Composition Major with interesting choices-help!

<p>I posted this on the master acceptance list, but could use some insights into these composition programs my son has had acceptances from:</p>

<p>Bard
Cleveland Institute Music
Oberlin
Manhattan School of Music
Mannes
Carnegie Mellon
CalArts
Boston Conservatory
and on the wait list at Eastman</p>

<p>He's a classical composer with Romantic influences, using modern dissonance and atonality-- if that helps. He loves the idea of studying in NYC, and is less enthralled with places in the boonies, namely Oberlin and Bard.</p>

<p>Any advice, insights would be appreciated. He intends to continue on to grad school, so he needs a program with the reputation to move him along to the next level. Thanks!</p>

<p>I'm assuming he was admitted to Bard College and not the Conservatory - but that's ok for composers there - the program is very similar. It's a terrific place for composers - I don't think there's anywhere better right now (of course, I'm biased!) It may be in the boonies but artistically it's very connected to NYC. Was he admitted to Oberlin Conservatory? The dissonance and atonality will work at Oberlin, the Romantic influences, not so much.</p>

<p>Does he want a conservatory experience or a college? Bard would be a BA which is going to be a different experience.</p>

<p>If he wants a conservatory experience then send him to Manhattan, if money is not an issue.</p>

<p>Thanks for advice. He's told that Eastman is the best and is hoping to make it in, but also hears that Mannes is very strong for composition. I think the place is tiny, has no dorm or cafeteria, no student life at all. At least that's a mother's impression. Do you think MSM has the best reputation among the conservatories? What about Carnegie Mellon?</p>

<p>Nut, please see my response on other thread regarding CMU.</p>

<p>He should be choosing by whose studio he wants to be in, and which course curriculum he wishes to follow, and which college environment/fellow students he feels most excited by. The reputations are not the important part here and they don't vary widely enough to make any difference at this point in his development. Graduate school will depend on the quality of his compositions, his resume, and his networking skills.</p>

<p>There is no 'best'. Certainly not from this list. Yes, Mannes has good professors. Will it be a traditional college experience? No. He needs to do some research quickly. What criteria was used to develop the list initially?</p>

<p>We loved Manhattan (and NEC, which is not on your list: why BOCO and not NEC, was it for a particular teacher?). Great teachers, diversity of teaching, wonderful vibe, great building, lots of stuff going on, Columbia and Barnard very nearby.</p>

<p>Honestly, I don't think Oberlin composition would be good fit, as Spirit Manager said, but that is otherwise my own favorite school.</p>

<p>Bard or Bard conservatory? Conservatory students at Bard all do a double degree. is that appealing?</p>

<p>As you know, Mannes is part of the New School, dorms are a ways away, and it is not the traditional experience. But some good teachers there.</p>

<p>People speak very well of CIM here. I'm in the northeast and don't know much about that and others.</p>

<p>By all means, go by the teacher, and also how much freedom there is to pursue one's own "voice" (sorry, folks, I write this all the time!) The most important thing is to visit, which I assume was done at audition time, and, as Spirit Manager says, check out teachers, listen to their music, read interviews with them, look at course offerings, and if money is an issue, clarify the costs.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>There are tremendously exciting things happening in new music in New York at this moment in time. I think he should go there. I don't know who the composition teachers are, but for what its worth, the overall level is probably higher at MSM; that said, the very (famously) rigorous training in theory and aural skills at Mannes might be especially valuable to a composer.</p>

<p>Where did your son end up going? And how does he like it?</p>