Rejected from summer programs. What's plan B?

<p>I'm a high school sophomore with aspirations to major in vocal performance. I applied to Interlochen VSS and Tanglewood YAVP this winter, and unfortunately, I did not get in to either one (I got in to Interlochen VAO, but I'm not going to go) :( </p>

<p>I had a bad gut feeling from the start - my audition CD was not as good as it could have been, but we waited until the last minute to record it - so lesson learned for next year. Plus, I'm still 15. Tanglewood told me the average age was 17. I've already improved a lot since I recorded my auditions. I am a finalist for Classical Singer, and I got first place soprano in my district for solo and ensemble, and I know I wouldn't have received these honors if I didn't have potential, so I know I can achieve my goals, and hopefully get in next year. After the Interlochen rejection a couple weeks ago, I expected the Tanglewood rejection. I also applied for Oberlin (decision next week) and I'm going to submit for BoCo and probably Eastman within the next couple of weeks, with a new and better tape. I also am looking at the program at University of British Columbia - however, the program is non audition so I'm a tiny bit skeptical. It is convenient for my family, however. (any opinions on that, on a side note? University</a> of British Columbia Summer Music Institute - Vocal Workshop if anyone knows anything about the program or faculty, do tell!)</p>

<p>Now that I'm looking at 2 to 3 weeks max away from home, I have a lot of time to do work at home. I know for a fact I'm going to spend a lot of time working on piano and theory, and my parents are making me prep for SATs. I'm thinking I might try and take a class in Italian. I also have time to work on building repertoire and technique with my teacher, instead of always working on specific audition or competition pieces. </p>

<p>For those of you that have children that stayed home or went to short programs before junior year, what did your child do at home during the summer? What kinds of things can I do that will be beneficial to my development? I would really love to get in to a longer competitive program before my senior year. I want to try and recreate some of the learning experiences I would have received in a program at home this summer. Also, how did families that experienced summer program rejection deal with it in your household? </p>

<p>Sorry for my excessive talking, been thinking about this all day! Thanks a bunch everyone :)</p>

<p>My son did two short workshops (jazz) in the summers before 9th and 10th. When he wasn't at those, he participated in a community jazz workshop and we also threw in a family vacation for 2 weeks. But sometimes the community workshops are great and really relaxed - his was mainly with adult musicians but they accepted him just fine. Really, anything you can do to practice your craft will be beneficial.</p>

<p>I'm thinking that you have the drive to be successful ... keep taking steps to improve yourself as you're describing and you will be. As a classical vocalist, your voice will continue to improve over the years with the right teachers and practice. Since you're only a sophomore, don't stress yourself out about not getting into some of these highly competitive summer programs. Take any opportunity that does come your way as a stepping stone to the next. If you're already getting recognition, other things WILL fall into place.</p>

<p>Elite programs are always a risk, so we've talked about the possibility and have seen it happen to others. Last year my daughter went away only for 4 weeks instead of the usual 8, which meant that she was teacher-less for over 8 weeks. She used the time to work on developing independence as a musician. It may be different in voice, but as an instrumentalist, this was critical for her. She also used the time to work on keyboard skills. She was only able to have 5 piano lessons, but with some focused practicing she was able to pass into the 2nd year piano class when she got to her conservatory as a freshman in the fall. So that was time well-spent for someone who had no keyboard background save a few casual lessons at age 9. She also used the time to read-- she developed a reading list and worked her way through it. As a conservatory student, you don't get much opportunity to read or take literature classes :( so this was a great opportunity. In your shoes, as a sophomore, it might we worthwhile to take piano lessons (if you don't already), work on language skills (necessary for all singers), and theory (which you will need to take in college, so why not aim to pass out of the earlier courses.) Plus, you will get to spend quality time with friends from home.</p>

<p>In addition to some of the great ideas already suggested, my kids have also spent summer times doing volunteer work they didn't have time for during the year: taking driver education classes, SAT prep, taking local nonmusic workshops (building an adirondack chair), pursuing hobbies like hiking or photography, working through a list of classic movies they wanted to watch, and taking on some of a teacher's music students as a summer substitute. Sometimes, planned downtime can revitalize you in surprising ways.</p>

<p>My daughter wants to spend Summer 2012 at a US university summer theatre
program. We live in London, but are US citizens. She will have just finished
her sophomore year in 2012.</p>

<p>Can you recommend some top summer theatre programs that will take "rising
juniors"? Also, how competitive are these programs to get in and do they
require auditions? She is a pretty good actress and has done courses here at
RADA, Central School, etc.</p>

<p>Thanks,</p>

<p>JackUK, You might want to post this in the theater or Musical theater areas.</p>

<p>Imthinking, I am curious as to why you won't go to Interlochen VAO? Perhaps it's money reasons, that's understandable. It it's because you suspect that it's not worth your while, then I believe you may want to re-consider.</p>

<p>My D chose VAO over Tanglewood YAVP because she wanted to continue piano study in addition to voice. Result: she studied with both a wonderful voice teacher and piano teacher, and made great progress in both. She also studied theory with fine instructor. She performed in several choral performances, but also sang solo in the honors recital. It was the first time she ever had the opportunity to be completely immersed in music, she didn't even have any time to read a book. The experience helped her to decide to attend a conservatory, even though she had always thought she would want to dual major in an academic subject. And, she ended up improving her SAT score considerably, after spending the summer doing music only.</p>

<p>That said, this was all the summer before her senior year. Don't fret if you don't end up going somewhere special for the summer. You can continue to make progress at home. Good luck to you, and don't get discouraged!</p>

<p>Besides the other great suggestions, one I can think of is to take the time you have to listen to music, recorded (or even better, live), start listening to the music you hope to go into (actually,might be great to listen to all kinds, from opera to jazz and beyond). There are opera performances on DVD if you can't get there, but listen, it helps build up your ear to what good vocal performances sound like and get you familiar with the rep. A lot of aspiring musicians I think shortchange that side of things, listening to music, doing things like reading scores and so forth, and it is valuable. During the school year you probably don't have the time to do those kind of things.</p>

<p>My S is a sophomore vocalist. We can't afford any of the residential summer programs so here are his plans ( I also have a D in college majoring in musical theater so her summers were similar): Volunteer at a two week theater camp sponsored by his performing arts high; 2 sets of weekly vocal lessons - 1 with classical teacher and 1 with MT coach; piano lessons; performing in 1 or 2 youth musicals; attending a week-long vocal day camp to prepare for our All-State competition; and attending community college for dual credit Economics class. Whew!!! I didn't think it sounded that busy until I wrote it all down. </p>

<p>Next year, we're hoping to be able to afford to send him to a vocal camp. He's looking at Oberlin, Eastman, Baldwin-Wallace or Washington Opera, but he's got plenty of time. We're not pushing anything because we know, as a boy and a bass/baritone, his voice is still developing and will continue until well into his twenties. Plenty of time just to have fun right now (which is why he does MT).</p>

<p>Just a few suggestions - the Impulse summer two week program at University of Michigan is excellent - as is the summer 2 week program at Western Michigan University - Seminar. They still have openings on a select basis - so I think it would be worth looking into. Western is 1/2 the price as U of M, both are great two week experiences.</p>

<p>Lots of really great ideas so far, so thanks a bunch! Also, thanks everyone for your encouraging and supportive words. I had a couple tears when I found out about VSS, but I actually feel fine now - I'm actually excited about what the summer might hold! Hopefully I'll be able to do one or two weeks away, and I'll do community college classes, and maybe just have some downtime. Of course, I want to learn and improve over the summer, but part of my wanting to go away is the social aspect, because during the summer, I stay at home all by myself all day, and I have close to no methods of leaving my house because of my circumstances. Maybe I'll read! I was really looking forward to focusing on singing this summer, so I still want to do that.</p>

