Making the decision to study music in college can be very exciting for students who choose to pursue their passion. Much like applying to academic programs, choosing a music program requires a lot of time and research, and a great time to start seriously narrowing down your search is at the end of your junior year. You may be wondering the best way to begin; Cappex is here to help.
Attend a Performing Arts College Fair
Twice a year, in cities all over the country, schools across America come together to put on a performing arts fair—a forum for prospective students to meet representatives from different universities and conservatories and learn about the performing arts programs they offer. These college fairs are a great way to learn more about the options you have as a potential music student and help you narrow down the programs that you’d like to apply to.
Choose Between a University Or Conservatory
As a music student, you can choose from two different types of programs: a conservatory or a university with a strong performing arts program. Each of these options have great qualities, and deciding which appeals to you will help you begin your search for the right music program. A conservatory is a smaller school that focuses exclusively on the performing arts and requires students to take core classes such as writing and music theory in addition to their principle field of study. Conservatories are highly competitive, as they attract students who are very serious about their craft and their future with it. University performing arts programs, on the other hand, will give a student the opportunity to enjoy aspects of college life—like sporting events and the Greek system—while also gaining an education in music. These programs are also known to be highly selective and competitive, and students in these programs may need to take other classes such as math and science in addition to their principle field of study to fulfill university requirements.
The Application Process
Music school applications often ask for additional information that is not required on standard university applications. In addition to essays, personal statements, and transcripts, you will need to submit a performance resume, recommendations from music teachers (either private teachers or high school teachers), and a supplemental application with questions asking about your interest in music and what you’d like to achieve. Once you’ve submitted your application, if the Admissions Office is interested in you as a prospective student, you will be asked to come audition for a selection committee. Though auditions may still seem far away, your junior year is a great time to begin thinking of, and rehearsing, potential songs or pieces you may want to perform. This will give you time to get comfortable with the music and help shake the nerves on audition day. Good luck!
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