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#1501295 - 08/23/10 12:41 AM Piano and College Applications
Mermanof83 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 55
Loc: California, USA
I'm a senior in high school, which means I will in a few months be applying to colleges. I want colleges to know that I've been playing piano, and possibly get a scholarship or two from that also. But, I haven't done any music through the school, or anything else like that, so I'm not sure how I'll show colleges that I've been playing for years. Any suggestions?
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#1501312 - 08/23/10 01:18 AM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: Mermanof83]
cast12 Offline
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Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 219
Send a recording.

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#1501316 - 08/23/10 01:28 AM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: Mermanof83]
BruceD Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
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Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: Mermanof83
I'm a senior in high school, which means I will in a few months be applying to colleges. I want colleges to know that I've been playing piano, and possibly get a scholarship or two from that also. But, I haven't done any music through the school, or anything else like that, so I'm not sure how I'll show colleges that I've been playing for years. Any suggestions?


Your question is not clear.

If you are planning to apply for a music "scholarship or two from [playing the piano]" (what does that mean, actually; do you think colleges give out multiple scholarships as casually as you make it sound?), then you'll have to apply for the scholarship and your musical background and audition recording will be part of that application.

If you're saying that you are hoping to get a scholarship for a program other than a musical one but that you want them to know that you've had some musical training, that, too, will come up in your application process under something like "extra-curricular activities" or "other interests."

Regards,
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#1501319 - 08/23/10 01:37 AM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: BruceD]
beet31425 Offline
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Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3712
Loc: Bay Area, CA
When I applied to colleges (20 years ago, but still relevant, I imagine), I sent a recording with each application. A large "classical" piece I had worked up, some improvisation, a composition. All of this was from my private lessons, not "music through the school". Colleges like people with well-developed passions!

-J
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#1501338 - 08/23/10 03:18 AM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: beet31425]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: beet31425
When I applied to colleges (20 years ago, but still relevant, I imagine), I sent a recording....

I didn't send one.
I think that's why I got in. ha


But seriously folks smile .....

Originally Posted By: Mermanof83
.....Any suggestions?

Yes. A few things.....

Is there a "college advisor" or anything like that at your school? (Most schools have them, as far as I've ever known.) Assuming there is, ask him/her the same question. Put a lot of weight on what he/she says.

Have you had a TEACHER? If so......same thing as above: ask him/her.
If you haven't.......While it's hard to generalize and there are always exceptions, I would have to guess that it would be very rare for someone to be advanced enough or well-prepared enough to have a fighting chance at what you're asking about without having done some serious work with a teacher.

Finally......Especially if neither of the above is yes, but maybe even if they are: Contact the colleges you're interested in, and ask them. I think just the fact of asking them will help get their attention, and that could be helpful -- in addition to whatever you might learn from their answers.

Good luck!
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#1501347 - 08/23/10 04:06 AM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: Mark_C]
AZNpiano Offline
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Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5418
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Is there a "college advisor" or anything like that at your school? (Most schools have them, as far as I've ever known.) Assuming there is, ask him/her the same question. Put a lot of weight on what he/she says.


Sadly, most of these counselors are overworked. They each have to cover 400-600 students, check their schedules, and keep up with their academic performance. And that's on top of parent conferences and other discipline issues. A student might have to wait weeks just to get a 10-minute consultation with these bureaucrats. frown


Edited by AZNpiano (08/23/10 04:06 AM)
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#1501350 - 08/23/10 04:13 AM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: Mermanof83]
AZNpiano Offline
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Registered: 08/07/07
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Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Mermanof83
possibly get a scholarship or two from that also.

Unless you are a serious music major, don't count on that.

Colleges want achievements. That's why I tell my 8th-grade piano students to start gathering data: write down every music festival they've attended, every music exam passed (level, score, and date), every competition won, etc. Get a box to collect all the certificates, medals, plaques, trophies, etc.

If you are applying to a major university, a lot of applicants play the piano or another musical instrument. It's about your experience, achievement, and other stuff that separates you from the other applicants. Have you performed with famous people? Do you play an unusual style?
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#1501480 - 08/23/10 10:40 AM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: AZNpiano]
Mermanof83 Offline
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Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 55
Loc: California, USA
Thanks! I totally blanked on being able to send recordings! Or maybe I just assumed they didn't care about random CDs sent in with regular applications...

