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Re: Can my dream come true?
#915892 04/21/03 01:01 PM
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Well said, Ken. Thanks for sharing this perspective!

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Re: Can my dream come true?
#915893 04/21/03 01:51 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Linda in PA:
Well said, Ken. Thanks for sharing this perspective!
Thanks. At the same time, I wouldn't beat anyone up who still wants to chase the rainbow. It is a gift of living.

I had a friend who was an attorney and at 40 she decided to abandon law to become a professional cellist. She nearly starved too -- with something like 5 students and a handful of performing gigs. Still, eventually, she found a way -- working at musical instrument store, students and some performing.

Still, it was great that she had a law degree and a portfolio to help her adventure.

I once ran a marathon while having pneumonia -- a stupid thing to do - but I tried to be "smart" about it -- and made it.

If you love music -- it is ok to follow your heart -- but also use your mind to make sure you have a way of making a living.

Ken

Re: Can my dream come true?
#915894 04/21/03 02:13 PM
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Comparing college to a Conservatory - the financial issue.

I have heard (and it makes sense) that there is FAR less financial aid available at a Conservatory than for a university education. What kind of endowment do you think they have?

To top it off, Conservatories are much more expensive, for the most part. Plus - you have to go and purchase a practice piano for your apartment, paying for the move. In New York City anyhow. You can't rely on the practice rooms, where (even at Juilliard, I was recently told by a student) the pianos are in terrible shape. Yes, they are Steinways, but so what?

Even at our State University (main campus in our town), I was scandalized to discover that music majors have to pay for their lessons - anything beyond half an hour a week. In fact, I think they even have to pay for that!! Beyond tuition!

And who wants to graduate with a massive debt from a Conservatory, with such an uncertain financial future?

Of course, if your parents are paying...


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Re: Can my dream come true?
#915895 04/21/03 03:17 PM
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Ariel,I believe that most Conservatories and colleges charge for your weekly lesson in addition to your tuition.When I was an undergraduate, I also had to pay for my half-hour lesson in my minor each week.This was'nt too bad financially,since I had a full keyboard scholarship which helped pay smile my tuition.


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Re: Can my dream come true?
#915896 04/21/03 03:37 PM
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I was pretty much in the same boat, so I know from personal experience that it can be done. I am a senior in High school now, but next year I will be going to be a piano performance major at the Hartt school of music. (Part of Hartford U.) It is a difficult road, but it can be done. These are some things I suggest:

1. Get your audition repertoire ready now, so you have a lot of performance experience with it by the time you get there. Learn a Beethoven sonata, a large romantic work (Like a Chopin scherzo or ballade, but not something small like a Waltz) a Bach prelude and Fugue, a modern work (Like a Debussy piece or Ligeti) and some schools, like Juilliard, will ask for an etude.

2. Play this program for an audience, since it will help tremendously.

Re: Can my dream come true?
#915897 04/21/03 03:53 PM
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Start practicing 6 hours a day and you have a good chance of getting into a good music school if you go to a JC first and take the transfer route for your undergrad. Continue, and Julliard for you Master's won't be too far out of reach.

Mike

Re: Can my dream come true?
#915898 04/21/03 03:55 PM
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you've gotten some wonderful advice, here. i especially like ken's perspective.

my first piano teacher, who had an MM from Indiana, ended up going back to school in her 40s to get a law degree. she was sick and tired of being poor. after one year at the biggest corporate law firm in new york city, she owned a new steinway B and was treating all her starving musician friends to nights at the met opera with her season tickets.

she hated corporate law, but ultimately found her niche practicing arts law, helping artists and musicians. i've been out of touch with her now for some years, but the last time we saw each other, she couldn't be happier or more fulfilled.

i would caution against going to any conservatory straight out of high school, simply because a career in music is such a long shot, and it's important to have the skills and academic background that will give you other options. while i do not advocate using college as career training, i do think the classical liberal arts education is the solidest foundation you can lay for any career.

learning how to read, write, speak, and think critically are invaluable no matter what your future career.

also, why julliard? there are other conservatories that will give you as solid a musical foundation but aren't so stressful. i went to mannes college and it was a lovely place full of great cameraderie--not killer competition--with peers.

having said all that, if your heart is set on an undergrad degree from julliard, then go for it! get honest feedback on your playing, and then get to work on fixing what needs to be fixed.


