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Post audition letter from Bienen School of Music

2015Lalo2015Lalo Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
Has anyone had a S or D audition at Northwestern University? My S received a letter today, a week after his audition, from the Dean of the music school. The letter basically states the many reasons why Northwestern is a great school and that he should "research more of the conductors, chamber musicians, and music educators you could be working with should you be accepted...". Not sure what to make of this letter. It's either really nice or extremely taunting. Has anyone received such a letter from another music school?
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Replies to: Post audition letter from Bienen School of Music

  • cellomom6cellomom6 Registered User Posts: 573 Member
    I think it would be torture and is bad timing. But I wouldn't read into anything that is not an acceptance letter. Just opening that letter would have been such a let down. Your poor son.
    We received another general admission letter after auditioning and I found it annoying.
  • 2015Lalo2015Lalo Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    I actually opened it and put it away. I'm not going to show it to my son. I know that sounds awful, but I don't think there is anything to it, and I don't want him to get his hopes up. I remember Bowdoin College sending me a similar letter way back when while I was waiting to hear from them.
  • Mezzo'sMamaMezzo'sMama Forum Champion Music Major Posts: 3,537 Forum Champion
    I'm going to be brutally honest here and say that in my opinion, I think think it's wrong not to let your son have the letter and that there is nothing at all wrong with the letter in the first place. Face it, these schools are "in business" to attract students and part of that is advertising. A student applies, auditions, gets a letter extolling the great things about the school and encouraging them to delve further into what the school has to offer.
    20115Lalo, your son is going to get a bunch of rejections now and in the future and you can not, nor should you, protect him from them. He knows this- if he didn't, he'd be going into real estate or chemical engineering! Along with those turn-downs come invitations to play for new teachers in new places and on a whole, the highs will outweigh the lows. It's not like the letter "promises" anything, it's merely a public relations piece for Northwestern. If you don't make a big thing over it, I doubt that he will,
  • stradmomstradmom Registered User Posts: 4,849 Senior Member
    My S received a letter today

    This evening, I opened a letter addressed to my daughter, who doesn't live at home any more. That's mail fraud, and I did it with good intentions. It turned out to be her new atm card, which she had the bank send here because there are significant problems with her mail delivery where she lives. I immediately informed her, apologetically, that I had opened her mail.

    So I know where you're coming from. Your intentions are good.

    But it's his mail, and he deserves to (1) receive it and (2) open it himself.

