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#2006079 - 12/29/12 03:26 PM Mannes
MiguelSousa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 101
Hello everyone

I was accepted to do auditions in Mannes (March) and I really need your help. I'm from Portugal and I'm going to USA to do auditons to some universities in the first two weeks in February (UNT, Boston conservatory and I hope Northwestern University). I'm really worried because New York is a big place but with so many great musicians that I don't know if I have place for me. I need to work as an accompanist ( I have a lot of experience) to cover my expenses and also I'm looking for opportunities to perform. If I decide to go, I have to buy a flight ticket so I really bave to be sure that I will get anything.

Thanks

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#2006086 - 12/29/12 03:43 PM Re: Mannes [Re: MiguelSousa]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18227
Loc: Victoria, BC
This could be a real dilemma without an immediate solution.

If you hope to work in some "official" capacity (i.e. professional accompanist at/for an institution or for its students), the first thing you'll be asked for is identification that authorizes you to accept employment in the U.S. That means you would have to apply for a visa/work-permit before leaving Portugal. Without documentation, you certainly would not be able to walk into any music school or conservatory and advertise your skills.

If, however, you plan to work as a free-lance (i.e. illegal) worker, then I think your chances of being engaged by performers is going to be severely limited. Moreover, with no local reputation established and with local students and professionals probably doing most of the accompanying jobs available in the middle of the concert season, how are you going to make connections and make your skills known?

Sorry to say, but I think, on several levels, that your plan is not at all a practical one.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
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#2006239 - 12/29/12 08:35 PM Re: Mannes [Re: MiguelSousa]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19589
Loc: New York City
Besides what Bruce mentions, there must be a lot of competition for any of the musical jobs the OP mentions.

I am not so clear about what the OP means. If he means finding work during the audition period, I would just ask why he can't do his auditions over a period of a couple of weeks and then return home to wait for the results. If he means finding work after he starts attending one of the schools, then this see,s much ore reasonble and something many of the students would be looking to do on a part time basis.

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#2007512 - 01/01/13 03:17 PM Re: Mannes [Re: pianoloverus]
MiguelSousa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 101
I'm talking to get a job ater the auditions , in Setember. I just need to know if new york is a good place to get job. I'm going to change my life to pursue something more. Even with the bad situation in Portugal, I have a lot of work. I don't have any family to help me if the situation gets bad in USA, so I need to be sure about NY (of course I don't know the results, but I like to predict every possibility.

Thanks

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#2007527 - 01/01/13 03:39 PM Re: Mannes [Re: MiguelSousa]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18227
Loc: Victoria, BC
I'm still not clear on your situation. You say that your audition at Mannes takes place in March, and now you are saying that you want to get a job in September. What will you be doing between March and September?

If, as I indicated before, you hope to get an official job of some kind, you will need to have a work permit. In my experience - although that was many years ago - most work permits have to be acquired in the country of origin before your arrival in the U.S.

New York is filled with plenty of talented "starving artists," those students working for a degree who need to work, those who have completed a performance degree and may be trying to acquire - or holding on to - some kind of work to enable them to be in the cultural centre that New York represents. There must be, also, dozens of well-established, professional accompanists taking up the more lucrative accompanying jobs in New York. So, as pianoloverus said, the competition for accompanying positions will be extremely keen. If you don't already have contacts and some introductions into that particular scene, I see the chances of getting enough of that kind of work to support you as being very slim, indeed.

How do you hope to support yourself in the very expensive market that New York is - surely not by doing free-lance accompanying, I wouldn't think!

Again, based on past experience of a few decades ago, work permits are usually given only
- to registered foreign students who need "professional training" related to their field of study (usually a maximum of 18 months)
- if a job opportunity exists,
- if an employer indicates the need for foreign (specialized) workers and can provide proof that he will employ the applicant applying for the permit
- if the work is a necessary job and there are no US citizens available to do the work or
- if the applicant has such highly specialized skills that s/he will bring a substantial contribution to American society.

Whatever the current requirements and laws are, you need to work this all out before you arrive in the US, in my opinion. Do not arrive in the US without any legal prep work done and just hope to start earning money accompanying.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
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Estonia 190

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#2007567 - 01/01/13 04:45 PM Re: Mannes [Re: BruceD]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: BruceD
I'm still not clear on your situation. You say that your audition at Mannes takes place in March, and now you are saying that you want to get a job in September. What will you be doing between March and September?


I'm guessing that he'd return to Portugal after his auditions in March, and if he is accepted to a school, he'd return to the US in September at the beginning of the school year.

Am I correct, Miguel ????


