Looking for a well-rounded school that has a good music dep

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Discus: College Search and Selection: September 2003 Archive: Looking for a well-rounded school that has a good music dep
By Phazed52 (Phazed52) on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 06:45 pm: Edit

Hi, i'm a junior in High School currently looking for a good school that excels in the music department. I'd like to study computer music/ music technology and stuff like that (recording, electronic music). Any suggestions?

From what i know, this is my list...


ANy others? Thanks for the help

By Almostdone (Almostdone) on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 06:49 pm: Edit


By Spiffybrownboy (Spiffybrownboy) on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 08:37 pm: Edit

I don't know about music tech, but UMich is the best all-around school in my mind. I know their vocal performance is particularly good and generally, their music school is very good.

By Jje (Jje) on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 09:44 pm: Edit

eastman at U of Roch?

By Musictoad (Musictoad) on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 09:59 pm: Edit

eastman is not well rounded. it is a conservatory with a separate campus. it is a terrific school.

according to several teachers I've talked with, best all around schools are northwestern and michigan. vandy is up and coming. indiana is another excellent school.

there are a lot of schools. what is your preference? large, small , urban, rural.affordability?

By Phazed52 (Phazed52) on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 10:13 pm: Edit

First and foremost, I just wanna thank you all for the responses. I really appreciate it.


I would prefer a medium-small type of school and i don't mind the setting (except it can't be in midle of nowhere with absolutely Nothing to do)
But i'm not really picky about those details

By Felipz24 (Felipz24) on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 06:04 am: Edit

Oberlin has an amazing music program and one can also recieve one of the top liberal arts educations in the country. A great school!!!!

By Thenarrator (Thenarrator) on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 09:25 pm: Edit

yeah, too bad its in the middle of nowhere

By Magicdragonfly (Magicdragonfly) on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 12:41 am: Edit

hehe..I like Oberlin and Kalamazoo..location is my reason for staying away from them..Oberlin looks awesome tho

By Stephenpmi (Stephenpmi) on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 01:10 am: Edit

Oberlin's location isn't bad at all...I live about 15 minutes away from it. The town is quite quaint and quirky. Cleveland is only 45 minutes or so away.

There is actually plenty to do around here if you don't mind not living in a metropolis.

By Roosh (Roosh) on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 03:52 am: Edit

Best schools for music, just in case someone was wondering...:

U of Chicago
UC Berkeley

U of Penn
U of Rochester
U of Mich

By Musictoad (Musictoad) on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 07:28 am: Edit

Before you praise the Ivies for music, you have to be specific. They really aren't good for performance but rather good for history, multicultural music, etc. In other words, go to them if you can't really sing or perform and are a very good student. There are, of course, exceptions, but the reality is, for performance, many other very fine schools outside of the Ivies. Just look at the faculty and their specialties. Yale has an excellent GRADUATE school of music, but their undergraduate program is mediocre. Michigan, on the other hand, has Shirley Verrett, George Shirley just to name a few superb teachers. Indiana is renowned for its school of music. Northwestern has a superb faculty and great alumni network.

By Phazed52 (Phazed52) on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 09:13 am: Edit

What about private institutions that have good music departments?

By Momof2 (Momof2) on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 10:25 am: Edit

A few that come quickly to mind:

Vanderbilt (esp. for vocal and strings)

By Shennie (Shennie) on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 08:31 pm: Edit

You also might want to check out Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. They are a fine small school with an attached conservatory that is not as difficult to get into as some others.

By Musictoad (Musictoad) on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 07:01 am: Edit

what type of kid goes to Lawrence? Mainly from Wisconsin? or surrounding rural appleton area? What is the social life like? what is there to do in the middle of winter in a semi small town? It has a very good reputation in the midwest in my neck of the woods--almost elite but I think that may be overblown. Appleton in winter--thank God for cable.

By B18c1cx (B18c1cx) on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 08:28 am: Edit




By Marcyr (Marcyr) on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 04:25 pm: Edit

Don't forget Ithaca College, their School of Music is excellent.

By Vyzhon (Vyzhon) on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 03:45 pm: Edit

Does anyone have information on good trade schools that focus on engineering/production?

By Rwfancl05 (Rwfancl05) on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 03:50 pm: Edit

Wesleyan and Oberlin. Both have top-notch music departments, and both are exceptional schools (with Wes having a better rep and being harder to get into.)

By Rocksolid4 (Rocksolid4) on Sunday, August 17, 2003 - 08:15 pm: Edit

Northwestern is top notch. As is NYU.

By Haon (Haon) on Sunday, August 24, 2003 - 09:01 pm: Edit

If you're good enough to get into the conservatory Oberlin has one of the top 5 conservatories in the country as well as a top college.

Rice is excellent for music AND undergrad study.

Northwestern and Williams are two other schools that both have good undergrad programs and good music departments.

