Hey y’all. I finally got all of my replies in but I’m having a lot of trouble choosing a college. I didn’t get into any of my reaches but I got into all of my targets (but one) and I can’t really say that there’s one school out of the bunch that I’d really like to go to. Because of COVID and general busyness I didn’t really get the chance to visit any of these schools and have only done virtual stuff, which is hard to judge a school by, so if you have experience with one of these schools I’d really love to know what you think of it.
I am a member of the LGBTQ+ community and a flute player. I like campuses with a connected feeling (and a friendly culture) but also want to live in/by a major city. I don’t really like the idea of driving but will learn if I have to (I love public transit though). I also love winter and snow. I don’t really know what my eventual goals will be (in terms of getting a job vs. getting a masters/going to grad school), so I’d like a school that’d be good for both. I would also like a school where I can do undergrad research or a school that has good internship connections.
I don’t know much about McGill tbh, other than it’s reputation here in the US. I’d love to learn more.
Reputation in the US
Less expensive than US privates and UofT
Music minors don’t get music lessons
University of Toronto
I don’t know much about the campus but it looks nice
Also less expensive than US Privates
Heard that it had grade deflation and not a very great school culture
Music minors don’t get music lessons
University of Rochester
Lessons at Eastman and a good music minor otherwise
Priciest option (I got a 9k merit scholarship)
Heard it was good for research
Lessons for music minors
Again, don’t know much about this one either, but the campus seems appealing to me
15k merit scholarship
Location? Technically only 1hr away from boston on commuter rail but it looks like the train comes once every 2.5 hours, and the buses are every 1.5, so it might not be as connected to boston. Then again, maybe this is a better option to get a more connected campus feel. Still on the fence about this one
SUNY at Buffalo
Here are some other schools I applied to but don’t really think I’ll go to. Maybe I should change my mind?
Case Western - I really like the partnership with CIM and it gave me great merit but it’s in cleveland (which, apart from being cleveland is also kinda far from home and might not be worth it). I also get bad vibes from their marketing and the shady stuff they do (I heard they threatened to withdraw the applications of people who unsubscribed from their emails)
Binghamton - I know it’s the “best SUNY” but it’s in the middle of nowhere
BU - Got in for flute performance. Too expensive.
Anyway, sorry about the long post. I really appreciate you if you’ve read this far. I plan on visiting some of these next month so we’ll see how that goes.
I have a friend who’s son went to McGill and studied music. Education for both music and non-music was very good. Housing was very difficult. I think you’ll find the same at Toronto. Logistics at these big Canadien universities can be challenging. Sort of like Berkeley where it’s big and hard to get all the classes you want.
For my money, I’d be looking at Rochester or Brandeis. Rochester is not a major city, but it’s big enough and everyone I know who has lived there, loves the place.
Travel around Boston from Brandeis is easy. You need better information. You can get commuter rail (the “T”) from Waltham. People commute from there to downtown every day. BUT better than that is that Brandeis runs free shuttle vans (Bran van) around the area all day. Info is on the Brandeis website. BUT the place where college kids congregate in Boston is Harvard Square in Cambridge, not as much downtown. Good music scene and restaurants in Harvard Square. Very accessible from Brandeis, just 2 towns away.
One daughter was both a very strong musician, and was accepted to McGill with a different major (she decided not to major in music, and is now many years later studying for a DVM). I asked about music lessons. What I was told was that many of the same professors who teach in the faculty of music also give music lessons on the side to make extra money. You would need to pay for the lessons, they would not be for academic credit, but you can get the lessons. I would expect the same would be true at Toronto but I did not ask there.
Sorry, perhaps I should have been more specific. No music lessons is the big con but it also signals that non-music majors don’t have the same access to resources (i.e. practice rooms, ensembles, etc.). I think it was someone else on this forum that said doing a music minor is better at a school that doesn’t give music performance degrees because at those schools the music students get priority for everything.