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Texas Christian University (TCU) voice teachers and program

JwhmomJwhmom 3 replies1 threads New Member
My son was selected as a finalist for the Nordan scholarship. I would like some guidance on voice teachers at TCU and the voice program as a whole. We have a friend that is a professional opera singer and he feels that the program is not very strong and that students there aren't generally happy. He also mentioned that he didn't feel like the program was very "connected" with the professional world. I would love someone's input.
Thank you so much!
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Replies to: Texas Christian University (TCU) voice teachers and program

  • JwhmomJwhmom 3 replies1 threads New Member
    BTW, I am hoping the person we got this information from is wrong because we got a really good feeling about the program!!
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  • JwhmomJwhmom 3 replies1 threads New Member
    I just had someone message me and I am feeling so much better about the program. I think the person that shared the negative information with me must have had a personal issue with someone there because everything else I have heard about the program is so positive. My son also has a great feeling about it and that is what counts!
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  • bridgenailbridgenail 1199 replies6 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    No undergrad program is "connected" to the professional opera world in any meaningful way for a particular UG student. They are too young.

    He should look closely at "his" teacher...when decided...to see where his/her students go after undergrad. Do the students get into good grad programs? If not, that would be a red flag. TCU isn't a top banana program...but with a good teacher that has gotten students into good grad programs that may be the right place for him to get a lot of attn and grow. He may want to supplement his schooling with summer programs before Senior yr (maybe even Junior yr) to make sure he is keeping up with the competition at conservatories and universities with conservatories. Most students do this to get a feel of where they stand for grad school (which is what really matters for VP). Still if he has been accepted, likes the school and feels positive about the teacher, it should a serious choice. He may want to consider a few other schools just to have the full breath of opportunities before making a final decision. He still has plenty of time to decide. So no need to hurry...he can enjoy auditioning knowing he has a great choice already.

    And congratulations! That's very exciting for him!!!
    edited December 2019
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  • songbirdmamasongbirdmama 478 replies23 threads Member
    I think this question can be made more general: How do you tell if a program is a good fit for your musician? @bridgenail is right that finding a teacher who has placement of students into good MM programs, good summer programs, etc.. is very important. Great singers can come from smaller lesser known programs, but the connections begin to matter much more in grad school so having someone who can help him get to the next level is critical. What else can you consider? Listen to YouTube recitals of current undergrads. Hearing actual students can help you decide if a studio is a good fit and whether you would like to sound like that. Depending on your student, look at the course requirements for the degree: Are there a lot of non-music requirements? Would he like academic breadth or is he looking to focus on music exclusively? Is he interested in choral performance? How much choral work is expected as part of the degree requirements? D ruled out one school because the majority of performing for undergrads was choral, not solo/operas. How many operas do they produce yearly and do undergrads get roles or are the roles just for grad students (I think TCU has an artist diploma program, so it may be even more competitive to get stage time but idk)? Of course, this depends on the talent and maturity of the voice, but the more operas there are, the more opportunities there will be, especially as a junior or senior. What kind of coaching is provided and is there access to practice rooms and collaborative pianists? The coaching and collaborative piano situation is something that wasn't on our radar at all, but can make a huge impact on the overall experience. Don't be afraid to ask questions. You can ask admissions for email contacts of current voice students since he is accepted and talk frankly with them about the program. No better way to learn about the school and if students are happy or not than going right to the source. Congratulations and good luck!
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