Piano & college admissions

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by TomatoTomahto »

fru-gal wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:54 pm I worked in a top level computer science research group. Most of the people played musical instruments.
Way back in the stone ages, before computer science was called computer science by most people (as a matter of fact, I was given the title of Computer Scientist at a consulting firm, and people asked me where my lab coat was 🤪). I hired many programmers and architects. Being a musician was a strong positive in my selection.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
stoptothink
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by stoptothink »

fru-gal wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:54 pm
Starfish wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:11 pm
h82goslw wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 4:23 pm
Starfish wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:29 pm
snackdog wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:53 pm Piano (or other music) lessons are not a financial investment. They should be viewed as a "tax" due on all parents. Non-negotiable.
Why "all parents"? I have no intention to pay for something like this if my kid does not show a desire. I don't personally believe in much educational value from playing an instrument (as in: if you don't have a passion for music, there are much better ways of spending the time).
There’s a lot of educational value in learning music as it makes you a much better critical thinker. I know many science PHDs who play instruments for fun and have done so for years and credit much of their mathematical prowess to learning music.
Yeah... citation needed.
I know plenty of PhD in STEM at top 10 universities and most of them don't play any instrument. Actually I am willing to bet they are the majority by far.
I worked in a top level computer science research group. Most of the people played musical instruments.
What do you think are the most common factors in those who play a musical instrument at a high level? I'd bet it is highly educated parents and money. If you want to make some association between ability to play a musical instrument at a high level and academic achievement and/or critical thinking skills, you can probably start there, and I bet there are no studies whatsoever that control for parent's achievement (academically and financially).

FWIW, I can play a musical instrument (actually 3, but not at a "high level") and am a PhD scientist. I can't off-hand, think of any of my colleagues (who I know) play a musical instrument, then again it's not exactly something we talk about.

My wife actually started college on a musical (piano and singing) scholarship...that lasted all of 1.5 semesters before she dropped out. We love music, our kids (7 and 4) are definitely more focused on sports and have shown little interest (yet) in music and we have no interest in forcing them to thinking it will have some benefit in regards to college acceptance.
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CyclingDuo
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by CyclingDuo »

MMLC3 wrote: Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:18 pm Anyone here, whose kid pursued Piano as an activity and it ended up helping them with College admissions?
If yes, how exactly does that come into play? Is it based on what levels you have graduated to? Or based on where you have performed?

Piano classes, at least here in CA are quite expensive for a private instructor. Would like to know, if other than being a lifetime skill and an art form to treasure, does it help at all with College admissions and if yes then in what perspective? My wife and I didn't have the opportunity growing up to learn a musical instrument, so we are glad our kid is getting the opportunity and he is picking it up quite well.

Would like to hear some first-hand examples. This question sort of extends to any extra curricular activity like an art form or sports. Does it only help with College admissions when you can demonstrate that you are absolutely exceptional at it?
If a prospective student can play classical music well enough to accompany students that are music majors; then almost any college will throw a nice chunk of change at that student with a scholarship for accompanying. Playing the piano is one thing, but being able to read music and accompany others is getting into rarified territory. The better talented ones that can do this get really good scholarships.

Solo piano playing is not quite as rare, but the higher the quality and desire to pursue it as a major - the higher the music scholarship will be. To play really well is almost a genetic fluke, so if your child has such a fluke - go with it and get the technique set and the music reading abilities learned.

CyclingDuo (music major and 34 year career in music)

Edit

P.S. for those wondering about what level the OP's 12 year old is playing, here are some examples as he is currently at Level 6:

Level 6 Playing: https://www.julianlambert.org/tr-gd6-2018-2020
Level 7 Playing: https://www.julianlambert.org/tr-gd7-2018-20
Last edited by CyclingDuo on Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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hicabob
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by hicabob »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:11 pm
fru-gal wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:54 pm I worked in a top level computer science research group. Most of the people played musical instruments.
Way back in the stone ages, before computer science was called computer science by most people (as a matter of fact, I was given the title of Computer Scientist at a consulting firm, and people asked me where my lab coat was 🤪). I hired many programmers and architects. Being a musician was a strong positive in my selection.
Personally I always did exceptionally well with computer science but am very low percentile wrt musical ability so don't ignore the pathetically unmusical among us when it comes to ability. :wink:
JLG1111
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by JLG1111 »

hicabob wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:48 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:11 pm
fru-gal wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:54 pm I worked in a top level computer science research group. Most of the people played musical instruments.
Way back in the stone ages, before computer science was called computer science by most people (as a matter of fact, I was given the title of Computer Scientist at a consulting firm, and people asked me where my lab coat was 🤪). I hired many programmers and architects. Being a musician was a strong positive in my selection.
Personally I always did exceptionally well with computer science but am very low percentile wrt musical ability so don't ignore the pathetically unmusical among us when it comes to ability. :wink:
:D

Mark me down as a Computer Scientist pianist. I also find the correlation great between the two (science/math and musical proficiency, at least among the students in my kids’ schools). However, interestingly, my daughter (whom I refer to above as volunteering to teach piano) is an excellent pianist and violist, but is much stronger in writing/art than math/science, so I concur that the two don’t always go hand in hand.
smackboy1
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by smackboy1 »

Our child was just accepted to college early decision. She took piano lessons when she was young, but dropped it (along with violin and guitar) years ago because she wasn't interested. Instead she likes to dance and act and sing along with other activities. Each kid has to find their own interests.

