Questions for Coaches and/or Music Directors

<p>Hey folks --</p>

<p>I'm writing up something about how to make a campus visit useful for a group of students that is pretty clueless about choosing colleges. My current son didn't have a need to meet with a coach or music director (though later children will!) Do you have any advice for questions a student ought to ask a college coach or music director before they decide on a college if they are into sports or music? Anything you wish you'd asked?</p>

<p>Thanks so much!!!!!
Huguenot Mom</p>

<p>Well, these are the questions I'd ask a potential music director:</p>

<p>-What kinds of groups do you offer? (ie jazz ensembles vs. Chamber want to be able to do fun music along with the classics!)
-Do you have to be a music major in order to participate in these groups?
-What types of traveling do you do? Are these trips mandatory, and are the professors willing to deal with those who attend? (basically, will it greatly hurt your grades to travel with the group?)
-How often do you rehearse and for how long? (You dont' want to be spending ALL of your time rehearsing, but you don't want to NEVER rehearse either.)</p>

<p>Those types of questions are good ones to ask. I don't know about coaches since I'm not an athlete, but I'm an avid choir participant. :)</p>

<p>OH. Another good one: do you offer help to students who need remedial theory help? (often colleges expect you to just know the theory and don't spend much time ((if any)) teaching it.)</p>

<p>-What are the practice facilities? Are practice rooms open to all/only majors/only those enrolled in certain courses? Are they open 24 hours? May students have keys? </p>

<p>-If the instrument is something student won't bring with him (eg, drum kit), what is available?</p>

<p>-Which groups/bands are auditioned into? Which are open? </p>

<p>Is the student planning on a Music major? If not:
-What are the prereqs to take studio classes? Are theory course required?
-Are private lessons for credit? available to non-majors?
-Are there extra charges for studio courses? private lessons?</p>

<p>Several of these questions can, and maybe should, be addressed to the Music Dept. secretary, especially if the student does plan a Music major and may want to talk about more substantive, "professional" things with the Music Director.</p>

<p>My S has music as a side interest, not his major, so these questions which he had are more directed that way.</p>

<p>Those are a wonderful help, jmmom and HisGrace!</p>

<p>Anyone have any questions they asked or wished they'd asked coaches?</p>

I think the reason you aren't getting a big response from athletes and parents is that the conversations would be so different depending on the school, the sport and the athlete involved. Will you be meeting with one coach for the entire group to ask general questions about sports at the school? Or will specific athletes meet with coaches for their particular sport? </p>

<p>If you tell us the sports of interest to your kids, and the level of competition (DI-DIII or NAIA?), I'll bet you will get some specific question suggestions.</p>

<p>Give us a little more information.</p>

<p>It's a little different with sports/coaches. I'm assuming these won't be recruited athletes, but just students who like to play and are curious what their options might be in college?</p>

<p>In that case, they should ask about walk-on policies for non-recruits. What sort of times, scores, ranks, etc. would be expected of a walk-on athlete in _____ sport? What is the time committment in terms of practice, competition, fund-raising? What are the academic requirements for kids to be able to participate? Are there intramural sports in addition to varsity? How are the intramurals organized?</p>

<p>A student who isn't up-to-speed on the recruiting process, but who is a strong enough athlete that there may be an opening there, should do some research ahead of time by going to the college's athletic page on the website and learn about the team. Teams come in a huge range of abilities, so a student who's not already being sought after by big Division 1 programs, may well be quite the catch to a less strong program at a Div 1, 2, or 3 school, or NAIA. They can find out about the level of performance of a college's team by doing a little research ahead of time. If they feel they could contribute significantly to a certain school's program, the should send their stats (both athletic and academic) to the coach ahead of the visit, and make an appointment to meet individually with him/her.</p>

<p>Those meetings are generally informal and not like admissions interviews or anything to get too nervous about or dressed up for. They are more like conversations where information is shared, etc.</p>

<p>Riverrunner raises a good question about someone meeting with a larger group of students rather than a personal meeting with a specific coach. Perhaps the athletic director, or more likely a representative for the AD, could speak to a group about the different teams, varsity and intramural, campus facilities (gym, indoor/outdoor track, pool, athletic fields, etc.) and broader questions of that sort.</p>

<p>Most of the music specific questions mentioned by others are normally detailed on a school's music department/school website, and I would urge those interested to read the online info in detail before the visit.</p>

<p>In addition to the points already made, consider</p>

<p>-lessons for non majors: available with faculty, TA/GA's, or grad students?<br>
Are these at additional cost/shorter duration for non-majors? For under<br>
represented instruments (harp, tuba, bassoon, viola, guitar, period<br>
instruments) is there the potential of a local instructor if school does not
have faculty or adjuncts?</p>

