right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
We've updated the Topics page of our website to better organize and share our expert content. Read more about it here.

Choosing acting/voice school

dorymacsmomdorymacsmom 2 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
Hello,

I have been reading posts in this forum and it has me even more overwhelmed! My daughter has been very active in theater since she was very young and has an incredible voice and has had years of training in voice.

We are trying to decide on a school for her. She graduated a year early from an online school so was passed audition dates. She was given a full music scholarship with a stipend at a local community college and wants to transfer next year to a big school. Ah dreamy has her heart set on New York and has looked at NYU but would prefer a conservatory. She loves the theater but also wants to do film as well so has considered AMDA because she could be in New York and LA, but I am reading such bad things about AMDA. One of her voice teachers graduated from Julliard and suggested Julliard but she doesn’t want to do classical voice?! We are overwhelmed at all the choices! Any help is greatly appreciated!!
7 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Choosing acting/voice school

  • bridgenailbridgenail 1026 replies5 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My D auditioned (a few years ago) for MT (5 programs), VP (3 programs) and Acting (1 program). She did get good acceptances in each area. She had a hard time deciding as well where to focus for auditions. In the end, she decided to try for all three and just see where she got the most attention and the most money. Note auditioning in 3 disciplines DOES triple the work!

    A couple other quick points:
    We were told by several teachers that many amazing young people can act. Fewer can sing. My D was gently pushed to develop her voice. Most of her professional work comes from the theaters needing/wanting her music skills...and the pay can be better (sometimes) for those performances.
    At a college acting audition, the director of the program said that you don't need to study acting, you can go straight out and start acting. This is not true for classical voice. For MT, I would guess some more musical development in college years would be beneficial.
    So why go to college in Acting? Because some kids want the "other" areas of study to enhance their world knowledge which may benefit their acting in the end. Also it can give some good connections, skills etc. So the point isn't that it's not necessary on the individual level or that it's not greatly beneficial to a particular student...it's simply a fact that some people can go and get hired at 18 in theaters...but NOT in operas. So it is important for the student and family to know WHY they are choosing college/conservatory etc. Thinking about WHY she wants more schooling may help you decide what type of school would be best.

    My D ended up in classical VP...sometimes liking it and sometimes missing acting. She did an MM and now works professionally...mainly opera for next year. However last year, she was cast in MT and straight theater. She also does a LOT of commercial/industrial work. She needed no special training for that...she knew how to walk in a room and audition (her college training made her confident to walk into any room and do an audition). Her VP performance experience was sufficient to keep up her acting and MT skills (a little rusty at first but it came back). For opera work, there is no choice but classical study. So...if she doesn't want to study opera...classical voice study may not be necessary. However if she want's to do MT, some MT music study would be beneficial.

    I guess she needs to ask herself...how important is music to her future? If it's important she should find a way to study it. If not, maybe an acting program would be a better fit. Some kids do start in acting school...and quit after one semester...and become famous a couple years later. This happened to an acquaintance of my D (he was super talented, tall, good looking and has already done several movies...on ONE semester of college).
    · Reply · Share
  • bridgenailbridgenail 1026 replies5 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    And...are you aware of the acting and mt threads on CC? They may be more helpful as this music forum does not really discuss acting or MT in any detail.
    · Reply · Share
  • CaMom13CaMom13 1857 replies12 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I almost hesitate to tell you that you check out the Theatre/Drama and Musical Theatre board because you sound a little overwhelmed already and there is SO much info there! So what I will say is this - @bridgenail is 100% correct that you can have an acting career without an Acting or Music degree. There are many more schools out there than AMDA and NYU, even if she wants to be in LA or NYC. Before you go down the rabbit hole of reading back posts (there are lots!) figure out her priorities and your budget. Figure out conservatory vs college / university. Then with those criteria firmly in hand check out those boards and ask for advice. It will save you a lot of time and indecision if you know what she wants and stay within the bounds of what you can afford.
    · Reply · Share
  • dorymacsmomdorymacsmom 2 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks you guys! Voice is definitely a priority for her as well as conservatory . I will do more searching on those threads
    · Reply · Share
  • Racingfan53Racingfan53 69 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Have you looked at Chapman U in Orange? Just south of LA
    · Reply · Share
  • dorymacsmomdorymacsmom 2 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks racingfan! I will check that one out!
    · Reply · Share
  • bridgenailbridgenail 1026 replies5 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 23
    You mention that she has private teachers. If these teachers have recent experience in sending students to music related college/conservatories, they would be a great resource for a good list of schools.

    Note that the conservatory/music school world has changed a great deal in the last decade or two. Juilliard, for example, is a very, very tough admit. If her teacher has gotten kids into Juilliard in the last few years that is very positive for her. If not, Juilliard could certainly be on her list...but for ANYONE it is a reach. ADMA, from my understanding, is the opposite. It takes most students...willing to pay. So that may be a slam-dunk. I won't comment on its reputation since you are already aware of it (and also I'm no expert). I did have a second cousin attend ADMA for MT. She was not scholarly. She was also very involved in beauty contests and seemed to be able to take time off...so maybe it was a good choice for her. I think of it more as a "professional training program" than a college....but that's simply my opinion. I'm not close to this second cousin so I don't really know if she liked it or not.

    Between these two polar opposite programs in admittance, there are a ton of wonderful schools that train people in music and performance...and may give some really nice scholarships. I would avoid any program that required a lot of debt. Good schools with assist with financial need and scholarships, while giving you a bachelor's degree AND performance skills, so be sure to fish around on the money side of things to be sure you are getting the best bang for your buck.

    I hope that the private teachers can help you build a list of schools with programs that fit as they know your D's skills best. If they cannot assist (just don't have the experience), you could look at having her evaluated by a college music/MT professor for some assistance on targeting right level programs...or look into one of the MT coaches (used in the MT world but not in the classical/jazz/etc music world). You would need to check the MT forum for that.
    edited August 23
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity