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When you go to college-

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by Rob Sleeper, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. Rob Sleeper

    Rob Sleeper

    Oct 13, 2005
    Hey everyone,
    I will be going into music school in a about 2 1/2 years. So obviously I am still in High School. Do grades matter that much because I thought your enterance audition was really what get's you in to that school?
  2. I'm in the midst of applying to schools right now, for perspective.

    Your grades may affect your application depending on the schools you want to go to. The music conservatories, such as Curtis, Peabody, and Julliard, are pretty relaxed about your transcript and SAT scores, but the universities with good music programs, like Rice and Boston University, have higher academic standards. Even then, you are granted some leniency if you are only applying to the music programs.

    What the admissions officer from Indiana University told me was that if your GPA is above 3.0 and your SAT scores aren't offensively awful, then your application won't be rejected for grade-related reasons. A representative from Rice told me something similar.

    However, I want to give you a word of warning. Just because you're a music student, like myself, doesn't mean you get to slack off in school. At least, not too much. I know a violinist who applied to several conservatories, and was told by staff that they would have liked to accept him based on the audition, but his GPA so low they couldn't ignore it. I think he's in a community college right now, and has had to forget music for the time being. So, I guess if you have straight C's and D's, then prospects might be looking dim.
  3. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Just get B's. It takes almost zero effort in high school.

    You'll be fine.

    Good luck in a couple years! One word of advice... make sure you're 100% on taking the plunge before doing conservatory. There are enough universities with great performance programs that you can do just fine without shutting too many doors on yourself.
  4. Rob Sleeper

    Rob Sleeper

    Oct 13, 2005
    Thanks. Don't worry the GPA is above a 3.0 right now. thanks again I'll defantly take your advise.
  5. Pcocobass


    Jun 16, 2005
    New York
    Guys - don't get upset but I think you are offering some pretty poor advice.

    I don't care where you go, every decent school looks at your grades. If your a B student, that says that you are average. Not really good or bad.

    And suppose a school must pick between you and another guy - both at the same music level - but the other guy is an A student and you are a B student. Who would you pick?

    You should also think of scholarships. Many schools have ACEDEMIC scholarships that are independent of the music program. These are not for so-so students either.

    Rob - You are in a good place right now. You have the opportunity to practice your butt off and to do well in school and on the SATs. I suggest you don't approach it with a poor attitude, but make the schools you apply to want you for MANY reasons, not just musicianship.

    College is all about COMMUNITY. Colleges want people who are well rounded and who can make their community better as a whole. This is why you should be involved in some after-school activities or clubs, too. It just shows that you are a well rounded individual.

    And don't forget that you get grades for your music related classes, too. If these are all As and your academic courses are Bs and Cs, it would seem obvious that you don't care enough to try hard in all your classes. Believe me, this says volumes about a person and shows that you don't care enough about yourself to want to be educated in many subjects.

    I think you should take advantage of this time by practicing hard, sight-reading every day, studying and getting ready for college.

    Just my opinion...
  6. First of all, B's don't say you're average. C's do. That's what every school counselor has been telling me since the 6th grade.

    Second of all, if you don't like my advice, take it up with the admissions officer from Indiana University who gave it to me in the first place. She explained that sometimes it's clear that the applicant has spent their time focusing on music, and that's something they don't mind.

    As for scholarships, you're right. However, those same schools offer plenty of money in the way of music scholarships. If they really want you to go to their school, they will offer a significant amount of money to get you there.

    And actually, that's a pretty good thing to mention. Several schools offer more than one audition date. Always, always, always request the earliest one possible. It's much easier to get a scholarship that way.
  7. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Pete does make a good point. I was seriously considering UConn because the teacher there is one of the most outrageously ridiculous (and well-rounded) jazz bassists imaginable. Anyway, I applied as a music student, took the earliest audition date possible, etc. I ended up with a music scholarship which was cool, but the university also threw separate cash at me because my grades were pretty good. You can save a lot of money by appearing well-rounded to the school.

    One other thing: if you ARE going to take it relatively easy on your schoolwork, at least use the extra time to practice. Some of my musician friends goofed off, and the wasted time did them no good.
  8. Rob Sleeper

    Rob Sleeper

    Oct 13, 2005
    Thanks everyone.
  9. Pcocobass


    Jun 16, 2005
    New York
    No need to cop an attitude.

    Most likely your school counselors never went to a Music Conservatory. I'm currently in my third college. When I applied for my graduate degree, I was accepted in every school I applied to. But what do I know...
  10. Ben Joella

    Ben Joella Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    Boca Raton, FL
    I'll second pete's arguement. Grades can play a significant role in getting into or staying in school. If you are a B or C student in H.S. with only OK SAT's, then you need to seriously consider that some universities may have a general education course that is too difficult for some, regardless if you play like a monster. This could put you in a very bad position. Just try filling out the next application, when you failed out of the first school. I saw it happen more than a few times during my undergrad.

    The academic scholarships are also quite important. I got a much better ride when the music and academic scholarships were combined. There are very few full rides handed out at the major universities. Most will need to pull their resources from different areas.

    Plus, it all benefits you in the end. Practice hard and study hard. Everything in life is related and most of what you learn now will have some relevance later on down the road. It may be many years later, but you will benefit.
  11. Justin K-ski

    Justin K-ski Supporting Member

    May 13, 2005
    I think that eveyone here is saying the same thing diffrently...