If the child is still young and doesn't play the piano yet, it's difficult to say what impact if could have on their college prospects. Almost all US colleges nowadays use "holistic admissions". They look at the entire student as a person, not just academics, not just extracurriculars, not just community involvement. When putting together a new freshman class the admissions department is asking how that student would fit in and contribute to create a vibrant and interesting college community. They might want a few piano players, but they also want some oboe players, football players, boy scouts, sculptors, students who held jobs, raised their siblings, the first in their family to attend college, etc.. The other thing is that colleges are not looking for "well rounded" students - not any more. Instead they want "pointy" students - people who do one or two things, but pursue them deeply and passionately.

Don't give too much weight to collegeconfidential.com. Most college admissions professionals think the advice is garbage. We found a good resource are blogs written by college admissions officers themselves.

https://grownandflown.com/best-college- ... ons-blogs/
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Starfish
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by Starfish »

fru-gal wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:54 pm
Starfish wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:11 pm
h82goslw wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 4:23 pm
Starfish wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:29 pm
snackdog wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:53 pm Piano (or other music) lessons are not a financial investment. They should be viewed as a "tax" due on all parents. Non-negotiable.
Why "all parents"? I have no intention to pay for something like this if my kid does not show a desire. I don't personally believe in much educational value from playing an instrument (as in: if you don't have a passion for music, there are much better ways of spending the time).
There’s a lot of educational value in learning music as it makes you a much better critical thinker. I know many science PHDs who play instruments for fun and have done so for years and credit much of their mathematical prowess to learning music.
Yeah... citation needed.
I know plenty of PhD in STEM at top 10 universities and most of them don't play any instrument. Actually I am willing to bet they are the majority by far.
I worked in a top level computer science research group. Most of the people played musical instruments.
When was this?
Were they American or more international?
Anyway, there is no causality. They did not become top computer scientists because they played instruments. Maybe both are manifestation of the same type of personality. Maybe it was because this was in fashion, or parents pushed them.

Let me introduce another data point. I used to go to Math and Physics Olympics. Some of my best friends were there too. I have plenty of friends from Computer Science Olympics. Some of them went in academia, some on Wall Street. Very few of them were playing an instrument, and by playing I mean very loosely. Any of them could easily qualify in top 0.1% in math, physics and CS.
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Vulcan
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by Vulcan »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:11 pm Way back in the stone ages, before computer science was called computer science by most people (as a matter of fact, I was given the title of Computer Scientist at a consulting firm, and people asked me where my lab coat was 🤪). I hired many programmers and architects. Being a musician was a strong positive in my selection.
Did you insist on auditions or took them at their word? :D

OP: I obviously do not know what colleges your child will be applying to, nor do I profess to be an authority on what different colleges are looking for in their applicants. The opinions on the subject range from "well-rounded" to "spiky".

In our family we maintain that instead of doing things specifically to get into college one should do what they enjoy (assuming they enjoy productive endeavors, of course), and aim to become very good at it, college admissions be damned.

As our elder was applying to colleges this fall we discovered that his top choice endorses this very approach and calls it "applying sideways". He did not mention his recreational piano lessons on his application, focusing instead on his "spike". Did it help? Well, maybe.
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quantAndHold
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by quantAndHold »

Playing an instrument will significantly move the needle if they play well enough that they can participate in the music school’s activities in a meaningful way. For a pianist, this probably means being a music major and taking on responsibilities as an accompanist. If they can do that, they’ll probably get a scholarship. Beyond that, the college will just see it the same as any other extracurricular activity, like volleyball or art or musical theater.

