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Schools with strong cello program and reasonable financial aid?

cellopopcellopop Registered User Posts: 133 Junior Member
edited November 2009 in Music Major

My daughter is a HS freshman, and has recently decided that she want to pursue a BM in cello performance. She isn't quite so clear on what kind of program she is looking for, though I think she is thinking about a conservatory affiliated with a university, then either a stand-alone conservatory or a university with a strong music program.

We live in Washington state, and two of the state colleges (Central Washington University and Western Washington University) have decent programs, and would be affordable. But I'd like to start scoping out a few other programs so that we might schedule visits if/when we are near them. We can't afford the full cost of most private (or out of state) programs, so we would want to target schools with a strong cello program that offer reasonable need (or merit) aid.

One school she is interested in is Lawrence Conservatory (Lawrence University). What other schools should we be exploring at this point?

Post edited by cellopop on

Replies to: Schools with strong cello program and reasonable financial aid?

  • shennieshennie Registered User Posts: 2,467 Senior Member
    Many schools will offer merit aid if her audition is strong enough, but the competition will be very stiff. Lawrence is a good option. You also might want to look at Cincinatti University Conservatory of Music. Excellent cello programs are found at Juilliard, Eastman, Cleveland Institute, Northwestern, Rice, Peabody, New England Conservatory among others. All of these are highly competitive programs. A lot depends on how good your daughter really will be at the time of auditions.
  • BassDadBassDad Registered User Posts: 5,381 Senior Member
    Oberlin starts off with a high price tag, but has been known to put together reasonably good financial aid packages. See Oberlin College :: Office of Financial Aid :: Overview for some statistics. Darrett Adkins has a very good reputation as a cello teacher and he also teaches at Juilliard. I do not know as much about Amir Eldan, but enjoyed his playing at a faculty recital I attended last year.

    Note that Oberlin has a particular strength in Early Music and some of the cello students there also take lessons on Baroque cello and/or viola da gamba. Cathy Meints is one of the best in the business in those areas.
  • fiddlefrogfiddlefrog Registered User Posts: 1,219 Senior Member
    Perhaps the top cello teacher in the country right now is Hans Jorgen Jensen at Northwestern, a school with generous aid packages. Norman Fischer and Desmond Hoebig at Rice are superb, and aid is great. Felix Wang at Vanderbilt (not quite as strong a school, though) is a good cello teacher, and aid is comparable to the other two mentioned.
  • shennieshennie Registered User Posts: 2,467 Senior Member
    Fiddlefrog - Jensen is a wonderful teacher, but he has to share top billing with several others including Steven Doane at Eastman and Paul Katz at NEC. There are also some fabulous students coming out of Richard Aaron's studio as well. He splits his time between Juilliard and Michigan.
  • fiddlefrogfiddlefrog Registered User Posts: 1,219 Senior Member
    Shennie, sorry for the gross overgeneralization. I meant "top" only in terms of metrics like competition victories and orchestra jobs-- not that Doane or Aaron or Katz (or Eddy or Krosnick) is lacking in that department, but merely that Jensen has an extraordinarily high percentage of successful students, thanks to his Galamian-like, factoryish system. In truth, I find an excess of uniformity among Jensen's students, and if seeking a chamber music partner would look to one of the other studios named first.
  • mom4mom4 Registered User Posts: 216 Junior Member
    Fiddlefrog, can you tell us a little more about Strings at BU?
  • worrywart63worrywart63 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    My daughter is interested in cello performance and recently mentioned IU Jacobs School of music. Does anyone know if they have a good cello program?
  • Mezzo'sMamaMezzo'sMama Registered User Posts: 3,399 Senior Member
    IU does have an excellent cello program and they are a very tough admit too! Also consider CIM, which has a very strong string program in general and have just added Alisa Weilerstein to their faculty.

    Another cello thread which could give more info has been running recently:
  • shennieshennie Registered User Posts: 2,467 Senior Member
    Indiana is, indeed, topnotch for cello.

    Fiddlefrog - when you have 85 students in your studio (Jensen) you will, by sheer force of numbers, have a lot of successes :)
  • welwel Registered User Posts: 47 Junior Member
    What about Mercer University- Townsend school of music. Isn't that a full scholarship if you are accepted?
  • Mezzo'sMamaMezzo'sMama Registered User Posts: 3,399 Senior Member
    No, Mercer is NOT free. All music students are eligible for scholarships, but they are awarded on a competative basis. They do have the usual instrumental and voice departments, but I don't believe that Townsend is "up there" as far as reputation and the faculty they attract. That doesn't mean that it isn't a good fit for some though and might be worth looking at, especially if one wants to study music but does not want to major in it.
  • cellopopcellopop Registered User Posts: 133 Junior Member
    Thanks everyone for the suggestions, we have a few more schools to add to our potential list.
  • Georgia GirlGeorgia Girl Registered User Posts: 3,751 Senior Member
    The Thornton School of Music on the west coast is celebrating 125 years in 2009. The faculty listed for cello:

    Ralph Kirshbaum-Holds the Gregor Piatigorsky Chair in Violoncello

    Adjunct Professors are:

    Peter Stumpf
    Daniel Rothmuller
    Alex Suleiman, Adjunct Assistant Professor
    William Skeen, Adjunct Instructor (Specialty is Baroque cello)

    Financial aid is available for those who qualify. Also, about 21% of the students receive merit scholarships. Many have both.
  • meekchunmeekchun Registered User Posts: 173 Junior Member
    Hans is really wonderful teacher not only because of his technique but also his love and devotion for student. He got the soul and teach it!
This discussion has been closed.