    I am also in the process of applying to schools.

    Obviously if you want to go to music school, especially a competitive one such as Curtis, Rice, IU or Juilliard, your first goal is to practice hard everyday so that you achive the best results that you possible can when you walk into a little room and play for Hal, Ellison, Branbsy, Levinson or any conservatory teacher. If practicing as much as you can keeps you from studying enough to get straight A's, fine.

    Pete I understand the point that grades could determine your acceptance in a tie situation and it is valid (Don't mind mr. PC, he gets a little worked up). However, a certian level of playing must be obtained for a tie situation to even occur and if you can bring your playing to an even HIGHER level it makes the decision for admission even easier.

    On the other hand, one should keep their priorities in order, You can get into curtis even if you take one or even (gasp!) two days off from your practice regiment to study for the final that counts for 1/5 of your grade.

    Keep it all in perspective, practice as hard as you can but make sure to maintain solid grades, which I would call B and above. I would also say that it is better to take less classes and do very well rather than take a full load and get a bunch of B-'s.
  12. Pcocobass


    Jun 16, 2005
    New York
    You should talk to me in person... ;)

    But seriously, I'm just talking from personal experience. When I was in high school, I was an easy A/B student, without really trying. I didn't know what I wanted to do when I graduated, so I went to community college (all you need to get in there is a pulse...). It was there that I truly applied myself and maintained very high marks. When I applied to a real university, they accepted me on the spot while reviewing my transcript. I also maintained an academic scholarship in addition to my varied music scholarships.

    I'm not saying this to pat myself on the back. One of my bass player friends had a full ride. He was going completely FREE. Why? Because in high school he worked his *ss off and maintained straight As. He also did very well on his SATs. When you go to a university that costs about $18,000 per year tuition only, this makes an incredible difference.

    I wish someone had talked some sense into me when I was in high school. I would have been practicing AND studying hard. But I do understand that it is a bit different with universities and conservatories.
  13. I had asked Mr. Bransby about it back in August, and he told me that they award merit scholarships right off the bat. He said they're usually out of most of the money by the March audition weekend.

    Also, my applications to Peabody and Boston University both explicity state that they award the majority of their scholarship funds at their first audition round.

    As to your question, I'm working on the third Bach suite and the second Bottesini concerto.
  14. I'd rather agree with the guy on the audition comittee.
  15. Pcocobass


    Jun 16, 2005
    New York
    I've been through this quite a few times already, i.e., experience... ;)
  16. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    My wife works in the office where they raise the scholarship money for IU music students, and one of my best friends is the assistant director of the IU School of Music financial aid office. If there's one thing I've learned from the two of them, it's that faculty members don't know jack about how the money works at this school, and Bransby's statements mentioned above bear this out. The financial aid at IU isn't allotted until after the final auditions, and as freaky as it may seem they are still figuring out some of the awards in August. Much of the time, the professors don't know who among the students gets what, and the request by a certain professor to definitely give a good aid package to a particular student is frequently ignored (or is at least not honored--money goes to students based on a combination of things, including audition scores, availability of funds from certain donors, the needs of the department, and--yes--high school transcript).

    To the topic at hand: get the best grades you can, you freakin' slackers! It may seem like a fruitless endeavor, with grades serving as a poor and incomplete indicator of one's own worth, but in a world of idiots and mediocrity you might as well stand out from the crowd if you can. I was the valedictorian of my high school class, something I scoffed at at the time but which got me a fat full-ride academic scholarship to IU; this gave me the luxury of taking four years to realize I wasn't a trombonist but was rather a bassist, an experience that's pretty much priceless to me. The financial security gave me plenty of time to practice, and by the time I did my grad work at NEC my chops got me all the scholarship money I needed. Yeah, as an undergrad I had wanted to go to Curtis as one of the TWO tenor trombonists they have in the student body, but that wasn't going to happen. You never know where things may lead, so get the A's if you can...
  17. Alright, I stand corrected.
  18. Pcocobass


    Jun 16, 2005
    New York
    Talk about good advice. I wish someone had told me this when I was slacking off in high school. Maybe I wouldn't be up to my ears in debt now...
  19. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    +1. Had I have someone I trusted say something like that 18 years ago, I would've been in a much different place.

    The "system" rewards those that are the best from it's perspective. How can you expect to get those rewards if what you produce is second-best? :rollno:
  20. Yeah, money is hard to get out of IU. But if you come in knowing Hurst or Bransby they can tell you what they are going to offer you before your official offer is made on paper. That is what they did with me. Also try and get some leverage with another good school, maybe get accepted to Juilliard, MSM, and NEC and use that as a way to suck the most out of Hurst/Bransby as you can. As far as grades go they do matter. You need at least a 3.0 but don't forget about your SAT/ACT you need like 1050 minimum to get into this school. I know many of qualified bass students that would have been accepted had they not done so poorly on their SATs. Also Good GPA and SAT scores can help with outside scholarship. That is the way to get paid to go to school at IU. Get the music scholarship, and the Honors College scholarship, maybe a University Grant, and if your a minority you can get in with Hudson and Holland scholarship program, which is sweet. And after all that you could be getting paid to go to school at IU. Which beats the hell out of paying any where from 10-20k per year to go to NEC, Juillirard, MSM or BU