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Talented Musical Theater daughter with great academic grades

TalisMomTalisMom 0 replies1 threads New Member
My daughter loves musical theater, is a super trained vocalist and she also has great academic grades (1400 SAT). She wants to do musical theater but does not have the dance training to pull off an audition. She is considering going in undecided to a school but wants to either get an MT minor or double major somehow with MT and maybe Psychology? I am afraid of her majoring in MT and not being employable after school and wasting her good academic record. Finances are also an issue, so schools like NYU Tisch are not an option. I think I am looking for a needle in a haystack, but is there a school that she could get money from that has allows/encourages double majoring or or MT minoring?
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Replies to: Talented Musical Theater daughter with great academic grades

  • CaMom13CaMom13 1874 replies12 threads Senior Member
    edited August 31
    Look at Temple, American, LMU, Catholic U. They all have BA theatre / MT programs that would potentially permit minoring or double majoring. Your best bet is a school that offers preprofessional training but doesn't offer a BFA and aim for the schools where merit aid is available for her stats. You don't mention your state but in-state schools can also be a good option for finding the balance between training / education and affordability.
    edited August 31
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  • thumper1thumper1 75201 replies3300 threads Senior Member
    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/musical-theater-major/

    This is the musical theater forum on this site. Those folks might have a suggestion for you.
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  • MusakParentMusakParent 1022 replies9 threads Senior Member
    I have a similar kid that launched to college this fall. She could potentially audition for vocal performance programs and get a BA in theater, and take dance classes on the side. Many schools would be great for this. Or go to a LAC with good music and theater faculty/programs where she could study voice. Look at the performance opportunities and not just academic ones. Is it in a metro where student might audition for other shows? Are there club/student driven performance opportunities? How good is the voice and theater faculty and what is their background? We found sometimes great schools on paper had really mediocre theater and music options/faculty so you have to look kind of deep.

    Lots of the BFA/BM programs say you can double major, but that does not mean faculty in those programs are excited about students doing that. For my academic kid, academic schools with strong performning art programs seemed like better fits. And he is probably going to double major too. Possibly music/comp sci (this week - who knows)?
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  • kiddiekiddie 3451 replies217 threads Senior Member
    Muhlenberg fits this bill. I know a few students who went and did a performing arts minor (dance or theater) coupled with something like psych as a major. They also offer merit aid.
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  • KatMTKatMT 4146 replies70 threadsCollege Rep Senior Member
    James Madison in VA could work for what you describe. However, we suggest auditioning as a high school senior, if possible. Admission is competitive to the Musical Theatre major, and while possible to be admitted as a sophomore, and still graduate on time, if a student knows they would like to double major, it is easier if they start as a first-year college student. Happy to answer specific questions.
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  • loribelleloribelle 385 replies9 threads Member
    edited September 1
    Good suggestions above. TCU is an academic school that rewards good grades/scores with scholarships. She could audition for a BFA in MT and minor in something or get a BA in theatre and get a double minor in music and something else.

    If he primary interest is voice, there are vocal performance degrees that may interest her that have a heavy music curriculum. But not all BFA MT programs require a strong dancer to be admitted.
    edited September 1
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5853 replies10 threads Senior Member
    Not sure what their FA is, but every kid at our school with this profile has chosen Northwestern.
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  • DramaLove2020DramaLove2020 110 replies5 threads Junior Member
    @KatMT could you elaborate at all on what to expect at the JMU audition? I am auditioning Nov. 9th there and am from VA and have worked with several people who have graduated from JMU's program through community or professional theatre - so it is very high on my list! I have a strong dance background and strong academics - am ranked 10th in my class and have a 4.5 GPA . I typically love the audition process - but this is a whole new level of "the stakes are high"! So anything you would be willing to share about what happens on that day?
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29596 replies58 threads Senior Member
    What is your budget? How much can you pay each year? Do you qualify for financial aid? Can you afford your state flagship school?

    Run the NPS for a few private schools like Boston College, Hofstra, Haverford. Those will give you some ideas of what school like that will cost. (Hofstra has great theater options, great merit money, not so great financial aid. Haverford has a top notch academic rep, no merit, great financial aid, not known for its theater). Run a FAFSA EFC estimator to find out what the federal government figures you should be paying.

