College visits vs. Summer program before senior year?

<p>My family was planning an east coast college visit trip for my spring break. Most of my schools are on the east coast, and we were planning visits and lessons for this spring, as it is my junior year now. Recently, my father suggested that I pick between a college visit trip and a summer program. (I'm applying to BUTI, Interlochen, Bel Canto Institute, and Oberlin Academy for High school singers for the summer.)Which would be more beneficial? I really love summer programs, and was looking forward to doing one this year. My father says that since I'll visit the schools when I audition, it shouldn't matter. I still have a long list and need to narrow it down. I always thought that maybe visits would help. I'm kind of afraid of picking the schools I want to apply to, then finding out I really dislike the facilities, or I don't feel safe in the locations of half of them. I've also considered just doing extra lessons, and working on piano and theory at home over the summer. I'm not sure what the best route to take is. Advice?</p>

<p>Have you done summer programs in the past, or would this summer's program be an important indicator for you?</p>

<p>Depending on where the summer program is located, it's possible you might be able to fit a couple of school visits in while you're there (not as helpful as it would be during the year but at least you could see the facilities). It's certainly possible to visit/do a sample lesson during audition weekends.</p>

<p>A summer program can be invaluable to your music education. It can improve your musical skills, give you additional insight into your musical education and career goals, and also enhance your chances of acceptance into a college program. My D did two summer programs the summer before her senior year (one was local). They were instrumental (pun intended!) in helping her decide which musical goals to pursue and which programs to apply to. Both programs were at schools she ultimately applied to. She also squeezed in one college trip over spring break junior year, and then, one in the fall senior year.
She was ultimately accepted everywhere she applied and chose her first-choice school. Doing the music programs was one of the best things she could have done. Go to the summer program, and see if you can attend one at one of the schools you might apply to. Then just do as much research as you can on the other schools, try to visit and, if not, you will see them at the audition.</p>

<p>If you don't get a chance to do the college visits, I suggest you arrange to go to your auditions a day or two early. That would give you a chance to sit in on lessons, attend voice classes, maybe get a sample lesson or two, talk to students and faculty. That would give you the opportunity to get a real feel for the place. After all, some of the places you will apply to have pre-screens, and you may or may not make the cut. No point in visiting if you don't have the opportunity to audition. My D ended up at a top conservatory, and she went to the audition 2 days early, where she did as I describe above. </p>

<p>I vote for doing the summer intensives if you have to choose.</p>

<p>I would say do the summer program. Visits aren't always that helpful. We did the visits at the same time as the auditions for a few of the schools,and it worked fine. Sometimes you get the best chance to really see a school, after you are accepted, so for one school 12 hours away by car, we actually went twice, to the audition and then after acceptance. We drove straight through to save money, and stayed in lodgings sponsored by a church, that were listed by the college.</p>

<p>As someone said, maybe there is a way to fit in some school visits while at the summer program.</p>

<p>People on this forum could answer a lot of questions about your schools, if you post them here. Websites, looking up faculty, and otherwise networking can maybe help you pare them down a bit.</p>

<p>Sounds like you are applying for some great places for the summer!</p>

<p>Although visiting campuses during the summer does not give the same "feel" for things as being there when classes are in full swing, you can at least check out the facilities.
Summer programs are all well and good but are not nearly as important for young singers as they are for instrumentalists. Voices develop more slowly and youngsters don't always have knowledge or ability to say "no" when it comes to knowing how much to sing and what is appropriate. It's also not wise to change technique when pre-screening materials need to be ready to go in the fall. Programs are of much more value to the graduate students and some upperclass undergrads.</p>

<p>My S is also a HS junior vocalist and because of limited funds, we are not able to do many visits to schools outside of Texas. So he has decided to apply for summer programs at some of the schools on his list. He wants to stay in the dorm and really get a feel for the school. Of course, he'll only get to attend one, but that's one more than he would get to see otherwise! As of right now he's planning to apply to Westminster, Eastman and Oberlin.</p>

<p>I vote for the summer program.</p>

<p>My daughter attended one the summer before her senior year of highschool...and has attended one each summer since...she has made many friendships and valuable contacts. At her program this last summer she had a couple of lessons with a teacher who was able to help her figure out a vocal problem she had been struggling with....her current teacher had been working on it with her but it took just another person putting it in other terms to finally make it click. </p>

<p>The people she has had the opportunity to sing for is amazing...they know she is still in college and is developing...it has been a good thing for her.</p>

<p>Good luck with your journey...</p>

<p>For Megpmom and Imthinking, my D is a sophomore VP major at Oberlin Con and a tour guide for admissions so if you have any questions, just PM me and I can put you in touch with her if you like. It appears you are both considering that school.</p>

<p>Another vote for the summer program. My son went to BUTI (for composition) and it was extremely useful to him.</p>