I'm not planning on being a music major. And don't worry, I wasn't expecting easy scholarships. But my high school career being summed up on a sheet of paper looked very sparse, and writing 'Piano' down at the bottom hardly captured the truth of the matter.

The counselors at my school (3 of them for a grand total of around 600 students) are lazy, worthless human beings. They don't have any answers when you ask them about anything, they advise against taking hard (honors and AP) classes because they will be 'difficult', and they often take their lunch break when our student lunch is...I've seen them walking off campus looking over their shoulders as if trying to avoid doing their job with as much vigor as they should be applying to their job.

But I will speak to my teacher about this, and asking colleges directly is another good idea. I just wanted to bounce this off of someone first.

Thanks again.
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#1501483 - 08/23/10 10:44 AM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: Mermanof83]
oceanix Offline
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Registered: 05/08/10
Posts: 25
I'm planning on applying mostly to smaller liberal arts schools (not necessarily to become a music major). All of them have separate parts on the application for a recording if you want to send that in. A couple offer smaller scholarships based on that.

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#1501557 - 08/23/10 12:42 PM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: Mermanof83]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mermanof83
Thanks! I totally blanked on being able to send recordings! Or maybe I just assumed they didn't care about random CDs sent in with regular applications...

I'm not planning on being a music major. And don't worry, I wasn't expecting easy scholarships. But my high school career being summed up on a sheet of paper looked very sparse, and writing 'Piano' down at the bottom hardly captured the truth of the matter.

The counselors at my school (3 of them for a grand total of around 600 students) are lazy, worthless human beings. They don't have any answers when you ask them about anything, they advise against taking hard (honors and AP) classes because they will be 'difficult', and they often take their lunch break when our student lunch is...I've seen them walking off campus looking over their shoulders as if trying to avoid doing their job with as much vigor as they should be applying to their job.



I had thought that 'guidance' counselors of that sort had gone the way of the dinosaurs. Advising students to avoid 'hard classes' is a form of counseling malpractice these days.

Merman,

My son is in exactly your boat at present (rising senior applying to colleges), so we're going through the same process.

I think the common application has a supplement page that you can use to advertise your musical accomplishments. That's where you include your piano information. You can also include a formal music resumé as part of your application if that's something you wish to advertise. My son is going that route. In a page you can list your teachers, your major competitions and performances, and any other honors you have received. In addition, you should most definitely send a CD with 3-4 works on it that represent your portfolio.
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#1501559 - 08/23/10 12:50 PM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: Mermanof83]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5418
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Mermanof83
The counselors at my school (3 of them for a grand total of around 600 students) are lazy, worthless human beings. They don't have any answers when you ask them about anything, they advise against taking hard (honors and AP) classes because they will be 'difficult'

Sounds like mine! Fortunately, my high school had a "Career Center," and the lady who worked there really, really went out of her way to help us find scholarships. In fact, for one local scholarship, she gave one to the class valedictorian and one to me!
Depending on where you live, you might find a number of local organizations who give out scholarships. Those are much easier to win than the national or state ones.
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#1501563 - 08/23/10 12:53 PM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: Piano*Dad]
Monica K. Offline

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Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Many colleges also require essays, and depending on the prompt given, you can probably work your piano background into one of those. E.g., a common essay topic is something like "Describe a time you had to work hard to achieve a goal" (and believe me, you can tell a lot about a student's priorities by the 'goal' they choose to describe!). You could talk about learning a complicated piece to play at a recital in front of 200 people or whatever.

Since you are not applying to the music program specifically, I don't know if a CD would be that helpful or even paid any attention to. I'd recommend adding in a link to a YouTube channel (if you don't have any videos uploaded, go ahead and do so) when you describe your extracurriculars, so that people reading your application over can easily look up your recordings if the CD gets lost/separated.
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#1501569 - 08/23/10 01:04 PM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: Monica K.]
Avguste Antonov Offline
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Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 75
Loc: Grapevine,Texas, USA
When applying for a music scholarship, each CD is important.
I would also work on having a resume, a list of repertoire and accomplishments. And I would send all of this to the admission office and to the respective piano division director.
Then I would call the piano division director and talk to him directly.
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#1501571 - 08/23/10 01:12 PM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: Avguste Antonov]
BruceD Offline
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Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: Avguste Antonov
When applying for a music scholarship, each CD is important.
I would also work on having a resume, a list of repertoire and accomplishments. And I would send all of this to the admission office and to the respective piano division director.
Then I would call the piano division director and talk to him directly.


