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Suggestions of Colleges with Music Majors

collegebound123collegebound123 285 replies134 threads Member
edited December 2013 in Music Major
Which schools have good music departments (including any top ranked) along with good academics (so basically, not solely a fine arts school). I heard that St. Olaf is good.
edited December 2013
843 replies
Post edited by collegebound123 on
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Replies to: Suggestions of Colleges with Music Majors

  • zantedeschiazantedeschia 7793 replies48 threads Senior Member
    What about Johns Hopkins with their Peabody school, or Columbia with their connection with Julliard?
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  • taxguytaxguy 6244 replies385 threads Senior Member
    If you don't want a stand alone conservatory, how about Univ of Cincinnati, Carnegie Mellon, and some of the LACs
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  • CK61188CK61188 210 replies5 threads Junior Member
    illinois wesleyan. i actually don't know how good they are in comparison to other places, but i know a lot of people through their cello camp, and all the cellists i know want to go there. and i know a handful of other musicians besides cellists, and they all like it there.
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  • collegebound123collegebound123 285 replies134 threads Member
    Sorry - I'll add on to my post: Specifically for voice, chorus, and this is an important one: studio music (producing songs in a studio)
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  • reidmreidm 1039 replies11 threads Senior Member
    Strong music schools with degree programs and student opportunities in audio recording and/or music technology: Ithaca, NYU, University of Hartford, University of Miami, USC, University of Oregon, DePaul, University of Indiana, University of Michigan. St. Olaf is awesome for choral singing and good for voice, but not known for the recording side of things.

    Based on your intended major and your music plans, you will need to check each school out to determine if recording courses and facilities would be available to you.
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  • harpgirl27harpgirl27 472 replies9 threads Member
    Case Western and it's connection to Cleveland Institute of Music

    Rice University and the Shepard school of music

    Columbia and Julliard


    U Indiana (for certain instruments...don't know about their voice program though)

    JHU and Peabody

    U Washington has a pretty good program

    Curtis Institute of Music (if you want hardcore music conservatory!)

    if you're interested in looking out of the country...
    U of Toronto and McGill University both have good music programs

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  • carolyncarolyn 7242 replies193 threads Senior Member
    St. Olaf is wonderful. Also look into Oberlin (Ohio) and Lawrence U (Wisc). If you want a larger school consider USC or Rice. Other schools with great music programs include the University of Redlands (Calif), tBard (NY), the College of Wooster (ohio), Southwestern (Texas), Willamette (Oregon), University of the Pacific (Calif) as well as the schools already mentioned above.
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  • harpgirl27harpgirl27 472 replies9 threads Member
    ROFL, I can't BELIEVE I forgot Oberlin....

    Northwestern has a good music program as well...and U of Chicago does to, again for certain instruments.

    I wanted to be a music major my whole life up until junior year. now I'm in science....go figure ;)
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  • jenskate1jenskate1 1370 replies21 threads Senior Member
    I have a friend at Eastman School of Music at University of Rochester, and he loves it there. I also know someone having an awesome time at Berklee College of Music in Boston. And of course, I have to give a plug for Shepard School at Rice: The people here are fantastically talented, and the chorale concerts are gorgeous - I don't know about the studio recording stuff here though, sorry.
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  • karenindallaskarenindallas 196 replies4 threads Junior Member
    My D is a soph vocal performance major at Rice. She was accepted at almost all the top vocal programs (IU, NE Conservatory etc.) and chose Rice. It is the greatest. Email me if you would like to get in touch with her for more info. Her boyfriend is a non-music major who enjoys choir and theater, and Rice affords him lots of opportunities to pursue his interests. Karen
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  • taxguytaxguy 6244 replies385 threads Senior Member
    I forgot to mention Towson University here in Maryland. They have a music department, with voice training being an option.
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  • shennieshennie 2437 replies30 threads Senior Member
    I would also recommend Eastman / Rochester, but they don't have recording, nor does Rice. I think that Peabody / Johns Hopkins does have recording. You also need to look at what kind of voice you are interested in. Many of the programs mentioned here are classical only. If you are looking to do modern you will need to look at programs carefully.
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  • smsmomsmsmom 35 replies7 threads Junior Member
    My D is a jr in HS and is interested in a Bachelor of Music with a major in music performance. We started the college search last spring and used much of what I learned from CC about music programs/auditions/music majors. I was just curious how all the musically talented sons and daughters were doing and, if music majors, what they thought of their college programs.
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  • minimini 26167 replies259 threads Senior Member
    Although mine's a music major (at Smith), she is a composer, not a performance major (there are no performance majors at Smith.) She was looking for music within a liberal arts context.

    I have no doubt, really none, that, given the quality of the faculty, the new Bard Conservatory is very quickly going to be the top of the heap, bar none, in that category (again, for joint BA/BM - there will still be the conservatories:

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  • karenindallaskarenindallas 196 replies4 threads Junior Member
    My D is a vocal performance major at Rice (sophomore) and loves the program. She chose Rice over New England Conservatory, Oberlin, Cleveland Institute of Music (Case Western with a dual degree), Indiana and BU. Rice was the best fit for her with her strong academics and the strong music school at Rice. She was impressed with Indiana but thought it would be better for grad school. She did not audition well at Julliard and was not accepted. My D said that a lot of the music majors who have not had a strong theory background struggle in the program at Rice. I was impressed with Oberlin-the academics and the conservatory, but my D thought it was in the middle of a cornfield. Karen
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  • lamomlamom 1352 replies42 threads Senior Member
    Son is a music performace major at the Univ of Redlands. He is close enough for us to attend his performances. He told us last month that he cannot imagine being any place else. He is working hard, doing well and loving every second. The faculty are all wonderful. His Jazz improvisation teacher (who actually recommended that he apply to Redlands) had a class with 6-too big so he divided it into 2 classes of 3 and also gives private help on Fridays. Redlands is close enough to LA for the students to visit-the school allows use of the Van for school trips-museums, Jazz Bakery, TV shows, etc.