That said, playing a musical instrument is a valuable life skill that helps in a lot of nonmusical ways, which, in a roundabout way, might help them get admitted to college. If the kid wants to play, then lessons are worth it. If they don’t want to play, spend the money on something they like better.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
texasdiver
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by texasdiver »

Short answer? Unless your child is a recording artist or performing professionally, probably not going to make any difference at all. EVERY single applicant to competitive universities is going to have a portfolio of extracurricular activities on their application. And if you aren't applying to competitive private universities then it wouldn't make any difference anyway. Every school is going to have its own individual process but they are all similar. Here is the description of the Reed College (highly selective liberal arts college) admissions process from a few years ago:
Every application is rated according to five criteria— some data-driven, others more subjective:
  • Courses taken in high school, based on rigor of classes and curriculum;
  • Grades, class rank, and standardized tests, including the SAT and ACT;
  • Personal character and intellect, based on interviews and recommendations;
  • Essays and application essays;
  • Involvement, such as extracurriculars and community service.
Each criterion is rated from 1 to 5, with 1 being “superior” and 5 “dismal.” The scores are averaged to arrive at a composite score for each student. Anything below 1.8 is terrific. A rating higher than 2.5 more than likely eliminates a candidate. The applicants are also rated on fit—whether they’re a good match for Reed— and yield—how likely they are to say “yes” if admitted. There are also various tipping factors that influence the decisions: weighted consideration is given to students of color, “first-gens” (first generation in the family to attend college), and children of alumni.

Even as Reed has raised the academic bar for getting in, the admission deans still look for what they call “spark”—the drive and passion that define what it means to be a Reedie. But spark alone isn’t enough to get admitted—not anymore. The admission deans want to see a strong academic record and the “pq”s (admission parlance for personal qualities) to indicate that the student is going to be able to succeed in the classroom and contribute to the campus community.

Marthers estimates that one-tenth of applications are so strong that admission is pretty much a foregone conclusion. Two in 10 are so deficient or such a poor match for the college that they are summarily rejected.

Many of the rest—not straightforward “A”s or “R”s—make it to the regular Wednesday admission counselor review session. A student with a handful of Cs will get a close look. One or two Ds is tough to overcome, never mind an F. At the same time, being class valedictorian or earning a perfect score on the SAT is no guarantee of admission. A typo in an essay will get noticed; more than one will really hurt. If a student was nervous or pretentious in the interview, that’ll weigh in as well.
Source: https://www.reed.edu/reed_magazine/spri ... ply/5.html
fourwheelcycle
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by fourwheelcycle »

BarbBrooklyn wrote: Sun Jan 05, 2020 4:15 pm Playing an instrument like the bassoon, oboe or French Horn can help with admissions...if that is what the orchestra needs the next year.

Your child should play an instrument because they enjoy it. It is an enriching experience!
+1 If your child ends up wanting to attend a conservatory like Oberlin or Juilliard your child's skill on the piano will count just like their grades and SAT scores - better will help more and less will help less. If you are looking for a musical instrument to help with admission to a regular college the oboe or French horn would be a better choice, as BarbBrooklyn points out, but even then it just depends what the college needs for the coming year.

Bottom line, any instrument should be pursued for your child's love of music and love of that instrument (I think Barb said that too!).
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by AD3 »

ohai wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:53 pm
AD3 wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:30 pm I think many people over emphasis the importance of extracurricular activities when applying to colleges, what students should be focusing on is one the academic work (primarily grades), second they should foucs on something that they have a passion for (ie. chess, sports, music, building robots, programming, etc...) When the student applies to the university that they want to attend they should have something to write about that in someway relates to the extracurricular activities
I'd say you can get into at least one top 7-10 type of university on the basis of strong academics alone. Sure, you will need some kind of activities, but from what I have seen, most people aren't really that great in clubs and stuff... they just write to make it sound like they did something.

Of course, a lot of people are not going to get 1600 SAT and be the high school valedictorian. Hence, the need to pad with extracurriculars.
I agree that the emphasis should be on the grades. Everything else will be secondary to that.
AD3
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by AD3 »

livesoft wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:00 pm
AD3 wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:30 pm ... When the student applies to the university that they want to attend they should have something to write about that in someway relates to the extracurricular activities
Actually, I assert that most universities don't care. That's because most universities accept almost everyone that applies. In Texas for instance, you get accepted to the University of Texas in Austin based on class rank and not much else and UT is arguably the best public university in Texas (with no apologies to Aggies). Yes, there are some selective colleges and universities, but their number of slots for freshman is not so large compared to the rest of possibilities.
Wow, I'm surprised to see that UT Austin has an acceptance rate of 40%. I always heard that it was a tough school to get into, but the numbers don't suggest that at all. I know here in California, we have UC Berkeley & UCLA that have both a 17% and 18% acceptance rate and both are extremely tough to get into. So it seems to be a case by case situation.
investingdad
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by investingdad »

My 14 and 12 year old play flute and sax respectively. I don't expect it to move the needle for college, but I hope it will open avenues of opportunities for them they wouldn't otherwise have (county band, college ensembles, meeting people, etc).

