You will need to make sure you’re as prepared as possible throughout the application process. For the average student, most experts suggest applying to between three and five different schools. Your list should include “safety” schools (those where your academic credentials fall above the school’s range for the average freshman) as well as “reach” schools (those where your academic credentials fall below the school’s range for the average freshman), so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from even if you don’t get into your first-choice program.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming your academic record doesn’t matter when you’re applying to music school, especially if you are applying to a four-year college or university. Although music school admissions rely heavily on your talent in a particular performance area, you must still meet the college or university’s minimum academic requirements. This means you will need to have taken all of the necessary prerequisite classes, have a high school GPA in the acceptable range for the school, and submit test scores from the ACT orSAT. Summer school classes can sometimes be used to meet admissions requirements, but you will need to contact a school representative for details.
Most music school applications will require a personal statement as part of the admission requirement. This essay gives you a chance to show the admissions committee that you are committed to developing your musical gifts. Your essay should focus on your development as a musician, as well as your future career goals. It needs to be clearly written and free of typographical errors, so it is a good idea to have several people proofread your work before you turn in your application.
Letters of recommendation are often required as part of the music school application process. The best letters of recommendation will be from people who have had a chance to see you grow as a musician over a period of several years. This could include your high school music teacher or a private tutor. Recommendations from people such as the director of a community theater performance or head of your church choir would also be acceptable.
Music schools typically require a prescreening recording that is submitted with your formal application to the program. The purpose of the prescreening is to determine whether or not you will be invited for a formal audition to the program. Requirements for the prescreening recording will vary, but you must follow the instructions exactly in order for your application to be considered. For example, an undergraduate voice major may be asked to sing a song in Italian from the 17th or 18th century as well as an English language song. A piano student may be asked to play one specific classical piece in addition to the song of his choice. Many music schools do not require a campus visit and an interview with an admissions counselor as part of the application process. However, it is always a good idea to visit the campus of any school you are seriously considering. Even though you can find plenty of information about a school online, it is hard to tell if the school is a good fit for you until you’ve had a chance to personally see the facilities, talk to the students, and observe some of the classes.