By Jenniferpa (Jenniferpa) on Thursday, August 28, 2003 - 09:26 am: Edit

All right, this is something I actually know something about: my daughter intends to study music technology! Currently her top pick is Oberlin - she wants to double major. However, Oberlin isn't for everyone. It's VERY liberal, the town is tiny etc. However, she went for a summer program there and liked it a lot. Ithaca also has a strong program, but they only accept 5 students a year. Northeastern and Drexel have a co-op approach. We visited Northeastern, but although she loved Boston, she realized she didn't want the big university experience. Peabody has a program (and a very clear web site). Eastman does not have a music tech program. LACs that have programs include Lebanon Valley College (very good automatic scholarships), Goucher, Connecticut College. Other places that I know offer this program: Miami University, Ball State, UMich, CMU, Duquesne, University of Hartford, Mills (women only).

One thing I have discovered during this process is that you need to decide your focus. Are you interested in composition, sound recording or computer music? Each school has more of an emphasis on one or the other. E.g. Lebanon Valley doesn't have any composition classes, Ithaca has an incredible amount of equipment. The Hardt School (U of Hartford) offers 3 different majors with different emphasis.

Just because a school has an excellent reputation for music does not mean they will have the appropriate equipment for this major. Further, even if they have the equipment, you need to ascertain whether you, as an undergraduate, will have the option to use it. You need to ask specific questions of any school you're considering.


By Jenniferpa (Jenniferpa) on Thursday, August 28, 2003 - 09:31 am: Edit

Addendum: The orginal poster mentioned Vanderbilt. Unless they've added a major, they do not have much in this field. A few computer music classes but that's it.


By Geniusash (Geniusash) on Thursday, August 28, 2003 - 07:01 pm: Edit

St. Olaf is a great college that is very underated (perhaps that's because Carleton is just a few miles away). It's music performance dept. is one of the top in the country, although i don't know much about their tech. Also good bio program, study abroad, etc.

By Musictoad (Musictoad) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 07:21 am: Edit

Some music schools have instituted some ridiculous admission requirements--over the top in terms of trying to comply. If you are truly involved in doing plays, voice lessons, community service, how can you possibly take 3 more *(**& SAT IIs in addition to the SAT or ACT plus cut a demo tape plus do the live audition (required for scholarships)? Thankfully, most aren't that crazed but I am amazed at some schools--I think Rice has flipped. A great school but way too many bureaucratic procedures to gain a chance for admittance and not really worth all the grief trying to comply.

By Momof2 (Momof2) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 11:05 am: Edit

Musictoad - that's the exact feeling we had about Rice this time last year. They were also extremely uncooperative about the idea of attempting a double major, although Northwestern offers the same option in their catalog. I'm not convinced Rice is that much more demanding that Northwestern, academically or musically. Lost two extremely qualified musicians from our school over that one.

By Shennie (Shennie) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 09:43 pm: Edit

Well, Rice is very competitive. Out of all the freshman who attend Rice, there is only room for about 30 music majors across all instruments and voice. They do lower their standards some for music majors, but it is tough to meet both their academic and music requirements. I think they make it tough because they have so few openings to begin with.

By Sopranosmom (Sopranosmom) on Saturday, August 30, 2003 - 11:32 am: Edit

Yes, I agree about Rice. They take only a few music majors. My D is interested in vocal performance and an acquaintance of hers goes there. They only have 4-5 freshman voice majors. My D also has decided not to apply. SAT/ACT plus 3 SAT II's is just too much with a CD that has to be cut plus her other applications and auditions. She didn't feel the program was head and shoulders above others she's interested in without the stiff requirements.

By Topannuity (Topannuity) on Sunday, September 07, 2003 - 07:55 am: Edit

My daughter is a senior (in central NJ) -- she was in all-state, regional choruses, etc., and this summer was in a 5-week performance program at Berklee College of Music in Boston. -- She wants to go to a contemporary "rock-n-roll" music vocal performance program (NOT theatre, NOT dance, NOT opera, NOT jazz). We are confused about her options. She writes and sings R&B and hip hop and does not want to get classically-trained. Do you know of any 4-year degree programs (anywhere in the US) that would permit her to major in vocal performance in her narrow area of interest?

By Rosiebabe5 (Rosiebabe5) on Tuesday, September 09, 2003 - 05:07 pm: Edit

Someone mentioned Lawrence for music. I'm looking for music and bio- is it good in both of these areas or just music?

By Shennie (Shennie) on Tuesday, September 09, 2003 - 06:12 pm: Edit

Rosiebabe - Lawrence University has an excellent reputation for the sciences. you should definitely look into this school.

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Tuesday, September 09, 2003 - 06:18 pm: Edit

The University of Miami in Florida has a well-respected music engineering program that the OP might look at.

