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How legitimate is a band for resumes/college apps?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by pushbuttonfour, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. pushbuttonfour


    Dec 20, 2012
    So, this isn't really about band management, but I didn't know where else to put it. If you are in a band in high school (assuming one that gets gigs, etc), how valuable is that to put on a college application? Will they even care? Will it matter more if it's an arts school? BTW, I'm not in school band programs, just an outside-of-school band.
  2. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    It might help because it shows other interests outside of school. If they have a music program listing your band experience may help as well.
  3. IPYF


    Mar 31, 2011
    Heaps useful. Always put it on.

    Here are some of the characteristics you might be able to demonstrate through participation in a band:

    - Creativity
    - Teamwork
    - Problem solving
    - Attention to detail
    - Human resource management
    - Time management
    - Demonstrated social skills.
    - Negotiation experience.
    - Dedication
    - Ability to work within a defined role.
    - Initiative
    - Ability to take direction

    I could probably think of a dozen more if you gave me a minute. You'd be mad to leave it off your application.
  4. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I suspect it would be a good thing if you put it in the right context. I played gigs in high school. The apps that I filled out for colleges were pretty sparse, but today, I'd probably put down my musical activity as an extracurricular, and I might expound on the benefits of learning things like organization, teamwork, and professionalism.

    You can bet your bottom dollar that the kids in the orchestra will put it on their college applications. ;)

    A resume for a job would be a different matter. i would only put a band into a resume if leaving it out would create a "gap" in your timeline, for instance if you had been a full time player.
  5. punkjazzben


    Jun 26, 2008
    My dad was a careers counsellor before he retired recently, and my friends would always come to him with their resumes and ask for feedback. He'd always be telling them to add stuff like bands, hobbies, sports, etc. You've got to remember that everybody going for that spot probably has the same basic credentials as you. It's the extra things that set you apart.

    My fiancé finished university and went for her first job as a primary school teacher. She got it and was up against much more experienced teachers. One of the things that set her apart was that she had played trombone for about 15 years - it wasn't in the job ad, but apparently they'd been speaking of starting up a small music program and she just came along at the right time. A few years ago I helped her mother with her resume. She'd been working various jobs for 30 years and felt that a lot of them (secretarial/admin) were not related directly to the one she was going for (retail). She didn't wanted to include them, but I encouraged her to. Again, lots of applicants with retail experience, but she got the job because the employers saw she had secretarial and administration experience on top of the basic requirements.

    So, yeah. Address the key criteria, show that you have what they're asking for, but don't be afraid to give a little bit more. It's often those extras that put you over the line. I got into a university music degree as an electric bass player - one of two successful applications out of twelve - and I was specifically told it was because I could also play double bass and they wanted double bass players for their orchestra. Everyone else could have been as good or better than me, but it was that extra skill that was useful to them.
  6. pushbuttonfour


    Dec 20, 2012
    good to know it will help. What if your band has only had a few small gigs? (we have...:p)
  7. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Don't list how many gigs you've had, just how long you were in the band, what your role was and how many placed you've played.
  8. Marko 1

    Marko 1

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    Yep… if it was a handful of death-screamo-thrash-stoner-metal jam-band gigs in somebody’s basement, no need to go into detail.

  9. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Not quite band management or performance related. Moving to misc.
  10. pflash4001


    Dec 2, 2011
    There are lots of work related skills involved in bands. You could list things like booking, negotiating prices, coordinating with other bands/organizations, maintenance and operation of complex/specialized pro audio equipment, and others. I don't have a studio or a storefront, but I have shot photos for weddings, baptisms, and other events. You bet I include that on my résumé. I also have nearly 30 years playing in bands and running PA systems. I have my own system that I rent and operate. Again, no storefront, but it's on my résumé. I'm responsible for booking, transporting, setup and striking the system and supervising 1-2 assistants per show, operating, maintaining, and performing minor repairs to various pieces of equipment, I'm responsible for providing front of house and up to 4 monitor mixes for small to medium venues with a variety of local, regional, and national acts. There are several skills in that description that employers would look for: independent work, supervisory experience, entrepreneurship,technical abilities, among others. Think about all that is involved in what you do with the band and apply it to your resume.
  11. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    A college admissions counselor is looking for a few things. One, of course, is academic potential as shown in your grades and test scores. But they are also trying to create a student body with a vibrant culture and diverse interests and backgrounds - some who are into sports, some in arts, some in politics, etc. etc. And they want to see that you don't just go to school and then go sit on the couch, but actually get involved in stuff and show some interest and initiative in the world.

    So yes - that you were in a band, and especially a gigging band rather than just buddies jamming in the basement, is a definite "plus" that you should list.

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