    I found this site about this time last year. Son loved to perform and had auditioned for local bands but college auditions were a completely different thing. Son's trumpet teacher had a BM, but that was years ago and she was not capable of helping him with auditions. We had no idea until I found this site. I was asking just about anyone/anywhere involved with music for a referral for a teacher for auditions. I found someone who was a brother-in-law of someone at a music store 1 1/2 hrs away. It helped but not the same if we had known more or started before Jan 5 with auditions just weeks away. Son was a big fish in a small pond and most thought I was just crazy since he was so good. None of his band directors knew trumpets.I would have gladly given birth in the UCSB hallway than see son go through the stress of the first audition-the guy was very nice but son felt his whole life was on the line and forgot how to breathe. He was accepted as BA but would have to re audition for a BM major. The following week was UCLA-the staff and students were outrageously nice and complimented him-we had our son back. Then it was up. The last school took him to meet the head of the Jazz dept.

    He loves the small liberal arts campus and has fit very well into the community. We see him perform but his home is Redlands. We have discovered that he wasn't just a big fish in a little pond, he has talent and was ready for a larger body of water. Playing 4 hours a day is nothing--It used to be lots less at home. He actually had to put away the 1935 Bach because it could not take the long playing-it got a hole. Fortunately there is a brass repair expert 2 hrs away.

    I wonder how all the other students are doing-if the parents are still out there.

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  • shennieshennie 2437 replies30 threads Senior Member
    My son is a junior cello performance major at Eastman. He adores his teacher and the high level of the other students there. He struggled some first semester freshman year with the roller coaster of being in such a high level environment. (How did I ever get admitted here? sort of thing.) He also struggled 2nd semester sophmore year because he was not advancing as much as he thought and had a lot of self doubt about his ability to "make it". He decided he wanted to double degree in poli sci so that "if the music thing falls through I can go to law school". Doing a double degree at Rochester is possible but difficult so he looked at transferring.

    However, he finally realized it was foolish to leave the studio he was in and that UR has a top notch poli sci department. Right now he is feeling much more confident as a cellist and is starting to talk about grad school for music. He is not going to do the double degree but just minor in poli sci.

    He likes Eastman a lot although he wishes that the 2 campuses were together and he didn't have to live with all music majors. His orchestra experience has been wonderful and he really enjoys the overall level of musicianship of the other students. His pianist is phenomenal. In addition to Eastman he was accepted at New England. He was waitlisted at Rice and CIM. He is very glad he chose the studio he is in. There is quite a bit of comraderie between the students and not much of the competition you hear about at conservatories. We have found he is much happier when he takes one or 2 non-music courses each semester and those he takes at the river campus.
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  • sacsac 1528 replies19 threads Senior Member
    I don't think my son is in the same league musically, but I did frequent these discussions somewhat and he did chose his college largely around the opportunities to play and hear music without necessarily majoring in it. He chose Columbia University because its music performance program puts every intermediate to advanced jazz player who auditions into a combo. His combo has six players and is taught by an up and coming young jazz pianist and composer. My son was a little disappointed at first -- his audition did not net him the free lessons he also hoped for and he didn't end up in the most advanced combo, which performs at a club on the Upper West Side. So he also joined a klezmer band, led by a professor of Jewish Music. He's having a blast playing a type of music he'd never tried before. In the meantime, he discovered his jazz combo has been steadily improving and he's learning a lot from the man who leads it. (Could it be because the prof said my son's improvising reminded him of the young Wayne Shorter? Somehow, things seemed to go uphill from there.) He's just starting to be familiar enough with the city to go out and hear music. We took him to the Blue Note on parents weekend and heard four great tenor sax players celebrate what would have been Coleman Hawkins' 100th birthday. Then, Columbia -- which is trying to build a jazz studies program -- also had an event to celebrate Coleman Hawkins and my son went, heard a talk and demonstration, and loved seeing Hawk's horn which was on display. All in all, he loves being in a city that feels like Jazz central!
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  • marcyrmarcyr 117 replies4 threads Junior Member
    My son's in the 4th year of a 5 year BM/MM program in Music Composition at Peabody, and he's also doing a second major in Music Education which he'll finish after first semester next year - he just can't fit his student teaching in this year. Oh, and he's minoring in Conducting because "it will come in handy when I'm teaching." He's happy as a pig in mud, and is writing like crazy in preparation for his Senior Recital in March. He loves Peabody, and feels he definately made the right decision when he chose to go there. In addition to everything else, this semester he auditioned into the Jazz Orchestra (keyboards), a portion of which plays every Monday night at a local record store. He really can't spare the hours that the gig takes up each week, but on the other hand he's had terrific opportunities to solo and hone his improv skills, something he never really had the chance to do before. All in all, he's never been busier or happier.
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  • alwaysamomalwaysamom 12281 replies217 threads Senior Member
    I've been involved with two nieces and a family friend whose parents needed assistance in the admissions process in the past few years, all focussed on topnotch music programs. One's at Berklee, one at Eastman and one at Curtis. All are happy and thriving, although the one at Eastman is stressed a lot of the time but that is probably more a factor of her personality than any other reason. :) Two of the three also auditioned at Juilliard, were accepted but chose their current schools as a better fit.
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