By Musictoad (Musictoad) on Tuesday, September 09, 2003 - 06:48 pm: Edit

Lawrence seems very interesting to me. Can't persuade my veto wielding other half to consider it. D isn't sure. Seems that people from Wisconsin have that Boston and Harvard syndrome regarding Lawrence, "why would you want to go there?"
I'm impressed with their website. They have very good follow up to any questions asked. They have a local audition here in January. But.....I've been to Appleton and it is small and cold in winter. The Conservatory faculty looks good. I've heard very good things about merit scholarships and financial aid. Other than locale, I think this school deserves further examination. Milwaukee is about two hours away, Chicago 3.3, Madison about two. Minocqua almost 3! Ha! Upper Peninsula of Michigan here we come.

By Nyugrad (Nyugrad) on Tuesday, September 09, 2003 - 07:40 pm: Edit

NYU, University of Maryland,Ithaca College

By Polly (Polly) on Tuesday, September 09, 2003 - 09:15 pm: Edit

I heard that Harvard is the best, but that is maybe about graduate school, so I'm not sure.

Actually, I am going to double-major in music and premed. Do you think that it's possible?
Someone has said that a counselor said to hime it's difficult to major in music and science since they are both tough courses.

I didn't know that UC Berkeley was also a good school for majoring in music. :)

By Shennie (Shennie) on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 06:44 pm: Edit

Musictoad - I am from WI and I like Lawrence. I want my younger son to look at it but he says he wants a school in a big city. He is only a hs sophmore though. But he wants to study biology and is really into classical music. I think Lawrence has a lot to offer a kid like that.

Polly - When you talk about double majoring in music and pre-med, you need to clarify in your mind exactly what you want. First of all, in music, do you want to major in performance or do you want to learn a lot about music but not be so involved in high level performance? Performance majors usually get a Bachelor's of Music. You can also get a Bachelor's of Arts in music that doesn't focus so much on performance. A B.M and a B.A are 2 very different degrees with very different requirements.

Pre-med is also not a major and you don't have to major in science to get into med school. You have to take a certain number and type of classes for med school and to prepare for the MCATs, but you can actually major in anything, including music.

If you are interested in getting a B.A. in music, then doing that with a pre-med program is very doable. However, it is very difficult to major in performance and do anything else. It is not that the classes are so hard, but a performance major is very time consuming and it can be very difficult to fit in classes for another degree.

By Polly (Polly) on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 07:20 pm: Edit

Thank you so much.
I'm wondering if becoming a music teacher at school is possible... Actually I am not sure what to major yet.
I just want to continue learning music, especially playing violin (but I'm not so really good).
Yeah... I understand that practicing individually is very important in order to improve one's skills for playing instruments.
I am also considering learning conducting skills.

Sorry for an elementary question, but is a medical school same as a graduate school?
I'm also considering majoring in a science such as biochemistry. Do you think this is useful for going to medical school?

By Shennie (Shennie) on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 11:08 pm: Edit

Yes, medical school could be considered similar to graduate school. It is actually considered a professional school. In any case, a person needs to go be graduating from a college and then apply to medical school just like high schoolers must be graduating from high school to attend college. I tell kids that graduate school, medical school and law school are college after college.

You don't have to major in music to keep pursuing it in college. You can join the orchestra at your college or university. You can probably take lessons at your college also. However, if you wanted to be a music teacher, you would need to major in music education.

And yes, biochemistry would be a good major for someone considering going to medical school.

By Polly (Polly) on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 08:12 am: Edit

Thank you for very useful information. :)
So, can one get the same degree or something that can be obtained from finishing graduate school if the person finishes medical school?

By Shennie (Shennie) on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 05:38 pm: Edit

Every type of post gradute program offers different kinds of degrees. If you go to medical school, you graduate with an M.D. You can only get an M.D. from medical school. If you go business school, you get an MBA. Regular graduate schools offer master's degrees for 2-3 years of study or Ph.D's for more indepth study. Go to an post graduate art school and you get an MFA. In music grad schools you get an MM (Masters in Music) or a DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts.) I don't know the degree you get from law school.

In any case, finishing medical school qualifies you to be a physician, but not a college english teacher or a business manager. You would have to get a PhD to teach college English and an MBA to work as a higher level business executive. Does this make sense?

By Polly (Polly) on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 06:28 pm: Edit

Thank you so much. I really didn't know about degrees at graduate schools.

By Boatboat (Boatboat) on Friday, September 12, 2003 - 09:55 pm: Edit

hey does Connecticut college have a good music department?

By Polly (Polly) on Friday, September 12, 2003 - 11:20 pm: Edit

How about Columbia?

By Wombat (Wombat) on Sunday, November 23, 2003 - 02:40 pm: Edit

I've been reading all the messages about music technology/audio engineering programs. Case Western Reserve has one and remember, the students can take classes at the Cleveland Institute of Music not just CWRU. Plus CWRU has the advantage of excellence in engineering. Just a thought....

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