The Boston Conservatory
Boston, MA, USA

Reviews

The Boston Conservatory
4.00 Average Rating

Tin Yi from Boston, MA

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
A small school filled with talented people everywhere. The diversified population and talents of students allowed me to see and learn much broader. Everyone in the school supports each other with friendly and positive attitude, and it is located in Boston, one of the best cities in the world.
Tips for prospective students
This is a very friendly school. With three departments of Music, Dance and Theater, prepare to meet a lot of different yet interesting people.
Academic Rigor
Class grade affected if more than 3 absence is recorded.
Dorm Life
Most of us share a room with 3 other students. Some rooms have bathrooms within them, and there's no need to share the bathroom with a lot of people. The dorms right next to the campus, which is very convenient.
Food and Dining
We access Northeastern University's dining halls. They have 3 dining halls, 5-15 minutes walk away. They are big, hygienic, and they include a big diversity of food. From sushi to pasta, rice to fresh-baked cookies.
What to do for fun
Prudential Center and Newbury Street is within 10 minutes walk. A little shopping is always done. MIT is about 30 minutes walk away, so is Boston Common Park.
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Daniel from North Brunswick, NJ

a past student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Did learn a lot
I was a composition major at the Boston Conservatory for a year, and transferred out for personal reasons. The biggest benefit at BoCo for composition majors is the performance opportunities. Not even at Eastman or Juilliard or Mannes will you get as many opportunities to get your works played by students. There were literally over 20 recitals for composition majors the year I attended BoCo, and all the recitals had a pretty good attendance. Also, you'll get your pieces recorded. Pretty much everything you write, there is an opportunity to get played. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT!! Some people go through their freshman year only getting two pieces played and written. What a waste.

The teachers here are also mostly top-notch. The two best classes I took were Instrumentation with Dalit Warshaw, and the Composition Seminar.
Did enjoy being here
It's great. The composition department is awesome. Boston itself is REALLY awesome. I didn't have a ton of friends at BoCo but I made friends with so many people throughout Boston. Note that the reason I'm transferring out is purely personal. It has nothing to do with the quality of the institution.
Bang for the buck
It's expensive, not going to lie. And they only give out merit scholarships; they're not really need-based. You better move off-campus after your freshman year and get an apartment; that might be the only way you'll be able to afford this place because room+board through the conservatory is expensive.

Admittedly a lot of people who attend BoCo are rich. I don't know if any music degree is worth a tuition of almost $40,000/year (which is one reason I'm transferring out), but if you can afford it, I'd go for it.
Tips for prospective students
If you're a composition major, get your butt in gear and start composing NOW. Write LOTS of pieces. Write lots of small chamber pieces; don't worry about orchestral pieces unless you can get legit recordings of them (MIDI doesn't cut it). The faculty would probably prefer a string quartet or a woodwind quintet in your portfolio to an orchestral piece. And write for different instruments; don't just write all piano music. Experiment with different harmonic styles.

Listen to lots of styles of music. Lots of freshman composition majors don't know enough about modern music, so I'll tell you right now to check out pieces by composers like: Penderecki, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Ligeti, Cage, Lutoslawski, Reich, Schoenberg, Berg, Takemitsu, Saariaho, Adams, Shostakovich, and Golijov. Seriously, listen to pieces by EVERY SINGLE ONE of those composers. Don't just focus on the stuff you like; yes, I know Shostakovich is way more accessible than Lutoslawski, but you need to know both of them inside and out, even if you hate it. (If you're having trouble getting into modern music, just watch any Stanley Kubrick film like The Shining or 2000: A Space Odyssey, or watch the movie Shutter Island. Pay attention to the music and how it fits into the film. You'll be sold, trust me.) If you can talk about all of those composers, you're set. By the way, Osvaldo Golijov used to be loosely associated with BoCo. Golijov is a GENIUS so check him out. Also Jan Swafford (one of the faculty members) writes a lot of articles for Slate Magazine. Read everything Jan has written. They're pretty awesome articles.

