Trumpet schools and profressors

Hello all! My son is a senior and is getting ready to record his prescreenings. He wants to be a trumpet performance major. The problem is that we can’t seem to narrow down the list of where he wants to apply. I’m hoping that maybe some of you could give me some insight into the schools. Also, as a parent I’m concerned about money so knowing which of these schools are generous with scholarships would be great information. He has been to and worked with the professors at both FSU and Eastman, but is contacting the professors just now trying to build a rapport with them and see if their responses will help narrow down the list as well. Here is the long list in no particular order:

Boston Conservatory

I’ve also heard good things about IU, Oberlin, and UM although he doesn’t seem interested. I won’t pursue them unless someone here thinks there’s a super good reason to.

Also was told that there is a Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL that has a Conservatory of Music that is very small but good and gives full tuition to those accepted. However, I have not really been able to find much info on this school. Anyone know anything?

Thanks in advance!! This process is so anxiety inducing!!!

While he’s looking at CIM, he might want to look at Baldwin-Wallace. Excellent faculty, great facilities and there are some nice scholarship opportunities there.

If you are worried about money, take northwestern off the list. They do not give merit money.

IU is supposed to be pretty good with aid, thought I don’t know what that really means,just have heard that through the grapevine. IU has a strong brass department, or least it did the last I checked, they had members of the chicago symphony teaching there, which has one of the best brass sections in the business. MSM, Juilliard and NEC are problematic with money, their aid is generally tied to need and they aren’t known for giving great aid, on the other hand all three are great programs and it may be worth applying and seeing what happens. Northwestern seems to be the same way, but they again have a great program, and their brass department had at one point people from the Chicago Symphony teaching there, which would be a + in my book.

Boston conservatory from what I have heard is not great with aid, that may change if they merge with Berklee, though I have heard that Berklee isn’t great with aid either (and take that simply for what it is, what I have heard).

Curtis is a free tuition school (they know have a dorm I believe, but I don’t know how that works out in terms of aid) so that is a big draw and obviously Curtis has amazing faculty and students. The downside of Curtis is that it is probably one of the most competitive, if not the most, in the world to get into. If a student gets in it is an amazing place, but I suspect they admit few trumpets each year, if any, so it would be an ultimate reach school:).

UNT has the reputation for giving good money and/or treat a student from outside the state as a Texas native, which makes it pretty affordable from what I have heard.

Another possibility to check out is the Colburn school, it is in LA. The draw there is it is full free ride if you get into the school and a studio, that covers both tuition and room and board. They also have fantastic facilities and is right across the street from the Disney performance hall, where the LA Phil has its home. The downside is that it is a small program, and they probably have one trumpet teachers (I don’t know for certain, my son is a string player) so if it doesn’t work out with the studio you are in, you won’t have much chance to change teachers, plus some kids don’t like that the school is as small as it is (I think it is around 60 kids). It is a tough admit, probably on the level of Juilliard, but is worth a shot if finances are a big issue, and it is well respected.

@trumpetmom730, DS is a sophomore violinist at IU. We are from Canada so our experience is different from most, but PM me if you have any questions. BTW, he loves it there.

What a diverse list. I can see why you might be feeling overwhelmed. Before thinking about $$ I would start by thinking about where your child would be happiest. Do they like cities? Or do they need their green space? Juilliard and MSM are both in NYC, which is not a city that everyone enjoys. Some people find it stressful others love the energy and excitement that comes from living there. Boston is also a city but it is smaller, quieter and a bit less intense. How important is weather such as snow or cold? If you have a child who hates the cold and snow then sending them to Eastman might not be wise? Boston might also be unwise especially if we have a repeat of last winter? Think about short days if you send him up north. Some kids don’t mind the shorter days in winter, others get depressed by it. What about academics? Does your child like and want to take liberal arts classes? What sort of friends does your child seek out? Are they the nerdy types with diverse interests, are they mostly other kids passionate about music, does he like having a variety of friends with a range of interests? What sort of music does he like to play or want to play? Does he want to get an orchestra position post graduation or does he want to be part of a small music group? Is he interested in contemporary music and Jazz as well?

