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Transfer from UCSD to Music Conservatories/Colleges; Double Degree?

PerchedPerched Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
edited July 2010 in Transfer Students

I apologize firstly for the lengthy and convoluted title of this thread; that messy heading is perhaps a reflection of my state of mind.

Coming back to this point after writing this thread, I feel that it is not just my title, but perhaps this entire writing that is lengthy and perhaps convoluted. Feel free to skip to the questions at the end of this passage.

I am going to be a Freshman at UCSD, Warren as a General Biology major, with the past hopes of becoming a Bioengineering major. I recently had a bit of epiphany - for the lack of more modest word - where I rediscovered my prime passion, which was lost in middle school during a confrontation with my parents (yes, not just an argument... as that night had physical as well as emotional injuries). This passion I speak of is my love for classical (and jazz) music.

Long story short, I quit piano as a kid (7 year old?) when I indulged myself in computer games and sports; I didn't have a single speck of interest or motivation in creating music. I picked up the instrument clarinet in 5th grade, when students at my elementary school were asked to either start an instrument or sing. My brother's friend's brother had a clarinet that he used in high school, and gave me to have me started.

My parents had me continue music with private lessons because they believed that music is an integral object of arsenal that high school students ought to have for their college admissions. In my 8th grade, I told my parents my dream to become a clarinetist, and that's when and why... the confronation took place.

Since then, I continued playing the clarinet as part of my hobby, but since my parents almost always reminded me that music is soley for college applications, I was led to believe likewise. As a high school student, I played as part of Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble, got into Orange County Youth Orchestra and other organizations... some of which I had to turn down. Even though I continued playing the instrument, I never gave a damn about it, since whatever effort I could and would have put forth toward music would be denied by my parents in any scenario.

As a senior in high school, I met a few very talented musicians (two going to UCLA for music and another going to Peabody for piano performance), and was reminded of how much I loved listening to music and creating that music. I straddled down to continue playing the clarinet at UCSD, but a question shot me down and invoked of some of the doubts that I had for that instrument: surely I've been playing it for good 7~8 years, but I always found listening to and playing the piano much more appealing and worthy of my time.

So I am here, with a whole summer to dedicate, thinking about pursuing piano performance in the long run and, as I know of UCSD, music exactly isn't really the thing (well... UCSD's partnership with La Jolla Symphony is amazing and all, but speaks very little of the music program at UCSD).

What are some procedures that I should take as a Freshman (and maybe in the summer as well) in order to prepare myself for this dream of mine (transfer into a more musically superior college to pursue piano performance)? And which colleges/conservatories (well... besides the big named ones) are especially known for their piano programs? Do these programs have openings for transfer students?

As for DD/joint programs, realistically speaking, what is the use of having two unrelated degrees? I feel that, although reserved for the very very talented individuals, double degree programs are for those who could not decided between an academic goal/duty and a musical passion; for, how many of these individuals will pursue both of these interests to make it to the career grounds? A doctor for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and a musician for Tuesday, Thursday, and the weekends? I honestly do not know much about DD programs and why pursue DD programs (I've read up on CC as well as an article from Peabody titled, Double Degree Dilemma.

Please enlighten me in any way or form possible within the context of not only the questions provided, but also of the story/dream, if possible and relevant.

Thank you,
Post edited by Perched on

Replies to: Transfer from UCSD to Music Conservatories/Colleges; Double Degree?

  • wayward_trojanwayward_trojan Registered User Posts: 1,301 Senior Member
    By the big ones I presume you mean Juilliard, Curtis, NEC, CIM, MSM, and Eastman as well as the big university/non-conservatory programs at USC, Rice, and UMichigan?

    Only thing you need to be doing: PRACTICE YOUR AUDITION REP. Period. That's it. Only consider a double degree if you have another passion that you can balance as well as your work in music. They're extremely demanding and I would not undertake one lightly or without extensive due diligence. I would decide your plans before any steps are undertaken.

    For transfers (and yes, there are definitely spaces for them in music programs), your course equivalency will be determined in large part by your diagnostic tests (e.g., theory, ear training) you take when you enroll. If you're hoping to transfer into a solid music school, don't worry about anything except your audition rep. If you want to do a dual degree somewhere (e.g., Harvard/NEC, Columbia/Juilliard), your academics will be essential and you will need to be at or the top of the tree at UCSD. I would research specific dual degree programs and find out where you'll need to be academically/musically to assess your competitiveness and what you need to be doing now to position yourself for admission.
  • PerchedPerched Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member

    Thank you so much for your reply; although I have not responded until now, I was very excited the first day I read it and really strapped myself down to think by myself.

    I am looking to change my major to music (piano), and lead a pre-med track. I realize that although I do not particularly like the sciences - definitely not more than music - I like the careers that the field offers. And as we all know, doctors = money, but earnestly and seriously, I like the idea of helping others in need, and have practiced such a notion via various community services, ranging from playing music and serving food to homeless people, as well as volunteering at a local hospital to get a feel of what it would be like.

    I want to seek some advices for the next year for me. Which courses should I take as a freshman? With credits from here and there, there aren't that many "freshman courses" or lower division graduation requirement courses that I can take. And plus, if I am looking to transfer, I should set my priorities on courses that are specified not by my current school (such as Warren Freshman Writing... or other requirement courses that may not apply elsewhere), but courses that may transfer to benefit when I am at a different college. Would you recommend taking a mix of pre-med courses (start out with biology, chem, etc.) and music courses? I am not sure if pre-med courses will successfully transfer to other schools, as I often hear that each school wants their pre-med students to take the core classes at their own school.

    Thank you in advance,
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