Montgomery Educational Consulting’s Senior Associate, Cara Ray, had a chance to sit down with Fred Peterbark. Assistant Dean of Recruitment and Outreach for the College of Music at the University of Colorado Boulder. Listen to his tips to help you get ready for your music application and audition.
Mr. Peterbark also shared some other additional tips and helpful thoughts.
How music prepares you for future careers
When you study music you are not just learning about music. You are learning how to perform and how to teach. You are learning communication skills, advertising and marketing (for your recitals), business skills (as you seek to negotiate performance opportunities) and much more. So, you are not solely preparing yourself for a future in music performance but a variety of areas. Your options will be wide open when it comes to careers.
The benefit of attending a liberal arts college or comprehensive university with a music degree vs. conservatory.
At a college with other majors besides music you will have the chance to meet students with diverse interests. And make friends with students who have different talents and start to create your own network. You will also have an opportunity to combine your own academic interests and delve into a combination of subjects.
Planning for the audition
Pick a piece that shows you at your best. It doesn’t have to be the most difficult or challenging piece, in fact, it probably shouldn’t be. It should simply be a piece that lets you shine. And lets the faculty members in the audition see your talent. Instead of having the panel focused on picking out issues you are having with a challenging piece, let them see your potential and all of the ways they can help you grow. It doesn’t matter how many honor bands you have been part of. If you can’t play your instrument well at that audition- you probably aren’t going to get in.
Getting great letters of recommendation
A great letter of recommendation should elaborate on a student’s willingness to work hard, potential for development, music theory skills, language skills, communication abilities, etc.
Try using Acceptd
Acceptd is a new online network that connects prospective students with performing arts programs nationwide. You can visit www.getacceptd.com and sign up for free and start creating your digital portfolio. Many colleges and universities use this as a starting point to connect with prospective students, view talent, and see if they might be a good fit for their school.
For more great college advice on this subject check out Mark’s post on Why Major in Music?