Edited by carey (01/01/13 04:45 PM)
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#2007573 - 01/01/13 05:06 PM Re: Mannes [Re: carey]
MiguelSousa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 101
Yes correct smile

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#2007587 - 01/01/13 05:38 PM Re: Mannes [Re: MiguelSousa]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19589
Loc: New York City
The chance of success(Now that the question has been clarified)would depend on how much money the OP hopes to make. There is a difference between making a small amount with some type of musical work on the side vs. paying for tuition, food and rent with one's earnings. If one is going to school full time, especially where one will have to be practicing a huge number of hours outside of class, it would seem to be very difficult to earn enough to pay for one's living expenses.

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#2007597 - 01/01/13 05:56 PM Re: Mannes [Re: MiguelSousa]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Miquel -

Would you be entering school as a freshman - or as a graduate student??

Would you intend to take a full course load each semester, in addition to working??

Have you communicated with anyone at the various schools you will be auditioning for regarding possible paid accompanying opportunities, scholarships, etc.??
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YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#2007968 - 01/02/13 01:10 PM Re: Mannes [Re: carey]
MiguelSousa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 101
I will be entering as a graduated student.

I talked with a lot of people from the other schools so I have an idea about that. Regarding Mannes, they didn't give me any specific information.

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#2007986 - 01/02/13 01:36 PM Re: Mannes [Re: MiguelSousa]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13812
Loc: Iowa City, IA
The Financial Aid page for Mannes is here:

http://www.newschool.edu/student-services/student-financial-services/

Since they don't offer graduate degrees (Mannes' grad offerings are limited to a Professional Studies Diploma), it's unlikely they'll offer a teaching or accompanying assistantship. They do have a page on student employment:

http://www.newschool.edu/mannes/subpage.aspx?id=3036
_________________________
"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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#2008041 - 01/02/13 03:21 PM Re: Mannes [Re: Kreisler]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18227
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
[...]They do have a page on student employment:
http://www.newschool.edu/mannes/subpage.aspx?id=3036


"International students are allowed to work on campus only and are encouraged to see the International Student Advisor for further information on work eligibility."

which means what it says, namely : an international student may not (legally) accept any work off campus. From the description of on-campus possibilities, I wouldn't rely on remuneration from them to cover much of my living expenses.

If I keep sounding a negative note here, it's simply because I hope that Miguel is fully aware of the limitations imposed on him as a foreign student in the U.S., and that he is not counting on getting employment that is going to cover much of his living expenses.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2008065 - 01/02/13 04:16 PM Re: Mannes [Re: MiguelSousa]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13812
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Yep. The problem with being an international student is that you have to have the right kind of visa to be legally employed in the US. Typically, the school would provide such a visa (an F1 visa I think) which allows the student to study and work at that institution.

J1 visas also allow students to work, but J1 visas are for those involved in some type of exchange program.

I believe (but am not sure) that it might be possible for Miguel to work off-campus IF his employer would be willing to sponsor him for a true work visa (H1B.) The chances of that are rather slim, however, as there are a limited number of employers able to sponsor international students.

This is why a lot of international students choose to attend schools who offer graduate assistantships, which are usually only available to MM or DMA/PhD candidates. Furthermore, those positions often have a TOEFL requirement and additional requirements (it varies from school to school.)

This is also why a lot of international students seek institutional employment after graduation. Once you're no longer a student, your visa expires (I think there's a year grace period), and if you can't find an employer willing to sponsor you for a work visa, then you must leave the country.

Be warned that a lot of my information may be out of date, but this is what I remember from working with international students years ago. It's important to be proactive in seeking information and advice from your school, employer, and the state department. Just last year, a friend of mine had to return to Korea because she was unable to find institutional employment in the US that would sponsor her work visa, and I have another acquaintance who may be facing a similar problem next year.
_________________________
"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)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#2008132 - 01/02/13 06:20 PM Re: Mannes [Re: MiguelSousa]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
The other reality is that NYC is a very expensive city to live it. Boston and Evanston aren't much better. The overall cost of living will be lowest at UNT (Denton, TX). Certainly something for Miguel to consider.
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#2009314 - 01/05/13 07:22 AM Re: Mannes [Re: MiguelSousa]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 730
Loc: Leicester, UK
Miguel, there are a lot of opinions already expressed that make excellent points. NYC can be brutal as a place to make a living in the arts - much harder than the other locations you mention.

On the other hand, accompany, in general, is a high-demand skill. There all kinds of levels and niches for it. Whether or not you can find opportunities quickly enough is another story. Over time, if you are good accompanist, you will likely find a niche and opportunities. By 'good,' I'm assuming you're an excellent sightreader and you already have a lot of accompanying experience in Portugal and therefore you're used to and quite good at adapting to and supporting the performance nuances of musicians whom you're accompaning.

If you already have these kinds of skills, sure, why NOT audition at Mannes if you can afford to get there for the audition. Furthermore, if there's a specific teacher there with whom you hope to study, see if you can contact that person to get their opinion about accompanying possibilities that might exist. Really, what that means is does the person who would be your teacher have orher students who are now finding work as accompanists? If so, then you have a built in network to jump into - assuming your skills are at least as good as if not significantly better than theirs.

