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GoForth Journal

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Replies to: GoForth Journal

  • GoForthGoForth 801 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
    He plans to trim the list. It is just nice to have something coming from his hands. Now, he is dry running through the associated audition material, but especially for the nearer Grammy Jazz Camp.
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  • ClarinetDad16ClarinetDad16 3303 replies119 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Don't discount the importance of academics for university admission and merit. I know kids who did not earn admission academically to FSU, Miami, etc but are now at Juilliard, CIM, etc.

    The most important thing your son can do this summer is prepare for his ACT retake. Elevating his score 3-4 points could make a huge difference for him.
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  • bridgenailbridgenail 1034 replies5 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 2016
    Congrats! My D had 12 schools on her list. But the element of TIME helped her trim her list. I told her to be sure to concentrate on the important ones first. She complained about that and insisted that may not work (volume was her answer). Still the primary schools got applied to and a few fell off in the end. As things started to get more serious, she got more focused on what she really wanted. And best of all it was determined by her...not me.

    I feel like the audition year is a really good growth opportunity for kids. I think it foreshadows a lot of issues they will run up against during college....particularly the issue of time management. So allowing them to struggle with that on their own (while you can still have a watchful eye over them one last time) will pay dividends. Of course you can assist them travel etc. But apps/pre-screens all take an incredible amt of time...and that's OK.

    And...talking about letting your kid do it on their own...I promised I won't be a parent hanging over my D's shoulder in the process. So she did her first app on her own to our public U in the summer. She did it all by herself! And then I found out a few weeks later she somehow filled out the transfer students application. Haha. So after that, I checked every app before they were submitted. I also know a few kids whose parents took the hands off approach only to find that the kids did submit applications but did not pay or the credit card info was entered wrong (and the kids received messages that they never opened or didn't understand so they ignored them). Some missed out on acceptances at key schools. So...yea...check that...
    edited June 2016
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  • GoForthGoForth 801 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
    It is just past August 1st, and the college mailings are picking up for S, of the HS class of 2017. He and I just clicked on the submit button for the UNT application (goodbye, first $75.00).

    S has developed a working list of colleges that he is reviewing, sifting through, sorting, looking up professor bios, watching youtube videos of their combos/bands. It is all written down in rows and columns. The 16 places on his master list right now (as I read them from his sheet) are (unordered):
    Thorton
    UIUC
    Frost
    Berklee
    IU
    SUNY Purchase
    UNT
    DePaul
    U Michigan
    Temple
    NEC
    Cal Arts
    William Patterson
    New School
    Michigan State
    MSM

    I see he has 8 "Yes", 2 "No", and 6 indeterminate, with either notes on what to investigate, or no notes have been entered at all so far.

    At this point, for jazz bass, we have the sense that he is an excellent member of the jazz bass candidate pool. I don't know where "excellent" fits in the spectrum of {good very good, great, world-class, top-notch, exceptional, etc.}, but in our specific ventures, we have not seen where he is "behind". So, audition preparations are looking great. Grades are looking good, with an ACT re-take coming up Sept 10th, which we plan to make the final pass at the ACT.

    I would love to have a column of data that says "cost after all scholarships", but that is the elusive column. It would determine the sorting for us. We do know what the cost is likely to be at UNT because of the automatic calculators, and it looks affordable for us, and a likely audition admit, barring an unusual group of auditioners. I have received a PM here about one of the college on the list giving a sweet deal to a bassist for this year, so that was neat to know about. We know that Berklee would need one of those rare full rides, Frost might need to be the Stamps scholarship or thereabouts. Many of the schools we do not know the scholarship (final cost) friendliness potential, and I would be happy to know more about that.

    As far as some of those rare scholarships I listed, the Grammy jazz audition is on S's list of things to do, filming right after the ACT is done, and is due by Oct 22. The results of that Grammy audition could help tip some scales we think. After the Grammy audition tape, S will be firming up college list and applying more, all the while keeping on track with audition material.

    That's all for now.
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  • classicalsaxmomclassicalsaxmom 311 replies26 threadsRegistered User Member
    Congrats on app #1 being done! Best of luck to your S on the Grammy audition!

    My DS is working on the common app and polishing essays. I am working on an update to post in one of my threads, too - this summer has clarified many things, but has prompted more questions, too.

    The unknown scholarship amount issue is a tricky one, for sure. My DS met several rising college freshman at summer programs and they volunteered some info about merit packages they were offered in the context of explaining their final choice, and DS got some useful information on relative generosity of merit at some of the schools on his list. Most of it confirmed what we'd heard previously and has resulted in one school dropping to the bottom of the list. Has your son befriended any rising freshmen or current students at target schools that he would feel comfortable asking about merit in general terms - relative generosity of offers between schools, etc?

    At sample lessons DS did this summer some of the profs were reasonably open about merit since they considered DS a likely contender for admission. Sample comments: "we probably can't bring the price down below full price at your in-state options, but assuming the audition goes well he might expect a package that is only a little more than your in-state schools" or "merit is need-aware so those with more need will be offered more" or "Those admitted to our studio don't get much merit money. The excellent reputation of our studio means that we have no trouble attracting good musicians so unfortunately they use most of the merit $ for other instruments" or "we don't have much merit to offer, but top out of state candidates will be recommended for an out of state tuition waiver." Of course, the needs of the music schools overall can change from year to year, and there is still a significant element of unpredictability at most schools, but these comments were still helpful in terms of setting rough expectations.