Yes, but if you read the OP's response, he is not applying for a music scholarship, hence Monica's response which you seemingly contradicted.
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#1501584 - 08/23/10 01:36 PM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: BruceD]
Avguste Antonov Offline
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Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 75
Loc: Grapevine,Texas, USA
He said he is not planning on being a music major

"I'm not planning on being a music major"

However, he does seem interested in a possible music scholarship with piano.
Which is where my response comes in.
_________________________
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E-book on "Self Management in a Concert Career"
http://avgusteantonov.com/index.php?opti...7&Itemid=62
(scroll down the page)
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http://www.avgusteantonov.com
--
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http://www.pricerubin.com

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#1501586 - 08/23/10 01:38 PM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: Avguste Antonov]
Piano*Dad Offline
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... and there are indeed some schools that offer music scholarships for students who do NOT intend to pursue a music concentration. Many of those scholarships require an on-campus audition and not a submitted CD.
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#1501593 - 08/23/10 01:51 PM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: BruceD]
Jeff Clef Offline
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Registered: 10/05/08
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Loc: San Jose, CA
Good luck with your applications, Mermanof83 Brian.

I would stay off the subject of the worthlessness of your school's academic counselors when you go to write your essay. Just saying. You seem to write well, though, and that is a good sign.

Do you have anything in mind for music in college, other than as a major or to plump up your application? A minor, perhaps? What major do you have it in mind to declare?

And (I hope), did you disregard the worthless advice and take the difficult courses anyway? How did that work out for you?

When I was your age, I was so totally clueless (and yet, convinced that I knew everything). I take it for a good sign that you're looking even this far ahead, and that you're asking for advice. Some of the people who have answered you are educators--- and don't be fooled by how simple it sounds. Once you try to do what they've suggested, it's going to take an effort to bring it forth. But that effort will show in your college applications, and it's one thing the admissions officers really have their eye out for.


Edited by Jeff Clef (08/23/10 01:52 PM)
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#1501634 - 08/23/10 03:23 PM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: Piano*Dad]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
... and there are indeed some schools that offer music scholarships for students who do NOT intend to pursue a music concentration......

Really? (Are you sure?)

Really???

Sorry for the repetition smile but I find that very surprising.

I was about to be saying that I doubted he could think in terms of "a scholarship of two from [piano]" if he's not planning on (or not good enough for, or whatever) a strong concentration in music.

If there are things like what you said (and it sounds like you know what you're talking about)....it seems so odd, that I'd have to wonder if there's way more than meets the eye.

Please do tell. smile
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#1501638 - 08/23/10 03:29 PM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: Mermanof83]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Mermanof83
....I'm not planning on being a music major. And don't worry, I wasn't expecting easy scholarships. But my high school career being summed up on a sheet of paper looked very sparse, and writing 'Piano' down at the bottom hardly captured the truth of the matter.....

How not?
Speaking of which......I don't think you've mentioned anything about how advanced or accomplished you are with piano. Reading between the lines, I was figuring you probably aren't extremely so, but this makes it seem like maybe you are.

Anyway.....putting together everything you've said on here so far, I would guess -- unless you're more advanced than I think it seems -- that your best chance is to not think in terms of "music scholarship" or "piano scholarship" per se, but to think of music as an extra thing that adds to your overall credentials, and which therefore gives you a better chance at a 'regular' scholarship.

P.S. Good job thinking about and responding to all the specific points that people are mentioning, and good to hear that you do have a teacher. When all is said and done, he/she might be THE BEST resource on this question.
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#1501663 - 08/23/10 04:26 PM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: Mark_C]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Registered: 04/12/05
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
... and there are indeed some schools that offer music scholarships for students who do NOT intend to pursue a music concentration......

Really? (Are you sure?)

Really???

Sorry for the repetition smile but I find that very surprising.

I was about to be saying that I doubted he could think in terms of "a scholarship of two from [piano]" if he's not planning on (or not good enough for, or whatever) a strong concentration in music.

