Extra curriculars and MT admissions??

<p>Forgive me if there has already been a thread about this on this board. I am somewhat of a dunce with the search engine, and was unable to find it.
Here's my question for those of you who have trod this path before me:</p>

<p>When reading about regular college admissions (not MT), I keep hearing that a student's extra curricular activities are of the utmost importance. Elsewhere on CC, I have read with my mouth hanging open in astonishment about the many and varied activities that some students list as their ECs, from concert band and Model UN to volunteering at local soup kitchens and teaching reading to illiterate people. </p>

<p>Will selective MT BFA programs expect candidates to have that kind of impressive list of extra curriculars? If so, how do the kids do it? My D's time seems completely eaten up in training (dance, voice, etc.) and community theater. There is not time in the day for much more.</p>

<p>I keep hearing that grades, test scores and the audition (with emphasis on the audition) are the most important things. But I do wonder about these ECs ....


<p>I think many kids have trouble getting in lots of impressive EC's due to time constraints in this area, but it is possible. Maybe your d could volunteer to help in the dance studio with younger children before a lesson a few days a week, or do things associated with clubs at school which are community service based (national honor society, key club, interact, etc). I don't think it has to be a particularly time consuming thing on a weekly basis, but maybe something that your d starts now and continues to do until college. Our family has worked at a senior center serving dinners through our church for the past 6 years. It is every other month for a few hours but has been a wonderful service and experience for my family. Things like that may be something that would interest your d. There are so many ways to give back to the community a few times a month or even a year. </p>

<p>On the other hand, there are plently of EC's associated with theater. Voice, Dance, Acting - awards, clubs, opportunities. I think it is more important that your daughter's list be one showing passion and dedication in all that she has done so far.</p>

<p>A way my son got in a few extra EC's was using his skills in community service, ex: the school improv troupe entertained at an adult cancer patient "camp", he sang at an assisted living several times, he sang the national anthem for a Special Olympics function, their Thespian troupe always participated in Trick-or-Treat So Kids Can Eat and a group of them always did Christmas carrolling (sp?) for charity. Most of these things didn't take alot of time or planning, but were very worthwhile.</p>

<p>My academic high school teaching experience showed me that, as is the case with non-performance related college admissions, MT programs who care about EC's don't need to see a huge list but rather would prefer developed commitment to a select group of activities and evidence of specific achievement in those areas. If it's volunteering, it should volunteering for a cause about which the student is passionate so that she can speak - or write - eloquently and from the heart when asked about it. A school which focuses on the academic application as well as the audition such as UM really cares about the candidate as a whole person, because their educational philosophy is based on educating this whole person and also in having a vibrant community of diverse artists (MT's who are also musicians, writers, choreographers, pre-law students, linguists, etc.) - and again, they will be looking for DEVELOPMENT in EC areas - quality rather than quantity. </p>

<p>You are right, NMR, students who have spent years training intensively in performance disciplines often don't have time for many other activities - but encourage your children to have at least one other area of passion, even if it is tangentially related to the performing arts (it may even be writing or visual art), less b/c it is important to college auditors and admissions people and more b/c they will NEED to get away from MT and decompress when it's their livelihood. This is rule #1 for many seasoned professionals: "Doing things outside of theatre keeps me sane and also gives me perspective on the world that ONLY doing theatre doesn't - and I can in turn bring that back to my work." :) (I'll bet this was the impetus behind the formation of the Broadway Show League softball teams, for example - that's theatre people doing a "non-theatre" thing with their colleagues.) Even more importantly, having other passions prevents performers from attaching ALL of their-self worth to their success or lack of success at each audition (which is key as the students enter college audition time).</p>

<p>You simply must figure out the search engine (such a valuable tool). Here goes: look at the upper right side of the thread and you'll find a short navy blue tool bar. That's the search for the THREAD (just put your curser over it and click). Then above that, is a navy blue tool bar stretching across the entire page. The search is just off to the right of center. Click on that one and you will be able to search the entire FORUM. </p>

<p>When I'm not sure where the information is, I do a forum search and that brings up threads. Then I'll click on one of the threads and do a thread search for the actual posts.</p>

<p>Does that help??</p>

<p>I ran into similar problems when I was in HS. I have found that most BFA programs would like to see some other things beside theatre on your resume (particularly community service), but they understand that the time constraints of rehersals and training will limit your available time. This is why they weigh your audition so heavily. A great audition can make up for lack of ECs. Also you must remember, participating in theatre, even at your HS, is considered an EC and can and should be used on your application.</p>

<p>Thanks, Elliottsmom. I apologize if creating this thread was in some way improper. But the fact that a number of people responded and felt that they wanted to, in some way, contribute to the discussion shows me that it is a topic of interest to at least a few of us.</p>

<p>Please don't misunderstand, I think this thread is terrific. It's a great topic and I don't think there's an existing thread like it. I just wanted to coach you through the process of performing a search because I've personally found it so usefull. There's so many thinks I've stumbled upon because of doing a search.</p>

That's good to hear. I was afraid that I had annoyed you, and I really didn't intend to do so! You are one of the people whose comments I always look forward to reading on this list, so I especially didn't want to bug you! :) Fact of the matter is, I do know the basic search operations, but find them somewhat cumbersome in locating exactly what I am looking for. Perhaps I just need practice. :)
In any case, thanks for the instructions and for clarifying for me what you meant. Email communication is amazing and wonderful, but sometimes it's hard to tell what tone a person was taking. You were trying to be helpful, and I jumped to the conclusion that I was being scolded. (Leftover childhood issues? Maybe ... definitely ... :):)