Are you about to fly the coop and set off on your singing journey?
Do you have an ambitious teen who is eager to get into a music school, but you have no idea how to help them?
Have you graduated with an undergraduate degree in music and feel your next step is to graduate school? Or are you unsure if this is the next best step for you?
These transitions are exciting and full of anticipation and, yes, sometimes layers of fear because we aren't sure how to proceed.
The great news is that you do not have to navigate this solo. Nope! I wouldn't recommend it. I build college (undergraduate and graduate) music school guidance packages that help you get through the process with ease. It's one of my favorite things to do. So, before you panic or frustrate your high school senior with a million to-do's, check out my list of helpful tips OR head on to my contact page and send me a message. I'll be happy to get you on my schedule to help you out.
A few tips to getting accepted to the top music school of your choice:
Hire a voice teacher! Yep. You need someone to help you polish your presentation. Most colleges will want specific repertoire song choices, and you need to make sure your technique, style, and choices of songs are in line with their requirements and with what suits you the best. For example, If you are unsure of what they mean by 24 Italian Songs, you'd be better off with an expert to help you. Graduate School applicants need to show a polished technique, depth of repertoire choices and usually are required to exhibit potential on stage to receive scholarship funding. You'll need a good set of ears and someone who can help you keep up with the trends in popular musical theater pieces as well as contemporary opera.
Hire an acting coach! While this may not seem necessary for an undergraduate audition, I do strongly recommend working with someone to help you learn to express yourself fully and freely. I often hear beautiful voices in undergraduate auditions, but it's rare to hear and see a well-crafted performance with nuance and understanding of the text. So, get ahead of the game and hire someone to help you blend the voice with the emotion. For graduate auditions, we must see you have an experience with your music. Suppose you are vying for one of the coveted assistantships or scholarships. In that case, they need to know you have the chops vocally and emotionally and communicate the intention in the music.
Contact someone on the voice faculty and request a 15-30 minute lesson consultation. When you show someone on the voice faculty that you are invested in discovering how you will be taught, you establish that you have a serious dedication to your talent. In addition, when you have connected directly to a faculty member, you gain a considerable advantage on being remembered out of a large pool of applicants. There's nothing better than making a human connection. And keep in mind, having this session does not obligate you to study with this particular teacher. If it's a large school, feel free to reach out to 3-4 teachers. Often a teacher's studio will remain full if no one graduates. So it's good to have alternatives if your heart is set on a particular school.
Make the best pre-screening audition video that you can afford. Most auditions these days require a pre-screen video to receive a live audition. You want to make sure your sound, video quality, lighting, and collaborative pianist reflect the excellence you are striving for in your music development. Sloppy videos are just no longer acceptable. The good news is that you can do some pretty decent self-tapes with your iPhone or Android by using simple settings. An easy google search will send you down a rabbit hole full of tips on how to get the best lighting and sound. But consider that since this video will be your calling card, you will use it more than once; spending $300-500 on a professional recording is a good investment.
Seek assistance on your college essay or graduate school letter of intent. Unfortunately, this is where a lot of students drop the ball. I have read numerous essays during my days as a professor. And while I may like someone's singing voice and presentation, I read their essay and question their writing skills and ability to express themselves on paper. After all, you will write about music a lot in college! Then I find myself debating with another professor on who should receive that one scholarship we have available. We go with the student who can write because scholarship is essential. Now, I know writing isn't everyone's desired hobby, but you owe it to yourself to receive help in making your essay clear and exciting. So do not skip this critical step!
If you follow these steps, you will find the music school audition process to be much easier. And receiving some coaching on these things will help you focus on achieving your goals and maintaining a mindful musical practice. My college audition guidance packages come with all of these components and a timeline for completing each task. I also reach out to the schools for you in advance to make a connection.
It's one of the most exciting times in your life. Please get it right from the start and feel good about what you present. BREAK LEGS,
and let me know how it goes!