges just in case i don't get accepted. what are some Music colleges that compare with berklee?
Post edited by jtabbott8 on
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Replies to: Music College

  • StacJipStacJip Registered User Posts: 632 Member
    What is your primary instrument or interest in music? Do you want to perform, compose, be in music business, score films, create pop song..... Are you interested in Classical, Jazz, Pop, Modern (i.e.: Phillip Glass), Fusion, World? Have you visited Berklee? What did you like about it?
  • Mezzo'sMamaMezzo'sMama Forum Champion Music Major Posts: 3,559 Forum Champion
    And remember, each of those "many" colleges has an application fee and will require an audition. You need to tell us more about what instrument you play, how long have you been playing, accomplishments such as competitions or groups you play in,etc.
  • jtabbott8jtabbott8 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    hello, thanks for the replies. i am a pianist (5 years, will be 6 years before going to berklee) a vocalist, i sing pop/rock and roll/R&B type vocals, i am a performer (dancer/theatre) also.i would like to be in the music business as a recording artist/performer. i have never visited Berklee, but i have/am currently taking online classes through Berklee. i so strongly feel that Berklee is where i belong, but thinking about having to pay off that almost 200,000 student loan bill makes me sick to my stomach..
  • StacJipStacJip Registered User Posts: 632 Member
    I am glad to hear that you are taking the cost into account. Berklee is in the top 10 of most expensive colleges in the US. Berklee is definitely unique. Many alumni go on to be successful. But I suspect there are an equal number of Berklee students who drop-out or give up because being in the music business requires commitment, focus and time. Many kids who go to Berklee don't realize that choosing music is not the easy path. You will need to be prepared to work harder and be more committed then your friends going off to liberal arts colleges. If you are that committed then I would plow forward and work like crazy to get the cost down through a combination of scholarships, financial aide and any local funding you can find.

    For many years Berklee was known for giving out generous scholarships. I know several adult musicians who told me they attended Berklee instead of a more competitive conservatory because it was the least expensive option. But Berklee recently began a major construction project and it seems like they have pulled back and are giving away less of the coveted "free ride" scholarships. My son and his friends applied last year. Many have won numerous competitions and received recognition as outstanding players at festivals. These are kids who applied to other top ranked conservatories and were admitted with merit money. They are not slackers. It seemed like the typical grant among this particular crowd was 18K, which is a far cry from the full-ride many expected. Several years ago the number of full-rides given out during the 5 week filled a page. Last year there were just a handful of full-rides. I do not believe that the overall quality of the musicians declined.

    Another option is to think about a gap year and work and save money. A mentor/musician my son knows told me that he went and played in the pit for musicals and earned enough money to pay his own way through Berklee. Attending as an older student meant that he was able to really absorb everything that Berklee had to offer. That was many years ago and I am not sure that it is possible to do that today given how expensive everything is, but I do think that taking a gap year is always a good idea.
  • jtabbott8jtabbott8 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    StacJip, thank you very much. yes i planned on taking a year maybe two 'gap year' before going. reasons for this are of coarse to save up money, i would also like to take many more of their online courses ahead of time too, and the location change, i live in a small town in Mississippi, so moving to Boston would be a big change, but i would love to do it. Music is my passion, and its what i want to do for the rest of my life.
  • jtabbott8jtabbott8 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    and what exactly is a conservatory? i would like to study at a more contemporary school, but im not counting out more classical Music colleges either.could you name a few more colleges for me to look into, i would like to go to an all performance/music/arts college, where the environment is creative and a place for you to truly learn music. Berklee is my dream college, but even if i took two years off and worked, as much as it hurts me to say this, its almost impossible to come up with that much money.
  • SpiritManagerSpiritManager Registered User Posts: 2,819 Senior Member
    I recommend that you read the first pages of the following thread. It's a great place to start in understanding the music world. http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/music-major/258796-so-you-want-music-major-one-familys-experience.html?
  • musicamusicamusicamusica Registered User Posts: 6,468 Senior Member
  • musicamusicamusicamusica Registered User Posts: 6,468 Senior Member
    Like minds.........cross post (beat me to it by 2 minutes!!)
  • SpiritManagerSpiritManager Registered User Posts: 2,819 Senior Member
    Ha -cross-posted with musicamusica!

