Composition Major Seeking Advice

<p>Hello, I am the parent of a HS Junior, who is now investigating his options for application in fall. He came into music only in recent years but his teachers and instructors offer us hope that he has a unique talent writing both classical, jazz and innovative fusion pieces of his own. He is adept at musical theory but he has not studied a major instrument for very long (piano) and has taught himself to play ukekele (quite extraordinarly, I might add). This Spring, his work will be performed by musicians at his high school and at his music prep school (Mannes). These will be his first live performances (other than his own). He is a very adept music technologist - having learned advanced skills in Protools, Reason, Sibelius, etc., etc. </p>

<p>We are not a family of musicians and really don't know where to begin. Should a student like this even consider schools like Curtis? Eastman? Or are these really intended only for classicists? </p>

<p>Would anyone recommend an environment where a non-conformist who is passionate about all forms of instrumentation and musical styles flourish (Berkelee)? Would he still get a serious education there? </p>

<p>Any bit of advice would help here as we feel very much in the dark and want to help him make some informed choices! Many thanks.</p>

<p>Probably the first question for your son is whether he's interested in continuing his academic studies. If he wishes to be in an environment where not everyone is a musician, and where not all the classes are mostly focused on music - that will impact his choice of school.</p>

<p>Most conservatories will require him to focus on one particular area of music: classical, jazz, or popular. Berklee may be one of the few to let him roam between, but their classical department is not known to be their strength.</p>

<p>He may very well flourish in a BA music department - which will not require a strict adherence to one particular kind of music. Do any universities or colleges already appeal to him? You may find that their music departments would suit him just fine. He can always narrow his focus in grad school.</p>

<p>Have him look at Bard College (not necessarily the Conservatory) as all the classical composers teach in the College as well as the Conservatory - in addition they have jazz composition, electronic, and world music. There are other liberal arts colleges with strong music departments, as well, but Bard is uncommon in the depth of the classical composition department outside of a conservatory environment.</p>