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Creating the List of Colleges

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Replies to: Creating the List of Colleges

  • GoForthGoForth Registered User Posts: 713 Member
    @SpiritManager - I grew a special attachment to the first/only school we have thought about - UNT. They have a calculator where you can type in your class rank and ACT/SAT to determine the automatic academic scholarship. Then when you receive one of their scholarships for over $1,000/year, they offer in-state tuition, which is such a good deal that there virtually needs to be no waiting to imagine the financial picture there. I would call this a low-risk financial safety. If I had notes that showed a $43,000 annual tuition with unknown scholarship levels, I would know it as a riskier choice.
  • SpiritManagerSpiritManager Registered User Posts: 2,819 Senior Member
    It is important to have a financial safety - unfortunately if one is applying to audition based programs there are very few safeties, unless the program is really not up to the applicant's level. One thing you can get a feel for are which schools are known to be generous with aid - either need based or merit. But keep in mind, even then there will be exceptions to the rule. So my advice is do not rule anything out yet based on money - wait until April of senior year for that - after all the haggling is done! But warn your son that you'll need to be able to afford wherever he decides to go and that may mean his top choice just won't be possible in the end. And, yes, nice to have a school like UNT make things so clear cut in terms of the scholarship end.
  • StacJipStacJip Registered User Posts: 631 Member
    I have a Jazz Bassist at NEC (now a Junior). Our search was made a bit easier because our son knew Jazz students who were 2-4 years older than him. He knew them through his prep program and through his high school and going to camps, which is why so many of us are recommending that your son do a summer program. The Counselors at any program he does will likely come from a wide range of institutions and by talking to them your son will learn about the positive and negatives of each institution and will be better able to curate a list of schools that is right for him.

    Here are some categories to use when sorting any list you create:
    Distance from Home (important given the challenges of traveling with a double bass)
    Location-big city, small town, university town, country etc.....Most students will have some opinion about whether they think they want to live in NYC versus live somewhere more remote such as where Oberlin or Bard is.
    Conservatory or Small Liberal Arts School or University
    Access to classical musicians/instructors (if important)
    Cost (although as Spiritmanager said costs is hard to determine until after one is accepted and seen what funding is offered)
    The Bass Instructors - As your son gets closer to making his list he will want to research the Bass faculty at the institutions he is thinking of. He will want to look at what style music they play (Latin Jazz, traditional Jazz, more contemporary music etc....) and also learn a little about them to see if they are people he wants to work with.

    FYI my son applied to the following schools
    Berklee
    NEC
    Eastman
    NYU
    Manhattan School of Music
    Oberlin**
    University of Southern Maine (his safety - Everyone my son knew who was a professional musician/instructor had high praise for the Bass instructor at USM)

    **This was the one school he applied to because of MOM. He was accepted. Liked the Bass teacher and the conservatory program but HATED Oberlin. It was not his scene and the peer group too similar to his high school socially.

    He flirted with applying to Frost at University of Miami. He had a prep teacher who he liked as a musician who graduated from that program. But in the end he decided he did not like the heat and it was too far away from home.

    Finally as the mother of a Junior in College I just want to say that it is important to not get so wrapped up and crazy in this process. Honestly it is not WHERE your son goes to college but what he does once he is there that matters.

  • GoForthGoForth Registered User Posts: 713 Member
    @StacJip - We will probably be fairly relaxed about distance from home. Some sacrifice with extra driving, shipping, storage may be worthwhile. S is not afraid of city size or campus size, as long as it supports the overall mission. We hadn't yet pictured that a conservatory would be the goal (?), just something like a BM from a U. Access to classical music instruction may not be to vital. These answers could change over the next 2 years, which is why I was putting some focus on the raw information gathering at this early stage, then S could re-sort through the data as his mind changes.
  • glassharmonicaglassharmonica Registered User Posts: 3,239 Senior Member
    ^^Agreed. The first place to start is on the website of the college itself. Every university has this information. The net price calculator will give you an idea of what it might cost you without merit aid.
  • momsingsmomsings Registered User Posts: 776 Member
    Many jazz bass programs often teach classical the first two years. I know that at UNT all of the bassists take 2 years of private lessons from Jeff Bradetich before receiving jazz lessons from Lynn Seaton. They want their bassists to have good bowing technique. It makes for better pitch quality and flexibility.
  • bigdjpbigdjp Registered User Posts: 177 Junior Member
    After your son spends all summer marching in a DCI corps on snare drum and not playing the bass for 10 weeks, he's going to want to be a percussion major. When that happens give me a shout because the list will change and he's gonna need to play the marimba asap. good luck
  • GoForthGoForth Registered User Posts: 713 Member
    S has been back from DCI for a few weeks now. He accomplished his mission and is back on the bass. It was a great summer. He said he learned a lot about "listening in" - he seemed to really value that. He was disappointed to loose his bass calluses, and he figuring that swimming pool water is an enemy to a callus. He is blistering his way back into shape. He feels like he did not lose that much bass skill over the summer.

