#1
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Right, so, I'm a junior in high school(about to be a senior in September) and now's the time of my life where I start applying to colleges and such. Late last year, I stumbled upon a up and coming department of musical studies, music therapy, something that really intrigued me when I first heard about it. As I looked more into it, I came to the conclusion that that was something I wanted to pursue a career in and study in college. To my surprise, a decent amount of colleges, some even very well known(Berkley, for example), offered music therapy as a course option and I've narrowed it down to a couple of schools(New Patlz, Elizthabethtown, and some others) that seem like good choices for my studies.

However, this is where my cross to bear comes in. Nearly all, or really, the "accomplished" schools, require auditions. Now, without trying to give the impression that I'm fishing for compliments or am simply just "stressing out"...I'm not that good on guitar - or rather, not accomplished enough for how cut-throat the audition seems.

I've been playing for just over 2 years and have recently come into my own as a guitarist/musician(though I use those terms loosely) and have discovered my favorite style of playing is simply a folk/blues sort of style, or something that colleges really don't give a crap about. However, music therapy seems to me like that it would be an exception to what colleges would be looking for. If I wanted to study in performance or something, then I would surely devote myself to jazz or classical, the two genres colleges are prime to study on, but I've even read that some music therapists aren't even "musicians" when they began studying(as I read here) and I've wondered how accomplished I truly have to be to get into a good school that offers the program.

Also, I would gladly devote my time to trying to be able to do the things that the auditions require(sight read and improvise, which I can't do for my life), but there's only so much I can learn by myself. A teacher is out of the question as my father just recently got fired and my mother is in sole charge of our economic situation now(plus, paying off two colleges, a mortgage, and a car payment only makes it worse).

So my question would be for the people who know what it is I can do about my worries.

TL;DR: Some college auditions for a major in music(music therapy in my case) seem to be more difficult than I can handle and I wonder if my obscure major choice(music therapy) would merit some sort of different judging on the part of the schools.
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#2
If you're looking at "Berkley", at least spell it right (Berklee).

Berklee is one of the few that does not expect jazz or classical training, although its core classes split right down the middle between these two styles. Instrumental-wise however, there is a wide array of options and focuses. Practice in the style you are most comfortable with, but practice well.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#3
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If you're looking at "Berkley", at least spell it right (Berklee).

Berklee is one of the few that does not expect jazz or classical training, although its core classes split right down the middle between these two styles. Instrumental-wise however, there is a wide array of options and focuses. Practice in the style you are most comfortable with, but practice well.
No, I'm not looking at Berklee as I've heard more negatives than positives about it.
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#4
Quote by Just Andrew
No, I'm not looking at Berklee as I've heard more negatives than positives about it.

Well, first of all, where did you hear negative reviews? People are more inclined to give negative reviews than positive, because they feel more strongly about negatives. You should form your own opinions when it comes to college.

Second of all, I think you should look at Berklee because with all of the setbacks that you just listed, it's very unlikely that you'll be prepared in time, for the respectable trad schools anyway. Because your foundation is contemporary popular music, it just makes sense that you should at least consider one of the few schools that actually encourages it.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#5
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Well, first of all, where did you hear negative reviews? People are more inclined to give negative reviews than positive, because they feel more strongly about negatives. You should form your own opinions when it comes to college.

Second of all, I think you should look at Berklee because with all of the setbacks that you just listed, it's very unlikely that you'll be prepared in time, for the respectable trad schools anyway. Because your foundation is contemporary popular music, it just makes sense that you should at least consider one of the few schools that actually encourages it.
Don't get hostile quick, bro. I know you attend Berklee and I don't mean to insult you or your choices, but I've spoken to some of my music teachers and they informed me that it wasn't as good as it was glorified. Though, in fairness, I should look into it more than I previously did.

I also thought that Berklee, and most music schools, focused primarily on studying jazz and classical? An audition requirement for another college even stated something along the lines of a prepared piece of the classical genre.
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#6
Quote by Just Andrew
Don't get hostile quick, bro. I know you attend Berklee and I don't mean to insult you or your choices, but I've spoken to some of my music teachers and they informed me that it wasn't as good as it was glorified. Though, in fairness, I should look into it more than I previously did.
I'm not being hostile, I just think you're jumping to conclusions too quickly. When it comes to college, what doesn't work for one person really clicks for the next, so it's important that you should personally look into every school that you're interested in, and not just rely on biased opinions. I'm not going to tell you mine either, but I was suggesting Berklee from a logical point of view.


I also thought that Berklee, and most music schools, focused primarily on studying jazz and classical? An audition requirement for another college even stated something along the lines of a prepared piece of the classical genre.
Berklee's core theory and general music classes are jazz and classical based, but what you play is up to you. Its auditions are NOT limited to jazz and classical, which is again why you should consider it. There are ensembles and lessons for all kinds of styles...rock, metal, soul/funk, ethnic, contemporary classical, jazz, blues, you name it. And yes, traditional music schools and programs all require a prepared classical performance.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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Last edited by Xiaoxi at Jul 3, 2009,
#7
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I'm not being hostile, I just think you're jumping to conclusions too quickly. When it comes to college, what doesn't work for one person really clicks for the next, so it's important that you should personally look into every school that you're interested in, and not just rely on biased opinions. I'm not going to tell you mine either, but I was suggesting Berklee from a logical point of view.
That's fair, I shouldn't rule out a school because of other people...