There are two other essential things to consider, which are (1) in terms of your education in general, the proximity to the level of arts that exist in NYC is invaluable and can be had in few other, if any, places in the world and (2) if you go to MANNES and if you work as an accompanist during your studies there, well, after graduating you will already have professional connections in place - so you'll be positioned, at least for the opportunities that do exist in NYC.

Please note that there are a lot of "IFs" in this advice ... a whole different way to approach your question is to ask your teachers in Portugal - they already know you - for their advice. The thing is, advice given on the internet may sound like what you want to hear but it may not be what you NEED!

Hope this helps and good luck!

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#2009372 - 01/05/13 10:03 AM Re: Mannes [Re: Mark Polishook]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: printer1

There are two other essential things to consider, which are (1) in terms of your education in general, the proximity to the level of arts that exist in NYC is invaluable and can be had in few other, if any, places in the world and (2) if you go to MANNES and if you work as an accompanist during your studies there, well, after graduating you will already have professional connections in place - so you'll be positioned, at least for the opportunities that do exist in NYC.


While your first point is indeed be true - the availability and access to high level arts offerings in the other metro areas mentioned is still fairly significant.

Regarding the second point, I've known a few gifted musicians over the years who moved to NYC to advance their professional careers. Despite attending prestigious schools, getting a few initial "lucky" breaks, etc. they all eventually got lost in the crowd. The competition there is intense.
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#2009389 - 01/05/13 10:56 AM Re: Mannes [Re: MiguelSousa]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 730
Loc: Leicester, UK
Carey, you are about 40000000000% on the mark in that there are no guarantees for anyone in NYC - no matter how talented, connected, etc. And yes, there are fabulous musicians in other major cities in the world. And in rural areas too for that matter. But if you want to be there in the center of things, well, NYC IS, minimally, ONE major cultural center. That question of should anyone move there to pursue the arts. Well, yes of course it's difficult. That is true. At the same time, it's one of those 'you gotta put put the pole in water if you hope to catch a fish' type things. No pole. No fish! A pole in the water? No way to know if you'll get a fish! And the choose is always there, of course, to go elsewhere ... because in the end, it's sometimes ONE outstanding teacher wherever they may be that makes the difference,

The original poster of this thread, in my opinion, should consult his teachers. Just as we all have opinions so do they. AND. They know the original poster ... presumably, they're in a position to help (advise) him or her to get to whatever level is appropriate.

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#2009534 - 01/05/13 04:10 PM Re: Mannes [Re: Mark Polishook]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: printer1
Carey, you are about 40000000000% on the mark in that there are no guarantees for anyone in NYC - no matter how talented, connected, etc. And yes, there are fabulous musicians in other major cities in the world. And in rural areas too for that matter. But if you want to be there in the center of things, well, NYC IS, minimally, ONE major cultural center. That question of should anyone move there to pursue the arts. Well, yes of course it's difficult. That is true. At the same time, it's one of those 'you gotta put put the pole in water if you hope to catch a fish' type things. No pole. No fish! A pole in the water? No way to know if you'll get a fish! And the choose is always there, of course, to go elsewhere ... because in the end, it's sometimes ONE outstanding teacher wherever they may be that makes the difference,

The original poster of this thread, in my opinion, should consult his teachers. Just as we all have opinions so do they. AND. They know the original poster ... presumably, they're in a position to help (advise) him or her to get to whatever level is appropriate.


Agreed !! And one would hope that his teachers sufficiently understand the musical scene here in the US to advise him wisely.

On a personal note, between undergrad and grad school I was drafted into the military - and ended up being stationed in NYC (Brooklyn) for a year. This gave me access to the riches of the NYC musical scene. It also gave me the opportunity to join a choral group that performed at Lincoln Center and made an LP recording during the time I was there. But, most importantly, the experience enabled helped me to get NYC out of my blood smile and realize that I personally would be better off pursuing my musical studies in another part of the country. But, of course, what wasn't right for me might certainly be the best course of action for someone else !!
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#2009632 - 01/05/13 06:54 PM Re: Mannes [Re: carey]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 730
Loc: Leicester, UK
Originally Posted By: carey


On a personal note, between undergrad and grad school I was drafted into the military - and ended up being stationed in NYC (Brooklyn) for a year. This gave me access to the riches of the NYC musical scene. It also gave me the opportunity to join a choral group that performed at Lincoln Center and made an LP recording during the time I was there. But, most importantly, the experience enabled helped me to get NYC out of my blood smile and realize that I personally would be better off pursuing my musical studies in another part of the country. But, of course, what wasn't right for me might certainly be the best course of action for someone else !!


