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Advice on Arts Supplement - To submit or to not submit?

AustinLandryAustinLandry Registered User Posts: 47 Junior Member
edited December 2010 in Yale University
Hello all,

I was preparing to send in my Arts Supplement to Yale via their supplementary materials website, and they write: "Please indicate the title and composer of each submission, including movements, in the space marked "Description" below. (For example, "Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor. Op. 35, Scherzo. Frederic Chopin.") "

If this piece is an indication of the level of performance they expect of those submitting a supplement, I'm slightly below their expectations, but not by far; I was planning to submit 'Clair de lune' by Debussy and 'Maple Leaf Rag' by Joplin. You can look the three of those up on YouTube if you don't know them. I'm fairly certain that submitting my two initially intended pieces won't hinder my application, but is anyone of a different opinion?

Post edited by AustinLandry on

Replies to: Advice on Arts Supplement - To submit or to not submit?

  • wagsthedogwagsthedog Registered User Posts: 257 Junior Member
    Is piano a major part of your application? Do you perform in competitions, get awards, etc.? The person I know who applied to Yale and submitted a music supplement was an amazing pianist who performed in many state competitions and could play very advanced pieces. The Yale website makes it sound like that you shouldn't submit unless you are really quite talented.

    I'm not a pianist (though I did play violin for a long time) so I'm having a hard time judging the difficulty of these pieces. Instead of thinking about difficulty, I would just decide based on how big a part music plays into your application. If many of your extracurriculars are music related, then definitely send the supplement, I think. However, if you really are not music focused at all and just are sending the supplement in because you play piano, I would say probably don't send it in. To be honest, if the second option is true, they probably won't even look at it (they don't look at all arts supplements).
  • AustinLandryAustinLandry Registered User Posts: 47 Junior Member
    Music's my second most important/prevalent EC on my application. I taught piano lessons for free to several children of various low-income families, and received two high school credits for the practical examinations I took outside of school... I'm one step below my 'Performers' certification (ARCT), where I'd be legally allowed to be paid for performance, and I intend (although at this point it's too early to know for certain) to Minor in Music Performance.
  • violadadvioladad Registered User Posts: 6,645 Senior Member
    Take a read through this http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/738525-how-strong-music-ec.html

    Do not underestimate the ability of the competition.
  • KhachaturianKhachaturian Registered User Posts: 80 Junior Member
    I don't think it's necessarily the difficulty of the piece that is the issue to be honest. You can make a very convincing case of your musical skill with a well played interpretation of Clair de Lune. But that's the same with any other piece. I'd remember that Yale says that as far music supplements go, you should submit if:
    1. your accomplishments are truly outstanding for a high school musician
    2. your playing or composing is a strong and important part of your application.
    I know it's late in the game, but if you can, have your teacher or another professional/high level pianist listen to your recordings and ask for an honest critique. Review your application and think back to your high school ECs and determine if your piano playing is something that is important to you and makes you stand out. The music supplement shouldn't feel as if it is an afterthought or some extraneous addition; it should be something that supports the rest of the application.
    I'd only submit it if you and other pianists who have heard your recording feel it's of high level and if you feel it serves as good supporting material of your ECs and passions.
  • YeloPenYeloPen Registered User Posts: 523 Member
    Supplements to the application only help if they'll help you stand out, meaning they have to be able to demonstrate an extremely high level of talent; piano is especially hard because there are so many pianists, so it might take some extra there. To give you an idea, 3 piano pieces that have been performed with orchestra so far this semester are Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 (first movement), Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, and Weber's Konzertstuck.

    EDIT - Also, you can't minor at Yale. They also don't offer any degrees in music performance, unless you mean a performance concentration in a music BA (I think they have those). Degrees in music performance are generally only offered in the schools that have an audition process, I believe.
  • AustinLandryAustinLandry Registered User Posts: 47 Junior Member
    Thanks, violadad!
    The supplement was never an afterthought, but I believe it'll make me stand out, as my instructor highly recommended it. And YeloPen, I suppose the equivalent will be taking a few courses rather than Minoring! Thanks, everyone
  • wagsthedogwagsthedog Registered User Posts: 257 Junior Member
    No offense, but your instructor is not the Yale music department. I don't think its necessary to submit because your music ECs are more about doing service with music, its not like you are counting on awards you won to get you in.

    The people submitting these music supplements are outstanding pianists. I don't know if you are, but if you think you are an outstanding young pianist who really stands out from the crowd, submit it.
  • YeloPenYeloPen Registered User Posts: 523 Member
    Do not underestimate the ability of the competition.

    I'd recommend not taking violadad's advice lightly. Sorry if I sound harsh, but it's not nearly as easy as you think to stand out in Yale's pool of musicians. If you do end up attending Yale, you will be quite shocked at the level of talent.
  • AustinLandryAustinLandry Registered User Posts: 47 Junior Member
    I know how stellar some of the accomplishments of musicians at Yale (as well as many other schools) are, and I know that every supplement will and should stand out in its own way. I've been playing the two songs I'm submitting for nearly two years now, and although I've learned more complicated material since, none express me as well as the two I performed. I'm able to put all the dynamic feeling I possess into those songs, and I don't think they're asking for more than that. Sure, they'd take on a greater context if complimented with awards, but still, I'll make it work. No worries, YeloPen, you're being realistic, not harsh! That's why I posted hahah.
This discussion has been closed.