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Class of 2023 undergrad/Class of 2021 grad: The Tours, the Auditions, the Journey

akapiratequeenakapiratequeen 996 replies34 postsRegistered User Senior Member
Having learned so much from @SpartanDrew 's thread for the previous class, I'd love to invite parents of current juniors to share their impressions, advice, frustrations and joys as we start the process. My S19 is a sax player, primarily tenor/jazz, and thinks he might want to teach as well. Fairly academic kid. Plays all the saxes and piano.

So far we've looked at Berklee (he did the five-week there last summer), Ithaca (joint jazz performance/music ed option makes this one very attractive). Coming up: Eastman (jazz workshop this summer), Rutgers (in-state NJ, open house on April 21) and visits to Peabody/Johns Hopkins and Syracuse. Still trying to build the list; one thing I've learned from reading about the class of 2022 is to apply to a wide range of schools,

Would love to hear from others starting this journey. What is your kid's background, and what is s/he looking for? Have you done any tours? What are your impressions so far?

ETA: It will be fun to look back later and see how our kids change on this journey!
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Replies to: Class of 2023 undergrad/Class of 2021 grad: The Tours, the Auditions, the Journey

  • MusakParentMusakParent 956 replies9 postsRegistered User Member
    edited April 2018
    I am watching those other threads for this year's grads with bated breath. I cannot thank that group enough for sharing their stories!

    I have a son who has taken classical piano for 13 years, classical/MT voice (developing baritone - seems to be rising. Baritenor?) for 4 years, and casual guitar for the last 3. He's done some composition and song writing. He has perfect pitch which is a blessing and a curse. He has done a bunch of theater/musical theater. But is interested in a music degree. He's leaning VP and taking comp on the side at this moment. He's actually going to take some private comp lessons this summer and we'll see where this goes. I think he envisions himself being a jack of all trades/collaborative musician and not an opera singer or a classical pianist or anything like that. I could see him writing musicals/operas or music directing. I think he'd like to be able to dabble in jazz/contemporary. He's also academic too and wants a university. We will not be looking at independent conservatories. He'd consider a BA with the right music faculty and private teachers. It's hard to make concessions on teachers because he has excellent teachers right now. He is actually homeschooling/dual enrolled right now. He is not doing a summer program because there is all sorts of stuff he wants to do locally and I'm having a hard time justifying the cost when college is around the corner.

    We have toured a bunch of options within 6 hours of us in the upper Midwest and he has met some music teachers nd done some sample lessons. But he is interested in programs all over. I am not feeling super compelled to visit some of the further reaching options that require a pre-screen and/or in person audition ahead of time but we will see how our schedule shakes out. My husband travels east often for work, so we may get out there to peek at a few. I think we have a fairly good feel for what type of programs he likes. He has it in his head that he wants to be somewhere urban and preferably on a coast. But price definitely does matter for us and I'm insisting he keep all options open. We are likely full pay and need merit for any high buck privates to work. State schools are on the table.

    Some schools we're thinking about - UMN, UW-Madison, Lawrence, St. Olaf, Luther (BA), Northwestern, Frost, UDenver, Oberlin, DePaul, UIUC. UIUC has a new lyric theater degree with a composition track that sounds really great. I wish he'd look at some schools in Iowa. He's dreaming about - USC, BU, Vanderbilt, Rice, UChicago, Harvard/Berklee dual, etc. Still researching and reading.
    edited April 2018
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  • akapiratequeenakapiratequeen 996 replies34 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited April 2018
    I agree! I'm hoping @NYsaxmom and some of the others will offer us their best tips here. @spartandrew, where are the @goforth and other threads you mentioned? Not sure how to find them.

    @MusakParent , I'm sure we'll meet along the way in the coming year! My son has narrowed it down to a few schools that offer jazz performance as well as a solid music education program. He sees himself as an academic, teaching at the college level while performing and recording on the side. We'll see.

    Of the schools you mentioned, I'd love for my son to look at Frost but he's so far resistant to Florida (God knows why...it snowed in NJ yesterday). Oberlin is another one I think he should add to the list, but it doesn't offer music ed.

    Finally, for your son, what about New York? Manhattan School of Music is an amazing conservatory -- we met the director at a music colleges fair and were really impressed. Mannes (now part of the New School) has some great teachers, too. Finally, I am curious -- why BU? I didn't even know they had a music school. Clearly I have a lot to learn.

    edited April 2018
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  • MusakParentMusakParent 956 replies9 postsRegistered User Member
    Boston University DOES have a school of music!
    http://www.bu.edu/cfa/music/
    It's on my son's radar because his voice teacher recommend looking at it and honestly, probably because it's in a cool east coast city. LOL. BU seemed like it was off the charts competitive this year, so I don't know. Evidently everyone wants to be in Boston! If anyone knows anything about BU, I hope they speak up.

    He would actually LOVE to look at schools in NYC. But I wasn't sure anything would be appropriate or might remotely come range for cost. Like Steinhardt came up on his list too. But I think he's leaning to more a university setting rather than a conservatory setting now.


