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Gap year for music student

4kidsandatrumpet4kidsandatrumpet 9 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
Hello,
I am very interested in hearing opinions/advice regarding taking a Gap year before Music College. I have a son who is just not ready to take this step. Are there any parents out there who has a similar situation? Is Community College an good option for some? Please share your thoughts
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Replies to: Gap year for music student

  • NYCMusicDadNYCMusicDad 139 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @jazzpianodad ‘s S took a gap year, but he had decided to pursue a BA at a university. Music schools and conservatories assume their applicants are applying to enter the next year, as they are putting together a cohort for ensembles, etc. To my knowledge it’s rare to never that you’d be granted a gap year in a BM type performance degree program.

    So your son probably should think about what kind of degree he would eventually pursue. If he wants to audition for a performance degree he could take a gap year and practice, practice, practice and audition the following year. Taking classes at a community college would help him accrue some gen ed credits, but be careful about how that might affect financial aid- I’m pretty sure I’ve read that it’s possible that after a year at community college he’d be considered a transfer student, and the aid pool for transfers is generally smaller than that for first year applicants.

    If he wants to pursue a BA in music at a liberal arts institution, he could apply this year and ask for a gap year, but best to check carefully with each individual school about their policy on gap years before applying if that’s his intention going in.

    Good luck.
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  • MusakParentMusakParent 1004 replies9 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I actually know a current undergrad VP student that not only took a gap year, he took 2 or 3. He started voice late (junior year) and worked with a teacher, built relationships in the music/theater community locally, worked and saved some money and is now at an extremely competitive high end conservatory on the east coast.
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  • 4kidsandatrumpet4kidsandatrumpet 9 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I like that story!!! I try to tell myself that everyone is on a different path and that things have a way of working out. Then some days I tell myself “really? Get your head out of the clouds!” I should really stop talking to myself
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  • 4kidsandatrumpet4kidsandatrumpet 9 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    thank you so much. I had no idea about the whole CC, transfer student thing.
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  • 4kidsandatrumpet4kidsandatrumpet 9 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Excellent points. Love this site.
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  • jazzpianodadjazzpianodad 195 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    As @NYCMusicDad mentioned, my son did a gap year. His primary focus for the year was on practicing and building his technical skills, and it did a lot for his musical development. He also built some connections in NYC over the course of the year and lucked into some pretty amazing experiences. Each individual’s circumstance is unique, so I hesitate to generalize, but for my son it was definitely the right choice. Would be happy to provide more detail by PM if you’d like.
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  • AsMotherAsMother 258 replies13 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited September 2018
    I won't bore everyone by posting the story again, but if you look at the (currently) last post in the "Self-Doubt" thread you can read about my son's decision to take a gap year (two, actually) before going to music school as a transfer. Like your son, he "just wasn't ready to take that step" right after high school, but it all worked out well.
    @glassharmonica 's point about transfers and scholarships is something I've heard fairly frequently, so it's definitely something to consider. But I did become a firm believer in trusting one's child's instincts on such things.
    edited September 2018
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  • compmomcompmom 10763 replies76 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Deferral and gap years can be different. I think of a gap year as a year without schooling, with application done the fall of the gap year, versus a deferral, which means getting in and then taking the year off. Others may use them differently.

    So it is possible to take a gap year, practice and apply to a BM program (or BA) in the fall after high school graduation, which would mean auditions in the winter/late winter of the gap year, that would reflect that further practice.

    There are many paths. Some kids benefit from a gap year(s) and some get off track. I think that trying to progress as a musician before applying is a good reason as long as life continues to feel somewhat full and, for lack of a better term, normal. And community college can do that.

    I remember our tour guide at NEC had transferred from a CC :)
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  • 4kidsandatrumpet4kidsandatrumpet 9 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    thank you!
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  • 4kidsandatrumpet4kidsandatrumpet 9 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I will read the self doubt thread. Thank you!
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  • 4kidsandatrumpet4kidsandatrumpet 9 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thank you very much. think my blood pressure just dropped to normal now
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  • 4kidsandatrumpet4kidsandatrumpet 9 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    thank you!
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  • AmyIzzyAmyIzzy 293 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    My daughter is very interested in a gap year with a work program in Spain. When I mention that to others they immediately say "Oh, she doesn't know what she wants to do yet?" But it's actually the opposite. Her end goal is to pursue a career as a pop artist so she wants to attend a college which focuses on contemporary vocal performance, songwriting, and recorded arts with music industry curriculum built in so she is business smart. She knows how demanding music school will be and things will be even tougher in the real world of the music industry, so she actually wants to use the year as a "breather" and for her own mental health before she faces that stress and crazy workload. She loves the idea of the cultural exchange, sharpening her Spanish, traveling (would have weekends free in her job) and thinks it will allow her to continue her songwriting and get new inspirations for her as an artist. I'm a teacher so lean towards a more traditional path. But it actually sounds pretty wise so who am I to judge? She is still going through all the college application work and auditions and most colleges told us they would honor any merit scholarships if she begins in Fall 2020 instead of Fall 2019 if she commits to their school by May 1, 2019. So that was my deal with her. I'll support the gap year if she makes a decision on a college and we put a deposit down. This way there is no postponing college further or extending her time off. I still need to confirm all the details, which seem to be different for each college, with a few saying she would need to re-audition. However, I am starting to warm up to the gap year idea. As we see on this thread, students have many different reasons for doing it and many ways to utilize the gap year. I'm sure it is a huge mistake for some students, but if they can justify with positive reasons to do it, I think it can be a great idea and experience. I have talked to many students and adults who took a gap year and most say it was "life-changing." Good luck to all!
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  • akapiratequeenakapiratequeen 1016 replies34 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @AmyIzzy that sounds very cool! I took a gap year and never regretted it :)

    As an alternative that includes travel, Berklee offers a first year at their campus in Spain, something we've discussed around here as well.
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  • AmyIzzyAmyIzzy 293 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    @akapiratequeen That’s awesome you had such a great experience in your gap year. I could use a “parent gap year” right about now. Lol. Most schools she has looked at offer study abroad, although Berklee is one of the few that set it up even for Freshman which is awesome. She said she does want to do study abroad during college but this gap year she envisions will not involve academics or formal study. She sees it as a true mental break and time to “explore the world.” Sounds wonderful but I’m sure will be challenging in many ways too. Not sure she realizes how she depends on us or if she appreciates all the comforts of home, but that will be a great part of the learning experience I suppose.
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  • murray93murray93 130 replies16 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Would you mind sharing what work abroad program she’s doing? Or is this something she’s set up on her own. My D20 might be doing something similar.
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  • AmyIzzyAmyIzzy 293 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    It’s called “workaway.”

    https://www.workaway.info
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  • compmomcompmom 10763 replies76 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    WWOOF is another one. http://wwoof.net/
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  • ParentMom4ParentMom4 13 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    A gap year can be very beneficial to kids, especially if they use that time wisely to further their interests and hopefully make/save money for college.
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