right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

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

1235713

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

  • dramasopranomomdramasopranomom 346 replies1 threadsRegistered User Member
    @khill87 ...ugh. I trust that there are MANY conversations happening at Oberlin surrounding this, but it's still so hard. It is ENORMOUSLY expensive to educate musicians at this level (perhaps especially vocalists...but that's another conversation), and Oberlin is trying to preserve their meets-need philosophy, which is such an important part of their mission. As is evident here on CC this year, the Conservatory is already a pretty tough admit, especially within certain instrument and voice groups. I hope some Conservatory alumni will be able to step in and fund some amazing scholarships. I DO agree that the College student body has been pretty shut out of Conservatory classes and ensembles...the level is just SO competitive in the Con...and I think that having a way for College kids to participate more fully in the amazing musical happenings and coursework at Oberlin is a really good thing long term (as long as it is done well, and doesn't harm Conservatory students). I prefer this solution to one where admissions in the Conservatory become more and more dependent upon "who can pay", which would be so sad to me....
    · Reply · Share
  • bridgenailbridgenail 1023 replies5 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    This discussion reminds me of a curious occurrence at my D’s UG school, IU. When we went to orientation it was explained that all music students would sign up for 2 fictitious credits each semester. Those credits would not count towards graduation nor be linked to a course. It was simply a way to get more money into the music school from the general university. There was some calculation where credits had an impact on how much the university funded each school. Music schools are expensive so the University allowed these two extra credits for the higher funding. A music education with all the individual attention is obviously expensive compared to other areas of study.

    If you think your kid may be “lost” ... that’s pretty difficult with all the adult attention at every turn. I don’t think a week went by after freshman year when my D wasn’t in a room one-on-one (or in a small group) with an assortment of faculty members.
    · Reply · Share
  • Pikachu's MomPikachu's Mom 106 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited April 21
    Hi, all! If you haven’t, Spring is a great time to ask for a trial lesson and visit some representative schools. You might try some of the various types out there: standalone conservatory, conservatory as part of a large university, conservatory twinned with a smaller liberal arts institution, great music programs (schools of music, departments of music) at universities and colleges of all sizes.

    These first visits can give a general impression of the environment, and an up-close-and-personal visit/lesson. There are often tours and talks, too.

    One way we first approached finding lac schools of interest (my daughter liked their smaller but still varied-major environment) was by checking College Navigator, under the ‘programs’ tab for number of graduates in a particular major. We speculated that w/a minimum # of graduates in a desired major, D would have a good cohort. Only 1 or 2 graduates in a year was not enough.

    Other criteria we ended up using was the trial lesson experience, summer program experience, current teacher contacts, where fellow musicians ended up, and distance from home. We also found that our initial impressions of a program’s fit during visits (which are not quite as stressful as audition visits), and those initial lessons really helped D in connecting to faculty or ruling them out. When there hadn’t been a lesson at all, any sign, words, eyebrow raises or smiles were maybe not enough info for decision season!

    Of course, there is a lot of information on College Confidential. Mezzo’smama’s lists of prescreens and acceptances by year were very helpful in seeing the range of institutions considered. Although the forum is a bit of an unwieldy beast to corral, the support on these pages is wonderful! Don’t be shy! You create the community here, and everyone will be so glad (you included) that you spoke up!

    All best wishes!
    P.S. Anyone have visits scheduled (or done some)?
    edited April 21
    · Reply · Share
  • HereWeGoAgain2018HereWeGoAgain2018 249 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Saw this on a podcast I follow and copy / pasting here for all interested parties. Don Greene is great and I’m sure this book will be helpful for many.

    From Contrabass Conversations podcast by Jason Heath...

    College Prep for Musicians is written by past podcast guest Dr. Don Greene along with Dr. Annie Bosler and Dr. Kathleen Tesar.

    This book is a step-by-step guide and outlines precisely how to apply for, prepare for, and win auditions at top music schools. The book introduces powerful strategies and tools for high school students to use during the audition process, gives insight into the admissions process, and provides a very organized and proven system for parents and students to approach this crucial phase.

    Don talks about various aspects of the college application and audition process in this informative conversation.