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Re: Can my dream come true?
#915899 04/21/03 03:59 PM
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Your /sarcasm is well placed!

In case you're interested in the academic job thing, I can tell you that the top 2 things that get people jobs are:

1) Good recommendations
2) Teaching ability and experience

Performance ability is important, but it's definitely in 3rd place.

It also helps to be able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing. It also helps to have connections. (Not with the place you want a job, but in the music world in general.)

One of our faculty members will probably retire in 5 years, I'll look you up. smile

Quote
Originally posted by Brendan:
Well, I have 5 years or so before I have to start looking, so hopefully things will turn around by then. So far, I've made my billions by doing collaborative work.

However, I could always just go win a major international competition, which should make the college job search easier for me.[/sarcasm]


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: Can my dream come true?
#915900 04/21/03 04:28 PM
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adding to pique's point...

my teacher always felt that the principal teacher was more important than the school. if this person was at julliard, curtis, indiana, wherever -- that is where you want to be...

when you find a young artist you admire, find out who they studied with and whose teaching they found most important to their career. that may guide you. whether teacing or performing you'll find that a huge number of great musicians did not come from julliard -- not saying it isn't a great school - but i can name many, many fine musicians who did not study there.

ken

Re: Can my dream come true?
#915901 04/21/03 04:37 PM
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Wow...
This post has been really informative!

Now for another question:

You all keep talking about the "other schools" other than Julliard, NEC, Peabody, etc that are really good. What are some of these schools? I want to go to a good school for my grad degree. But I feel like I just do not belong at the top conservatories ( though I am still looking for a competitive one, with good teachers). Where should I be looking?

Keep the tips coming, guys...I am learning alot that might help me in the very near future ( I will be starting the audition process in the fall! yikes!)


"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." ~Rachmaninoff
Re: Can my dream come true?
#915902 04/21/03 04:45 PM
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Pianomuse,you might want to consider Shenandoah University,formerly Shenandoah College and Conservatory of Music,Oberlin,or Bowling Green.Of the three Shenandoah might be the toughest to get into.I did my undergrad studies there.It was very much geared to performance,and very competetive,but worth it. smile


G.Fiore "aka-Curry". Tuner-Technician serving the central NJ, S.E. PA area. b214cm@aol.com Concert tuning, Regulation-voicing specialist.
Dampp-Chaser installations, piano appraisals. PTG S.Jersey Chapter 080.
Bösendorfer 214 # 47,299 214-358
Re: Can my dream come true?
#915903 04/21/03 05:09 PM
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PianoMuse,

Part of the answer comes from what do you want to do?? If you are only thinking music, that's one thing, but are you thinking of a backup strategy if you don't become an NBA superstar?

Even in music, are you thinking pedagogy or performance? Got to be pretty specific. I'd feel better if you said you were pursuing a dual major of accounting and music or even english and music.

Again, talk to people who are living the life you are dreaming of and speak with them...but to do that, you need to know yourself and be able to articulate that. Read "What Color is Your Parachute" for good ideas.

If you're planning on being the next Brendel or Horowitz...be prepared for disappointment...

Ken

Re: Can my dream come true?
#915904 04/21/03 05:12 PM
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Off the top of my head:

The University of...
...Michigan
...Oklahoma
...Kansas
...South Carolina
...Maryland (College Park)
...Illinois (U-C)
...Colorado
...Wisconsin
...Indiana
...Texas
...North Texas
...Houston
...Missouri Kansas City (a conservatory)
...Southern California (private, expensive)

and

Louisiana...
Florida...
Michigan...
and Arizona...

...State University

And of course all the "major" schools/conservatories:

CIM (Cleveland Institute of Music)
CCM (College-Conservatory in Cincinnati)
Oberlin
Hartt
Curtis
New England Conservatory
Peabody
Juilliard
MSM (Manhattan School of Music)
SUNY - Stonybrook
Rice
Mannes

And for popular music:

Berklee College (in Boston, not Berkeley)
Belmont University (in Nashville)

And I'm sure I've forgotten plenty of other obvious ones. Find more here:

http://www.music.indiana.edu/music_resources/som.html#usa


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: Can my dream come true?
#915905 04/21/03 05:21 PM
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More about the non-Conservatory route...