    If you need money, it can be a tough go . Audition programs extremely competitive and time consuming. Our MT forum is like taking a sip from a fire hose, but not much not covered there. Really, it all is.
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  • thumper1thumper1 75201 replies3300 threads Senior Member
    Not sure what their FA is, but every kid at our school with this profile has chosen Northwestern

    Northwestern gives need based aid only.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5853 replies10 threads Senior Member
    ^^ It's not clear if they are looking for generous FA or if they need merit. In any case, that's helpful info on Northwestern.
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  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 3061 replies39 threads Senior Member
    An SAT score of 1400 would be in the bottom quarter of Northwestern admits, so that may not be a realistic option.
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  • KatMTKatMT 4146 replies70 threadsCollege Rep Senior Member
    edited September 2
    @DramaLove2020 -- I posted information on the James Madison Musical Theatre page. Here is the link --

    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/james-madison-university-mt/2155340-james-madison-audition-day-p1.html?new=1

    Looking forward to seeing you November 9!
    edited September 2
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  • DramaLove2020DramaLove2020 110 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Oh wow!! Thank you so much!
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  • LBSMOMLBSMOM 203 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Haven't gone thru the entire thread, but Wagner College is also a BA program with a vocal performance track. Many student dual major. https://wagner.edu/ Tuition is expensive, but we received a very generous package.
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  • MemphoMempho 9 replies1 threads New Member
    There are plenty of MT programs that accept "movers" as well as dancers. My daughter was one of those. She took a little dance, but not enough to be a dancer. It hurt her in a few auditions, but did not matter at all in others. She ended up going to Missouri State and loves it so far. She's taking ballet first semester and already learning a ton. While it's difficult to do the BFA program and have an additional minor, it is possible. Find the schools that you like and then have that discussion. Most schools are pretty accommodating. Missouri State is also an incredible bargain versus schools in the northeast. Sounds like your daughter would qualify for out of state tuition being dropped and a healthy academic scholarship to go with it. Another bargain is the BFA program at University of Memphis. Look around, lots of great programs beyond the typical top 10.
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  • lmkikerlmkiker 11 replies3 threads New Member
    Tulane in New Orleans is a BFA in MT that auditions at the end of freshman year, and absolutely allowed a double major. It's expensive, but the school is great about need-based aid and your dd would also potentially be in contention for an honors scholarship.
    That said, I wouldn't immediately write off any school because of cost with that SAT score. And I wouldn't worry about a degree in MT making her unemployable - if she chooses to seek a career in something other than performance, most employers honestly don't care what the degree is in - just that she has one. My favorite coworker (project manager at a marketing agency) has a BA in Theatre and MFA in Acting!
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  • MTMommmaMTMommma 49 replies3 threads Junior Member
    My daughter is a Junior MT major at Arizona State. She is a great vocalist and actor and was a "mover" type dancer when she auditioned. She got accepted to a bunch of east coast schools but even though ASU was sort of a safety school for her, it ended up being such a great choice. My D auditioned there because I thought that she should audition for at least ONE school that was on the West Coast (we are in So California) and her coach (Chelsea at MCA) saw it as a upcoming school - the program was pretty recently revamped with a new artistic director that came from Ithaca. He is wonderful and is making the program better each year. With her academic scholarship and her voice scholarship, her out of state tuition is fully covered (well, almost fully- we paid $600 last year LOL). You can see what guaranteed academic scholarship you guys would get on the school website.

    The Phoenix area has a thriving theatre scene and the nearby Equity theatre encourages the kids to audition for their shows and gives them parts and EMC points (and pays them). My D is going to start as ensemble in Sound of Music soon and will get 10 EMC points for that. The school does a lot of new works so my daughter already has Broadway music directors that have told her to call them when she gets to New York. They did a reading of a new musical "The Anxiety Project" in January and in a few months, my D will be originating the lead role for the official cast album for that musical. You can take as much dance as you want and take dance and acting classes with the Dance and Theatre departments if you want and there is room in the class. It is a BM in MT, so two years of music theory and 1.5 years of piano, but that is actually helpful. Talent at the school ranges from pretty good to phenomenal. My D's friend that just graduated just booked understudy Elsa in the new Frozen tour (yay!!!). MT classes are about 10-15 kids and similar amount in opera. My D just got cast in 9 to 5 and Street Scene for the spring semester, so you can do both MT and Opera if you want. Minors and double majors are doable, especially if you come in with a bunch of AP classes. The Herberger Institute that the music school is in has incredible opportunities for tangentially related projects for art, social work, etc. For example, my D got a $5000 "Discovery" grant (free $) to pursue an educational experience related to her major. Next door to the first-year music dorms is the Gammage Theatre where the touring Broadway shows come and there will always be some sort of master class with a cast member. The kids also get super cheap rush tickets to see the shows. And finally, ASU has a wonderful honors program that some of the kids are in. This is a REALLY long post, but ASU MT + Opera is really flying under the radar- check it out :)
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