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Rejected already!

SJSMOMSJSMOM Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
edited March 2013 in Music Major
DS had first audition this past weekend at University of Vermont and already received rejection letter which states they don't "believe he is ready to major in music" there. I am so disappointed for him and hope this doesn't affect his mindset when he goes into other auditions. This wasn't his first choice but now he is done to only 5 choices.
He felt he did good (not perfect, knew he messed one thing ) but overall good and I am just wondering if audition committees ever give feedback on why person is rejected? Do students ever get in contact with school afterwards to see why so as to better prepare for next audition? I am thinking not but just feeling so badly for him right now especially since he thought he did well (but apparently not). Really not looking forward to rest of this process now.
Post edited by SJSMOM on

Replies to: Rejected already!

  • cellomom2cellomom2 Registered User Posts: 504 Member
    Hi SJSMOM. I really feel for you, having gone through the same thing with my DS 2 years ago. After one of his early auditions he got a rejection letter so fast it seemed to have passed him on the way home! We were pretty crushed, especially after the Cello Professor that my S had had a lesson with at that school gave us very positive feedback when we visited and had a lesson with him. It certainly couldn't hurt at this point and since your S still has auditions to go to, to e-mail one or more of the faculty who were present for the audition and ask if they could provide some specific feedback on his audition. Hang in there! It was rough going for us for awhile, but my son eventually ended up at his first choice school and is very happy. Incidentally, my S played his best auditions where he had met someone on the faculty and felt comfortable with them. I wish you and your S the best and hope he will be able to shake it off and do well at the rest of his auditions!
  • YouKnowWho13YouKnowWho13 Registered User Posts: 253 Junior Member
    Expect the worst in admissions. If you are rejected, then you won't be too surprised.

    Help your son get past the bad news and have him consider a different major (if you don't think music is right for him).
  • SJSMOMSJSMOM Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    Cellomom2 - thank you very much for your feedback and empathy. I just didn't know if I should suggest to him to contact them but at this point he really does have nothing to lose. Appreciate the advice. And laughed at comment about letter passing you on the way home - same thought here LOL.

    YouKnowWho13 - I do not think a music major is not right for him - music is his passion and unless he gets rejected by every school the suggestion to consider a different major isn't going to be suggested. I was merely looking for guidance on contacting the admissions committee for feedback - whether it is okay or not.
  • woodwindswoodwinds Registered User Posts: 601 Member
    There could be a number of factors. My daughter is about to start the audition process with her first audition in three weeks, so I will also be learning more about this process as we go on.

    First of all, if you and he are confidant that music is right for him, then I would not be bothered by this first rejection. You said it was not his first choice--could he have passed on his feelings about the school in some way, either with his application materials or in his audition? I was thinking about this when my daughter applied for our local Large Public University, which is her safety school and definitely her last choice. She did not bother writing an essay, which was optional. If she is asked during her audition about her interest in attending the university, I'm sure her lack of interest will show very clearly. Fortunately, she should not have any trouble getting admitted academically there.

    If your son can communicate directly with an instructor of his same instrument who was in the audition room, then I don't think it could hurt to ask him/her for feedback about how your son played.
  • musicprntmusicprnt Registered User Posts: 6,253 Senior Member
    Welcome to the wonderful world of music auditions, I am sorry to hear about his rejection like that. Knowing the way auditions work, you can't take too much out of any one audition, because quite honestly you don't know the reality...here are some things to keep in mind;

    -It could be UVM only had a single spot open and there was someone better who auditioned (you didn't mention the instrument, but keep in mind that, for example, if someone plays flute, there may only be 1 opening that is for UG or grad....).

    -They might not even have had an official opening, and auditioned anyway (in the event someone decided not to come back).

    -The panel (if there was one) simply didn't like his style, or they were cranky because they hadn't eaten.....

    There are a ton of reasons, so I wouldn't put too much weight into this. People tell stories, true ones, of students who get into top level programs and get rejected from ones not as competitive, I know of someone who got an incredible merit scholarship at NEC in a top studio but didn't get accepted into either Juilliard or into a couple of the lesser tiered programs here in NYC, go figure ....

    If the rest don't turn out well, it doesn't have to be the end of the line. I don't know who your son has been studying with, but if it doesn't work out well he may want to find another teacher, a high level/respected one outside his current teacher, to get an evaluation of his playing. Maybe he is good enough but had some basic issues his current teacher didn't pick up on, one thing about teachers, even good ones have blind spots, and it could be the blind spots were critical things...there also are a lot of private music teachers out there who may not be that great in terms of getting kids ready for music school admissions, you don't know..hence the evaluation.

    If the teacher indicates your son may be good enough, but needs work on certain areas, then he could potentially think of the gap year, and work maybe with his existing teacher or this one, to work on those areas. Kids do this all the time, and it can be beneficial, and if he is passionate about it it is a way to pursue it.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 26,432 Senior Member
    Do have your son contact the department and nicely ask for information on the audition so he can find out what the issues were there.