You know Jon Nakamutsu (winner of the Van Cliburn eight years ago), dutiful son of cautious Japanese parents, did not attend a Conservatory. In fact, he got his college degree in language teaching, and only after THAT - and I mean, not only after college, but after a hard day in and out of the classroom, he went on to practice.

He was sure he didn't have a chance in the van Cliburn, against all the Conservatory graduates, including those from overseas, like Russia, who had been groomed and coddled from an early age just for piano careers. Kind of like they do the Olympics.

He did win! We heard him a few years ago and he was unbelieveable.

That doesn't mean it's the norm. But the norm, unfortunately, is the wild, expensive gamble, lots of hard work to graduate from a Conservatory, and then...teaching piano or working in a Jr. High Music Department, struggling to "carve out" time for practicing as my son's piano teacher says (he's a university piano prof).

IPersonally, I advocate for a liberal arts education with a good music program and a really good piano teacher- to be carefully identified and (good point!) contacted in advance of the application procedure.

It's not that I don't approve of dreaming - my father was a successful professional (visual)artist,and my mother also did some portraiture, but they were Fine Arts majors at a top university too.

Well, I guess it's the financial angle for me when it comes down to it. If that's not a problem, either in paying for it or surviving afterwards, then a Conservatory is just dandy.

Ariel


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Re: Can my dream come true?
#915906 04/21/03 05:49 PM
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Ariel,again Shenandoah,a top music school with a lot of financial aid to students.I did it,I also had to work while at school,but came away with two degrees.I knew I did'nt want to perform professionally for the rest of my life,not in my temperament,but I have been teaching for 15 years,and will have my tuning business full-time after I retire.It can be done. smile


G.Fiore "aka-Curry". Tuner-Technician serving the central NJ, S.E. PA area. b214cm@aol.com Concert tuning, Regulation-voicing specialist.
Dampp-Chaser installations, piano appraisals. PTG S.Jersey Chapter 080.
Bösendorfer 214 # 47,299 214-358
Re: Can my dream come true?
#915907 04/21/03 06:25 PM
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Ariel,

You are definately not the only one that is not rich. I still play on a tiny 66 key keyboard and am personally saving up for a 'real' piano (hopefully with some help from my parents).

I too shudder when I look at tuition for the conservatories. The cost is kinda overwhelming to look at, but I hope that I could attend one.

I'm not completely set on Julliard, I was also looking at peabody, manhattan, and the others.

Thank you all for your wonderful comments!

PS- what is the name of the school where tuition is free too those who get accepted...


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Re: Can my dream come true?
#915908 04/21/03 06:52 PM
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The tuition isn't really that bad after scholarhips and government federal aid. It can decrease a great deal. The average tuition at these music schools are about $20,000, so it isn't rare to be able to recieve a good scholarship, covering half or more of the price.

Re: Can my dream come true?
#915909 04/21/03 06:56 PM
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Yah thats not that bad wink . It is still steep but managable. I don't get Federal Aid being a Canadian.

Thanks for the comments.


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Re: Can my dream come true?
#915910 04/21/03 10:06 PM
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Thanks for all the replies!

I love performing, but I am realistic, and I know that I cannot go professional. I REALLY love teaching, so I have a feeling I am going to end up teaching private lessons.

The thing is, I want to be teaching them on a fairly high level...perhaps even at a college one day.

So I am looking for a good teacher, and a school with good performance opportinuties. I will probably be going in as performance ( though that's not what I want to do in life).

I will definatly check out the other schools that were listed.


"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." ~Rachmaninoff
Re: Can my dream come true?
#915911 04/21/03 10:34 PM
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Originally posted by CrashTest:
The average tuition at these music schools are about $20,000, so it isn't rare to be able to recieve a good scholarship, covering half or more of the price.
That's not true. Scholarships for undergrads are very hard to come by at most schools, making unwitting 18 year-olds decide if they should take out a $15,000 loan or not. Most schools now give out only one full scholarship per department per year. Oberlin offered me $4,000 out of $32,000. Thankfully, CCM could give me in-state tuition and I ended up paying only $6,000 for my whole undergrad education.

What we're seeing is more and more people making bad financial decisions in their youth and declaring bankruptcy as soon as they get out of college.

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