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  • akapiratequeenakapiratequeen 996 replies34 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Steinhardt is definitely a university setting! My d went to NYU and loved it. But yeah, pricey, even with scholarships.
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  • SpiritManagerSpiritManager 2803 replies66 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    This is still my favorite thread of all (asides from the Double Degree Dilemma pinned above.) https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/music-major/258796-so-you-want-to-be-music-major-one-familys-experience-p1.html

    Also, @akapiratequeen do know if your son wishes to be an academic teaching at the college level, Music Ed is not the usual path for that. Music Ed is for teaching K-12 and has nothing to do with college level teaching, from what I've heard. If he's interested in teaching younger kids, then it's fine. Think of it in the same way for a regular teacher - an Ed degree is for K-12, and a PhD would be for being a professor...
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  • GoForthGoForth 786 replies29 postsRegistered User Member
    I am definitely starting to feel the "fade into the distance" effect coming on. I think I'll update my journal with a few more posts if anything noteworthy or helpful occurs, but the torches are passing on, and people with more up-to-the-minute experience can take over. That's the feeling I just started having one year from after being in the heat of things.
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  • vistajayvistajay 1429 replies27 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    My 2 cents: it can be expensive but for my classical voice major son, sample lessons proved crucial. He was accepted everywhere he had a sample lesson. He was denied from the two music schools where he was unable to schedule a sample lesson. He did get into a very competitive program without a sample lesson, but I think the lessons helped him most places because he interviews well and was better able to convey his personality in a lesson. Think of it as an extended interview.
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  • CompojazzmomCompojazzmom 83 replies6 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I do hope that one-on-one lessons could do the magic - of course in the sense that they allow enough teacher-student interactions for both to determine whether each other is a fit or not.

    My son's going to attend music programs in the northeast this summer, and I would very much like to make use of the opportunities to arrange extra private lessons with faculty members. I've emailed the admissions offices, and my son has emailed the individual teachers, but so far we haven't been able to arrange anything. I even made a few phone calls during their office hours yesterday but failed to reach anyone.

    I heard that it's much easier to establish contact with the teachers once a student is admitted. So for the arrangement of pre-admission private lessons, can anyone share their experience?
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  • akapiratequeenakapiratequeen 996 replies34 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @SpiritManager , thanks for this good advice. S19, being 17, changes his mind on this from day to day. For this reason, he was especially impressed with the Ithaca program, which allows you to declare a double major but then change it at the end of freshman year. The ME curriculum offers K-12 classroom experience during freshman year so the kids can get a taste of ME and decide if it's for them.

    I think S19 is realizing that, while he loves to perform and is a good jazz player, he's not in the very top tier of jazz performance students. He's still experimenting with different types of music and looking for his place. He wants to learn new instruments...he loves playing in pit bands and the local "gamer orchestra" (mostly adults)....and much as he loves it, he doesn't want to limit himself to jazz. He's definitely all music, all the time, but within that spectrum, where does he fall? And will he figure that out in the next year, or does he need to go somewhere where those options remain open?
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  • SpartanDrewSpartanDrew 1080 replies10 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @GoForth I hear you! I was thinking the very same thing haha! I'm becoming obsolete! But believe me when this journey ends and morphs into the college bound kid I'll be delighted to join @bridgenail and sit on the comfort of my couch with a bowl of popcorn and a glass of wine reading next year's posts and chiming in. Bridgenail was it you who joined our thread early last year and used the PTSD reference when reading our journey??? Oh man I know that will be ME! :-))
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  • vistajayvistajay 1429 replies27 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @Compojazzmom , try emailing or calling the music admissions coordinator. They may be able to set the lesson for you, or at least tell you the professor is on spring break!
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  • CompojazzmomCompojazzmom 83 replies6 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    @vistajay Thanks for your suggestion. Hope I'll get things sorted out soon.
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  • ScreenName48105ScreenName48105 495 replies22 postsRegistered User Member
    My son has narrowed it down to a few schools that offer jazz performance as well as a solid music education program. He sees himself as an academic, teaching at the college level while performing and recording on the side.
    @akapiratequeen, is your son aware that the music education degree is really intended for K-12 music teachers? It might be helpful for him to study some bios of teachers at the kind of colleges that he might be interested in teaching.
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  • NYsaxmomNYsaxmom 319 replies2 postsRegistered User Member
    @akapiratequeen thank you for wanting my input. In a few short months I will have all 4 kids out of HS. Notice I didn't say an empty nest as one is still living with us! But I have successfully helped all four, at least initially, enter college as a music major and have not spent a fortune on college tuition. I am definitely bookmarking this page so I can chime in when I think I have something useful to say
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  • NYsaxmomNYsaxmom 319 replies2 postsRegistered User Member
    @MusakParent looking at your choices and reading your needs, Vanderbilt is not a great choice for you. They are an awesome school and have a great music program but their aid is almost exclusively need based. We have an appeal in for daughter right now because of that.
    If your son is into all music and "jack of all trades" look at Belmont. My daughter also auditioned there as she likes Nashville (hence Vandy) and got a nice merit package. But she's a classical clarinetist and decided other schools were more suited. But I was very impressed with them and they do everything...classical, jazz, contemporary, composition, musical theater, and like their students to study all genres no matter what their major is. Plus Nashville is "music city" and they have fabulous connections. Plus they get the kids gigs while studying there.
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  • compmomcompmom 10626 replies76 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    This may not be the best time to try to get a sample lesson or even contact a professor because everyone is probably busy with figuring out who is coming next year :)

    I posted this on the other thread and it may not be popular, but when a thread like last year's "journey" thread goes over 100 pages, I wonder if it is harder for newbies to access info. That is a lot of pages to read! Maybe the search function helps but I do think some folks might want to post their own thread/question to make it a little more accessible for others. PM's work great for establishing connections and chatting and also have the virtue of being private.

    Again, don't expect many to agree with me :) Just thinking of the future.
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