<p>@Sopranomom92, Thanks for your response, and by no means am I discouraged, because I know I'm getting better! Part of me wants to go to Interlochen and experience that "magic" everyone talks about, but my neither my parents nor my voice teacher are sold on the VAO program. Our understanding is that the program has a heavy choral emphasis, and while I enjoy singing with choirs, I prefer solo work. Did your daughter work on solo repertoire while at VAO with her private teacher? I'm the type of person that hates the outdoors, and while I'm not crazy about Interlochen's rules, I would be willing to live with them for the program. It sounds like such an amazing, life changing place. The idea of paying $8,000 to sing in a choir for 6 weeks wasn't too appealing, but I'm tempted to reconsider. At the same time, my father made it clear at the beginning of my application process that he would rather spend the money raising my SAT scores than anything else, because that is really important to him. We'll see how it goes.. Fingers crossed for the rest of these programs. Maybe I'll ask for an extension from Interlochen.</p>

<p>My son is wait-listed by Tanglewood. He plays piano. I don't know what is the chance for the wait list. He needs to apply for another summer camp now. Most likely the International Institute for Young Musicians.</p>

<p>there are still some summer vocal programs out there that are open.....Eastman, BC, tampa, Rollins, etc., etc.</p>

<p>If you were planning on a summer program, just keep applying! There are plenty of alternatives the the two well-known ones you started with...</p>

<p>Plan Bs sometimes work out even better than you imagined!</p>

<p>I would encourage you not to write off the UBC program merely because it has open admissions. UBC has a strong school of music and, while I don't have any first or second-hand knowledge of the summer vocal program, I have heard others rave about UBC's other summer music programs. The Canadian democratic egalitarian ideal means that Canadian programs in all disciplines (non-musical and musical) are more open than comparable US programs (e.g. McGill and UBC have far higher world rankings among universities than American schools which are anywhere close to them in terms of non-selectivity/openness--in other words, the American schools which come close to McGill and UBC in world rankings are far far more selective about their student bodies). </p>

<p>You would almost certainly encounter a broader range of talent among your unauditioned UBC summer peers than at an auditioned program, but there will still be very fine peers there too. In a summer program, the instructors, the program structure and the overall climate/feel are probably more important than the peer level. My son has attended very selective, somewhat selective, and non-selective summer programs; the amount of growth that he experienced as a musician did not necessarily correlate with the programs' degrees of selectivity; i.e. one highly selective programs just wasn't a wonderful learning experience (while another was) and one non-selective program was a hugely enriching experience.</p>

<p>Thanks everyone! Always so helpful! I already had BoCo VCI and Eastman on my list to apply to, and I added Tampa which sounds like a pretty good program. If these don't work out, I can always go to UBC, or maybe NYSMF (If anyone knows about NYSMF for vocalists, also do tell - it kind of sounds like a pretty great experience though). I might even be able to go to more than one program, which might be pretty cool. My parents are so sick of me applying to all these places! I have two non-audition programs that look decent now, so I think I'm good to go :) I can't attend a lot of places because I'm not available until after June 25. Still crossing my fingers for the Oberlin program :/ but I'm a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, and what happens happens. It is all a learning experience, right? I'm pretty optimistic about my summer.</p>

<p>ImThinking- were you waitlisted or rejected for Tanglewood?</p>

<p>My son is just accepted to Tanglewood.</p>

<p>I applied to more programs (BOCO, Walnut Hill, Tampa, Oberlin) and was waitlisted for Oberlin, but i got in to Walnut Hill!!!! I'm so excited to go :) waiting on Tampa and boco still. I'll also go to tampa if I get in. Everything works out for the best - I get to go to an additional national competition this summer I couldn't have gone to with interlochen or tanglewood, I get to go on my dream trip to Italy, and I might even get to attend more than one program!</p>

<p>Great attitude, ImThinking. Congrats on getting into Walnut Hill. Work hard and play hard and have a great summer.</p>