Only five classes Senior Year?

<p>Is this a big mistake? My D is trying to figure out which classes to take next year. Only taking five classes is very tempting as it would allow extra time for practicing...here is the current list.</p>

<p>Wind Ensemble
AP Calculus
Honors French
AP English
AP Comparative Government</p>

<p>No science because she has already taken bio, chemistry and physics and the remaining classes don't interest her. Also, 3 AP's and an Honors class seems like a lot of homework already for a year that is going to involve lots of playing, taping prescreenings, traveling to schools and auditioning. Another possibility would be AP Music Theory, but this might just be padding because probably she already knows most of the content. So she is disinclined to take that one.</p>

<p>What are your opinions? To your knowledge, are students not considered if they take fewer than six classes in a semester? She is considering applying to rigorous academic colleges with schools of music.</p>

<p>I recently went through this same issue with my son who was considering high level academic universities with good music departments. I ended up calling the admissions officers of the schools we were interested in and asked them the question directly. Every school I called immediately put an admissions officer on the phone which was somewhat surprising. All were exceedingly nice. After the first three calls, I got the message. Every admissions officer stated that their schools are academic institutions and that they expect their students to take a rigorous academic schedule in the senior year rather than "slacking off." We debated whether this was the company line or if it was indeed true. Of course, this was not the greatest news to hear but my son decided that he didn't want to ease up his load during senior year and then face rejection from the schools he wanted with the regret that if only he had taken one more solid class he would have been accepted. Now that the first semester is done, we feel very sure that we did the right thing. Even he gets rejected in the next few months, we know that we did everything we could. No regrets.</p>

<p>I'm currently a high school senior and before realizing the amount of time that would be necessary for me to practice I had planned on taking three APs - Spanish Language, English Literature, and Calculus BC. After visiting Eastman, BoCo, Oberlin and NEC, I decided to crack down on practicing and cut back on my schoolwork. As it now stands, I'm only in AP Spanish, while also taking Orchestra, one literature class a semester, music theory/government (switched off at the semester mark), Piano Practice Independent Study, and Environmental Science/Anatomy & Physiology. This not only allowed me plenty more practice time but has also given me an easy grade boost. With three music classes and no math I still managed to get the University of Iowa academically (with no scholarship) before I could audition at their music school. I realize it's no Ivy, but it shows that if your intended major is music and you have National Honor Society level grades (even at the lower end of that spectrum, like me) you can still get into a mildly selective Big 10 school like that. I also received a $2000/year academic scholarship known as the Cincinnatus Scholarship at CCM although I haven't auditioned yet, so I don't have an admission decision from them. In addition, I applied to Ball State University as an undecided major just in case I didn't get in anywhere musically and they also accepted me with a $2000/year scholarship. I'm also about to audition at Lawrence, where based on my high school classmates' acceptances (I live in a suburb of Milwaukee, so my school produces many Lawrentians, from both the conservatory and the college) I should reasonably expect to get in academically. I hope this provides some insight into the amount of "slacking off" you can do to still go where you want.</p>

<p>My senior year, I took 4 AP classes at school and 2 non-AP classes, so 6 total. Plus, I did another AP as a self-study course, so I ended up taking 5 AP exams. It was a lot with that and practicing, but I think it looked pretty impressive to colleges. I have a really good scholarship here, fairly higher than average- my admission counselor said it was because of the combination of great grades/numerous rigorous classes and my audition that they don't always see.</p>

<p>Start with those 3 APs, and if it seems like too much, drop one. Just know when you can drop and change into non-AP classes at her school. If she already knows most of what's taught in AP Music Theory, then that class could be easy but still look good having that AP. However, if she does take that and takes the exam, some schools still do not give credit to music majors for AP Music Theory- some still end up taking the class, even if they got a 5 on the exam. My school does not accept AP Music Theory for music majors- they'd still have to take the placement test if they wanted to attempt to test out of it (which hardly anyone does here- they just rarely let anyone out of theory here- even make transfer students re-take theory that they took at their previous college).</p>

<p>I would call the schools that might interest her. Some also post their academic requirements on their web page. Some do not like to see just 3 sciences if they are rigorous academic schools. Music students usually have to meet the minimum. I would drop an AP and pick up a science if the workload seems too much, or add the AP music theory for the easy grade. You do not have to take the AP test in a lot of HSs.</p>

<p>Is there any she could take even if not the thing that interests her but might be fun or easy? It does not have to be AP. DD had only 1 higher level IB course and one lower level her senior year. She got into everywhere she applied including Rice and had academic scholarships at most even without the very top SAT/ACT and grades.</p>

<p>It will definately depend on the school. Have your D look at the requirements at some of the schools she is interested in. When my D went for her first visit to Rice, the admissions people questioned why she was taking so many AP classes (3 senior year, and no science class). They said, drop at least one and use the time for practicing. My D didn't, but she felt better about not taking a science. </p>

<p>There is a similar discussion going on a different thread. In general, there are three types of music schools... at the first, the audition means everything (mostly conservatories) and students just need to meet a bare minimum for grades/SAT scores. At the next, the audition means ALOT and the music teacher can fight to get a student in, as long as their courses/grades/test scores are within reason (Rice, CMU) and the third, a student needs to be independently accepted to the University as well as the music program (Northwestern).</p>

<p>It is important that your daughter know which types of schools she is looking at when choosing her classes.</p>