You can write TONAL music but it still needs to be unique and modern; if you're writing exactly like Beethoven and Rachmaninoff, you're not going to get past sophomore promotionals. Beethoven and Rachmaninoff already wrote things in their style and they were better than you ever will be in that style. Try to find your own voice. As a caveat, you're not going to find your own voice, e...
Great for these types of students
Hard workers.

This applies to everyone: if you get in, don't blow it off. This isn't a state university, or community college. This is serious stuff. You're paying about $40,000 a year and you'll have access to some amazing resources. If you don't take advantage of it, you're a fool.

If you're lazy and apathetic, people will know. This is a small community. Seriously, just don't waste your time if you're lazy. I'm not trying to make you feel bad, I'm trying to save you tens of thousands of dollars and an entire year of your life! IT'S PERFECTLY FINE if you can't handle it. Just don't come here.
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Rachel from Kathleen, GA

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I never thought that I could learn so much about my craft in such a short amount of time! Anyone who thinks that they could dive straight into a performance career without a collegiate education should just spend a semester at the Boston Conservatory and see if it changes their view on things. Everything that you need to know to make you the best you can be in your field of study is offered to you here. In addition to employing an absolutely brilliant faculty, many of whom are still actively working in their chosen fields, the school frequently offers master classes with guest instructors who are renown for their art. The incredible quality of education that I receive here is completely worth the expense.
Am enjoying being here
The environment of the school is wonderful. To be around such dedicated, talented, and personable people is truly a gift. There is such a support system here, that between your teachers and peers, there is always someone there to encourage you in everything you do. I feel really blessed to be surrounded by a family of people that are so vibrant and committed in everything they attempt.
Bang for the buck
As I've mentioned, the cost of the school is well worth it for the multitude of things you will learn. If you are willing to dedicate yourself to your work and give one hundred percent, this school can help you grow as an artist in ways you have never imagined. Also, in addition to the facilities that were available before this academic year, which were perfectly adequate and met the needs of the students, the new Hemenway theatre building is outfitted with additional practice rooms, refurbished dance studios, and of course, an absolutely beautiful theatre that has been exquisitely restored, which offer above and beyond what I could have ever imagined.
Tips for prospective students
In your audition, be yourself and have fun! Boston Conservatory isn't just about finding talented people, although there's no doubt that they are present here in large numbers! It takes a special kind of person to be here. Someone with personality, creativity, and an open attitude will fit right in. Anyone who is willing to learn and take chances in the classroom will enjoy the environment the school has to offer. We're all about taking risks and creating beautiful art!
Great for these types of students
For those who are truly passionate with every fiber of their being about honing their craft, whether it be music, dance or theatre, this is the place to be.
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Allison

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The Boston Conservatory is a private institution that educates students in a small, nurturing environment. Students receive one-on-one attention and are given critiques that will benefit them in the entertainment industry. All of the professors and instructors know their students' names and note individual progress to encourage growth to its full potential. The college has integrity within the entertainment industry, having many alumni featured on the Broadway stage and the Hollywood screen. As one of the best performing arts colleges in the United States, The Boston Conservatory is teaching me the fundamentals of the entertainment industry and is preparing me for a successful career as a musical theatre major.
Am enjoying being here
I am greatly enjoying my experience at The Boston Conservatory. Because the school is small and centralizes students with a common interest in the performing arts, I have made friends that will continue to support me throughout my time at the school and in the industry. The school is located in a great area of Boston, which exposes students to the theatrical and cultural aspects of the artistic city. The faculty and staff are always willing to answer questions and are readily available to problem-solve.
Bang for the buck
The education I am receiving is invaluable for my career as a performer. The resources and faculty at The Boston Conservatory are very experienced and are always encouraging me to reach my full potential. I could not be more grateful for the overwhelming support of the school and its assistance in making my dreams come true.
Tips for prospective students
One needs to be sure to submit an application early and schedule an audition date as soon as possible. Dates and time slots are in high demand and do fill up quickly. If you plan to visit the school, be sure to observe some of the classes to grasp the educational setting of the college.
Great for these types of students
The Boston Conservatory is a wonderful institution for students who have an interest in musical theatre, vocal performance, dance, and/or music.
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