    Another useful place to start: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/music-major/1145523-contemporary-music-school-help.html?

    There are many more threads - if you search for 'contemporary music'
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 9,860 Senior Member
    A conservatory is a music school, basically, where students earn a BM. People may come on here and suggest you look at Belmont, or USC Thornton. I know little about these schools but if my old memory serves, they are often mentioned along with Berklee.

    So there is a broad range of possibilities for you (I don't know that much about your genre, but will try anyway). You could look at a state university's BM program, other universities or liberal arts colleges with BA or BM programs, and conservatories/music schools. It sounds that you would really want a BM degree, meaning performance.

    Many conservatories have costs similar to Berklee, with similar merit aid. That's why I mentioned those other options. You can also study privately and perform professionally outside of school, which is sometimes an affordable option, and could accompany more classical studies.

    University of the Arts in Philadelphia might be a possibility. Also some colleges such as Sarah Lawrence (see course on Advanced Theory: 20th-Century Theoretical Approaches II: Post-Tonal and Rock Music) or Bennington or maybe Vassar might also have a curriculum that appeals to you.

    The combination of financial pressure and scarcity of schools with the focus you want will require some digging. I actually hope you don't have to take too much time off. Honestly, if you go to school, you may make connections and be able to take time off during school, and maybe make some money performing. Don't hold me to that, but it is a thought!
  • musicamusicamusicamusica Registered User Posts: 6,468 Senior Member
    "It sounds that you would really want a BM degree, meaning performance."

    Though not as common as a BM in performance, there are schools that offer a BA in performance as well. (UCLA for example)

    Compmom is on to something that you should consider. Private lessons with a good teacher outside of school would be an excellent option, especially if you can locate an affordable school in a large urban environment that has a good local music scene. One of the more successful young classical vocalists I know did her BA in music at Yale, while continuing her weekly voice lessons privately in NYC.
  • SnowflakeVTSnowflakeVT Registered User Posts: 2,486 Senior Member
    Berklee is a great school for many, but if you coming from the south, you should also look at Loyola New Orleans.

    At Berklee, the base classes of music theory, ear training, etc. can all be learned on-line, and that sounds like what you are doing. Once you start at Berklee, they test you to place you into your starting classes. If you've taken many of those core classes on-line, you will either get credit for them or test out of them, and that means you wouldn't have to pay for the full 4 years of Berklee tuition. Since Berklee is contemporary, you will also find that a lot of classes may include jazz theory and rhythms as its base, unlike a classical conservatory. Of course you can study other styles too (rock, R&B, pop ... or invent a new style) but many of those styles have their roots in jazz, so make sure you are learning and playing with that in mind.

    Berklee does give good scholarships out, but only 8 new full rides (called Presidential Scholarships, full tuition and room and board) each year. I've heard scholarship offers of anything from $3K/year up to $22K/year, but that is not generally shared. The kids at Berklee that were offered scholarships aren't just good at executing a piece that they auditioned, they often also show that they can write, create, or do something else that shows they are more than a excellent technical executor of music.

    Financial aid is a different way to close the financial gap and is separate from talent scholarships. For financial aid, you would work with your parents to fill out a FAFSA, and make sure you submit all paperwork early enough so you can still fix problems with your paperwork before any deadlines.

    You can add your scholarships and financial aid together to reduce the bill you owe for your education.

    Many students at Berklee do not have any scholarships, but they manage to get gigs, work for churches as musicians, and many other side jobs to close the gaps (nannies, tutors, waitresses, bartenders, maids, car mechanics). You should NOT take out $200,000 in loan to go to music school.
  • jtabbott8jtabbott8 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    thank you so much SnowflakeVT, and to everyone. i plan on taking about 8 online classes from berklee, already taking one.. all the classes im taking online are guitar courses,music history courses, and keyboard courses.. i know i could get some financial aid, but it would still be a large amount of money.. You are making me feel a little better about the financial aspect of it though.. i know this is going to sound a little silly, but what would you do?
  • stradmomstradmom Registered User Posts: 4,872 Senior Member
    Take a look at Columbia College Chicago. While not a "music school," they have programs that would support many of your interests.
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