When I was looking at which college to attend, there were a lot of things I didn’t consider about the music programs. I ended up lucking into a program where I’m happy and I fit, but this easily could have not been the case.
Finding the “right school” can be hard to do because it depends on so many factors. Maybe you’re stuck between a few schools or maybe you have no idea what to look for in the “right” school.
Here are three things to do when choosing the right school to major in music at:
1. Take a lesson with faculty
A lot of schools offer the chance to take lessons with applied music professors. This is super important because it gives you a chance to get to know the person you’ll be studying under and learn their teaching style.
I didn’t personally do this and I got very lucky that I get along so well with my applied music professor. I definitely wish this was something I’d done.
If the school doesn’t openly offer lessons for interested students on their website, email and ask. Many schools are very willing to do this!
2. Sit in on studio or an ensemble rehearsal
Again, finding the right school is all about getting to know the mentality of the professors and the music environment there. Different studios at different schools have different atmospheres.
This is definitely another thing I wish I’d looked into more. It all worked out for me, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I didn’t know what my college’s band directors would be like or what the clarinet studio would be like.
Attend a studio or ensemble rehearsal if your schedule allows – it’ll really help you figure out if the school you’re looking at is right for you!
3. Look carefully at the program and scholarship requirements
One of the scariest parts of college is that, yes, at some point, you might change your mind about what you want to do or major in! You might not change your mind, but many people do. It’s really common to change your major or plans.
But, make sure you know how the schools you’re looking at will affect this. Do they have other programs you might be interested in or will you have to transfer schools entirely?
Maybe you want to stay in music: Are there a variety of music programs that interest you? How will your scholarship be affected if you decide to switch to a music minor or out of music?
In general, for music scholarships, there will be varying requirements depending on the school you choose. There will probably be a certain GPA requirement to keep your music scholarship. You may also be required to participate in certain ensembles, which can take up a lot of your time at school.
Definitely check out these requirements. You might not change your mind about being a music major, but it doesn’t hurt to plan, just in case!
Finding the right college can be a hard decision. For music majors, attending a lesson or rehearsal, looking at the different program options, and comparing scholarship requirements can really help you figure out which school is best for you.