    I am tempted to call (anonymously) some of the music schools' admissions offices to try to see if they are willing to tell me a range of music merit awards that are typical for admitted students (not including any potential academic merit or need based aid), understanding such awards would not be guaranteed. I'd like to say "if you really wanted an applicant and they had no financial need, what would be the maximum music merit award that person might be offered? If even their highest merit award is not enough to make the school affordable when combined with our EFC estimate, then there is no point in spending the money to apply and audition.
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  • ScreenName48105ScreenName48105 495 replies22 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited August 2016
    I would love to have a column of data that says "cost after all scholarships"
    It is worth running the NPC tool at each of the schools. I noticed that some schools, like Thornton for one, included a "department gift/grant" estimate if you indicate that you're applying to the school of music. Especially for the selective music programs, I think they assume that you'll get at least a nominal merit scholarship for music if accepted. Many of the NPC tools take grades and test scores into account and includes likely academic merits, if any.

    Among my son's jazz friends, NYU, New School and Berklee have the reputation for being the stingiest in terms of music merit scholarships, with Thornton close behind. That said, we found Thornton to be very good in giving financial aid (need-based). NYU and the New School seem to be stingy all around.
    edited August 2016
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  • compmomcompmom 10762 replies76 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Can you remind us of his ACT? Is he tending more toward university or conservatory? Is he applying exclusively to BM programs? If so, depending on his original ACT, I think music should be his focus, not the ACT, in terms of time spent. What is the Grammy jazz audition for? Is it going to be helpful with admissions or a distraction from preparing for auditions? I know nothing about this so just asking :)
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  • bridgenailbridgenail 1034 replies5 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Looking good! And yep that $75 just uncorked the cash bottle. It will flow freely for the next 9 months of so.
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  • GoForthGoForth 801 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
    @compmom - I think your points are right on. Let me explain how everything is related, in my mind. His ACT is a 26. Some possibly relevant ACT requirements (UNT Honors college -> ACT 27; U-Miami ACT ->28) are near to that, but higher. His 26 was unprepared. A subsequent practice test showed 29. And then he started preparing. He also recently came back with more supportive standardized testing data with AP scores of APUSH = 5 and AP Chem = 5, so with a medium amount of prep, we think the academics can be very nice.

    He is probably applying exclusively BM, and his list above shows the places - I think they are mostly university, but not all. Music is still his focus, and he is continuing with lessons, audition prep, bands, gigs, and music study.

    The Grammy audition has 3 motivators. (1) if a student gets in, I think certain Major scholarship opportunities appear. (2) it is a good warm-up for doing the college video auditions. (3) The professor at UNT mentioned the opportunity to him (after reasons 1 and 2 were already present) and asked S to let him know how it goes.
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  • compmomcompmom 10762 replies76 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 2016
    I can see the need for the ACT, yes- potential for increase is more than probable. What does the Grammy audition result in, a performance at the Grammy awards? I have followed your/your son's path with interest: you are very organized and methodical while at the same time allowing for autonomy, a delicate balance in which you have done a great job I think :)
    edited August 2016
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  • GoForthGoForth 801 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
    @compmom - I look here: http://www.grammyintheschools.com/programs/grammy-camp-jazz-session/faq

    I have heard that the kids will play at parties that are associated with the Grammy event. I did a search on YouTube and found another activity they did in the past: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCZZVNid-AQ

    Thank you for the kind words.
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  • indeestudiosindeestudios 136 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Just an FYI...S's most generous merit scholarship offer, both in terms of $ amount and % of tuition, came from New School, so you never know. I sure wish it had been more predictable, but I think there are so many factors involved in making the offers that you just have to roll the dice on the schools you think are the best fit.

    Does your S have his pre-screen repertoire narrowed down? (Besides Billie's Bounce, lol! ;-)
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  • GoForthGoForth 801 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
    @indeestudios - Very funny about Billie's Bounce. He does have all repertoire written down for each candidate school. I can list it if desired.

    Latest news is that S has created an orders list of the top 8 places he wants to apply, as follows:

    unt
    william patterson
    cal arts
    frost
    thorton
    suny purchase
    depaul
    umich

    I asked in detail about his thought process and was impressed by his rationale of which places generated artists he likes, and studios that offer styles he likes, how the ensembles and teachers sound on YouTube.
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  • compmomcompmom 10762 replies76 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Gee Grammy camp is in early February. Is that going to be hard with auditions? (I notice some scholarship money is involved...)
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  • GoForthGoForth 801 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited August 2016
    It probably would be hard, but worthwhile.

    Ideally, 8 choices will become 6, and events will unfold that only 4 trips will be needed.
    edited August 2016
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  • GoForthGoForth 801 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
    The foretold avalanche of email and paper mail from colleges starting coming in over the summer before senior year and is in full force now. S mentioned that 2 of his 8 college choices on his current list have only pre-screens from which decisions are made, with no onsite audition available. That is disappointing from a show-your-stuff point of view, but just fine from a travel point of view.
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  • GoForthGoForth 801 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
    The reduction of homework this senior year of HS (as planned by taking a study hall and a TA spot) has been paying off. I can see the extra time S has to work on practice, transcriptions, listening to music, and of course playing. Today is the re-start of the youth jazz groups S plays with. All that seems pretty good.

    ACT studying has been steady and will be all wrapped up in 2 weeks, allowing lots of focus time for college apps and for generating college pre-screen videos. That is the journal entry for now, noting that everything seems in order. We'll see if it was a false sense of security as time unfolds.
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  • compmomcompmom 10762 replies76 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I enjoy the calm sense of order your journal conveys and hope it continues!!
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  • GoForthGoForth 801 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
    I felt incomplete until S traveled to enough professors and events, got good feedback, and then improved noticeably afterwards. Now, with that, and considering that S has time to look specifically at college stuff, I feel like the bulk of my scouting ahead for land mines is done. I will probably start to feel like scouting out musician career after-college stuff next, if anything.
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  • compmomcompmom 10762 replies76 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 2016
    and summer programs or other opportunities :) Though once in school he will no doubt find his own.
    edited August 2016
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