Important for undergraduates to be at music school w/ a graduate program?

<p>I'm looking at both small, undergraduate liberal arts schools with great music programs as well as larger university music schools that offer programs to both undergraduate and upper-level graduate/doctoral music students. The pros that the smaller music schools advertise are more individual attention, less (or no) competition with graduate students, and focus on the undergraduates. The pros of the larger university setting would be access to professors who work with the higher-level students (which could possibly translate into higher-caliber teaching?), connections with people already in the music scene, and higher-level ensembles on campus.</p>

<p>Does anyone have an opinion about which is more valuable to an undergraduate music student- focus on the undergraduates or proximity to the graduates? Thanks!</p>

<p>I think the question is too broad. It is hard to make generalities since schools vary on their treatments. You need to check out the specifics on the schools you are looking at and figure out if it suits you.. </p>

<p>What about the teacher you would have? Do you know studio assignments yet? I think that is the more important question. Have you had any sample lessons and discussions re your own goals with anyone at the schools? Can you visit again and get questions answered?</p>

<p>DD enjoys being with the graduate students at Rice. She feels she learns a lot from them since they play/sing together in ensembles and in studio. They do seem to provide opportunities for both undergrad and graduate.</p>

<p>Agree that it is pretty school specific. A program with a heavy grad to undergrad ratio might limit some participation in higher level ensembles, featured spots, or even access to certain instructors. It might also limit some funding for undergrads if a bulk of the talent momey is going to grad students.</p>

<p>The benefit of playing with high quality peers and more experienced students tends to work in favor of developing musicians, as many are constantly trying to play up to the level of those around them.</p>

<p>A lot will depend on the mindset of the school, department. There are widely disparate atmospheres at different schools/studios... some foster very competitive atmospheres, many are more cooperative and there is more peer to peers support between grads and undergrads.</p>

<p>I think I will 3rd that thought.</p>

<p>D is one of 2 undergrads in a studio with 6 grad students. The down side is that when she came in as a freshman, she put a lot of pressure on herself to become as good as the grad students around her by the end of sophomore year (and that was a hard year for her.) The up side is that she did. I would say that having lots of grad students in the studio were the #2 factor which convinced her to go here. #1 factor was the teacher.</p>

<p>Here's a neat trick to help you figure out where you feel comfortable. Go to a studio class, recital or somewhere where you can hear the seniors when you visit the school. Is that how you'd like to be playing in 4 years? If so, good match. If you think that doesn't seem like 4 years from now, but more like 2 or maybe 3 years ahead, then look for a studio with grad students. I think it has a lot to do with maturity (as a person, not necessarily as a musician) and comfort level with your own playing and playing with adults. Only you can decide where you fit.</p>

<p>I've had sample lessons with teachers at both types of schools, and there are a couple from both types that I really liked. So it sounds like studying alongside graduates is generally a plus, unless the atmosphere is too competitive. And I like the idea of sitting in on a master class to see the level of the seniors; I haven't done such a thing yet. Thanks for your advice, everyone.</p>