If there are things like what you said (and it sounds like you know what you're talking about)....it seems so odd that I'd have to wonder if there's way more than meets the eye.

Please do tell. smile


Well, Mark, here is a prime example:

Richmond Scholars Program

This one is a complete full ride to a rather expensive private institution, and it is available if you simply minor in one of the arts.

Another one is offered by Case Western Reserve University. Their "Music Achievement Awards" have in mind non-majors who want to continue their music training. This is available by on-campus audition only. I may soon be taking a trip to Cleveland for this.

Here it is: Case Music Awards

Stanford University has its "Friends of Stanford Music" that provides stipends for lessons and other scholarships for Stanford students.

You just have to look around.
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#1501676 - 08/23/10 04:44 PM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: Piano*Dad]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
...Well, Mark, here is but a single example:

Richmond Scholars Program....


Thanks. There IS more than meets the eye. smile
I think what you said before was misleading, and might give inappropriate hope to the OP.
It's not "for" people who aren't going to major in music; as per what you just said, it merely doesn't exclude them. I think you made it sound like you were talking about programs specifically for people who won't major in it. And it looks to me like they're still talking about people who are thinking of a much more serious focus on music than the OP is indicating. I think they include mention of "minoring" mainly so top-notch candidates who aren't sure if they'll be majoring in music won't feel they can't apply for it.

Also.....continuing about there being "more than meets the eye": They say it's for people ".....with extraordinary talent...." Of course it's possible that the OP meets that, but, as per what I said (and no knock on him, because very few people would), it doesn't seem from 'reading between the lines' that he would. I wouldn't have either, so maybe I'm projecting. smile

So.....I'm left still doubting that there are music scholarship programs designated for people who don't intend to concentrate on it more than what the OP is indicating.
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#1501685 - 08/23/10 04:49 PM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: Mark_C]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Well, you may think it's misleading, but I think it's something that good musicians who want to major in something else can at least try for.
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#1501688 - 08/23/10 04:58 PM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: Mark_C]
Mark_C Online   content
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P.S. It looks like the Stanford program allows more wiggle room on how "extraordinary" the person has to be, but I'd guess strongly that even for that program you have to be way up there.
Plus of course you need to meet the general requirements for Stanford, which are at the highest level.

I guess what it comes down to is, do we want to be giving advice that has only a small chance of being relevant to the OP?
I would be wary of suggesting things like this unless the person has shown or told us something that tells us he has a good chance of being in that ballpark. We don't know for sure that the OP isn't, but we haven't seen anything that remotely suggests he is -- which, as I said, is no knock on him, because most people wouldn't. When we go ahead anyway and point people in directions like this, I think we are much more likely to mislead them than to serve them well. It seems that the OP's best shot might be to view music as something that enhances his overall application and his chances for a 'regular' scholarship.
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#1501689 - 08/23/10 04:59 PM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: Piano*Dad]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Look, I have no idea how talented or well trained the OP is. The point is that there is money out there for students who are good musicians, but who would prefer to study engineering or economics as their primary concentration. That's a fact. Who knows whether or not it's relevant to the OP. He asked whether or not money was available. It is. It's up to him to follow that golden road if he is able.

I suspect Brian is also concerned with how music as an extracurricular activity can be presented in a way that enhances his chances of acceptance. That's simple too. Use the application process to highlight your musical training, and send along a demo CD as evidence. Having talked with music faculty, I have a sense of how that process works. The admissions office sends promising CDs or DVDs over to the music department. If they are judged worthwhile, that information is conveyed back to the admissions office. The applicant can get a bit of a positive bump from that.
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#1501704 - 08/23/10 05:16 PM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: Mark_C]
bitWrangler Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
I guess what it comes down to is, do we want to be giving advice that has only a small chance of being relevant to the OP?
I would be wary of suggesting things like this unless the person has shown or told us something that tells us he has a good chance of being in that ballpark. We don't know for sure that the OP isn't, but we haven't seen anything that remotely suggests he is -- which, as I said, is no knock on him, because most people wouldn't. When we go ahead anyway and point people in directions like this, I think we are much more likely to mislead them than to serve them well. It seems that the OP's best shot might be to view music as something that enhances his overall application and his chances for a 'regular' scholarship.


