Up until now, I have not been able to get my son to give a preference of the schools we've visited. But as we worked on the NEC application yesterday, one of the questions asked for a list of other schools that were being applied for and the order of preference and this was his response: Berklee Manhattan School of Music University of North Texas New England Conservatory Indiana University My wife's preferences are: NEC Manhattan School of Music Indiana U North Texas Berklee My preferences: MSM/NEC (neck and neck) Berklee UNT Indiana U There are good and bad things about each. Here are some of our concerns. I would be most interested in your comments and remarks. * My wife's concern about Berklee (aside from the kids out front with the purple hair smoking cigarettes), is that the open admission policy, combined with my son's rather laid back personality could leave him in with some ensembles and classes with some very marginal musicians. (I share some of her concerns.) * My problem with Berklee is the lack of any 'classical' instruction. I'm quite sure we could contract privately with any of a dozen great classical players from the BSO, etc. but that's a separate expense. Never the less, I still like the program (for him) as it seems the most open to 'all' kinds of music. * UNT requires its jazz student to take 'classical instruction' (which is good) however, students take their private lessons from a 'teaching fellow' rather than the professor - at least at first. And of course there is the 'Denton' issue to contend with. * MSM has excellent classical and jazz instructors but doesn't really allow a student to pursue both. I also fear that this school would definitely be a 'deep water' experience for Alex. I'm making an educated guess that the student body at MSM is going to be a bit 'cut-throat' and I'm not sure how he'll react to that. * Indiana U is a good school but as best as I can tell all 'instrument' instruction is 'classical' in nature. In other words, there are no jazz bass instructors, and while Mr. Hurst and Mr Bransby are well reknown I believe most of their success is in placing students into symphony orchestras. Lets not forget 'Bloomington' issue either. Comments? Suggestions?