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liberal art colleges with good strings departments


mCrow
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My daughter is a junior violinist in HS playing at the all-state level. She has very good grades and SAT scores and is seeking info from anyone who can recommend great liberal arts colleges that would be strong enough to support her interest in continuing to study the violin and participate in orchestra and chamber groups. She does not want a conservatory, but would like to be challenged musically. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We are looking in the northeast or possibly DC.

Also, how do you go about approaching the schools and determining how interested they are in a talented violinist?

Any thoughts or recommendations?

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I'd check and see if the college has a music major that has performance options (not just music history or musicology). Then see what the string options are. You probably could do all this via email or on the web. Try such places as Colby and Middlebury as well as such schools as Smith, Wellesley, Bennington, etc. The president of Smith is an amateur violist and I think they have a pretty good string program.

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I went through pretty much the same problem when I was in high school. It's easy to overrate the importance of on-campus faculty in such a case. For example, Yale has its famous School of Music, but no guarantee that it will have any direct impact on undergraduate life--- which is plenty rich and varied without direct access to the Erick Friedmans of the world.

Harvard has next to nothing in the way of instrumental faculty, but many excellent musicians in the student body and access to all the best teachers in Boston on a private basis. A lot of other schools near urban centers will have the same situation-- Wellesley being one, I would guess. Columbia and others spring to mind also.

It's not even clear that proximity to a city is terribly important. Williams College (which I never applied to for reasons that still escape me) has some good resident musicians and access to the semi-pro Berkshire Symphony. May be all she needs to keep her chops in shape and put together a fabulous four years.

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Hi! wow- I haven't posted here in decades!

I'm a first year student at Wellesley right now and it has a pretty good music department. our orch isn't that great (we share one with brandeis) but you can also join the MIT orchestra as well as do stuff in boston such as at the NEC. ask for my email if you have any questions about wellesley

take care

~anna~

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University of Wisconsin-Madison has a good strings department. It's a great school except for the tedious academics. They have their act together when it comes to administrative stuff too. Can't say the same about where I'm going to grad school though.

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I go to NYU. it's a great school (even though its expensive ) We have access to some of the finest conservatory faculty in New York city. There are some very talented players here too. Feel free to PM me if you want more information. NYU is a great school, you cant beat New York for classical music.

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Not in the NE but you might want to check out Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. The school has about 1200 students and also a very strong conservatory. However, students can participate in all of the conservatory programs without being a music major. The school is very strong overall. I understand that many of the non-music majors participate in music in some way. It is one of the things that attracts non-music major musicians.

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New Jersey has a rather interesting, although confusing public college system. Rutgers has the title "The State University", but there are also a constellation of what used to be state normal schools but are now liberal arts universities. Some of them have excellent music programs and are reasonably near either NYC or Phil. so that there is plenty of access to strong music resources. Not as expensive as private colleges even for out of state applicants.

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