    Also look for some schools where he can study music without going through an audition process. We did this with our son when he was applying in the performing arts. There are schools out there that have excellent music, arts programs but do not have auditions for them.
  • violindadviolindad Registered User Posts: 933 Member
    While most schools do not have any formal mechanism to give feedback on auditions (and some have policies prohibiting it because they have had bad experiences with offering it in the past), I would agree that it would not hurt to contact one or two of the instructors on the audition panel and kindly ask if they might be willing to give some feedback or advice. I would contact them soon, since the longer you wait, the less specific and valuable the feedback will be; some schools audition so many people, that the auditions all get blurred in the panels' minds.

    I would recommend email contact since then you can edit the email to ensure that the tone is just right; it will probably be easier for the panelists to give honest direct feedback in an email. While there are still a few dinosaur professors that aren't good with email, most are now.

    Perhaps more valuable than the brief feedback you might get would be a lesson or two with a top-notch teacher at a local college/university. Be certain to have your son ask the teacher near the end of the lesson if they believe that his musical development is sufficient for acceptance to music.
  • StacJipStacJip Registered User Posts: 588 Member
    Just wanted to send along my support. Helping our children deal with rejection is something I find very difficult. Everyone has given you great advice. I would remind your son that many a famous artist has been rejected before. If this is his passion then he will not let rejection hold him back. Also it sounds like he was rejected based on where he is right now. Between now and the upcoming auditions your son has time to practice practice practice and work hard to improve. I know that my son improved dramatically his senior year and had he auditioned in September or October he would not of been accepted.
  • musicamusicamusicamusica Registered User Posts: 6,468 Senior Member
    "practice practice practice and work hard to improve."

    No matter where you stand in the talent pool....this is the answer.

    D was the same way as a HS senior. Got a rejection from the school that was her first early fall audition and "safety". Her auditions in the late winter/early spring at tougher admits were all successful. But I will admit, we started talking "plan B" after that first rejection.
  • MomofbassistMomofbassist Registered User Posts: 698 Member
    What music america said, "Practice, practice, practice and work hard to improve." Also, if your son has any private lessons from college profs before auditions, take notes and make certain that he improves those items before returning for the audition. Teachers love it when you listen, practice and improve. Son met with one prof in early November and worked on everything he recommended so by audition time the prof came out to tell us immediately after the audition how impressed he was and very happy with him for working on all his suggestions. Also, each audition panel or studio teacher will be looking for something different so after regrouping tell him as sons private teacher did, "That all auditions are positive experiences especially the rejections and that you can learn from them all." My heart goes out to you and your son but you both should be proud that he is trying to pursue his dreams and music is a much harder admit than liberal arts. Good luck.
  • Mezzo'sMamaMezzo'sMama Registered User Posts: 3,437 Senior Member
    Music is a subjective thing, and as such, sometimes there simply are no concrete answers. Rejection is a fact of life and as hard as this is to hear, one has to get used to that early and develop a thick skin. If your S really wants a career in music then he has to put this behind him and move along to the next audition- and at least he has one under his belt now and knows what to expect. A lot of us have had kids, or known others, who have been rejected from one school only to get accepted to a higher-level school later in the season.
    I'm in the minority here but I don't think that contacting UV or anyone on the admissions committee will do any good. They may honestly not remember him for sure and for many reasons ( legal ones) could be reluctant to make specific comments.
    Wishing your S the best of luck and reminding you to take each day as it comes, take deep breaths and make good use of this board for support!
  • Singersmom07Singersmom07 Registered User Posts: 3,885 Senior Member
    I think that if you contact one of the panelists, the question is not why was he rejected but what can he do to improve. Or what areas would they recommend your S work on to become ready to major in music.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 26,432 Senior Member
    I like Singersmom07's suggestion. But, I also, seriously urge you to start looking at some non audition options. It is entirely possible to be rejected from every audtion school. I've seen it happen. Yes, this could have been a fluke, but every student in any discipline should have an affordable safety school that will most certainly take him on the list. Those who have other stipulations like an audition or are looking at programs that are super selective particularly need to have some alternative ideas because it is too possible that things don't work out as planned.
  • SJSMOMSJSMOM Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    Thank you all so much for your kind words and valuable advice. You have definitely put this in perspective for us and I do know that this is only the first one and he has other options in front of him. I will pass along many of your suggestions to him and hopefully he will see that they are good ones and act on them. This forum and you folks have provided such a tremendous amount of information and help over the past year and I am so glad I found it. To all othes going through this process, I wish your sons and daughters the best of luck too!
  • alexmariejpalexmariejp Registered User Posts: 135 Junior Member
    A point I didn't see anyone about mention is that you said in the letter the school said

    'they don't "believe he is ready to major in music" '

    That tells you a great deal there, probably more than talking to the panelists would do (unless he has a previous relationship with the panelists). It was his first audition, so nerves can always be an issue, but depending on the instrument (what is it btw?) perhaps there are issues he can be working on that he and his teacher already know about. If you are intent on contacting the school, you might want to have his private teacher do so. Then it really does come off as "we are seeking to learn what we can improve" as opposed to "why didn't you accept me?" Auditions include more than the playing of your instrument. You have theory tests and aural skills and piano skills sometimes. Perhaps the weakness was in one of these areas?

    Good luck to your son and you, but I echo the comments of having a few schools that don't require auditions in his plan!
This discussion has been closed.