Anyone know about the classical music program at Princeton?

Princeton has not been on my kid’s list of schools because it just seems like too much of a reach. It consistently is showing up on SCOIR as a recommended school based on my kid’s interests for schools. He wants to study music - classical performance. And like so many others, he (and his parents) would like him also to get a strong liberal arts education. The odd thing is that I don’t recall hearing about Princeton’s classical music program. Anyone have any experience to share about the classical music program there?


Princeton gives a performance certificate and has an exchange program with the Royal College of Music. Many other schools offer the same things, not labelled as such. Meaning, lessons for credit (and funded) and credit for performance, and performance components integrated into classes. And study abroad. Department Overview: Undergraduates| Princeton Department of Music

Have you read the essay “Double Degree Dilemma” in the “read me” thread in this music forum, pinned closer to the top? It is really about different ways to study music.

One way, certainly, is to go to a top school where there will be excellent musicians, take lessons and perform in extracurriculars. Grad school is very possible after that route, and music majors have access to professional schools and careers outside of music as well.

Has he considered a double degree at, say, Harvard or Tufts with NEC? Harvard’s is a BA/MM and Tufts’ is a BA/BM.

Basically he can do a BM (2/3-3/4 classes in music), a BA in music (1/4-1/3 classes in music), a minor in music , a double major, or a double degree. Or major in something else entirely and continue with lessons and extracurricular performance. I do know some accomplished musicians who did the latter.

Does he want an immersive experience and parents are nervous about the future? :slight_smile: Music majors do well with admission to med school and other grad programs, and have access to many careers. The discipline and work ethic is well-respected. But that is a family decision.

If he wants a liberal arts education as well as a lot of music, there are many schools to consider. If he wants a double degree, then Oberlin, Bard, Lawrence, Ithaca, Tufts and Harvard, others…

Oberlin has a new Musical Studies program for kids who want access to conservatory resources but want to study liberal arts.

Some of the “little Ivies” have good music, like Amherst, Williams, Tufts, Wesleyan. Vassar too. Many others.

I kind of went beyond your question sorry! One other point: check out the changes to Harvard’s curriculum in recent years. Many schools are starting to do this to increase access for kids who didn’t, say, go to to conservatory prep. You will see what I mean. Not sure if Princeton is doing this but check it out.


One other thing: a music supplement can really help with reach schools. It should have a recording/video, a music resume, and letter(s) from teacher(s). Even concert programs can be included if important. Definitely an important part of an application that increases chances at top schools if the talent is there.


Thank you @compmom. I should have mentioned that we have been lurking, reading and researching the past few months. I think he has a decent list at this stage. I was just wondering about Princeton’s program because no one seems to mention it, and yet the AI bots keep suggesting it for classical music.


It IS good for classical music with the certificate and study abroad.


Check out this thread. Reality check: What's it actually like at ____ now that your kid is enrolled ?

@TiggerDad has a S at Princeton. I’m not sure that he is still active but you can try to contact him and read his comments in thread above.

Comments near end around Nov. 2019.