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Summer Program Rising Senior

Pl1277Pl1277 45 replies4 threads Junior Member
My D is a Junior and will pursuing a VP major. We are torn whether the time this summer will be best spent attending a Summer Program or staying home and being diligent with lessons and preparing for the whirlwind of college pre screens and auditions in the fall and winter.

She attended BUTI the summer entering her Sophmore year and had a great experience, but there seems to be a large choral focus within that program. She seems to do well and be motivated however, when she is immersed and with other people who share her passion.
It has been a small struggle since we live in a very small state and most of the work she does has her sometimes feeling isolated.

We just made some videos for a scholarship program and she struggles a bit with video performances bc she is such a strong stage performer and really gets her energy from performing for a live audience....it's almost a tale of two performers. So, I guess, I'm worrying about time spent away vs. time spent trying to work on audition songs at home.

In addition, her teacher is going on maternity leave and she will have a new teacher from March hopefully through the summer. Her teacher normally takes chunks of time off in the summer as well for family vacation. As it stands, I am uncertain regarding her interim teacher's summer schedule as she is a working vocalist and does perform throughout the summer.

Any advice for those who chose to attend vs not attend summer festivals during their senior summer. Pros and Cons

We are looking at several, including

BUTI
Brevard
Eastman
Juilliard (Florida) a draw to this one is they leave with audition tapes for college applications
Washington National Opera
Schmidt

I have perused the former threads on summer programs, but just looking for some updated info and potential feedback on some of these programs from anyone who recently attended.
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Replies to: Summer Program Rising Senior

  • songbirdmamasongbirdmama 473 replies23 threads Member
    Not sure that doing a summer program matters to admissions decisions. D went to Ithaca before junior year and that was a good experience to give her an idea of college life and music school classwork, and helped her decide to be a music major. Prior to senior year, she went to SMTD thinking she might get to know faculty , but the program was too choral focussed. The prescreen is what got her live audition invites, not summer program attendance. If your child just needs something to do to prevent boredom ad you can afford it, consider it. I think that having time to prepare prescreens and practice solo pieces for live auditions is more beneficial at this stage, but others may think differently. Save your money for summer programs for the rising college junior or senior summers, when they might have the skill set to really do something that helps career development and make contacts. Just my $0.02
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  • compmomcompmom 11522 replies81 threads Senior Member
    edited January 7
    Have you looked at Oberlin's program? https://www.oberlin.edu/summer-programs/vocal-academy

    I think a relatively short program (Oberlin's is 9 days) combined with the at home work would be a perfect combination.

    Even at this stage in high school, summer is a chance to enhance commitment and clarify goals- as well as to work with faculty and meet peers with similar interests.

    I do not have a VP kid but wonder if along with Oberlin there aren't many other possibilities besides the usual ones you listed above. Perhaps look at summer programs at schools she might be interested in for undergrad years.

    Here's another one: https://bostonconservatory.berklee.edu/summer/vci (I am searching somewhat randomly here)

    In our experience, summer programs are often funded by the school, during college. We felt that investing in summer programs paid off in terms of aid for undergrad.

    I defer to those with more knowledge and experience in VP!
    edited January 7
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  • songbirdmamasongbirdmama 473 replies23 threads Member
    We have not found that the university pays for summer programs, though D has been successful in getting grants and merit awards through individual VP programs to defray tuition. There is still transportation and room and board expenses though!
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  • bridgenailbridgenail 1199 replies6 threads Senior Member
    Agree with @songbirdmama. Even college level VP students rarely do summer programs after Freshman year as they are so young (unlike instrumentalists). Here are some additional comments:

    1.) She does NOT need to do a summer program. However she may WANT to do a summer program. If she wants to do a summer program due to isolation etc. that's fine. A short, fun, inexpensive program can be good enough leaving her time to work on music at home too. Due to your concerns about the "performance" part of the prescreens, she would get more mileage out of programs that focused less on chorus work and more on soloist work (however since she is so young, this maybe more difficult to find). BTW my D did no summer programs...however she did live in a city with a lot of performance opportunities (in theater and MT) and simply took private voice lessons during her summers.

    2.) Having a new teacher is NOT a bad thing. Every teacher brings something new to the student. It's a good time for your D to realize her talent is within herself...not dependent on a teacher. Has the new teacher been secured yet? You may want to supplement her voice teacher (current or new) with a teacher who can work specifically on the "acting for the singer" issues...as you have identified this as a weakness for auditions.

    3.) What your D is experiencing with the acting portion in auditions is common enough. There are different ways to address this. Often performers will use cues from the music for the "emotional content" to the audition. Your D may need to find out what works for her. She can take the cues from the music. Or she may benefit from visualization techniques to place herself on the stage in front of the audience. And then she needs to PRACTICE it (learning how to replace the energy from the audience with energy/emotions from the music or the visualization or something else). It's not something that always just happens for performers....like it may have for just happened for her in front of a live audience. So then it can be confusing to feel so awkward in front of a camera when it's so easy in front of a live audience. She may actually have to "work" on this portion of performing. There are teachers/"actors who sing" that may be able to help her address these issues. With guidance and practice, it will get better. So maybe something to look into for the summer.

    I hope this helps in some way.
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  • Pl1277Pl1277 45 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for all the advice. BUTI was great and served the purpose of determining if voice and performance was just a hobby or something to pursue further. I'm just not certain the cost vs benefit is something worth doing again.

    Your advice is helping me to lean towards something shorter (less $$) , if anything at all.

    Her new teacher has been secured, lessons will begin in apx a month. We've had a sample lesson, which was very promising. I am definitely optimistic.

    It seems everytime we go to make a video, theres a blip (accompanist, voice, sickness) and we dont always get the recordings we need....which gets frustrating. I know the prescreens are an important step, so, we need to figure this out.














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  • bridgenailbridgenail 1199 replies6 threads Senior Member
    Many times they can hear what they want (vocal potential) through the blips (a questionable accompanist). The prescreens do NOT need to be perfect. They are looking for potential not perfection. So...welcome the blips and sing on!
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