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Class of 2024 undergrad/Class of 2022 grad: The Tours, the Auditions, the Journey

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Replies to: Class of 2024 undergrad/Class of 2022 grad: The Tours, the Auditions, the Journey

  • Racingfan53Racingfan53 69 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @akapiratequeen thanks for asking! For a while I thought USC Thornton would be my dream school, and while it's still my top (reach) choice, I like UNT the more I look at it. I have yet to visit either, but I know graduates of both who are working in fields similar to what I want to do. I'm familiar with Westminster's phenomenal program, but I'm unclear on the current situation of the school, so I don't know if I would like to go there for undergrad. I also would really love to graduate with a degree in math as well, and I don't know if Westminster would be a good option for double-majoring at Rider.
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  • akapiratequeenakapiratequeen 1010 replies34 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @Racingfan53 you are right about Westminster...not the best choice for a double major. From our experience, Ithaca, Eastman, Vanderbilt, Syracuse, Northwestern, Peabody, Lawrence U might all be worth a look (at different levels of course).
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  • momzhoodmomzhood 222 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @Racingfan53 - Other dual degree options would be Michigan, Boston U, Oberlin, USC and Tufts dual degree program with NEC. Make sure you are clear on double major vs dual degree programs.
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  • akapiratequeenakapiratequeen 1010 replies34 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    No music ed at Oberlin, as we discovered!
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  • Pikachu's MomPikachu's Mom 106 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited April 7
    @SweetStrings — I agree it can be expensive, but sample lessons were very helpful in getting to know each school/studio, and made my D much more comfortable during auditions.

    We were able to do two visits in fall (faculty development days) and several in spring of junior year (spring break) and even early fall of senior year. We did some trips with pb and j & ramen, just to make sure we could visit a good selection. It was helpful to plan for audition trips, application & testing fees, in advance!
    edited April 7
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  • NYCMusicDadNYCMusicDad 139 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @Racingfan53 You also might want to look at Vanderbilt, which has a 5 year program that you leave with a Masters degree in Music Ed from Peabody (the Tennessee one, not the Baltimore one).
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  • Racingfan53Racingfan53 69 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @akapiratequeen @momzhood @NYCMusicDad thank you all for the advice. I am chasing (academic) merit aid so I'm mostly looking at public universities with good music programs. Additionally I don't think I'd like Oberlin and my voice teacher, a NEC grad, advised me against going there. Aside from USC, which I know awards full scholarships which I could be competitive for, do any of the other schools mentioned offer full academic scholarships? @momzhood are you talking about U Michigan?
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  • Music2023Music2023 129 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Okay, i just have to ask. All over this forum i have seen people alluding to “negative vibes” at NEC. What exactly are the negative aspects? Can anyone be more specific? I know that there are some parents here who say their kids love it, so what is the deal?
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  • akapiratequeenakapiratequeen 1010 replies34 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @Racingfan53 with your academics, I'd suggest you not limit yourself to public universities. The biggest awards my S got by far were for private universities where his academics and talent were a big draw. So the $52k a year from Syracuse, for instance, made that school much more affordable than even our in-state option. (They have a good VP and music ed. program, by the way, so check them out.) U. Miami Frost is another big player in this area. I'm sure others can chime in.
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  • tripletmamatripletmama 368 replies9 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited April 7
    @Music2023 - I haven't heard anything regarding the "negative vibe" at NEC. We toured it and our daughter has several friends who love it there and she auditioned there. What I will say is that vs. it's neighbor Berklee, it has a much more "formal and serious" vibe. It has more classical musicians and as such I think that gives it a more cerebral and serious vibe than Berklee which has laid back and "let it all hang out" vibe. The physical buildings at NEC are older and more formal (think high ceilings, ornate and historical). I personally loved the buildings. Having said that, it apparently has a very progressive jazz program and our daughter feels that the teachers are likely better there than at Berklee. There is a lot of back and forth between NEC and Berklee (e.g. transfers). I hope that helps.

    @HereWeGoAgain's daughter is part of the community program at NEC so might be able to shed more light.
    edited April 7
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  • albertsaxalbertsax 298 replies5 threadsRegistered User Member
    @Racingfan53 Vanderbilt awards Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarships to approximately 1% of their applicant pool (~10% of accepted students) which covers full cost of attendance and also provides a stipend for summer experiences I believe. They consider academics, and for Blair applicants the audition as well. You could also do a second major in math with some extra work (or pair it with a BMA rather than a BM), and as mentioned above, they offer a five year dual degree with an MEd.
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  • HereWeGoAgain2018HereWeGoAgain2018 249 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    In response to @tripletmama and @music2023,

    I or my D felt no negative vibes in all her association of last 4 years with the NEC Prep program. Very supportive and nurturing. Can’t imagine the environment for undergrad and grad programs to be the complete opposite. My D also has many friends who graduated from the same HS going there and she has not heard of any complaints / concerns.