Why not. Feed the person as much information as possible and it's up to them to figure out which things might be relevant to their own situation. He can visit a website as quickly as you or I can to make a quick determination of whether the scholarship is appropriate for them. It's not like he's going to start booking plane trips based on some general recommendations from this forum.

Plus PD's post that you're responding to wasn't a direct response to the OP but a reply to someone else asking for specific information on a general statement (there are scholarship opportunities that factor in musical performance abilities but are not necessarily for music majors). Therefore I took PD's post not to be meant necessarily for the OP, but to address the question. I think his main point is that such beasts exist and so it's worth fishing around for some more.

I personally found the information interesting and useful and even if those specific examples don't meet the OP's needs, I don't think they were OT and should at the very least get the OP to start googling other potential opportunities.

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#1501712 - 08/23/10 05:23 PM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: bitWrangler]
Kuanpiano Offline
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You'll probably just put it down in any sort of supplementary applications where you can list what you do other than schoolwork, that's how it worked for me. If you've participated in competitions, going though some kind of grading system (like RCM in Canada), that all helps to show that you've been a musician all of this time.
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#1501878 - 08/23/10 08:18 PM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: bitWrangler]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: bitWrangler
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
....do we want to be giving advice that has only a small chance of being relevant to the OP?
I would be wary of suggesting things like this unless the person has shown or told us something that tells us he has a good chance of being in that ballpark....
Why not. Feed the person as much information as possible and it's up to them to figure out which things might be relevant to their own situation....

I think what I said is a good general rule for giving someone guidance: Emphasize what seems likely to be relevant. Even if doing otherwise doesn't mislead the person (which with this particular example I think it probably would), it usually fails to help point the person in a good direction.

And isn't that what we should most try to do?
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#1501895 - 08/23/10 08:29 PM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: Mark_C]
Piano*Dad Offline
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How is mentioning the existence of music scholarships for students who do not plan to major in performance a misleading approach. NOT to do so would be more misleading. Why pass a priori judgment upon what this person is capable of achieving. Why pass judgment (by self censoring) upon what other readers of this thread might be capable of accomplishing? Every reader is aware of their own situation and can use the information accordingly. If Brian's best hope is to get into a completely non-selective school, he will chuckle at my mention of 16K scholarships at Case Western Reserve. If some other reader happens upon this thread who is good enough for the Cleveland Institute, but who would prefer an engineering degree from Case while they hone their art, then I have just provided some potentially very useful information.
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#1501898 - 08/23/10 08:34 PM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: Piano*Dad]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19647
Loc: New York
Because when you brought it up, you made it sound like a program geared specifically toward non-majors.

Let me emphasize (if I need to) smile .....this is all "IMO."
And I do feel strongly about it. I think too much guidance (especially maybe on internet boards) refers to the unlikely rather than the likely, and I think that misleads the person. But obviously there can be different views -- and we're seeing them here.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1501912 - 08/23/10 08:51 PM Re: Piano and College Applications [Re: Kuanpiano]
Mermanof83 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 55
Loc: California, USA
I'm probably going to be majoring in engineering, and minoring in music (if those two fields are vague enough for you. I'm young, how should I know what I'm doing with my life?) so I will definitely continue studying piano in college seriously. It's the closest thing I have to a passion (and cars, but that's a whole other discussion!)

Monica, that is part of my fear, that a CD would be discarded or something along those lines. I'll have to talk to the college about that. And like Avguste mentioned, someone in the music department as well.

Jeff, I'll try to avoid insulting faculty in my essays. It will be difficult though...
Anyway, I did take plenty of advanced courses, and regret every lost hour of my free time haha. I suppose it will eventually pay off though. My test scores keep me optomistic.

As to speculations on my skill level, I'd say I'm somewhere in the broad range of intermediate to advanced. But more importantly, I have a...'knack' shall we say, for piano, and am very serious about continuing my study and would like every opportunity to do so. I wouldn't call myself extraordinary (yet, at least) but I have some potential.

Piano*Dad, you're spot on about this helping my chances of acceptance. This could help me stand out against other applicants, at least a bit. Is that standard practice for them to take all recordings sent in with applications and shift them to the music department? Because that is very reassuring...
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