I cannot seem to find much on here for specifically vocal performance majors this year, so I thought I’d start the thread. This journey has been intense and a total roller coaster. As a non-music major (my husband, too), this has been so crazy to navigate. Our other daughter (Class of 2023) is a science major, so talk about a shift in process!!!
I’m wondering how you all weathered the fall up to now. It would have been SO helpful to have heard from others that went through this process before we had to navigate it ourselves. I felt like I was relying on scraps of info that professors and judges shared along the way, but then I had to figure out the whole picture to help my kiddo.
I’d love this to be a place for two things: 1. Where has your kiddo applied, where they’ve been accepted, and 2. Tips for the class of 2028 parents for going through this next year.
My DD applied to 16 schools for classical voice. Passed prescreens for 15 (no audition for Curtis, bummer, but not unexpected). Auditioned live for 10. Auditioned virtually for 5. Accepted to 6 so far, and waiting for the other 9. Did Early Action for 2. Received financials for 2 so far. Two more auditions to go this coming week…
Do TONS of sample lessons in the fall (Sept-Nov) while doing more research on the schools. Not only does it help in determining which is your first choice teacher (which some schools ask for, but not all) but also to get a feel for how their programs actually work (performance opportunities for undergrads, for example). This really changed what she first thought she wanted in an instructor and a school. Ones that seemed like the lesson was a bother until she started singing (and then suddenly really interested and asked her to meet again with them) didn’t pass the cut for my DD, even though two of them were VERY famous.
We didn’t spend $$$$$ visiting schools until after prescreen decisions, then used the $$$$$ to go for live auditions. We went on 4 visits prior to prescreen decisions: small, medium, large campuses and a stand alone conservatory. The small, medium, and large were a mix of urban and rural. This let my DD get a feel for what felt most comfortable and a taste of what college living would be like, but didn’t break the bank. She was much more serious about checking out the campuses during the live auditions. Some rolled out the red carpet with things to do, info panels, etc. Some it felt like they did nothing but unlock the door so we could come in. Very odd.
Continue to communicate with professors that your kiddo really resonated with. Don’t nag, but asking about something specific every month or so helped my kiddo to remember what it was about that professor that she really liked, and why she was interested in going there. See if you can meet IRL during your trip out for the audition for an in person lesson.
I can’t wait to hear the wisdom from this group!!
Also, last year I found a thread where folks contacted someone that kept a running list of what scholarships amounts had been received from different colleges. I found this really helpful as we started thinking about applying places. I haven’t seen this for the Class of 2027. Anyone know somewhere this is happening?
Cincinnati Conservatory of Music
Manhattan School of Music
Pacific Lutheran University
San Francisco Conservatory of Music
UCLA / Herb Alpert
University of Portland
Great start on this thread - the only thing I would add for vocal performance is ask alot of questions about how they do their opera performances. Many school do not really allow undergraduates to perform - mainly grad students.
Not saying this means you would get good training you just won’t get the performance on stage as an undergraduate.
HS Class of 2023. Son/Vocal Bass
Multiple sport EC’s as well. He chose to do the hs musical which was in Feb. This really limited his availability. Finances are quite limited and many schools were chosen based on potential total COA. Not all are top music programs. He wanted options within music (tech, recording arts, business, MT, education) along with possible double major so we did not exclude BA programs. Travel/performing abroad options were a plus. Mom works at a university so many chosen based on potential tuition discount benefit.
Did all auditions via uploads or via zoom.
Loyola New Orleans
U Minn TC
U Louisiana Lafayette
U of South Alabama
I just wanted to follow-up based on your comment in the other thread about appeals. I don’t want to be a “downer deb” and I certainly can be wrong…but the comment that an appeal will most likely be $10,000 more and then you can appeal again (and maybe get a similar amt?) made me raise my eyebrows.
I’ve seen lower amounts on appeals…even $0 or $2000 or if lucky $5000. I’m not sure that an UG soprano or even mezzo (not much need the first year or two as the older students will be singing principal roles) at a highly selective program would get another $10,000…automatically. My understanding is that a selective school for VP would do 30 offers for 20 spots. So negotiations can be tough if many accept. I did notice you have a nice mix of programs - and UMN-TC or Gustavus may do that for high talent…but Oberlin, CCM, Mannes etc…I’m just not sure. Of course, I’m not an expert…and my D went through quite a few years ago…so maybe that $5000 has turned into $10,000 as tuitions have gone up.
Anyone else closer to the process feel that this is a standard amt with an appeal??
EDIT: Shoot - I just noticed that I read the wrong school list…sorry about that…but still that doesn’t change the general meaning of my comment.
My kid is not VP, but I would agree that $10k per year on appeal as a general amount seems high. There can be a lot of factors involved in the appeal/counteroffer process and I will say that for the most part with my son’s cohort 4 years ago, the additional amount (if offered at all) was much lower.
If you are already offered $10k merit for a program, you are asking to double your award for 4 years.
If you are offered close to a full tuition (or the max offered for that school) programs may have a limit on their award. I have seen some exceptions, but you would likely need to be the absolute top candidate and highly recruited.
Some programs just in general offer fairly low merit. Some prioritize grad students. These programs are unlikely to budge much with an additional offer.
As @bridgenail states, I don’t want to sound pessimistic. I do know of a few candidates who received a decent amount with a request for additional merit. But definitely not the norm. And generally those were students who had close offers at very prestigious conservatories.
