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Help on Grad school...

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by dwygmans, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. dwygmans


    Jul 1, 2011
    Hi everyone! I am currently getting ready to audition at graduate school, but I need a little help. I would love to get any and all opinions on some schools. I really need to narrow my choices down to maybe 4 or 5 schools...only because it is so expensive to apply.
    I plan to study classical music, but the academic (musicology) side is important to me too (although not so much as the music program). So far, the schools I am definitely applying to are Michigan State, Indiana University, University of Texas in Austin. The schools I am possibly applying to are University of Michigan, Rice, Yale, and Boston University.
    I know Northwestern is a good school, I have considered that as well. As far as conservatories go, I guess I never considered them because they seemed out of my league, but I suppose I don't really know how I compare to others auditioning anywhere.

    I have done a little research into these schools but the only teacher I have had the priviledge of taking a lesson from is Jack Budrow. I can't afford to visit these places before applying (as I would have to visit a second time) so I can't take more lessons except for maybe U of M (I'm from Michigan). Does anyone have any thoughts, good or bad, on these schools and the teachers? Should I rethink some of my choices? Should I be looking at other schools not mentioned?

    Thanks! Also, of course this will not determine where I go, but if you have any opinion on the city that these schools are located feel free to give those too, because I might be living there for a while :)

  2. mattgray


    Nov 16, 2007
    Cincinnati, OH
    For all the schools you mentioned, I can only speak for one. IU's got a great musicology school if you're thinking of dabbling with that on the side (I think they're either number one or ranked in the top ten of the country), and the music school is great. I'm not sure about specifics of the grad program (I did my undergrad there), but from what I saw, the MM degree didn't have too many academic requirements, and the PD had even less. Performance wise, you get a lot of stage time: the school has 7 different orchestras and each usually plays six times a year, usually with one opera or ballet. Playing opera in the pit is a treat unto itself. I'm not sure what exactly is going on with the faculty since Hurst left, but Bransby is a great guy to study with.

    The university itself has a lot of resources to offer; the music library is immense and the main library is even bigger; the football/basketball games keep the town alive, and there are a ton of student organizations if you're into that sort of thing.

    As far as location is concerned, Bloomington is a great town to live in: low cost of living, lots of students, and it's rural yet not too small of a town. It's a really safe neighborhood and there aren't too many distractions, keeping school your number one priority. There's a big nightlife as with any Big 10 school, and the music students are pretty social. The gigging scene in Indiana is alright, but it's a lot of driving if you want to take part in it. In addition, the rehearsals for a lot of part-time orchestras take place right after IU orchestra rehearsals, so if you're planning on doing that, be ready to go from 4-6 and then 7:30-10:30 on a given night, and then give up your weekend to rehearsals and a concert.

    If you've never lived in the midwest, it's a wonderful change of pace, and there's plenty of opportunity there.
  3. IU is actually ranked #20 in the US for musicology, the top ten being Harvard, Chicago, UC Berkeley, CUNY, Yale, Princeton, Penn, Rochester, Michigan, and U of I. That's not to devalue IU's program though; it's fantastic.
  4. mattgray


    Nov 16, 2007
    Cincinnati, OH
    Derp. My bad. Thanks for the correction!
  5. :)
  6. One thing that IU does incredibly well is facilitating research. If you have an idea for doctoral research they'll probably make it happen.
  7. @Eli, Though you'd have to be enrolled in the PhD program in musicology for that to happen. You can't just write a doctoral dissertation in musicology from the double bass department. I don't think that this person is talking about applying to the PhD program in musicology at IU...

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