<p>Flute1298: I sent in a prescreen to Northwestern and although I didn't pass, I was told on my visit/lesson there that it falls more into the second category you listed than the third. I have a 3.6 GPA and a 28 ACT and I wasn't at any point told not to apply, just that for me to get in I'd have to really wow them at the audition to make up for my only above average credentials instead of the exemplary ones needed to get in there. A better example of your third category, surprisingly, would be the University of Iowa, where I had to be accepted to the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences before I could even fill out a School of Music application.</p>

<p>My son is currently a freshman at CIM. Last year he only took 4 classes: AP english, AP gov't, AP calculus, and geoscience. He was accepted everywhere he applied, which included Northwestern, NEC, Indiana (honors program) and Univ Md (also honors program). He was also offered merit scholarships everywhere (yes even at Northwestern, although is was not a large amount). His academic classes are through Case Western, and they gave him 24 credit hours for 7 of his 9 AP classes, which covered his entire academic requirement for graduation. SAT scores were on the low side for Northwestern, GPA 4.2. Obviously only taking 4 classes his senior year did not hurt him, but he did have a strong academic background otherwise.</p>

<p>No it's fine I have 5 electives all band and was still accepted to FSU, USC, and UF for music.</p>

<p>Acemcdill, when you say USC do you mean the University of South Carolina or the University of Southern California?</p>

<p>CLRN8MOM, I was about to ask the same thing. I assume University of South Carolina since thats the ORIGIONAL and OLDEST USC. East of the Mississippi and south of the Mason Dixon line South Carolina is the ONLY college known as "USC". We pretty much have that other USC set on "ignore". South Carolina would also be more similar of a school to FSU and UF than the USC in California.</p>

<p>Either are fine choices.</p>

<p>Regardless, the classes that are taken senior year are probably the least important as to getting into college. Many colleges make their decisions before they ever see senior year transcripts as students will often apply for college before any senior transcripts are issued. It's the Jr. year that counts the most. Now that said, don't blow off the senior year because a lot of acceptance letters clearly state that the acceptance is conditional on recieving satisfactory grades the senior year and in theory the acceptances could be revoked.</p>

<p>As others have said, it depends on the school. If you are talking a conservatory or even some music programs within LAC's (like Bard, Rice from what I hear), it may not be as critical to play the critical mass game with AP's and so forth, it could vary with another school. On the other hand, if you load yourself down with AP's and other rigorous courses, it could mean not getting into the music school, because there the audition is all that matters (put it this way, could be just my experience, but I have never heard of a top level music school who would admit a kid because they had a 4.0 gpa, 8 ap's and a 2000+ sat while their playing ability was not at the top, but I have heard the obverse of that with quite a number of schools.</p>

<p>The other thing to keep in mind is that schools know the rigors of music students, they know that to get to the level to be admitted to top music programs requires a lot of discipline and brain power, and they make allowances for that. Even with all the EC's kids do, even with high school sports and such, there is a difference with music kids, it is a totally different level of commitment and discipline. No school is going to tell a parent who calls "oh, he is a music student? Don't worry about doing well in classes", and to get into programs like a Northwestern or whatever academically is going to require showing good grades and so forth.......but it is also recognized that a kid with 9 ap's and so forth who isn't into music and the kid who is with 4 AP's or whatever are not the same student either, they understand the differences. Put it this way, I know of kids who get into the HYP kind of schools who are music students, and while they are academic achievers they don't generally have quite the work load of non music schools applying, yet many of them get in.......My take would be that music should be the focus, that the level of playing is key if they are going to try and get into music school, and then to take a workload that is rigorous yet allows focusing on the music, and obviously get as good grades as possible. If that means taking less overall AP classes or honors classes, better to do that to focus on the music, because grades and such aren't going to get you into the music school, the audition does that. </p>

<p>For the OP, I wouldn't take AP music theory if your schedule is an issue, it won't really buy you a lot other then giving you exposure to music theory. It may place you into a higher level of music theory once you get into a music school, but quite honestly, I am not even sure how valuable that is, because music theory is taught so differently in different programs, so it may not buy you much. May be better to take the theory track in the music school as it was designed to be taken, prob get more out of it:)</p>

<p>
[quote]
Acemcdill, when you say USC do you mean the University of South Carolina or the University of Southern California?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Might it be useful if we had a sticky thread that listed the common acronyms and abbreviations for colleges that are often (or even occasionally) referred to on this forum? It seems as though, even beyond the USC confusion, there are other times when people posting to the forum are unfamiliar with the acronyms that some of us toss around. For example, if I were new to this subject, I would not know what NEC, CCM, CIM, CMU, CCC, etc. stood for. In fact, if you go to <a href="http://www.nec.edu%5B/url%5D"&gt;www.nec.edu&lt;/a>, you get the site for New England College.</p>

<p>Think about adding an independent study - the best ones help the academic/music teachers accomplish department objectives such as working out a procedure for proving out and then helping the music technology class use a new editing program. etc.
Others could be a history one - focused on music if you want ( maybe even a history of the local music in your area). Also maybe an advanced piano class focusing on jazz techniques.</p>

<p>There are so many options. Speak with a teacher whom you know well for their ideas. Independent studies are usually very flexible in scheduling so that helps a lot with the senior schedule and carving out practice time. It also looks good on the college transcripts - just make sure you schedule it first semester!</p>

<p>PM'ed you. I think this schedule is fine, along with private lessons or whatever other musical learning goes on outside of school.</p>

<p>He meant S Carolina. And he's right, IF you plan to major in music and you consider those programs all of which are great....he's taking 3 band electives, AP Music Theory & AP Psych, Honors English and Honors Eco/Government. He isn't taking any math or science, but he did take AP Calc and AP English last year. UF just offered him a nice scholarship, waiting on the others in terms of music scholarships but he did receive general acceptance to all of them.</p>