<p>-Are scholarships available for non music majors? Many schools offer small
scholarships even for non majors for ensemble participation committment.</p>

<p>-Consortium/cross registration opportunities for music? Many smaller schools
will allow/encourage students to seek ensemble/lessons at a member school<br>
through cross registration.</p>

<p>-Level of peers- Many students play at a conservatory level or above and
choose not to pursue music as a major or minor, but will want to maintain<br>
their "chops". The peer quality is an important factor; lower level students<br>
can benefit by playing with a higher level of peers, but a player used to<br>
playing at a high level will often be frustrated with a lower level of expertise.
In this case, ask about involvement in community/amateur local ensembles<br>
who often play at a semi pro/professional level.</p>

<p>-Is secure instrument storage/locker assignment available to non music<br>

<p>-If the talent warrants, are there college and community gig opportunities offered<br>
through the music department?</p>

<p>Hi folks --</p>

<p>Thanks so much for your help!! Let me give you a little more information. I'm writing an article to help homeschoolers make their campus visits more useful in choosing a college. Many, many homeschoolers are serious musicians and quite a few are serious athletes in sports like swimming and golf. We do have a statewide homeschool basketball league that cooperates with and whose teams play against those of the private school league. We do see students recruited, particularly at our statewide tournament.</p>

<p>Mainly, though the students I'm addressing would be individual students making their own contacts and visits with colleges they are interested in. They may be scholarship quality athletes and musicians. They do not, however, have a guidance counselor. That means sometimes they need some help knowing how to work within the process.</p>

<p>I feel very comfortable helping them with the academic recruiting side - we've done that - but I'd like to give them some ideas of questions they should be asking and things they should be looking at with regards to music and sports.</p>

<p>Hey, and it'll help me when my music- and sports-loving children graduate, too. Bonus!</p>

<p>Thank you so much for your help!</p>

<p>Huguenot Mom</p>

<p>huguenot- PM or email BassDad. He authored a thread on the music major forum which is invalueable for anyone considering serious music major studies at the college/conservatory level. <a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>He may well be inclined to allow you to use all or portions of it. </p>

<p>You may also mentioned I suggested you PM him.</p>

<p>'rentof2's advice is right on target with general questions and concerns any athlete should have as they look for a match in college.</p>

<p>My D's best resource for shopping programs was her current (high school) coach who gave her a very specific and insightful list of questions to ask potential coaches. Often before visits he would sit down with her to see what that particular program's reputed strengths were, how competitive they were, and try to figure out how she might fit on that team. </p>

<p>You might encourage homeschoolers to have coffee with their coach to help shorten the list of colleges, and understand how a conversation with a college coach might go. </p>

<p>First steps for any high school athlete (home schooled or not) is research on line to find appropriate matches, and then email contact to coaches with brag sheet including academic and athletic accomplishments.</p>

<p>Taking riverrunner's sound advice on using coachs as a prime source of initial info and converting it to a music perspective, prime sources of expertise, industry knowledge are</p>

<p>-private discipline instructors in instrumental, vocal, music theater/acting
-youth symphony conductors/directors, choral directors, faith based music directors
-serious amateur, semi-pro, professional and retired professional musicians
-friends, family, associates with a child having gone through the process.</p>

<p>If one of the students is pretty serious about his or her instrument, and plays at a high (not necessarily conservatory!) level, it's good to get in touch with the music dept. in advance of the school visit to see if it's possible to audition. This can be a nice plus for the student in the overall admissions process, whether or not the student is a prospective music major, as in most places, non-music majors are needed in orchestras/bands/vocal ensembles. Even so, the possiblity of an audition may not, in fact, be listed on the regular admissions website, but available through the music dept. Also, if the student has tapes or CD's, it's nice to take one along, nicely labeled, along with info about the student, to give the music director if he or she would like it.</p>

<p>You guys are a tremendous help! Thanks, ViolaDad for the referral to BassDad's thread. Wow! What a fantastic source of information. I can think of some students right now I'm going to point to his thread.</p>

<p>You may want to browse around more on the music majors pages- there's a lot of great info. and experienced folks there- including bassdad and violadad! Has been a sanity saver during this application/audition season.</p>

<p>ask if most student athletes at their college graduate in 4 or 5 years. </p>

<p>if a non-revenue sport, ask about funding for the team when they travel. are meals and snacks provided, etc., etc.?</p>

<p>Thanks, Condor, I wouldn't have thought of that!</p>