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Opinions Matter

MARIMBAgirlMARIMBAgirl 17 replies1 threads New Member
Hello,

Recently, I decided to do my research on which college I should attend. I always knew which college I want to go (CSUN), but now that I actually planning for my future I'm having trouble narrowing colleges down. The more I research the bigger my list gets. Opinion matters, and I need your opinions on the colleges I have chosen so far. Hit me with all the positive and negatives aspects of these colleges. I am going to major in conducting and music performance, general. Maybe going for a Doctoral's music degree which are only avaliable out of state (not in California).

My college list (placed in a random order):
CSUN
Colburn Conservatory of Music
Boston Conservatory
Berklee College of Music
Ithaca College
Boston University
New England Conservatory of Music

Also, don't be afraid to suggest other colleges too. :)
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Replies to: Opinions Matter

  • mikemacmikemac 10369 replies151 threads Senior Member
    you'll probably find a more informed audience in the forum for music majors -- http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/music-major/
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  • MARIMBAgirlMARIMBAgirl 17 replies1 threads New Member
    Okay. Thank you!
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  • SpiritManagerSpiritManager 2826 replies67 threads Senior Member
    @MarimbaGirl - please tell us more about yourself - what year in school are you, are you planning to major in percussion performance? Conducting is usually a grad degree and there is no general non-specific performance degree that I know about. (Although perhaps you stumbled on one?) How long have you been playing - and is it percussion? How have you compiled that list - using what criteria? CSUN - does this mean you're a California resident - and, yes, there are doctoral degrees in music from California schools. If you tell us more we'll be able to offer more guidance. Right now your list is all over the place. Did you choose those particular schools because of their locale?
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  • MARIMBAgirlMARIMBAgirl 17 replies1 threads New Member
    @SpiritManager‌ - I am in tenth grade, and yes I plan on majoring in percussion performance. I have been playing since sixth grade (started on the front ensemble in drumline) so about four to five years. I need had a private music teacher till last year. While doing drumline I also got into the school's jazz band (vibist) and the wind ensemble (percussion - bells, xylo, and vibe). In my freshman year, I joined CSUN's youth symphony and this year I am in CSUN's youth philharmonic. I am a California resident. No, I actually just chose the schools by their rating. I really like Boston Converstory because my favorite marimbist, Nancy Zeltsman, teaches there but the distance and price give me a second thought. I am also not so sure about Ithaca College, Boston University, and New England Collee of Music since I recently found out about them this morning.
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  • compmomcompmom 10924 replies77 threads Senior Member
    (Yes, UC's offer doctoral degrees.)

    One thing to consider is finances. Conservatories can be quite expensive with less aid than colleges or universities. I don't know if that is an issue for you. Have you looked at CS Long Beach by any chance?

    How about Oberlin or Lawrence?

    There are so many schools to suggest that we really do need a little more information. Location, size, which degree (assuming BM) and so on. You are smart to consider teachers of course :)
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  • musicalkidsmusicalkids 73 replies14 threads Junior Member
    Just an FYI: Colburn does not offer a conducting degree.
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  • drummergirldrummergirl 307 replies3 threads Member
    Eastman has a terrific percussion program - we saw one of the ensembles at auditions last week and they were amazing! But no undergrad conducting
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  • SpiritManagerSpiritManager 2826 replies67 threads Senior Member
    There is almost nowhere that offers undergrad conducting as a degree. But Chapman in Southern California used to. You might look into their program. And I second CSULB as a great place for you to look. And, yes, Eastman s well known for percussion, but there are quite a few others - even some not as well known for other instruments - like University of Kentucky. Oberlin, CCM, Michigan, Northwestern, UNT would all be worth a look. @MarimbaGirl are you saying you don't have a private teacher right now? If you plan to apply to some of the most competitive programs in the country you'll need to get a teacher immediately! Or, were you saying you just now started studying with a private teacher? Don't take this list as the only good programs for you, nor the only great programs out there - but it might be a useful place to start getting idea about the different possibilities if you want to study classic al percussion: http://musicschoolcentral.com/top-10-colleges-for-percussion-performance/ If you're more interested in jazz or drumline percussion the list will change.
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  • honestmomhonestmom 421 replies7 threads Member
    @SpiritManager beat me to it, U. of Kentucky has a wonderful award-winning percussion program and is very affordable for OOS students. You could do that and then seek a graduate degree elsewhere in conducting. Our middle school band director is an amazing percussionist who graduated from Temple U.'s Boyer College of Music, which is also a pretty affordable option for OOS. I am pretty sure Eastman offers a master's in conducting and also has a strong undergrad percussion department.
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  • MARIMBAgirlMARIMBAgirl 17 replies1 threads New Member
    @SpiritManager‌ - Well, I meant that I got a teacher in the beginning of last year. At this moment I have two private teacher (one who specializes in the marimba and another who plays all percussioj instruments). I did check out CSULB and found it to be an amazing school, but my parents don't agree with the area it is in. I am more interested in orchestra and jazz. @honestmom - What do you mean by OOS? @compmom‌ - Finances will be a big problem for my family and I, should I start worrying about that or wait? I was thinking to apply for a scholarship in order to get in.
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  • SpiritManagerSpiritManager 2826 replies67 threads Senior Member
    OOS means out of state. Many public out of state universities are very expensive to attend - if you are not a resident of that state. However, there are exceptions - and, often if one receives a merit scholarship to the institution the out of state tuition is waived, such as at University of North Texas. As for applying for scholarships - for music that will automatically be considered when you apply to a program - you will not need to do anything separately - except audition if you pass the prescreening. (For many instruments one often is required to submit a video or audio as a preliminary audition before being invited to audition in person.) There are small local scholarships which you, of course, can apply for as well. I would not worry about the finances now, as much as preparing for a fantastic audition - because the better the audition the better your chances of both admission, and substantial aid up to full tuition or more, in some cases, especially if you have financial need, as well.