Thanks for sharing that!

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#2010658 - 01/07/13 03:23 PM Re: Mannes [Re: Mark Polishook]
Aldous Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 65
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: printer1
[quote=carey]

On a personal note, between undergrad and grad school I was drafted into the military - and ended up being stationed in NYC (Brooklyn) for a year. This gave me access to the riches of the NYC musical scene. It also gave me the opportunity to join a choral group that performed at Lincoln Center and made an LP recording during the time I was there. But, most importantly, the experience enabled helped me to get NYC out of my blood smile and realize that I personally would be better off pursuing my musical studies in another part of the country. But, of course, what wasn't right for me might certainly be the best course of action for someone else !!


Very insightful! I've been living in Manhattan now for 25 years. I'm not a professional musician. But many friends are and the struggle for them is enormous. You lift up a rock and you get 20 singers, 20 actors, 20 pianists, etc. all gifted beyond belief.

The friends that I went to music conservatory with left NYC years ago when they were still young and not jaded and found wonderful careers in places like Houston, Dallas, Mobile, Santa Fe area, etc. Regional opera companies where the competition is not what it is in NYC.

A fact of NYC is that supreme talent, as super-abundant as it is, is not nearly enough: you have to have connections and extraordinary good luck, combined with someone to bankroll you through the many lean years you will have.

And when you do debut, that initial success doesn't always lead to another. The newer, younger (read that "cheaper to hire") musicians are always ready to step in. It's pretty brutal, to be honest. Plus, the cost of living here is outrageous. Manhattan and huge parts of Brooklyn are now enclaves for the very rich. The wealthiest people on the planet have been buying up real estate here for years now and housing for the middle-class is almost non-esistent.

My advice, Miguel, is avoid NYC. America is huge and other cities are easier to make your way in. Best of luck, sir.

p.s. Make sure your degree will enable you to teach in accompanying/opera programs. Usually your M.A will allow that. Don't rely on an artist's certificate. Affiliation with a good university with a strong opera program can lead to steady work to supplement playing gigs.


Edited by Aldous (01/07/13 03:29 PM)
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#2010668 - 01/07/13 03:48 PM Re: Mannes [Re: MiguelSousa]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18227
Loc: Victoria, BC
Some people seem to be forgetting that

- the OP is planning to audition for Mannes, and if he is accepted he will be in New York, not in "other cities."
- if he is accepted as a student at Mannes, he will not be allowed, as a foreign student, to work off campus
- Miguel, the OP, wrote that he needs to work while he is a student at Mannes to help defray living expenses

Therefore, some of the suggestions made are not applicable in this case.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
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Estonia 190

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#2010674 - 01/07/13 03:59 PM Re: Mannes [Re: BruceD]
Aldous Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 65
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Some people seem to be forgetting that

- the OP is planning to audition for Mannes, and if he is accepted he will be in New York, not in "other cities."
- if he is accepted as a student at Mannes, he will not be allowed, as a foreign student, to work off campus
- Miguel, the OP, wrote that he needs to work while he is a student at Mannes to help defray living expenses

Therefore, some of the suggestions made are not applicable in this case.

Regards,


I do understand the situation and also that the OP will be visiting other schools in the USA, hopefully to audition.

I was only trying to be helpful in explaining that working (on campus) as a student to defray living expenses will be incredibly taxing, at best, possibly impossible. NYC is exorbitantly expensive. Most lower-level work pay is not sustainable and that would include accompanying for the Mannes community.

And, more importantly, to encourage him to investigate other schools outside of NYC where living costs are manageble.
_________________________
Ich grolle nicht.

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#2010800 - 01/07/13 07:08 PM Re: Mannes [Re: Aldous]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6424
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Aldous
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Some people seem to be forgetting that

- the OP is planning to audition for Mannes, and if he is accepted he will be in New York, not in "other cities."
- if he is accepted as a student at Mannes, he will not be allowed, as a foreign student, to work off campus
- Miguel, the OP, wrote that he needs to work while he is a student at Mannes to help defray living expenses

Therefore, some of the suggestions made are not applicable in this case.

Regards,


I do understand the situation and also that the OP will be visiting other schools in the USA, hopefully to audition.

I was only trying to be helpful in explaining that working (on campus) as a student to defray living expenses will be incredibly taxing, at best, possibly impossible. NYC is exorbitantly expensive. Most lower-level work pay is not sustainable and that would include accompanying for the Mannes community.

And, more importantly, to encourage him to investigate other schools outside of NYC where living costs are manageable.


Mannes is one of four schools the OP plans to audition for. Aldous' advice is very sound !!
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#2010906 - 01/07/13 10:55 PM Re: Mannes [Re: MiguelSousa]
mileojule Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/07/13
Posts: 6
there must be a lot of competition for any of the musical jobs the OP mentions.
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