College

DSOA JUNIORS’ COLLEGE CHECKLIST
MUSIC PERFORMANCE TRACK

ROUGH COLLEGE LIST - Research on the web, and create a rough College List 12-15 schools. At least 3-5 in-state schools. One to two “shoot the moon” conservatories. A mix of conservatories and colleges. Read up on the professors who teach your instrument. Check their bios. You are entering into a mentoring process in college music. Don’t always pick the most famous. Great players who are around 5 days a week are often better than big name players only around for lessons once or twice a month. COPY DOWN THE AUDITION REQUIREMENTS. Compare them. You will have to learn a fair amount of music. See which ones line up so you can use what you learn to play at more than one school. Talk to your private teacher about how to best prepare for the pieces needed along with your normal schedule MAKE A COLLEGE CALENDAR - Even if you think you have a great memory, you are juggling a LOT of balls up in the air when you apply to music programs. Your parents, your private teacher can help you better if you can keep your action items on a sharable computer calendar. On your iCal, Outlook or Google Calendar, set up a separate calendar for your college stuff, one that you can share with your parents, teachers and/or anyone helping you, that isn’t your personal calendar. Put deadlines, travel info, scholarship deadlines and anything else that you need to make sure that you hit all of the marks. VISIT SCHOOLS - Plan over the rest of the spring and early Fall to visit schools, and take some lessons with top contenders if you can. It’s important to look at schools with your parents and check out all aspects: Class size, living space (dorms), even the general feel of the campus. Don’t go during summer session because that’s not how the campus flows during the school year. You want to see it during crunch periods at the dining halls, even talk to some students after the official tour is over. As for taking lessons with music faculty, you need to be on the professor’s radar, and you need to see if you like working with them. Email them NOW to schedule appointments for your late spring and fall visits. Questions: brian.ross@therossgroupft.com TAKE LESSONS - Do people get into conservatories and top university programs without taking lessons with a professor in the summer/fall prior to admission? Sure. All the time. If you’re not on their radar via national competitions or All-State, though, it is a good introduction. It is also a great way for you to decide whether you can work with one of the few faculty that teach your instrument. You’ll be at the school for four years, and have one primary teacher who has several students. How do they see you as a “fit”? Are you on their radar, or an afterthought? Chemistry is everything. Check it out. FINE TUNE YOUR COLLEGE LIST - After visiting, or checking out websites, and asking alumni and/or others about schools, try to limit down your choices to 8 schools, 10 max. There are a LOT of great schools. You can’t prepare auditions for all of them, so pick the best ones and then build your list. ESSAYS - You should do a first-draft of your college essays/supplements right after school ends. Drag that this is after a long school year, if you wait until the Fall to get started, you will have a one-draft essay that may not help you much. You have the Common App essay, and then supplemental essays for larger universities. Conservatories don’t participate in the Common App, and almost all have different essay requirements. MAKE A LIST of the essay topics for each of the schools that you are interested in. Essays are IMPORTANT. They are the way that schools get to know you. We will have an Essay Seminar in May. If you would like your essay read by someone who has read for admissions, email to brian.ross@therossgroupft.com and I will read/comment on them. Provide me the topic question along with your essay, and the name of the school or common app requesting it. All essays for me to read need to be in my email box by June 30th, 2013. ALL-STATE/NATIONAL SHOWCASES - Everyone should do Young Artists (It’s in Miami). Applications for Student Grammy, Jazz Band of America, etc. are available NOW or soon. You will get your All State music at the end of the school year. You need to add all of this to your calendar and practice/prep plan.

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College
DSOA JUNIORS’ COLLEGE CHECKLIST
MUSIC PERFORMANCE TRACK

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PRACTICE/PREP PLAN - If you have not been putting in daily practice, it’s best to get on it because college will demand that and more from you. Be prepared to be putting your hours in over the summer too, as you will need to digest a lot of music and get it ready for performance. You need to work with your private teacher and take all of the above work and break it out into a schedule to develop what you have to prepare, also knowing that you will have your usual workload of projects for school. FAFSA - The FAFSA for your application year will not be ready until the late Fall at the earliest, but your parents should review the current FAFSA as they don’t change that much, to see what information they will need to fill in. You will not even be able to get Bright Futures without the FAFSA being filled in, so make sure that the parental units are up to speed on it. BRIGHT FUTURES - 75 Hours gets you Medallion Status. 100 hours gets you Academic Scholar status. You need to file by the time you graduate BUT you need the hours. If you have them, they can pay up to 75% of in-state tuition costs at public colleges and universities. Don’t have your hours? GET THEM. Make sure they are filed correctly at school as well. Band Aids. Play at a retirement home or hospice. Get letters for your hours and file them with guidance. OTHER SCHOLARSHIPS - There are a lot of other scholarships out there that can fill in gap money. They often are in small amounts, a few thousand, and they may require an essay or an audition, but they can fill in gap money when a school offers less than you need to meet tuition/room and board costs. LOOK CAREFULLY beyond the basic descriptions. A scholarship offered by a black fraternity didn’t have any requirement for you to be black or male. Some colleges have their own scholarships offered by student unions or alumni associations. They’re contingent upon entry, but if it’s your first choice, go for it! http://www.scholarships.com/financial-aid/college-scholarships/ http://www.collegescholarships.org/ http://www.fastweb.com/

PRE-AUDITION RECORDINGS/SHOWCASE AUDITION RECORDINGS - All showcases and some music major categories (esp. Jazz) require pre-audition recording screenings. You listed them, and you set up a practice routine for them. Now you need to record them. Do this in the Fall, in the middle of September to early October if you can. QUALITY COUNTS. Even if it requires a “FLAT” recording, a better recording than stuffing yourself into a practice room with bad acoustics is VITAL. You’re going to a school that costs $21-$62,000 a year? Don’t cheap out here. If you call local recording studios like Saturn Sound or DC Studios, they have rates that run $50-75/hr for students with no mixing (which you don’t need). If you prepare well, and even have a combo with other people who need to record, you can get the whole thing done in two to three hours.

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HALLOWEEN AND THE STATE SCHOOLS SECRET - All of the state schools in Florida do an “early” batch of application processing that is NOT EARLY DECISION. If you’re looking at UF, UCF, UNF, FSU, etc.. GET YOUR APPLICATION IN BY OCT. 31, regardless of whether or not you’re applying early decision. They will admit you regular decision, but often, as it is at UCF and other places, you will know you were admitted to the university by November. THIS IS PARTICULARLY HELPFUL FOR MUSIC SCHOLARSHIP because you still have to be admitted to the music program by audition, and the professors making those decisions like to know that they’re giving money to someone already academically eligible to be in their program. COLLEGE NIGHTS & COLLEGE INFORMATION SESSIONS - If you’re interested in the school, make sure you see them at College Fairs or All-State. GO to their college nights. Their academic admissions people count times you’ve been in contact with them. It shows interest, which makes them show more interest in you.

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