    Your parents have a problem with the city of Long Beach? In any urban area where you may be applying - such as Boston, there will be neighborhoods less affluent than others...
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  • MARIMBAgirlMARIMBAgirl 17 replies1 threads New Member
    Okay, thank you.

    Yes, my parents have a problem with Long Beach. They also don't agree with the area that, I believe it is, UCLA or USC (I always mix them up). However, they don't have a problem with Boston if I get accepted.
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  • SpiritManagerSpiritManager 2826 replies67 threads Senior Member
    Colburn is very close to USC, which is in the neighborhood your parents fear. Not UCLA which is in weathy Westwood. And UCLA's School of Music would be well worth applying to, if you have the grades for basic admission.

    Boston has plenty of neighborhoods equally challenging to those of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Any big city such as Cincinnati, Rochester, Louisville will have its tougher spots, as well. There are, however, respected conservatories and schools of music located in rural or middle class suburban small towns which might make your parents more comfortable!
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  • compmomcompmom 10924 replies77 threads Senior Member
    Conservatories often do not offer much financial aid, if any, and merit scholarships are not often sufficient to cover costs. This might be true, say, at Boston Conservatory, NEC, and Berklee. Check this aspect of your schools before you get your hopes up, I would say.

    Ithaca and BU would offer some financial aid. Go to their financial aid pages and do the calculator.

    If you are in California your best bet might be state universities and colleges. Some have BM programs and others have BA/performance so check the actual degrees and training offered.
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  • SpiritManagerSpiritManager 2826 replies67 threads Senior Member
    Compmom - sometimes the public universities in California end up as more expensive than a private university in California or elsewhere, if there is financial need. That was certainly the case for my family. Even some out of state public colleges can be cheaper than an in state public - as California colleges have gotten every expensive even for residents. Although there is financial support for low income families.

    But MARIMBAgirl - Compmom is right to warn you about Berklee and Boston Conservatory as they're not known to offer substantial aid to a majority of their applicants - yet there are always exceptions for the very very talented. Which is why it's best not to fall in love with only one school right now. Save that love until after you've been accepted and all the offers are in!
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  • saintfansaintfan 8182 replies92 threads Senior Member
    A poster here whose handle escapes me right now has a son who is a percussionist at Eastman. He loves it and does both classical and jazz, I believe.
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  • saintfansaintfan 8182 replies92 threads Senior Member
    University of North Texas would also be worth a look. It can be quite affordable, has a wide range of highly respected programs and is not in a location that would give your parents pause.
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  • bigdjpbigdjp 166 replies11 threads Junior Member
    That would be me. My son is a percussion major at Eastman. Eastman percussion is FANTASTIC!!!!!!! I can't say enough about the program and how happy we are that our son is a part of such a fantastic and historic studio. The school itself is no slouch either!!!!!! Marimbagirl, get with the best quality teacher you can find. Look for someone who has a history of preparing students for the schools you are looking to attend. A college professor or professional symphony player if you can find one. At this point in high school, my own son was practicing 4-6 hours per day between mallet, snare drum and timpani. He was also a member of the local youth orchestra. Attend camps if you can. Good luck!!!!!
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  • momsingsmomsings 804 replies3 threads Member
    I'm curious about Long Beach. I was there last week and thought it was pretty neat. What's the matter with it?
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  • compmomcompmom 10924 replies77 threads Senior Member
    edited February 2015
    i was referring back specifically to her list. BU and Ithaca might have good financial aid, as I said, but if she wants to stick to the list, the publics in California would be more affordable than the conservatories on the list. If she wants to go to a college program or a conservatory/music school program within a college or university, then yes, often privates offer better aid and can end up cheaper than publics.

    it really helps to go on the financial aid calculators for any school you are interested in. And if you want to expand your list to privates (other than freestandng conservatories) besides BU or Ithaca, financial aid may very well be very helpful.
    edited February 2015
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