    Of course you should contextualize it and share your more sophisticated understanding of how PR works with him, as part of your long term strategy to make him a strong, independent adult. One of the hardest things for me as my children become adults is stepping back and letting them take the lead. (I'm a terrible backseat driver, too!)
  • 2015Lalo2015Lalo Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    Wow, just when I was feeling thankful for how supportive this board has been I get slammed and accused of mail fraud. Not cool. This is not useful nor does it encourage discussion. I am choosing to no longer be a member of this group. Good luck to all. I wish you the best.
  • Mezzo'sMamaMezzo'sMama Forum Champion Music Major Posts: 3,537 Forum Champion
    @2015Lalo- Aauugghh, Come back! We weren't attacking you! No, really, we've been down this road before and we've even used the "mail fraud" term before- no attack was meant, I'm certain. Stradmom and I were just pointing out that our kids need to face these things on their own, and there are long term goals that have to be looked at. We all want the best for our kids, but we can't protect them from everything and letting them stretch their wings now will help them fly later on.
    I'm truly sorry if I offended you, that was not my intent.
  • drummergirldrummergirl Registered User Posts: 278 Junior Member
    I think this conversation is helpful for me, even if it veered off the original question. Though I've had two others go through the college process, the auditions alone mean I've been involved in my son's college search in a different way. This is a good reminder to me that it's his experience.
  • glassharmonicaglassharmonica Registered User Posts: 3,222 Senior Member
    That's a great point and well-articulated, drummergirl.
  • bigdjpbigdjp Registered User Posts: 177 Junior Member
    Message boards like this are great for getting general tips on the journey through the music school process. We all try to help, myself included. It bothers me when people are after support on a much more personal level. This isn't the place for that. I wish 2015Lalo and her child luck.
  • stradmomstradmom Registered User Posts: 4,849 Senior Member
    @2015Lalo I certainly apologize for offending you. My intent was to share an opinion, one that admittedly differs from yours, not to "slam" you. Please don't leave - one of the things that makes this a great supportive community is that we all have differering perspectives and we share them with one another with good intentions and the best of wishes for one another's families. Sometimes a remark that would have been softened with a smile and a gentle touch comes off as harsh in the cold, hard text of the internet, and for that I'm sorry.
  • glassharmonicaglassharmonica Registered User Posts: 3,222 Senior Member
    edited February 2015
    I've opened my kids' mail by accident several times. They always forgive me. ;) Sometimes when they are not home if an important letter comes they ask me to open it (other times definitely not.) By the way, @stradmom has been posting for a while and I can attest she would never slam anyone.
  • cellomom6cellomom6 Registered User Posts: 573 Member
    Don't feel bad 2015Lalo. We just got this lecture from the Dean at ccm. I wouldn't take it personally. I have permission from my son to open all mail so I can tell him right away if he's at school. I do think it's OK to withold letters if you think it will affect his performance for auditions, otherwise it was a pretty harmless letter. He'll be fine.
  • cellomom6cellomom6 Registered User Posts: 573 Member
    edited February 2015
    bigdjb, I think some personal support is necessary for audition season unless you have nerves of steel. I'm slowly getting over the worry of audition just because it is completely out of my hands and I've really enjoyed touring all of the schools. Once you realize you have no control over the audition process or how well your child performs, it gets easier.

  • musicprntmusicprnt Registered User Posts: 6,253 Senior Member
    I never kept anything from my son during the audition process, besides the fact that he pretty much ran things with our support (I did things like book flights, hotel rooms, drove, etc...in other words, music slave *lol*), it wouldn't make sense, since it is his future. If my son had received something like that, and asked if it meant anything, I would tell him no, that it is the school doing marketing to try and get the student to go there in case they get accepted. It is no different than not taking anything out of how audition panels react or don't react, are friendly or aloof or seemingly hostile, that in the end it is what comes at the end of march that counts:).

    As far as opening the kids mail goes, with my son away at college I will open things that look like it might be important, but my son knows that, if it is something from the school or from a summer program or the like, forwarding the mail may take too long. As far as it being mail fraud, given the relationship here ie parent to child, I doubt it would constitute mail fraud or be a crime, as opposed to opening someone else's mail.....

    Anyway, I totally agree with others, I don't think it is wise to withold things from kids during this process, it is one thing to temper their expectations (like not assuming the letter from Northwestern was a positive), but you can't shield them from the reality, especially with music. It is one thing to want to be positive and keep spirits up, it is another to try and shield them from reality IMO. I more than understand the instincts to want to do so, the whole audition, waiting to hear back on admission, issues with studio assignment, financial aid, it only seems to get more tense as time goes on, and it can be hard to deal with, it hurts even though they are young adults to see the disappointment if things don't go well, the fretting, the outright tantrums, the hurt at being rejected, we are still parents and want to make that go away, but we can't:). At this point, our role is the helper, someone to throw ideas at, crying towel holder, celebrating the victories, commiserating the defeats and watching our kids turn into adults in front of us:). It hurts, it is bittersweet because it also means the end of the child and the beginning of the adult, and that doesn't change. My S had a recital a couple of weeks ago and my wife and I were there, and we were both thrilled and saddened, thrilled because we felt he did something special, saddened because we saw someone who had his legs under him, confident, and definitely had lost the last vestiges of being our 'little boy' and was his own person up there.
  • cellomom6cellomom6 Registered User Posts: 573 Member
    You say it so well musicprnt.
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