VanderCook College of Music
Chicago, IL, USA

Reviews

VanderCook College of Music
4.41 Average Rating

Guadalupe from Streamwood, IL

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The teacher at VanderCook strive to help you learn as much as possible. So when you start to teach, you will be more prepared than you could possibly imagine.
Am enjoying being here
The school is fun, there are ensembles that you can join or if you really want you can make up your own ensembles,. The school environment is really nice and there is no major hostilities. Its just a great place to be, if music is your passion
Bang for the buck
I feel that I am getting a really great education at VanderCook, I have learned some neat things about some instruments. Also some cool things about my major, violin.
Tips for prospective students
-Be very open minded about new concepts on how to do something.
-Practice makes perfect or as close as you could possibly get to it :)
-Relax and have fun, remember to breathe!
Great for these types of students
Students that have a passion for music and the desire to teach others about music.
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Kristina from Wilmette, IL

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
This school is the best school for those who want to major in Music Education! We are taught not only to be excellent educators, but also to be excellent performers. The school also provides us with a lot of great opportunities!
Tips for prospective students
Drink the Kool-Aid (Dive into the experience! Work hard, but also have fun!)
Academic Rigor
We are provided an excellent education by very passionate teachers, who are always willing to make time to help us out. The classes not only challenge us, but to all of us who love music, it's a fun experience to learn all these knew instruments, and learn how we will be able to teach students to use these instruments all at the same time.
Dorm Life
I personally do not live in the dorms, but I have not heard any complaints. The dorms are a mix of VanderCook, IIT, and Shimer students.
Food and Dining
There is a meal plan available, but there is so many restaurants around in the area to explore.
What to do for fun
There's always activities going on around campus! There are a lot of clubs to choose, different sororities and fraternities to join at IIT that VanderCook students are very welcomed to join. VanderCook, being a very small school, has two professional music Greek Life, one for men and one for women. Also, public transportation is everywhere, so it's very easy to go anywhere you want in the city or the suburbs.
Bang for the buck
The tuition is high, but the school does award in-house scholarships. I would definitely recommend applying for scholarships and student loans. For the education, the opportunities. and the bonds we build, I think it's totally worth is.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Work at the Midwest Clinic! Even if you are not in band and not performing, it is still a great opportunity! You are given free access into an international convention where you can run into some noteworthy people. If you are in band, you get to perform on the main stage in front of a huge crowd of people!
Great for these types of students
Great for those who are very passionate about music and passing that passion onto future generations. It is a great school for those who really want the small school atmosphere.
Clubs and Activities
There are many clubs and activities that happen on the IIT campus, where the school is located. VanderCook students are welcomed to join any of them. Many VanderCook students do join the acappella groups.
Greek Life
VanderCook has a female professional fraternity, and a male professional fraternity. Otherwise, there are social fraternities offered at IIT that VanderCook students are welcomed to join.
Campus Safety
Campus security is everywhere. The campus itself is feel pretty safe, but mind that it is in the Southside of Chicago, so always have someone with you when you are walking around, especially at night.
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Elizabeth from Chicago, IL

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The professors at VanderCook are world class teachers that not only inspire us to be great musicians but amazing educators as well.
Am enjoying being here
Being in music school is tons of fun! but also tons of work!
Tips for prospective students
Always keep yourself focused on what your goals are and map a way to get there! Make sure you keep distractions at a minimal level.
Great for these types of students
Students who like to help and teach others what they know and love about music.
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Elisabeth from Niles, MI

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
vandercook is an amazing place if you are planning on being a music teacher or are a teacher going back to get your masters. the information you learn is very useful. the staff is also amazing and very knowledgeable.
Tips for prospective students
apply now! you will definitely get something out of attending vandercook.
Academic Rigor
the coursework is challenging but very useful.
Dorm Life
you share with iit, but it's nice being so close to the vandercook buildings.
Food and Dining
there are some great options on campus and around the area. you are in chicago and right near chinatown!!
What to do for fun
anything you can imagine is within a train ride. you just have to get used to what cta line goes where.
Bang for the buck
for grad school, it is one of the cheaper programs for what you actually learn.
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Michelle from Romeoville, IL

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
VanderCook College of Music is a great learning environment. The students and faculty become more of a family, and they will be there to help you with anything whether it's related to school or not. VanderCook provides its students with a unique experience that they would be unable to get anywhere else.
Tips for prospective students
I would suggest picking up other instruments before you get here, and learning how to manage your time responsibly. The two biggest problems students have as Freshman are learning new instruments and managing their time. (When I say that you should start picking up instruments I don't mean you should become a virtuoso, but it would help tremendously if you could play a few notes or a scale on another instrument.)
Academic Rigor
The classes are only as difficult as you make them. Most of your Freshman and Sophomore classes are technique classes in which you learn the different instruments. For some people this is very difficult, for others it's simple. Most of your homework will be practicing the various instruments as well as your major instrument. Hence where time management becomes important. Your general education classes meet once or twice a week in the evening. These are the few classes that actually give you written assignments.
Dorm Life
VanderCook shares a campus with IIT, so we use their dorms. The rooms are expensive, but if you can afford living on campus I highly suggest it. Many of us have classes from 8am to 9pm, and it is nice to be able to just walk a few blocks across campus to your dorm rather than take a train or drive home after a mentally exhausting day.
Food and Dining
The Commons is the dining area at IIT. They don't always have the best food, but there are several restaurants around campus that you can eat as well. Meal and bonus points options vary depending on what meal plan you have.
What to do for fun
We have the city of Chicago literally right next door. Several times during the year students will jump on the train and one or two stops later their in the heart of the city. VanderCook is constantly getting free tickets to go see the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and we a re able to go see the open rehearsals. You can go to the beach or Navy Pier. You can grab a few friends and go see a movie or go shopping. Your opportunities are virtually endless.
Greek Life
There is a female fraternity(SAI) and a male fraternity(PMA) associated with VanderCook. The men's fraternity allows Freshman to pledge during their first semester, the women's fraternity requires you to be in your second semester. Both of these groups are professional not social. If you want to be a part of a social sorority or fraternity then any VanderCook students are allowed to pledge with any of IIT's Greek associations.
Campus Safety
We have campus security constantly driving around. We have call boxes outside all of the buildings. If you ever don't want to walk somewhere by yourself you can call security and they will escort you to wherever you were going to go. Plus there are policemen driving through campus at all times, however this is not because of security or criminal reasons. They headquarters of the Chicago Police Department is literally on the corner of campus, so crime rates in the area are very low.
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Michelle from Romeoville, IL

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
All of the classes here are small and allow the teacher to give students one on one attention when they need it.
Am enjoying being here
There is tons of stuff to do on and around campus. Since VanderCook is located minutes away from the city of Chicago, there are literally hundreds of things going on every day. Plus, you have a CTA pass included in your tuition so you can take the CTA trains anywhere for free.
Bang for the buck
VanderCook provides so many resources for its students. If you need a score, it's right there in the library. If you need to work on ear training we have programs on the computers to help you. If you like to write your own music, we have recording software as well as programs like Finale, Sibelius, and MuseScore. College is never cheap, but here at VanderCook every cent of your tuition comes back to you in some way.
Tips for prospective students
Although this is a music college, the admissions board does focus on grades. They look for potential as well as academics, so always make time to study.
Great for these types of students
VanderCook is a perfect match for any students that work hard and are passionate about music. This is not a program that people can just glide through, it requires lots of practice and effort. If you like a challenge, then this is definitely the place for you.
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