I guess what I am saying is I would try to rank the schools by best “fit” for who your child is and then work to eliminate those that do not seem to be a good fit. Remember that this is just undergrad and there is also the additional stress of moving away from home and being a college student. It is OK to give up prestige in exchange for having a place where your child can excel, grow and become confident and happy. It is also reasonable to choose schools based on ease of getting to and from home.

I can’t speak to the Trumpet side but, regarding the financial aspect, I wanted to add some information to clarify or correct some of the info from previous posts in this thread. All of the following is based on direct information from admissions departments on very recent visits:

Northwestern – Bienen does, in fact, offer merit aid. They’re the only school at Northwestern that does. Northwestern also meets 100% of financial need. And they will stack merit on top of financial.

Rice – meets 100% of financial need and also severely limits the amount of loans they will even let you take to begin with so that means that their “100%” aid is typically more than others. If your household income is less than $80K they won’t even let you take ANY loans.

IU – we were told typical merit aid is 40-60% of tuition, and it’s based on percentage of what you pay so out of state kids actually end up getting more than in-state kids. Music merit is partially tied to HS GPA (as well as audition of course) but the minimum GPA to be considered for merit aid is only 3.0. They also stack aid.

Eastman - we were told 90% of kids get merit aid, but I don’t know how much

Oberlin - is listed as meeting 100% of need but I did not ask for direct confirmation on this

FSU - has some pretty nice merit scholarships available but, more directly, out of state students at FSU automatically receive an out of state tuition reduction if they major in music. It sounds like it’s typically in the range of an automatic 33% reduction. They stack aid, too.

Hope this helps.

(Disclaimer : probably don’t have to tell you this, but what a school actually defines as “need” can vary greatly)

Edit to sum up - If you have the financial need and get accepted NU, Rice, and FSU can actually be rather affordable (whatever that means …). Especially Rice.

Be aware however that Rice also calculates their own expected family contribution based on the profile information, not just the FASA information. .Their idea of financial need and yours may be different. If you are near their thresholds it can impact the results.

Absolutely @Singersmom07, hence my caveat about each school defining “need” differently. My apologies if I caused any confusion. Thanks for clarifying my rambling.

This is a key point that a lot of parents overlook. You just never know what one school will think you can afford vs. a different school. It’s probably best to not “expect” anything and it’s just better to sit back until spring rolls around and see what all the FA offers are. And then be even more confused - ha! The flip side is true, too; don’t rule a place out because you think you can’t afford it. You just never know.

Boy, I’m going to be glad when we hit May and all this uncertainty is over …

Yes! Come on, May! Haha. So, if I shouldn’t worry about finances because you never truly know what a school will offer and you say I should just let him go for it then the next question is, how many is too many schools to apply to? As a parent I’m nervous because I know realistically how hard these programs are to get into and the competition that’s out there. But I don’t want him stressing out over too many auditions, and truly how many can you conceivable fit into the month of September? The only good thing is that the repertoire is virtually the same for all of the schools with a few variations here and there.

FYI, we are in FL so FSU is what we’re considering our safety school. He’s been there, taken lessons from the professor, got accepted into a very selective summer program, and we’re in state so can get Bright Futures money for it as well. That’s not to say we know it’s a slam dunk, but it’s the one we’re the most comfortable with. Hopefully I didn’t just jinx it.

@trumpetmom730 one thing relative to “you just never know”. Don’t necessarily take that as carte blanche to apply anywhere and everywhere. You obviously don’t want to apply ONLY to schools where your child attending would be dependent on getting a great financial package. That could be risky. Pretty much every place my daughter plans to audition has some form of risk/luck/unknown attached to it. It’s just different at each school - some are financial unknowns, some are academic, and some are musical.

