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Tanglewood YAO versus Bowdoin? Help!

PixiebertoPixieberto 9 replies1 threads New Member
Hi,
My D is trying to decide between these two programs. She is going to be a rising high school junior this summer. She prefers the emphasis on chamber music at Bowdoin and feels she will get better individual instruction but feels unsure about social aspects of Bowdoin given that there will be many older students. Can anyone weigh in on what it’s like at Bowdoin for a high school student? Is there a lot of non scheduled time? She is worried about being too “on her own” she’s mature but can be a bit reserved... She def. wants to have friends to eat with and do some non-music things with! Welcome any thoughts of any kind! Thx.
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Replies to: Tanglewood YAO versus Bowdoin? Help!

  • PixiebertoPixieberto 9 replies1 threads New Member
    Sorry, should add I am referring to Bowdoin summer music festival.
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  • nanavananava 19 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Congrats to your daughter! My violist daughter was having the same quandary between BUTI YAO and Bowdoin. However, she's a bit older (she'll be 19 this summer), so it's more of a choice between going back to BUTI for a second summer and doing orchestra versus doing chamber music at Bowdoin and studying with a teacher she really likes and who could very well be her college professor next fall. She finally decided to go with Bowdoin. It was really hard/weird to say no to BUTI though!

    My older son did BUTI while in high school, and Bowdoin last year, which was the summer after his freshman year in college, so we have some experience with both places with two kids. He enjoyed both, but they are very different. BUTI is more structured, and there is definitely a satisfying chamber music component to it, but it's not the focus of the experience there. My daughter really enjoyed her first chamber music group (they met the first three weeks) but the second group was younger and less experienced (second three weeks.) Everything was organized by coaches and staff, but they had freedom to walk into town on their own. Of course, having the opportunity to see the Boston Symphony play every weekend is also wonderful. Both of my kids loved BUTI.

    My son's experience at Bowdoin was much less structured - you largely figured out your own experience. The participants scheduled their own rehearsals and performances, with guidance from the coach. My son is quiet and not an initiative-taker, so he did alright, but it was a little isolating. It seemed like strings were a mix of advanced high school students and college students, so I think there would be other students your daughter's age.

    My daughter is really into chamber music and much more extroverted. I think she'll really enjoy the freedom and having a different kind of experience this summer, so Bowdoin seems like it will be right for her.
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  • PixiebertoPixieberto 9 replies1 threads New Member
    edited March 1
    This is super helpful @nanava Could you send me a private message? I can’t initiate b/c i am too new but would love to ask you a few specifics. I so appreciate this. We have 24 hours to figure out!
    edited March 1
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  • Sunny002Sunny002 2 replies0 threads New Member
    I am glad I found this post, seems Bowdoin is not very suitable for a 13 or 14 years old middle schooler?
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  • cellistamadrecellistamadre 28 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @Sunny002 my daughter has friends that went at 15, but I felt it wasn't structured enough for her, at that age. Good luck in your search!
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  • Sunny002Sunny002 2 replies0 threads New Member
    Thank you so much!

    Do you know how many private lessons they get per week, and how large the teacher studio is? (5-6 students? or depending on the teacher?) How is their piano program there compare with Strings? Not structured enough, means they can do anything after a couple of classes per week? Or nobody is there to help them figure out their day to day plan? Do they offer/allow young students to stay with their parents or not? Sorry for so many questions. Thanks again.
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  • gram22gram22 149 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @Sunny002 : This comment is more about the number of private lessons per week - how many do you need ?

    My S first went to strings programs at Meadowmount about 4 years ago, and the following year to Heifetz, and then entered a BM program in college. His experience was that at the "college" level of instruction, which is what these programs provide, students cannot handle more than one lesson a week. They need to be able to take in the lesson, digest it, practice, and bring back what you learned. Generally speaking, with more than one lesson a week there isn't enough time to put into practice what you learned in the last lesson. So all that just to say that more than one lesson per week is not necessarily a good thing :).

    Also, at MM and Heifetz, each prof had about 9-10 students a week.
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  • MusicaspirantMusicaspirant 37 replies2 threads Junior Member
    edited March 3
    Sorry, I respectfully disagree with above - personally and as one who mentored several step-kids and my own kids thru the process and into positions as working music professionals.

    One of my steps studied for years with a MM prof as the home instructor. Regularly had 2 lessons per week during school year - until summer MM arrived and the lesson structure became one lesson per week. Weekly lessons were each 1 - 1.5 hours for a weekly total of 2 - 3 hours of instructional time per week. This teacher was not unusual in our area. Others with different teachers also had 2 lessons weekly, minimum one hour per lesson.

    There were different focuses on the 2 lessons - one was technical (scales, etudes), the second repertoire (concerto, sonata, shorter works). That was not always adhered to if the needs of the moment intervened.

    My own development in the dark ages mirrored this approach.............

    How did they handle it - by practicing minimum 3 hours per school day and more on weekends. A number of students at high school age home schooled allowing 6 + hours of practice. Not unusual for my kids and their peers. We are primarily strings in my family - but strong piano also. I also know piano focused kids with the 2 lesson, multi-hour lesson per week regimen.

    Even in Conservatory, one of "ours" worked with two teachers - two lessons a week and two different people assigning the material - that made for great interest........

    Sunny's questions are very good ones. When I last looked for summer programs (not recently) there were definitely places that indicated 2 lessons per week.

    edited March 3
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  • cellistamadrecellistamadre 28 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @Sunny002 my D has never attended, but knows several who have. At the time we decided not to apply there, when she was young and a newbie to music festivals, the decision was based on the info provided on their website. Now that she’s older, and has more friends attending, I feel more strongly that Bowdoin is designed for more experienced (with camps/college/independence) students.
    I’m afraid I’m not qualified to answer the rest, but I’d guess a call to admissions would be helpful (and if it isn’t, that would be your answer!).
    Best of luck with your summer plans!
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