how realistic is it for non-Con to have lessons and play in orchestra

<p>My daughter is a very talented violist, but does not want to be double major in Conservatory necessarily. Realistically, what are the chances for her to 1) take lessons from a professor, and 2) be in the orchestra or other ensembles (auditions, assumed)? Since others in the Music forum have suggested trying to take a lesson from someone in the music school/departments, does anyone know how difficult/easy it is to set up a lesson from one of the teachers in the fall as a potential Con applicant? or is this not even an option? Thanks.</p>

<p>@fcrmom - Not knowing the technical skill level of your daughter or her interest in intensive musical training, I can only offer this information:</p>

<p>Being a student at Oberlin with an interest and a passion for music is not rare, and many students thrive on our campus just being around the musical scene and taking advantage of our musical facilities and learning experiences (open access to the conservatory practice rooms, a piano in every residence hall, lessons with a student, ensembles, choirs, jam sessions, ExCos, and more). Depending on your desire for involvement, you can range from casual musical experiences (like finding musicians you’d like to play with and jamming with them one a week to starting a small band or ensemble on your own) to a more involved experience (like a lesson with a student, participating in a non-audition based choral group, or in the [Oberlin</a> College Arts & Sciences Orchestra](<a href=“- YouTube”>- YouTube)) to a dedicated experience (like lessons with a professor, participation in an audition-based ensemble or choir, or pursuit of the musical studies major).</p>

<p>If your daughter is interested in academically pursuing music at Oberlin but not as a double-degree student, there is a [Musical</a> Studies Major](<a href=“Program: Musical Studies - Oberlin College - Acalog ACMS™”>Program: Musical Studies - Oberlin College - Acalog ACMS™) she could consider. That link has all the necessary information and requirements for that major.</p>

<p>I don’t know how to answer your question about setting up a lesson with a professor in the fall; I recommend contacting conservatory admissions for more information about that.</p>

<p>I hope this helps!</p>

<p>I think in terms of lessons with professors, it really depends how much extra time the professors have. I didn’t play viola, but for my instrument I was placed with students (for credit) after auditioning for lessons, even my senior year. I had a very good experience with student teachers and I think most (though not all) generally do. Not knowing how it is for viola, I’d say there’s a chance to get placed with a professor but it may not be extremely high. During orientation or just afterwards, just look out for auditions for secondary lessons (lessons for credit for a non-major instrument are referred to as this). I believe there is a sign-up list on a bulletin board near the con office in Bibbins, and I’ve found that in general, you have to be very pro-active about these things because they aren’t always well advertised.</p>

<p>For the conservatory orchestra, I know of non-con violin students who have played in the last few seats. I think this is because there are so many violin spots, and am not sure what it’s like for viola. It’s worth trying out, though I’m not sure who to talk to about that. Otherwise, there is College Community strings and the college orchestra. Both are not on the same level as conservatory groups, but still offer a chance to play fairly challenging classical music. If your daughter is good, she’ll definitely be able to get into both college groups.</p>

<p>(Answers to your 1 and 2): My D was a high school cellist, now Obie Class of '13, Arts & Sciences, but had no trouble getting into an ensemble/orchestra or signing up for lessons. Get admitted to the College of Arts & Sciences, enroll, and meet people. Opportunities tend to surface, if you are genuinely interested and already a Obie student.</p>

<p>About getting lessons with a professor: it’s a bit of a gamble. It’s not just about how good of a musician you are, but also which professors have time to give additional secondary lessons after taking care of all the majors in their studios, and that changes every semester. I have a few friends who started out in the college taking secondary lessons and later successfully transferred to the con; for their secondary lessons in the college, some were able to study with con professors, while others had been placed with student teachers. So, students in the college can easily be conservatory-caliber and still end up with a student teacher for their lessons.</p>

<p>And the student teachers at Oberlin are extraordinary. My first semester I took piano lessons with a conservatory fourth-year, and she was easily the best teacher I had in twelve years of playing piano. Getting placed with a student teacher is in no way a slight. Just wanted to reinforce that point, because often people are concerned about getting second-class treatment if they’re not taking lessons with a professor, then get to campus and find that’s not the case at all.</p>

<p>I will second quaere. My D had an absoutely fabulous experience with a Con student teacher last year.</p>

<p>Thanks to all of you for your replies.</p>