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Indiana VS Pepperdine VS Emory VS NYU for Voice

Classof2020KidClassof2020Kid 126 replies10 threads Junior Member
edited March 29 in Music Major
Hello, all! Above are the four schools I'm still considering to enroll in for Fall 2020! I've gotten into the first three, and NYU comes out tomorrow, so that could potentially make the choice easier by default, for better or worse. But, until then. . .

Okay, so here's the deal. I'm a baritone, voice major. I've gotten into Indiana (OOS) and Pepperdine and they've both given me sufficient financial aid for me to go. I've gotten into Emory, but am still waiting to hear back from the Office of Financial Aid. Now, Pepperdine has been more generous with aid, so it is moderately more affordable for me to go there compared to IU, but I can still afford IU (just barely).

If financial aid weren't a thing, I'd probably rank them like this:

1) Indiana
2) Pepperdine
3) Emory
4) NYU

However, now with the financial aid, it's all a mess! You see, I know Indiana is one of the best programs in the world. I would learn how to work my butt off to maybe get cast in one of their operas in a few years, and until then, watching them would be a great learning experience, especially in their venue. However, a couple things about Indiana bring me discomfort: 1) the size and 2) the location. I go to a really small high school comparatively and I'm a huge introvert. I'm afraid 46,000 students may be too much of a sudden shock for me, especially coming from a small high school and a small town. And, secondly, Indiana is really far from where I've lived all my life (same with Emory and NYU; only Pepperdine is close). I feel kind of uneasy about going that far. (I have relatives about four-five hours away from Indiana, mind you.) However, then I go back to the Jacobs website and look at all the learning, performing, and networking opportunities, and it's hard to say no!

It's also hard to say no to Pepperdine's campus. Plus, it's within a day's drive from where I live, making it closer to home and making me more comfortable. Plus, it's far smaller than Indiana and it also has the Christian aspect, which is something I value. And, they are less money than Indiana is. (Somehow). There's also opportunities to connect with the performance (operatic or musical theatre) in L.A., but I suspect I would still have more opportunities at IU Jacobs School of Music. Still, I've heard Pepperdine's vocal program is good, too.

I'm not going to talk about or think too much about Emory or NYU until I know I've been accepted into the latter (which I'll know tomorrow) and am able to afford both. I don't really like New York City, so unless NYU miraculously offers a lot of aid (which, looking at their reputation, is unlikely), I think I'll be saying bye to NYU.

Tl;dr I guess my main question is, Does IU Jacobs offer so many more opportunities and advantages that it makes it worth going to over Pepperdine, even with the multiple problems I have with IU that I mentioned?
edited March 29
4 replies
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Replies to: Indiana VS Pepperdine VS Emory VS NYU for Voice

  • songbirdmamasongbirdmama 473 replies23 threads Member
    You could always consider IU for grad school when you might be more comfortable with the distance, and as a MM, would be more competitive in casting. I have heard several excellent singers from Pepperdine. Have you ideas regarding who you would like to study with at each place? IMHO you couldn’t go wrong with either choice! Congratulations and good luck in the decision making.
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  • Classof2020KidClassof2020Kid 126 replies10 threads Junior Member
    Yeah that's true in regards to grad school. If I went to Indiana, I would just try to go there for grad again haha. If I went to Pepperdine, I'm thinking I would be looking at Indiana or USC, if I want to stay in SoCal. I'm actually unaware of the list of faculty at Pepperdine, but I'm glad someone thinks the singers that come out of there are excellent! At Indiana, I'm hoping to study with either Wolfgang Brendel or Julia Bentley.
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  • songbirdmamasongbirdmama 473 replies23 threads Member
    Take the time to research the faculty members at any school you are seriously considering to see if there is a studio of interest. Is the degree at Pepperdine a BM or BA? Sending PM
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  • bridgenailbridgenail 1199 replies6 threads Senior Member
    In a nutshell, it sounds like your heart is really leaning toward Pepperdine for good, thoughtful reasons. It seems to "tick off" a lot of your requirements for a great learning environment for you. Still you have questions in comparing the schools...from a more musical stand-point...since environment etc really favors Pepperdine. I'll give some comments on digging into the musical "opportunities and advantages" BUT I do believe that unless you can find some notable music "deficits", you should go where you will be happy. If you are misable (or maybe moderately happy), it's hard to do well in college.

    @songbirdmama hits the nail on the head asking about "teacher" (note: it's OK that you mentioned their names but don't do any more teacher discussion on the public forum now...only by PM). I think that if you look a little more closely at the following items, you may find that you could get your needed "opportunites and advantages" at Pepperdine to grow.

    Teacher - do you like the teacher, can you work well with them, did you try a Skype lesson?, what is their studio like?, size etc. and recital expectations AND do they send a number of students off to good graduate programs each year.

    Ensembles - what are the ensemble expectations and opportunities? Do they line up with how you want to spend your time? Are they opera chorus, choirs etc.

    Curriculum - look closely at the semester-by-semster curriculum for BOTH schools. Line them up. What are the expectations? Will you get a good amount of music theory AND literature as well as aural skills etc? What about diction? This is important if you do want to grad school to make sure you have the basics in line.

    Performances - what can a Freshman expect for performances (at IU it will be simply your ensemble - that's why you should check it - Freshman will not be in the big shows which is common however at all schools) After Feshman year, what opportunities are there for Opera Performances or Workshops and check other "extra-curricula" activities. Often schools have student or community groups that put on shows that get overlooked but can be great outlets for creative energy as you are learning classical voice.

    My D did go to IU for UG. She had more opportunities than she could find time for. You can only do so much. So you should focus on the RIGHT activities as opposed to just the sheer volume.

    Does Pepperdine give you a teacher you feel good about with the appropriate number of opportunities (academic music study and performance opportunities) to keep you fully engaged and growing? If the answer is YES, you don't have "to look over the fence" at maybe greener grass. You'll have what you need at your school to grow. If you do find some major deficits in the program...than you'll need to think that through...and may feel more attracted to a different school. Knowledge is power so do a deep dive into the items listed above.
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