    The junior year of HS begins with a nice load of classic college-prep classes. The voice/dance lesson schedule has been established. The MYA startup is this coming weekend. Private bass lessons (classical and jazz instructors) are going to be more ad hoc at about one lesson per week with about 3/4 classical and 1/4 jazz. For the sake of an exercise in putting something together, S is planning to submit a Grammy jazz audition video and has selected music he like for that. He will need to find accompanyists. He is looking at repertoire-building as something to improve right now.
  • musicalkidsmusicalkids Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    Not sure what anyone else who really knows about this thinks, but have you considered DePaul University's School of Music? They do have a terrific jazz program, and you can't beat being in Chicago. The SOM is conservatory-like within a university. All of the faculty are outstanding.
  • GoForthGoForth Registered User Posts: 713 Member
    @musicalkids - I am definitely aware of DePaul in Chicago. We are becoming more aware of some of the performers, instructors, and professors in the Chicago-land area. We have a terrible time figuring out what is "terrific" relative to the rest of the world. We are very happy to be geographically neutral, within the US at least, so DePaul doesn't get extra points for closeness (I may even move after S goes to college, for example). I would give DePaul extra points in that travel costs for auditioning there would be less. I will ask S if he would like to set up a visit. I just looked up the Bass and Jazz Bass instructor names. I think we will and/or could be bumping into some of them - I recognized two of their names from looking for private instruction, and I have read and watched a fair amount of Jason Heath's work. For schools in the price range, which is a very common price range, but not easy for me, we need to find ones where large scholarships are possible. For example, by reading the Lawrence University material, I see that scholarships range from $15K to $22K (non-stackable academic + music) for a tuition in the mid $40K, so that puts a firm floor under their cost to us.
  • SpiritManagerSpiritManager Registered User Posts: 2,819 Senior Member
    @GoForth - You will have absolutely no idea what the cost of most schools will be for your son, until April, or even May of his senior year. Scholarships vary from school to school, from instrument to instrument, from year to year, and from one student to another. And they're not fixed and can, sometimes, be adjusted, upwards, especially if you have multiple offers from comparable, or more elite programs, to compare. Even schools with reputations for not giving out much scholarship money may give a full ride to a particular student. You just don't know at this point.
    Certainly there are programs like Lawrence which are known in advance to be generous with merit scholarships, and it's good to have them on your list, but don't rule any program out until acceptances are received and final scholarship offers are in hand.
  • musicalkidsmusicalkids Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    @GoForth, as you mentioned costs, I will just tell you that at least up to now -- and I have no reason to think that this won't continue -- DePaul freezes tuition for all four years of the undergraduate degree. And they can be very generous to music students vis-a-vis scholarships.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 9,849 Senior Member
    Just a side note to get ready for the "we" to transition to "he" in the next couple of years! By the end of high school my daughter knew a lot more than I did. Summer programs and good teachers were mostly responsible for that :)
  • GoForthGoForth Registered User Posts: 713 Member
    @compmom - Yes. I wanted this transition to occur and described that desire to S a few months ago. Based on S' academic load and S' nearness to graduation, we are aiming to move those duties over to S' plate around the winter break coming up. One of S' single-semester classes becomes a study hall at that time. His senior year also looks like an easier load than this year is.

    I had a really good feeling yesterday. He went to his first MYA rehearsal, which made me feel like one of my logistical goals had been completed - showing up and seeing that it is real. The instruction crew had a very nice feel about them. I like their vibe. I think they will be good resources over the next year or two. S was quite pleased, he says.
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