On UG vocal (or instrumental for that matter) financials, I certainly haven’t seen those kind of numbers move in our experience for undergrad among the circles we hear from locally. My kid is working w/someone on faculty at a U who has some insight. My older was applying dual degree/double major and I feel more strongly than ever that is a different game than straight music admissions. I’m having a very different experience with my current only music kid. The LACs with music programs generally are clear with what their merit caps are.
I’ve heard/seen more like if 5-10% more might make something more affordable or if you have an offer in that range from a peer institution. My older kid is on a half tuition merit scholarship for music from a school that does very little merit money at all for UGs. We definitely didn’t feel like we had any room to negotiate on that based on what we know.
Once we have more info, I will share ours too more clearly in a list (though I have PMed with many people I am happy to over share via PM). These are such small circles. We are mostly in a waiting pattern anyway. 6 live auditions, 1 submitted audition, 1 prescreen decline.
My kid is not VP either, so this may not be relevant, but the appeal increases I’ve seen on these threads that pertain to our current most likely school (Loyola NOLA) were about $3K. They seemed to bring students up to around 28 to 30K, which is what another 3K would do for us.
Hi from VP ‘26! I am the one who ran the merit forum last year.
I set it up so that you can tell when someone appealed for more and whether or not they got it, along with the amount and the instrument or voice.
From my S’s experience, he appealed based on another school’s larger offer and they did increase the amount to close to the other offer and my S committed. It was where he wanted to be based on the studio teacher.
He also applied to only 3 music schools. He was not interested in stand alone conservatives. The reason his list was so small was that he specifically didn’t want schools where grad students get all or most of the performance opportunities. So his three were schools with no grad VP programs. I think there are arguments for both types of schools but this was how he felt so I didn’t push him to apply to other schools.
Let me know if you all have any questions! And TOI TOI TOI! This is the toughest part of the journey— until they have to make a decision!
My son applied:
U of Houston
All were accepted for live audition.
TCU - Full tuition
Boston Conservatory - approx 45% tuition
Have not heard from Rice. Curtis was yesterday and MSM is today. Last weekend was DePaul and NW so we haven’t heard from them yet either.
Next weekend is our last at U of Houston.
It’s been quite an adventure for us, as well, as our previous two kids went business and engineering. My wife and I neither had any music background so we have had to learn a lot along the way. This forum has been a help and there are some Reddit communities that provide some good information.
My D (soprano) just finished her final audition this weekend! We are so happy to have made it through without issue. She is waiting to hear from: Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Oberlin, Carnegie Mellon, Peabody, BU, and McGill. She already got major music merit from Lawrence and IWU. She did a combo of virtual, recorded, and live auditions. We just could not miss so much school/work time to do them all in person. I’m so proud of her hard work as I’m sure everyone on this forum knows that anyone taking on music auditions really has a dedication to their art! Best of luck to all!!! Congrats on making it to the end of a long audition season.
We are nearing the end of a long audition tour. D23 and I have been on the road for almost 3 weeks. She has one final stop in NYC, Juilliard audition is Friday. Then home for the long wait…
She received invitations to audition at 13 of 14 schools. Admitted to two, 3 remote and 10 live.
This experience has been harrowing and exhilarating in turns. We have made memories together that will last a very long time.
I will forever be grateful for this time with my kiddo!
I am also very grateful for the community I have found in all of you!
This music path is not for the faint of heart!
Wishing us all the best!
Baldwin Wallace (admitted)
Carnegie Mellon University
Cincinnati Conservatory ()
Cleveland Institute of Music
Curtis Institute of Music
Duquesne University (admitted)
Eastman School of Music
New England Conservatory
San Francisco Conservatory of Music
Shepherd School of Music/Rice
Yes for IWU. Lawrence…not yet. She was awarded a VERY generous music scholarship for Lawrence Conservatory after her performance at the CS Music competition last spring. She has yet to get her final acceptance/merit package from the school.
Wow I am impressed by the number of auditions the original poster and several others have undertaken! Very impressive and I don’t know how you’ve done it.
My daughter is a class of 23 VP major (Soprano) currently at Miami University (Ohio). We are in the grad school process currently.
For undergrad, she applied to 6 schools - CCM, Miami, Capital, Oberlin, IU, and North Carolina school of the arts. She passed all prescreens and ended up doing 5 live auditions, one upload (NC). She did not get into CCM or Oberlin, did get in to all the others. Miami U offered full tuition (combined academic and music) and she’s had a great 4 years there and has really developed a lot even though they don’t have a super high profile program. It has served her needs perfectly, both vocally and otherwise. We were looking to stay closer to home for undergrad (we live in southwest Ohio). We didn’t know what we were doing and probably made a lot of mistakes (had never heard about sample lessons until arriving at an audition and people were receiving them) but in spite of that it all turned out well.
For grad school she applied to 5 schools - Rice, Curtis, Eastman, Yale, U of Houston. Passed prescreen for all but Yale. She has done live auditions at all 4 and we are waiting…. In retrospect we wish she had applied to 1-2 more schools, but she was very stressed about how to fit them all in with her university’s opera performance in feb, scholarship competitions, prep for her senior recital. Plus the financial aspect of all the travel. The majority of her VP classmates have delayed grad school due to the demands of senior year and the daunting prospect of doing all that along with the grad process.
Anyway I am not an expert by any means but if I can answer any questions for those going through the undergrad process I will be glad to try, or ask my daughter