    https://www.collegeprepformusicians.com/web/

    listen on all podcast platforms: http://smarturl.it/cbcpodcast
    · Reply · Share
  • mperrinemperrine 141 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @HereWeGoAgain2018 we have had lessons with Annie Bosler. When we started this whole journey, we met with her in Glendale for a horn lesson. She is now at UC Irvine and no longer at Colburn. She gave us some advice about getting into colleges and a list of horn colleges that are known for horn. I believe she is expecting now... She is married to Dylan Hart who is at CSLB. He is an amazing session horn player and is frequently on movie soundtracks. One of the best tidbits, was to not take too many APs in your senior year.. and prepare for that audition.. Practice more instead of the studying. She also connected us to Andrew Bain who was at Colburn and my D got sooo much information from him. It improved her playing exponentially. The music world is small and those connections help along the way.
    My D was very focused..however she had many roadblocks along the way.. Her High School had a very weak band program.. no marching band and the teacher was an ex Punk rocker with little classical training. She was the only horn. In the youth symphony.. again.. she was the only horn for most of her playing time at the top level. They would hire older teachers to fill in parts. We sought out strong teachers, summer programs(chamber music at USD, Idyllwild, Tanglewood BUTI) wherever she could play more. YES! take lessons during the year with all teachers you can reach .. because Colburn was a huge reach for us, but the coaching she got from him was amazing so even if she didn't get in there she came away with techniques that grew her playing in a way that she got into top conservatories.
    I imagine that her book is a good solid hard copy of the process.. but I believe you can get that here :)
    · Reply · Share
  • TxSkerTxSker 199 replies19 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @khill87 RE: Oberlin - Interesting article regarding Oberlin although I wonder if they have really hit the nail on the head regarding the Conservatory and why their yield on accepted students is declining. Maybe it is that way at all conservatories but I will say that of all of the schools we visited Oberlin was unique in one facet. Yes, they have outstanding facilities and faculty but the culture there seemed VERY one sided and ultimately that played a significant part in declining their offer. It seemed like a place that you either fit in or you were an outsider. That may not actually be the case but that is the vibe we got from it. If it is your scene I bet many people LOVE IT. If it is not we worried that it would have a negative impact on the college experience.

    If I'm being honest I think they need to rein in some of the more fringe aspects that seem to be making for an environment that is maybe not seen as accepting to other views. I could be off base but that is the vibe we got so YMMV.
    · Reply · Share
  • Busy_MommaBusy_Momma 69 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I have to say that I get a bit more panicked each time I read how senior year should be cleared to allow for increased practice and time away from school because of auditions. S is in full IB, despite our repeated concerns, so senior year will be his toughest. I've encouraged him to do all the required volunteering and complete as many of his IB related projects over the summer, but still I'm worried for the many days of school he'll be missing. When we went to tour one conservatory, we were told to meet with their accompanist a few days before audition day. It was also recommended that one take a sample lesson from each of the teachers of the selected instrument. How is that even possible when one lives on the opposite coast? I do think we will stick with the one sample lesson that he's already had from that particular conservatory since he really liked the prof. From my CC readings, I know to try to get to the schools at least 24h before audition in case of weather delays, but now it seems S will have to miss more school than I had already been worrying about.

    At any rate, we started visiting schools the summer before junior year- ruled out 2 of 4 simply because S just couldn't see himself studying there x4 years; went back to the other 2 for sample lessons over spring break; checked out 3 other schools and got 2 more sample lessons as well over spring break. Planning on 2 more campus tours/sample lessons in the fall and calling it done. I hope... unless S miraculously does more detailed school research and throws other schools into consideration. Doubtful as he barely has time for anything. So, I think if we include our state school, S will be applying to 7 schools. I still think that's a lot given that, except for our state school, the schools require at least a 4h plane ride during unpredictable weather.

    I know it'll all work out, but it might be at the expense of S's and/or my sanity.
    · Reply · Share
  • akapiratequeenakapiratequeen 1010 replies34 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited April 22
    @Busy_Momma Remember the Pirate Code from Pirates of the Caribbean? “They’re more like guidelines.” Same with all of this. You can do some lessons, no lessons, some in-person auditions, some video auditions, a phone call or two, or any combination thereof. There really doesn’t seem to be a strong correlation between facetime and admissions — although I’d make the effort to go to your student’s top 3 (let’s say) choices in person. Some people here applied to three schools, others to 14. Many, like us, started with a long list but pared it way down by audition time.

    So—breathe. One step at a time. It seems overwhelming, and it can be a lot of work, but it’s selective work. Lots of people have been on this road before, including, now, me! We’ll hold up torches to light the way.

    And, as previous journeyers told us: it all works out! Wasn’t that a line from Shakespeare in Love?

    Philip Henslowe:
    Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business [music school auditions]. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.

    Hugh Fennyman:
    So what do we do?

    Philip Henslowe:
    Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.

    Hugh Fennyman:
    How?

    Philip Henslowe:
    I don't know. It's a mystery.
    edited April 22
    · Reply · Share
  • Busy_MommaBusy_Momma 69 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Lol @akapiratequeen. Thank you! Yes, I'm reassured by the fact that the 23/21 journeyers have all managed to stay sane. This one particular conservatory, however, stated that because it's so hard to get all the profs of an instrument in one room at the same time, if you miss your audition time, you don't get to go. I'm leaning towards pointing S to a university attached music school anyway. He really did love Eastman as I mentioned to you, and we also enjoyed the cupcake from Java.
    · Reply · Share
  • LendleesLendlees 211 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @TxSker - We had a similar experience at Oberlin when we visited which is why it didn't make it to the short list for applications. They did mention at that time they were really looking to 'diversify' their student body and recognize they attract a certain mindset. I think it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy, although S' friend who is at the Con there says it doesn't really permeate as much to the conservatory students.
    · Reply · Share
  • Pikachu's MomPikachu's Mom 106 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited April 23
    @Busy_Momma
    I agree with @akapiratequeen!

