My son, currently a junior, is starting to put together a college list. We read “Double Degree Dilemma” by David Lane (the perfect reading at this stage). I would say my son is close to a “Jennifer.” His two main interest are orchestral percussion and computer science. This is not a situation where one is his passion and the other one a way to get a job. Percussion and CS are just the two things he is best at and he loves the most. He (and my husband and I) would be totally happy if he chooses just one of the two or if he continues with both. Let me add here that we are neither musicians nor computer scientists. Also, he does not care about school size, he is open to any location and financial aid is not an issue (we are lucky that my husband’s job pays for a nice share of college tuition).
Here is our thinking so far:
He ruled out stand-alone conservatories (he definitely wants to study CS).
DOUBLE DEGREE (BM/BA in CS)
He likes the idea of a BM because he is interested in performance (and music theory, ensembles, etc). However, that would mean double degree and he is not sure that is what he wants. One reason: he would like to have a normal college life and not a hectic life running from place to place trying to do it all. That is how he imagines life at Eastman/Rochester, CIM/CWRU, JHU/Peabody, etc.
Maybe in a place like Oberlin a double degree is more manageable (I don’t mean “easier”, just “less stressful.” In part because many students are doing the same thing). Not sure about this.
Bard is another option. It seems similar to Oberlin in many aspects but how is CS at Bard?
A double degree is also offered in places like BU. But, like the double degrees at JHU/Peabody, etc, it is described as “a 5 year program only for people with extraordinary time management skills” (not my son).
DOUBLE MAJOR: BA in music/BA in CS
Initially, he did not like the idea of a BA in music. At some schools a BA seems to be designed for non-performers (for example, the BA in music offered at Northwestern and the one at BU). At other places it seems like a “consolation price” (Rice students cannot apply to a BA. The BA is open only to BM students that no longer want a BM).
In other places, the double major option is perfect. The Blair school of music at Vanderbilt offers a Bachelors in Musical Arts that focuses on performance and is flexible enough to allow him to double major in CS.
UMichigan, also offers a BMA in performance and Rochester offers a BA in music, both of them focus on performance and are designed for students who want to do coursework outside the music school.
BA in CS/MINOR in music
BU offers a Minor in Music Performance and USC offers a Minor in Musical Studies that focus on performance. Students take private lessons, participate in ensembles, and study music theory etc. They are clearly designed for students with substantive music training. Both schools would be great for CS. But we are not sure what to think about the fact that music is only a minor. I guess he can take more music classes if he wants?
For a safety school we were looking into UIUC (ok music and top CS) but then noticed that the admissions rate for CS is separate and way too low to be a safety. We then looked at Indiana (music is amazing, CS is ok). Colorado at Boulder seems to be ok for both music and CS. Any other suggestions?
I would welcome any comments about anything I said. But my main questions is: can anyone suggest more schools like Vanderbilt and Rochester? Schools that offer a BA in music designed for kids who want to focus on performance and flexible enough to allow kids to double major?
One last thing. I am totally new to CC. I started reading CC a few weeks ago. So I would also welcome comments regarding where or how to post my question so that I reach the relevant audience. Thanks!