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What do you need to get into college as a music performance major

Teal56Teal56 0 replies1 threads New Member
For context, I am a flute player. I am first chair in the highest ensemble at my school. I am a piccolo player and section leader in my school’s marching band. I play alto flute in flute choir. I am not in all state and haven’t won any competitions, though I have competed (which is what I’m concerned about), but I was selected for my state university level honor band and I was third chair there. I am in a state level audition symphony orchestra where I am first chair in the second highest orchestra making me fourth in the program. I also am in a jazz band where I play tenor sax. I play piano and I compose (I write musical theater stuff and film-score style music) but I haven’t done anything with my music or shared it. I also take voice lessons: I mainly focus on classical art songs and musical theater. (I am also participating in the Berklee school of music online vocal summit this year) I am pretty advanced in Indian classical music and I have performed at national conventions for that. My current repertoire is Neilson concerto, Mozart in D, Chaminaide, and im working through orchestral excerpts. The schools I’m considering are Colbert in LA, Cleveland institute of music, the Peabody institute, Berklee school of music and Indiana university. Do I have a chance at making it as a performance major?
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Replies to: What do you need to get into college as a music performance major

  • momhsc2momhsc2 21 replies0 threads Junior Member
    All of the other things that you're doing hold more weight than the competitions so don't worry about that aspect. But, be sure to apply to many schools because often very talented students are rejected due to the limited slots open for a particular instrument.

    Given your resume, I do think that you have a very good chance.
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  • compmomcompmom 11767 replies81 threads Senior Member
    edited May 16
    I always suggest that people read the Double Degree Dilemma essay closer to the top of this forum. It is about different ways to study music.

    Sometimes a musician like you, with so many diverse interests, can consider a BA program at a liberal arts college or university, that does not have a BM program. A BA would be 1/4-1/3 classes in music, versus the BM's 2/3-3/4, but you could pursue lessons (often for credit) and extracurricular performance in a variety of genres and with different instruments. You could also compose, participate in theater and so on.

    Sometimes conservatories and schools of music put you on a more narrow path, sometimes not. If you do want a BM, you might want to look at Oberlin, Lawrence, Bard, Boston Conservatory (merged with Berklee) as well.

    For BA you could also look at Oberlin (Musical Arts BA), Wesleyan, Tufts, if your academics are good enough. Also check out the Colleges that Change Lives website, Schools like Clark and College of Wooster are on there and are good options.

    BM programs usually have auditions for admission, and BA programs generally have them in the fall once on campus, for particular ensembles. There are exceptions. You can consider submitting a music supplement for a BA program, with recording, music resume (yours would be great!) and letters of recommendation for music.

    Good luck!
    edited May 16
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  • gram22gram22 159 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Don't hold your breath for Colbert in LA to accept you :), he lives in NY. I'm just kidding, the conservatory is called Colburn. It is completely free (like Curtis). You have a good list of schools there, and speaking very generally, all of them are extremely competitive, and you need a great audition to get in. For most conservatories, how you do in the audition is all that matters. They do not care that much about what prizes you've won, and what orchestras you've performed with.

    The only way to find out how you will fare at auditions to these schools is to get a professional opinion. That means, you talk to professors at these schools, make appointments with them, and actually take a lesson / evaluation. Be upfront with them about what you hope to gain from the lesson. Then ask them for an opinion about how you would fare in an audition, and if they would consider you as a viable music major..

    You haven't said which year in high school you're at. Assuming you are a rising senior, the time to do this is now. You should preferably do this evaluation session well before you send your screening recordings.

    Now, what you actually need to prep for an audition is specified by the department at the schools you are auditioning for - for example, look up woodwinds at Colburn and find out what they expect to hear in an audition - they may specify one or more composers (for example, for a BM in Violin Perf, all colleges require you to perform a Bach piece. I'm not familiar with the flute or Voice), and periods and styles which they expect to hear you perform.

    Good Luck.

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