Directing Your College Future

Getting Started

Getting Started

Music is a pastime for some and a passion for others. There are hundreds of programs in colleges and universities throughout the country where a student can major or minor in:

  •   music performance
  •   teaching and education
  •   business and management
  •   production
  •   music therapy
  •   recording and engineering

Students can engage in the most intense musical education possible and graduate with a Bachelor of Music or a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. So, how do you narrow down the field and identify a school that will best serve your interests as an aspiring musician? Selecting a program is similar to doing any college search with the most important components being:

  •     academics
  •     the particular interests of the student and the program offered
  •     the faculty
  •     geography
  •     opportunities for performing, both on and off campus
  •     those often difficult to articulate characteristics that make a college a “right fit” for a student.

In the beginning, it is important to compile a long list of colleges and conservatories. It is essential to contact the head of each department to introduce yourself, gain information about the program, ascertain why this particular program is better over another and begin a rapport. For example, if you are a drummer, you might ask how competitive the program is for drummers, how many drummers are currently studying there and how many drummers are being considered for next year’s class. You might then contact one or two instructors about private lessons and how students are selected for various combos, bands and ensembles. You can also ask about playing opportunities, both on and off campus, including how students get gigs and whether professors help with this. Ask about auditions and how decisions are made about pre-screening materials/auditions and interviews.  Have a conversation and find out everything you can about the program.  These professors are teachers, mentors, resources and experts!