Berklee's core theory and general music classes are jazz and classical based, but what you play is up to you. Its auditions are NOT limited to jazz and classical, which is again why you should consider it. There are ensembles and lessons for all kinds of styles...rock, metal, soul/funk, ethnic, contemporary classical, jazz, blues, you name it. And yes, traditional music schools and programs all require a prepared classical performance.
That's interesting to know. So, say I enter the audition playing a very cheesy, but very well preformed, folk song, would the fact that it's well played outweigh the cliche-ness of the song choice?
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#8
Quote by Just Andrew
That's fair, I shouldn't rule out a school because of other people...

That's interesting to know. So, say I enter the audition playing a very cheesy, but very well preformed, folk song, would the fact that it's well played outweigh the cliche-ness of the song choice?

For Berklee? Maybe... They definitely take uniqueness and individuality as an important factor. I don't know if cheesy would do well, but do something different or at least pull off something comfortable but artistic.

For traditional programs though, you're going to have to start preparing a classical piece. Folk music is not acceptable unless it has been classically arranged.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#9
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For Berklee? Maybe... They definitely take uniqueness and individuality as an important factor. I don't know if cheesy would do well, but do something different or at least pull off something comfortable but artistic.

For traditional programs though, you're going to have to start preparing a classical piece. Folk music is not acceptable unless it has been classically arranged.
That would probably be my problem. I've had no classical training and will not be able to have any at all.

I plan to practice as much as humanly possible, but my simple style, though I think very appropriate for my major, wouldn't get me too far during the audition.
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#10
basically...learn your theory to the best of your ability....if you can sight read well enough, you can impress many. My father was a studio musician, played saxophone with dizzy gillespie. retired now, he went to FSU but if you know theory well enough, then you could trump the, "Random music piece." i don't know if they do those at auditions. but it's good to know.

practice as much as you can and learn as many different styled (genre, technique, era) songs as you can, they will develop your said simplistic style.

come up with 2 or 3 pieces for the audition applying as many of the styles that strengthen your performance as you can.

with auditions it would be safe to prepare all around and, given the chance, only show your best sounding, and or technical stuff...

i should use this advice myself geez.....just got to apply yourself. :]

you have 2 years. practice correctly, passionately and frequently enough and it won't matter where you apply, you'll have an even shot. you'd be surprised how much one can improve from 2 years. and even if you go with a lower prestige college, the knowledge you dedicated your time to learning will definitely raise eyes and open ears if you use it the right way.
Last edited by Yodamvpplayer at Jul 3, 2009,
#11
Quote by Yodamvpplayer
basically...learn your theory to the best of your ability....if you can sight read well enough, you can impress many. My father was a studio musician, played saxophone with dizzy gillespie. retired now, he went to FSU but if you know theory well enough, then you could trump the, "Random music piece." i don't know if they do those at auditions. but it's good to know.
Actually, for most college auditions, theory is the least you have to worry. Sightreading is not the same thing as knowing theory, although you need basic theory knowledge to read key and time signatures.

practice as much as you can and learn as many different styled (genre, technique, era) songs as you can, they will develop your said simplistic style.
Depends on the requirement. For a classical audition, they usually want two contrasting pieces from the standard repertoire. For jazz auditions, you have to know how to comp as well as play some bop solos. I wouldn't say learning as many different things as possible is a good idea.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#12
Just call or email the head of the music department of the schools you're looking at and ask them.
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#13
Someone I know got into the music therapy program at Temple University which has a very strong reputations for its music department without auditioning. He was very well qualified based on his musical resume that they probably figured he could play well enough. I'm pretty sure most schools won't except you to be as a good as potential performance majors, but brush up on the sight reading because this is a skill that every incoming freshman should be fairly proficient at, and it personally helped me get into a few programs.
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#14
Quote by Xiaoxi
Actually, for most college auditions, theory is the least you have to worry. Sightreading is not the same thing as knowing theory, although you need basic theory knowledge to read key and time signatures.

Depends on the requirement. For a classical audition, they usually want two contrasting pieces from the standard repertoire. For jazz auditions, you have to know how to comp as well as play some bop solos. I wouldn't say learning as many different things as possible is a good idea.



yeah i agree with you there, but what I was saying was basically just applying to overall improvement of his ability to play music, i wasn't specifically saying it would apply in the audition. I don't know what they would do in the audition but if was going to take the time to study and learn music, I would do so in a way so that, if need be, i would be able to break a career out of it if the college thing fell through. lolol basically i briefly answered the question and substituted the rest for..."musical life goal achievement." my bad :P