Conservatories with 'easier' auditons

<p>First time here</p>

<p>Son is a Junior - 2.9 GPA, mediocre SATs. Loking for a performance program at a conservatory. KNowing some of the auditions are incredibly competative-any conservatories with a 'better' chance of acceptance</p>

<p>Instrument is Alto and Soprano Sax</p>

<p>Thanks!</p>

<p>How well does he play? Yes, grades and test scores are considered at some conservatories- and can be a factor that helps to decide if two candidates are relatively equal in other ways- the audition will be the major factor. What extra-curricular playing opps has he taken advantage of, summer sessions, Master Classes, etc? What schools has his private teacher suggested he look at and do you have geographical preferences?</p>

<p>He plays quite well- he has done a couple summer camps - and his private instructor is partial to Florida State (his alma mater)</p>

<p>But, with his SAT scores, I am thinking a state school (we live in FL) might be tough to be admitted to. i am pretty sure he will do well on auditions, but want a safety school. </p>

<p>His thoughts right now are Julliard, NEC, Eastman, FSU -and he plans to apply/audition in the Boston (NEC, Berklee, Boston conservatory), Upstate NY (eastman/Ithaca/Crane) area, etc. But I also know that Julliard, NEC, etc. are tough even with a good deal of talent. So, I am looking more for a school, (or schools) where he has a better chance of being admitted.</p>

<p>This was so much easier with my older daughter and an academic major!</p>

<p>Of the schools you mention, FSU would normally be an easier admit than Juilliard, NEC or Eastman. </p>

<p>In Boston, Boston Conservatory would usually be an easier admit than NEC. Berklee accepts a huge number of students, so that might make it an easier admit than some other schools; Berklee certainly has some very talented students, but the vast numbers mean that there must be many that are not nearly as talented. </p>

<p>Ithaca and Crane again are normally easier admits than Eastman.</p>

<p>With most of those schools, a GPA of 2.9 would not prevent admission if the playing is up to snuff (I don't know anything about FSU regarding GPA's).</p>

<p>Of course, as many on this forum will tell you, no audition-based admission is ever a true safety or a sure thing, since admission depends not only on talent level and how the student plays on a particular day, but also on the number of openings within a studio and the competitiveness of the other applicants. The number of openings can vary considerably and the applicant talent pool in a given year can be very different from the previous year.</p>

<p>To my knowledge Boston Conservatory and Crane do not have Jazz Studies majors. When we initially began researching jazz programs, it seemed that Ithaca's jazz studies program was in a rebuilding phase and was primarily centered around one faculty member. Our information was from a couple of years ago, so they may have made some progress toward building up the program by now. You'll want to do some research on that. Hartt and William Paterson might be of interest. Also, Temple and Rutgers would be worth looking into, though may be comparable to FSU on the academics (I don't really know). Virginia Commonwealth University is also worthy of consideration as a safety.</p>

<p>His GPA may be an issue at Ithaca as well. Hartt and William Patterson are good reccomendations. Also, City College is worth checking out. In the Boston area, I think U Mass Amherst may have a jazz program too.</p>

<p>I really think that his grades and scores will be a factor at many of the schools, but, having said that, if he can really work hard and pull his GPA up for the rest of this year and next, places will view him in a much different light. The following paragraph re.grades/test scores,etc, is from the CIM Admissions web site and is pretty standard for most conservatories:
SAT and ACT test results are used during the admission process, in conjunction with audition results, letters of recommendation, class rank, and grade-point average, to assist in arriving at a composite, qualitative assessment of each individual. Furthermore, test results provide the basis upon which each student is assigned to an appropriate entry-level English course.</p>

<p>Check out Lawrence University in Wisconsin- They took as student that I know with similar stats a year ago.</p>

<p>If he is thinking Jazz, take a look at Manhattan School of music, they have a well regarded jazz program I believe (I know their pre college does). While not an easy admit by any means, may be worth auditioning there.</p>

<p>Jazz Sax is a pre-screen major at MSM and they also request transcripts and test scores. Ithaca definitely looks at grades and test scores, but they have been known to work "around" things if they really want a student.</p>

<p>Have you looked at Peabody? They tend to work around grades and test scores even though they say they want a 3.0, as long as the good grades are in the humanities and they are not really horrible. They also have a pretty high admit rate.</p>

<p>New school for jazz & contemporary music--it's not an easy audition, but it is easier academically to get in. Great program. Same with Berklee college of music in Boston.</p>

<p>Also look into Columbia College in Chicago has a BA in Instrumental Jazz as well as a BM in Contemporary, Urban and Popular music</p>

<p>UNT in Denton, Texas has a conservatory level music school. They're pretty easy to get into academically. Under Texas state law, if you get a scholarship of $1,000 or more you can get your OOS tuition waived.</p>

<p>The tricky thing with schools like Berklee and UNT, for sax players especially, is that there are so many players accepted into the program that your son probably won't benefit as much from the program unless he lives and breathes jazz (i.e. is willing to spend pretty much all his spare time in the practice room) and has the drive necessary to make himself known. It is like being an undergraduate soprano at IU hehe ;)</p>

<p>I would recommend Ithaca for the Sax teachers there. They really are great. And there is a good chance they would work around the grades (this is what we heard when we visited 3 months ago). The program as a whole is most certainly in a rebuilding phase. The ensembles are great but NEC, MSM, UNT great. And the combo opps are not extensive either (I believe there are only TWO drumset majors there now so that certainly limits things). However, if you DO put a group together, the gigging opportunities are quite plentiful in the city of Ithaca.</p>

<p>I am a classical musician who lives in Ithaca area, not a jazz musician (but am aware of the jazz scene in Ithaca and have several friends involved in it) I gig a lot in the area and region but I do not agree that the gigs are plentiful here. What I would say is for a small town of its size is that Ithaca has a diverse and interesting music scene due to the colleges. But we also have a ton of wonderful musicians who live here who are looking for work. Many of these are folks who graduated from Cornell and Ithaca College who stayd on after school. And Ithaca is still a pretty small town.</p>

<p>Thanks for that bit of information! The heads of the jazz program at Ithaca certainly tried to sell us a very different idea. They said that many of the jazz students get great gig opportunities in Ithaca. I will let my brother know. That was one of the positives about Ithaca for him, but I guess it is not necessarily accurate?</p>

<p>If you're good enough, I don't think grades would keep many conservatories from accepting you. The problem is to know how good that is. Peabody will definitely admit based on talent alone. I've known kids with much lower GPAs than the OP who got in and I know someone who has been involved with admissions who has said that he has never known grades to keep someone from admission if the talent was there.</p>

<p>Operaluvr, That is my take on it but I would have the student try and connect with some current IC jazz students and ask them. And I assumed you were speaking about paid gigs which not have been the case.</p>

<p>University of the Arts in Philadelphia is a jazz based program where grades and SAT will probably not be an issue.</p>

<p>Our tour of U Arts strongly indicated that they put a big emphasis on academics. The admission counselor told us that they take all arts classes out of the GPA and calculate only the "core" classes. If you are not a good student you can be ruled out on grades. This person seemed to only want to talk to us about the importance of AP heavy transcripts and high GPA minus arts. The rest of our information session was not very informative, admission person knew nothing about the Jazz department, kept coming back to grades, and was not able to answer our questions. We came away with the very strong impression that if you are not going there for Musical Theater, your program may be an afterthought. We did tour during the summer and never got close to those who run the jazz department, but we were really turned off after our time with the counselor.</p>