    I originally thought we’d be applying to at least a dozen schools, but woke up to the reality that this would be a lot to handle, with the help of my D’s teachers who urged short lists (4-6). They mentioned audition fatigue as a reason. Luckily, by the time we had visited 10 schools and D had had sample lessons (with one prof per school!) she had a good idea of the type of program each had.

    For several schools’ auditions all or several profs were in the room, and auditions were also recorded in some cases for any faculty unable to be there.

    We also never arrived more than a night before auditions (but did drive to most).

    Not sure if this helps but it takes all kinds of journeys—yours is as good as any!
    edited April 23
    · Reply · Share
  • joeycorpjoeycorp 45 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    We also had a bad experience on American with my daughter's guitar. From NYC to Miami, we paid extra for early boarding and had no problem storing it overhead where it fit with plenty of room for more bags. Coming home, we didn't get the early boarding option for some reason, and even though the plane wasn't full, they insisted we gate check it.

    The agent actually grabbed it out of my daughter's hands and was verbally abusive! We were prepared with a hard case (also we loosened the strings and cushioned the neck) and the guitar arrived home safely. BUT I complained on Twitter and American gave us $100 in ticket vouchers.
    · Reply · Share
  • runninglaterunninglate 1 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    This podcast looks super interesting, @HereWeGoAgain2018 Thanks for sharing! Now that my daughter's standardized test scores are coming in, her list is starting to take its final shape.
    · Reply · Share
  • Busy_MommaBusy_Momma 69 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    You're lucky, @joeycorp, that the guitar arrived safely and that American gave you vouchers. I can't believe the agent would just grab it out of her hand! Grrr.... I followed up with United re: my experience and they sent what seemed to be a form letter via email saying they were sorry and they'd follow up with their personnel, but they also got my name wrong. Not very optimistic about any follow up.
    · Reply · Share
  • Busy_MommaBusy_Momma 69 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks, @Pikachu's Mom , for sharing your experience. I also think we need to keep a short list of schools to preserve our sanity. I know just trying to fit in 4 school tours and sample lessons over spring break, when we encountered clear weather and no flight delays, was already exhausting.
    · Reply · Share
  • SweetStringsSweetStrings 15 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I’m worried that @Pikachu's Mom my D may not pass a handful of prescreens so wouldn’t it be safer to apply to more schools?
    · Reply · Share
  • Pikachu's MomPikachu's Mom 106 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited April 24
    @SweetStrings — it’s good to have a conversation with your child’s lesson teacher, if you know whether they have either had their own experience auditioning or guided others through them, to see what they think of your child’s plans. In our case, especially the youth orchestra conductor who had been through it not all that long ago himself, was a sensible source. If you don’t have anyone like that in your orbit, sometimes you could connect to a faculty member at a nearby university who can talk in a sample lesson/conversation about how to prepare for these types of auditions.

    I worried about not knowing D’s level relative to others out there, but her teachers approached her the end of junior year and asked what her plans were and they encouraged her.

    I created a binder of prescreen and audition requirements so D could check those with her teachers in summer. As I mentioned, I may have had a harder time letting go of options than she did! She wanted to apply only to 4, come fall, and I asked her to keep at least two more on the list, although they did end up dropping off during the audition period. It was helpful to look at potential audition dates (very similar year to year) during summer, so we could mentally (and financially) prepare for the very very busy month of February.

    I think the # varies a lot by musician, by instrument, and by type of school. Most on the 23/21 thread applied to more than we did. The bigger-name schools, of course, are never a given, so it was important to find some great matches (with a tendency to give decent aid). Aid (merit, academic, & financial aid) seemed more similar across LACs, and more all over the place from bigname/standalone, though others should speak to that!

    It’s scary making a list! Anyone else have thoughts on a good number of schools to submit to?
    edited April 24
    · Reply · Share
  • Pikachu's MomPikachu's Mom 106 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @khill87 — your family prepared well! Does your D have a ‘final’ list? Does she know more what she wants out of the experience? It’s been a real rollercoaster. I’ve realized how differently my D and I approach these things, but I’ve enjoyed getting to know D better throughout. And my favorite moments have to be singing car karaoke and listening to House episodes through the car speakers during some of our many drives! Great memories. We’ve all grown (maybe not up)!!
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity