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College Auditions! Boston! Cleveland! Bill Preucil! EEEK!


cremona
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I leave today for Boston!!! My audition at the New England Conservatory is tomorrow...I can honestly say that I'm not too worried about it because #1, it's my 2nd choice school, and #2, Mr. James Buswell already accepted me...

BUT!!

I arrive in Cleveland on Saturday, and the very first activity I have planned for my weekend there is.....a lesson with the concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra!!?!? I must be insane.

Do you think he'd think I was crazy if I asked for an autograph? Hehehe...I really love his playing!

So anywho- for other seniors/transferring students...how are auditions going? Where to?

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I'm green, I love Boston. I am originally from Mass. and anytime I go to visit Boston it is a homecoming. Boston is a nice size city, it is just large enough to have city type things, but not so large that it loses intimacy like NY or LA.

Of course the traffic is h ell there but the T goes everywhere you want to be anyway. Also it is a relatively quick drive up to the mountains in NH, VT, and ME.

Lastly the seafood is to die for.

Enjoy the heck out of your trip it sounds wonderful.

Stay strung,

Don Crandall

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My son is off to Rice in Houston this weekend. Already has done NEC, CIM and Eastman. This is his last one. He is a cellist, though, so different teachers. He is having a great time. He has been much more relaxed at his auditions than either of us expected and has been very well received. Now we just have to wait til April...

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quote:

Originally posted by Shennie:

My son is off to Rice in Houston this weekend. Already has done NEC, CIM and Eastman. This is his last one. He is a cellist, though, so different teachers. He is having a great time. He has been much more relaxed at his auditions than either of us expected and has been very well received. Now we just have to wait til April...

I bet he will bat 1000 in auditions. You prepared exactly correctly for the audition process with thorough contact, lessons and camps with selected teachers well in advance. (We went into the process completely blind.) Good luck...

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quote:

Originally posted by phantom:

Originally posted by MrWoof:

Lastly the seafood is to die for.

The seafood in Cleveland is to die for, too.

Oh wait, I think our meaning of the word "die" is different. My bad.

LOL,

Thats a funny one, seafood in Cleaveland. Just cracked a rib laughing.

Don Crandall

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Hey Don, if you ever vist my neck of the woods (Lake County in the "far east" Cleveland suburbs), check out Pickle Bill's: http://www.webwiseseniors.com/Pickle_bills/

Also you'd enjoy the PerchFest in Fairport Harbor (held on a beautiful beach- yes, we have those) at the end of August. All the fresh-caught Lake Erie fish you can eat (and no, it's not toxic. wink.gif ). Of course, your ribs will have to heal before you're up to traveling. wink.gif

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quote:

Originally posted by cimparent:

I bet he will bat 1000 in auditions. You prepared exactly correctly for the audition process with thorough contact, lessons and camps with selected teachers well in advance. (We went into the process completely blind.) Good luck...

We think he will do well. I know that he was well prepared going in and it has made things a lot easier. I wish there was a way to get parents and students to understand the importance of early prep. I have talked to so many who have done little if any prep and auditions become so much more difficult.

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quote:

Originally posted by SteveLaBonne:

Hey Don, if you ever vist my neck of the woods (Lake County in the "far east" Cleveland suburbs), check out Pickle Bill's:

Also you'd enjoy the PerchFest in Fairport Harbor (held on a beautiful beach- yes, we have those) at the end of August. All the fresh-caught Lake Erie fish you can eat (and no, it's not toxic.
wink.gif
). Of course, your ribs will have to heal before you're up to traveling.
wink.gif

Hmmm,

How does it compare with lobster, steamed clams, and baked scrod?

Dang this is making me hungry.

Don Crandall

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Zero weight is given to academics and SATs as far as GETTING INTO a conservatory is concerned. However, once you are there you do have to keep up a certain level (if you are going for a degree). Academic probation for grades that are too low could affect scholarship money, state/federal grants, etc. Or you might get kicked out of the degree program and would graduate with only a performance diploma.

However, you do still have to take SATs, graduate HS, etc. (again, if you are going for a degree). I assume if someone was only able to score 400 on the SATs, or showed no evidence of being able to read, etc. eyebrows might be raised...

I don't know about Juilliard pre-college - isn't that just a couple of days a week, music only? HKV will know...

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quote:

Originally posted by fatcat:

Zero weight is given to academics and SATs as far as GETTING INTO a conservatory is concerned.

While talent is clearly the first criterion, I think it not quite accurate to say that zero weight is given to academics. At all the conservatories that we visited they asked pointedly about the academics and seemed to be looking for A's and B's in high school. The Michigan School of Music website states a minimum SAT of 1100 as a pre-requisite. At CIM the SATs average in the mid 1200s with more than 3/4 of the class in the top 25% of their high school class.

If your talent is at the level of another Heifitz no conservatory will reject you. But if you are a mere mortal roughly equal to the talent of other applicants, academics will likely play a tie breaking role.

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I agree with fatcat...I have several friends at CIM who never graduated high school, and I have several friends there who speak literally no English.

As for universities...for a lot of them, you have to be accepted to the university before you can be invited to audition, but even in those circumstances, the teachers can wiggle the kids they want through university admissions (ie. Vamoses at Northwestern!)

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Interesting... Perhaps we were duped at each of the conservatories we visited. The message seemed pretty consistent that academics was a part of the picture. They all asked for SAT scores and transcripts, but maybe that was just a charade.

At our school we actively recruit athletes for certain major sports. In these decisions the coaches opinion weighs very heavily. For the superstar, it can be virtually the whole decision. But when it comes to filling out the rest of the team, where there are several viable candidates, academics does figure in the final decisions. So in our case it would not be accurate to tell football player applicants that academics count for nothing, although for the few superstars that might be close to accurate.

But who knows, with her inside view of conservatory admissions, Fatcat may have it exactly right and academics means nothing in conservatory admissions.

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I disagree CIMparent. Who exactly is it that asked about academics? I bet not the major teachers - they only care how you play - and they are the ones who decide whether or not you get in. The admissions or financial aid offices might ask those questions (to make sure all paperwork is complete) - but the administrative offices have nothing to do with whether or not a student is accepted. Sure, the catalogs boast of high SAT averages, etc. - so does every college. Those scores reflect the upper-middle-class background of most music students, but they are an average, not a requirement. Catalogs also make the campus look better than it really does and assure you that no underage drinking goes on. This is all to attract parents.

If a teacher wants you, you don't even have to graduate from high school. (That's why they set up diploma programs along with the degree program at most conservatories). They accept foreign students who speak literally no English if they play well enough (foreign students don't have SAT scores, by the way). You can be accepted into graduate school, for instance, even if you have scored dismally on your theory/history exams - you just have to do remedial work until you can pass the entry-level tests. A conservatory will work around your deficiencies if you play well enough to be accepted. You don't necessarily have to be a superstar either.

Now University of Michigan, I don't know about. Since it is part of a University it might well have tougher academic requirements.

I also disagree that academics would play a tie-breaking role in anything. It is just not part of the equation in a conservatory.

Respectfully,

fatcat

P.S. Just for the record, I am a conservatory graduate (attended two conservatories) and my husband was an administrator at one of the top conservatories in NYC for many years.

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quote:

Originally posted by vieuxtemps:

I know Peabody wants SAT scores so they can be sure you won't be short on practice time because your struggling in The Western Tradition or Writing Skills. Everyone I know in those classes would probably laugh if I mentioned the possibility of struggling in those classes.

What we may be seeing here is the difference between conservatories that are connected to universities and those that are completely independent. As Fatcat pointed out Michigan school of music is clearly part of the University and may be bound by policies of that school. Similarly Oberlin conservatory is an arm of Oberlin college, Eastman is part of U of Rochester, Shepherd part of Rice, Peabody part of John Hopkins and CIM is functionally part of Case Western. These schools all seem to have some academic requirements.

On the other hand Juilliard, Manhattan, Curtis, NEC are pretty independent. These more independent conservatories may have more freedom in ignoring academics and focusing exclusively on talent. Of these four it is interesting to note that Juilliard states explicitly that SAT/ACT are not used in admission decisions and Curtis states that decisions are made solely on talent and promise. But Manhattan and NEC both seem to say that SAT's are used in admission decisions. Perhaps it is only the most prestigious independent conservatories that dispense entirely with academics.

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I think that Cimparent is probably correct in stating that for the major conservatories, grades and test scores don't matter much. However, I think it would be a mistake for any high school student with performance aspirations to figure they can basically blow off their grades and concentrate specifically on music. Some excellent teachers are teaching in universities or colleges and grades and test scores can make the difference. If you want to study with the Vamos's, you better be able to have good enough grades to be accepted to Northwestern. Since we started looking 3 years ago, some very big name teachers have changed schools. I think it behooves all high school students to keep their options open by doing the best that they can in high school.

Also, just for the record, Eastman claims that grades are important and that they have denied admission to very talented students who they felt were not academically strong enough. I don't know if this is true, but they claim that it is. Eastman's literature also states that merit awards are based on the audition as well as academic strength.

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