MM in voice performance with this undergraduate degree?

<p>Hello, I am a sophomore in high school and our school counselors are already pressuring us to find a college. :P The school I have my heart most set on does not have a very large music program, and while the faculty is accomplished the only degree is a BA in sacred music, concentrating on voice or organ. Would I be able to persue an MM in voice performance with only a BA in sacred music, or would I need to find another school to get a BM in voice performance? The school I am looking at has everything I could possibly want in a school otherwise and I don't want to have to see my opportunities cut off because of the label stamped on my degree.</p>

<p>You should be fine, providing that you get good vocal training at the school and that you have the necessary talent to pursue an advanced degree. I know of several young people who are in VP Masters degree programs who have the undergrad degree you are looking at.
That said, you still have time, so do look at other schools and other degree options to give yourself options.</p>

<p>I agree with Mezzo'sMama. Both my teacher and my former teacher's sister went to the University of Wisconsin and got BAs in unrelated majors while taking piano lessons and then went on to get their MMs at the Manhattan School of Music, with one of them also getting a DMA there. Just continue working hard through college. It's about your own personal work ethic and how good your teacher is.</p>

<p>This is great news then, because I want to pursue performance but the school I was looking at is perfect for me otherwise, so I'm glad to have this dilemma sorted out. So admission to graduate programs is based on the quality of your audition, and the undergrad degree is not entirely important? </p>

<p>The school I'm looking at expects graduates of the sacred music program to perform on their instrument (in my case, voice) with professional ability, so assuming I am industrious in my work (and this should not be a problem since I am so passionate about singing and performance) I should be able to be admitted into a graduate program (assuming successful audition), am I correct?</p>

<p>In theory, yes. In practice, particularly if you are a soprano, the competition for those places in grad school is fierce. Note that I am not saying a BM in performance would necessarily prepare you any better than a BA in sacred music. Rather, that auditions are inherently an uncertain process and that you are likely to be auditioning against some very talented people for a limited number of spots. A lot depends on where you apply, how many places are open that year and who else is auditioning. So, while you should be able to be admitted if you work hard and have a successful audition, there is no way of telling whether you will be admitted because of factors that are beyond your control. Talent and hard work are usually necessary but rarely sufficient.</p>

<p>I'm a low baritone steadily developing (I'm only 16 so my voice is still developing, though I got through the constantly cracking voice phase around 13-14 so it's a steady, less awkward transition) into a bass; those educated in this field have informed me that my voice is developing into that of an actual bass. How fierce is the competition in that field?</p>

<p>Again, not a singer, but true basses are rare. Almost everyone's a baritone. Real tenors are also very uncommon. To quote a professor my dad overheard at a college audition, "if you're a tenor, you're in!" That may be an oversimplification but basses have that same smaller amount of competition but at the graduate level they're probably less willing to overlook a lack of quality in an audition than at the undergraduate level, so continuing your hard work is vital.</p>

<p>At the age of 16, I wouldn't bet good money on the fact that chanteur is going to be a bass. Basses aren't common and to limit a young voice to strictly that rep is to do it a disservice- every singer needs a good, solid middle,a strong bottom and a secure top with as much reach as one can comfortably get. While at this point in time someone may guess that you will eventually settle into the bass range, it's too early to tell. You simply haven't had enough time or training to confirm that. If you're in a chorus, they will push the guys with the "heavier" voices down to the B(bass) line, just as the sopranos with lower extensions will move to the Alto part. Doesn't have much bearing on anything elsewhere. So don't concern yourself about "competition in that field" right now; get the best possible training, choose your colleges to apply to and see what transpires.
As for getting the undergrad degree in Sacred Music and a Masters in VP- if that's what you want, go for it. It's actually more common now than you would expect, BassDad!</p>

<p>Forgot to point out that it's very likely that a student with an undergrad degree in Sacred Music will have a lot to catch up on if they decide to pursue a Masters Degree in VP. There will be music theory, music history, languages (up to three) and diction classes, all of which can add an extra year onto the two year program. Just something to keep in mind....</p>

<p>The college I am looking at requires courses in those areas for this major, so I am at least mostly covered there.</p>

<p>@chanteur- While you may well have some classes in those areas, they may not be of the level that will allow you to test out of theory in a good Masters program. Also, you'll need to have Italian, French and German as well as diction classes of equivalent quality- and all of this is to be determined by the administration at the graduate school you'll be attending. Quite a number of students with BM degrees in VP will find themselves taking some of those classes in grad school too, so there is no stigma attached to it, and there is no stigma attached to it.
If you want to PM me with a link to the school you are considering, I can take a look to see what might be of use later on and where any potential gaps might be and also figure out what you might be able to take while in HS that could be suitable to enable you to make use of AP or placement testing.</p>

<p>Chanteur, I just have a question and want to play devil's advocate for a minute, since you have lots of time yet to think about this.</p>

<p>If you know that you want to study voice at a masters level, you must be pretty committed to a path towards becoming a professional musician.</p>

<p>Why on earth would you limit yourself to one school to which to apply, and what on earth would make it "perfect" for you if it doesn't even offer the type of degree that would best serve your vocation?</p>

<p>Please be sure to find, list, apply to and audition at a full RANGE of college music programs, and to visit same while you can. That way you will have lots of options from which to choose, including possibly better financial options via scholarships.</p>

<p>And then, if after doing that direct research, comparing curriuculae, teachers, track records, onsite environments, etc., you still prefer the school with no BMUS degree, go for it and be prepared to fill in the gaps that MezzosMama has pointed out to you.</p>

<p>Best wishes in your search!</p>