    I too would love to hear more direct feedback on this.
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  • Music2023Music2023 129 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    RE: NEC: Everyone we met there was so nice, and Admissions sent more supportive emails than any other school. I honestly couldn’t find any negatives, i’m just asking because every few days someone seems to allude vaguely to something. Thought i’d ask!!
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  • willrogerswillrogers 18 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    S loves it at NEC. Faculty is strong and engaged. I can't say enough positive about our experience thus far.
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  • Racingfan53Racingfan53 69 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @akapiratequeen @albertsax Here's the thing. For the most part I'm pretty put off by top tier private schools. I think I could be highly competitive for many of them (Harvard and Stanford legacy) but both of my older siblings, high achievers, are at public schools that have programs which were a good match for them. They love their experiences. Dad (a Harvard alum) strongly advises us against any Ivies. I just don't think my personal philosophy aligns with what T20 and other good private schools want. Maybe I am biased, but I don't see a huge draw for private over public university. The reason I'm making an exception for USC is simply because I grew up around USC grads and know I would get a good musical education there. I would plan to live off campus and wouldn't be too far from home, so the school culture, if off-putting, might not be too much of a bother. Are there good reasons I should reconsider?
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  • akapiratequeenakapiratequeen 1010 replies34 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @Racingfan53 the only reason I could think of would be financial. If you are confident of finding excellent choices within the somewhat narrow tier you've identified I would say sure, go for it. Otherwise, I would keep options open and research schools according to the merits of individual programs. I don't think it's possible to say "all private schools are elitist" any more than you can say "all public schools are inferior." Your mileage may vary of course.
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  • dramasopranomomdramasopranomom 346 replies1 threadsRegistered User Member
    @Racingfan53 , best wishes on your journey to find a great program and lots of merit aid! I think you are right that Oberlin, while they have some AMAZING pedagogues, would not be a good fit as they 1) have no music ed, 2) no strong early/choral music focus, and 3) the vocal program is strongly performance oriented (the expectation would be your focus would be on a professional performance career). Fit is so important! The ONLY reason I would suggest you do not entirely rule out small, private programs is that traditionally, early/choral and religious programs are strong at such schools (often because these colleges are historically religious). Just a thought! Also, I so agree with what @akapiratequeen says above regarding public vs. private schools.
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  • Racingfan53Racingfan53 69 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @akapiratequeen thank you so much for offering your perspective. It's a bit strange for me to think of financial reasons for applying to private vs. public programs, because public schools' sticker price is lower. I'll take your word for it though, however I don't know if I'd be competitive for any departmental merit awards. I'm assuming I won't get any money based on my vocal ability, but do programs hand out awards for music ed? I have some standout experience and abilities specifically in that field. I generally assume that I'm not going to like the program at a big-name school, but you're right that it's probably not fair to automatically rule out every program because of that.

    If anyone has recommendations on great choral/early music programs, please let me know. I'm looking into Vanderbilt. I think I would LOVE St. Olaf, but I sadly think there's no way I'd be able to get enough aid to justify going there (I've run the NPC; they are great with demonstrated need but my family is in the sticky mid-class situation where we don't demonstrate need). Any strong evidence to the contrary would be welcome!

    @dramasopranomom thank you for the kind sentiments!! Do you have a daughter at Oberlin? One of my beloved conductors was an Oberlin grad (piano performance before her masters), so I hold the program in high regard, even though I don't think I'd fit in well.
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  • momzhoodmomzhood 222 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @Racingfan53: yes, I am referring to U of Michigan. My D was accepted there for VP at SMTD and LSA Honors College for a dual degree. But I see that you’re interested in choral and early music - not sure how Michigan stacks up for those areas.
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  • vistajayvistajay 1446 replies27 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @Racingfan53 , I don't know if it works for you geographically, but check out Florida State University. FSU has a very good music school with lots of choral and music ed majors. The conductors of their choirs are amazing, and many music ed majors are in one of the ensembles. With strong scores and grades the OOS tuition is waived and the in state tuition is very reasonable. There are lots are high stats, very bright students in the music school and in the university honors program. My son chose FSU over USC-Thornton because he thought FSU was a better fit for him, and he loves it there.
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