As far as how many schools, that seems to be an individual decision to each musician and their family. There’s some good discussion threads on here if you search for them and I’m sure folks will chime in. My daughter is applying to six or seven schools, but she’s only facing one prescreen at this point. If there’s a lot of prescreens for trumpet you may want to start with more and then whittle it down once you see where he passes.

Well said, you never know what schools consider need, and it ranges widely, that is true of academic as well as schools of music…and how they fill full need depends on the school, a lot use loans to fill that need, others don’t.

One of the problems with casting a wide net to make sure you get accepted someplace is that with music IMO, it is a lot more likely you may catch a dud. Kids with academic programs do that, but there is a difference, with music it is so individualized, that you can’t assume that simply because a program has a BM in music it is good for the kid, the teacher(s) may be wrong, it might be too low level, etc. If you have the time to research a wide number of schools, get as much information about them, maybe find out from people who know your son what they think of the teacher(s) and program, that might work out, but based on what I know that is a big task, and will you have time to do detailed vetting of all the programs, the teachers, and prepare for auditions and everything else? And will you be able in the couple of month audition window to handle that many auditions, schlepping all over the place?

If you do cast a wide web, then what I would say is before committing anywhere, take the time to go visit the schools, have your S meet the potential teacher(s), and do the dilegence then. If your son gets admitted to X schools that seem to be meet your financial needs, then make it a point to try and go there. Yes, people audition to programs blind, they have never met the teachers, and get in and end up loving it, but I can tell you from the somewhat wide band of people I hear from, that often is likely to end up with a mismatch, especially with the teacher. If the program has a number of teachers to choose from, that is a lot easier, a Juilliard that has several trumpet teachers might be easier to take a pig in a poke than a school with only 1 teacher, where in a sense you would be stuck. There used to be this clothing chain in the NY area called Sym’s that claimed an educated consumer was their best customer, and that kind of applies with music schools even more so, within the given parameters you have, do the legwork to make the best choice:)

Thank you @musicprnt, very useful advice. I have him reaching out to professors now and making calls and emailing and seeing if anything they say or not and what he gets from those interactions tell him anything. I appreciate your thoughts.

I think it’s great your S is reaching out to teachers!. But it’s probably a little optimistic to think you can visit the schools before auditions at this point. Your S will need to focus on recording the prescreens and completing applications. The Eastman application alone is fairly comprehensive (repertoire, resume, essays etc). Prescreens will narrow down the list a bit. Eliminate schools that have really different prescreen requirements unless your S is excited by the program. I think auditioning at more than 8 programs is too much. My S auditioned at 8 (most within driving distance) and was a little burnt out by the end.

S is a sophomore at Eastman (not trumpet though). I’ve heard they give everyone at least some merit aid, but I only know our experience for sure. We were pleased with S’s financial offer but even with the merit aid, it still ended up being the priciest school on his list.

That being said, I’m so happy he ended up there. It’s been a really great experience for him thus far. My only complaint is that it’s so far away (we’re in Texas), I don’t get to be there to see all of his performances.

He also auditioned at FSU and he was only offered the scholarship that brings the cost down to the in-state level, no additional merit aid. I don’t know if that’s the case for all out-of-state applicants, or just his experience.

wcbandmom, live streaming has started at Eastman. Perc Ensemble was to be the first but something went wrong. I was there though. Your boy sat directly in front of me. He looks healthy and happy. My wife and I had the underclassmen in the row in front of us and the upperclassmen who were weaving in and out of numbers in the row behind us. Jim

Sorry should have replied to original poster. Our son also receives merit aid from Eastman. It is definitely enough to make it worth being there. He receives a very fair package.

Thanks Jim! That’s good to hear. My husband will be at the concert on the 19th and I’m planning to go to the spring concert. I’m SO excited about the live streaming. Next best thing to being there in person!