I've documented my late start to music on here. Ultimately, it should be something they want to do or motivation will always be an issue. It's why I quit trumpet after one year of hating it in 4th grade.
bayview
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by bayview »

JupiterJones wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:31 am
seawolf21 wrote: Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:47 pm What does stand out in applicants are those with community service; you are actually giving back to the community (and actually improving someone’s life if only for a moment) vs. knowing how to play an instrument.
Maybe the OP's son could combine the two things? Volunteer teaching beginning piano. Or play at retirement homes. That sort of thing?
I was going to mention playing piano at assisted living and nursing homes, IF the teen is willing to play music from the 30’s through 60’s (think Cole Porter through Mamas and the Papas, for instance.) Many elderly people, especially those with memory problems, are greatly appreciative when someone performs “their” music. “Fur Elise,” not so much. They also love having a young person doing the playing.

Look for a so-called “Real Book” (formerly fake book) published by Hal Leonard Corp. There are six so far containing primarily US standards, and there’s also one for Latin jazz. These gig books include the melody and the name of the chords, nothing more. It’s up to the pianist, guitarist, etc to turn them into something. The chord notation is much better (more accurate and complex) than in many of the old fake books. These books are also called gig books.

My mother is in assisted living and is run ragged (hyperbole with truth in it) by the activities schedule, but it’s the music performances that she thrives on.

Even a once-monthly hour and a half would be a great gift to the residents, and to the activities director as well.
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alfaspider
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by alfaspider »

AD3 wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:55 am
livesoft wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:00 pm
AD3 wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:30 pm ... When the student applies to the university that they want to attend they should have something to write about that in someway relates to the extracurricular activities
Actually, I assert that most universities don't care. That's because most universities accept almost everyone that applies. In Texas for instance, you get accepted to the University of Texas in Austin based on class rank and not much else and UT is arguably the best public university in Texas (with no apologies to Aggies). Yes, there are some selective colleges and universities, but their number of slots for freshman is not so large compared to the rest of possibilities.
Wow, I'm surprised to see that UT Austin has an acceptance rate of 40%. I always heard that it was a tough school to get into, but the numbers don't suggest that at all. I know here in California, we have UC Berkeley & UCLA that have both a 17% and 18% acceptance rate and both are extremely tough to get into. So it seems to be a case by case situation.
UT Austin is a bit of an odd case. Texas has a system where the top XX% of the high school class is auto-admit (used to be 10% but I think it's gone to 7% or so these days). If you are NOT in the top xx% of the class, it is essentially impossible to get into because the class gets completely filled by auto admits. At high performing high schools, it's not unheard of for students to be accepted to elite East coast schools but rejected from UT when they are just outside the auto admit threshold but have near perfect SATs and other sterling credentials. The high admissions rate is likely because few people outside the top of their class even apply anymore knowing the poor odds.
alfaspider
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by alfaspider »

AD3 wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:30 pm I think many people over emphasis the importance of extracurricular activities when applying to colleges, what students should be focusing on is one the academic work (primarily grades), second they should foucs on something that they have a passion for (ie. chess, sports, music, building robots, programming, etc...) When the student applies to the university that they want to attend they should have something to write about that in someway relates to the extracurricular activities
Extracurricular activities tend to only be important for the most competitive schools. The very top ones could fill their classes many times over with straight-A students with near perfect test scores, so extracurriculars become a tie breaker. With a few exceptions, state schools mostly just care if you are academically qualified.
stoptothink
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by stoptothink »

bayview wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:20 am
JupiterJones wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:31 am
seawolf21 wrote: Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:47 pm What does stand out in applicants are those with community service; you are actually giving back to the community (and actually improving someone’s life if only for a moment) vs. knowing how to play an instrument.
Maybe the OP's son could combine the two things? Volunteer teaching beginning piano. Or play at retirement homes. That sort of thing?
I was going to mention playing piano at assisted living and nursing homes, IF the teen is willing to play music from the 30’s through 60’s (think Cole Porter through Mamas and the Papas, for instance.) Many elderly people, especially those with memory problems, are greatly appreciative when someone performs “their” music. “Fur Elise,” not so much. They also love having a young person doing the playing.

My wife does this with a friend. They play the piano and guitar and sing at nursing homes, a handful of times a year, but mostly around Christmas. They've been doing it as long as I've known her (7yrs). No, her ability to play the piano, sing, and volunteering of her talent were not mentioned when she was applying to schools 3yrs ago, nonetheless she had no issues being accepted based upon more than decade old GPA and ACT score.
texasdiver
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by texasdiver »

AD3 wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:55 am
livesoft wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:00 pm
AD3 wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:30 pm ... When the student applies to the university that they want to attend they should have something to write about that in someway relates to the extracurricular activities
Actually, I assert that most universities don't care. That's because most universities accept almost everyone that applies. In Texas for instance, you get accepted to the University of Texas in Austin based on class rank and not much else and UT is arguably the best public university in Texas (with no apologies to Aggies). Yes, there are some selective colleges and universities, but their number of slots for freshman is not so large compared to the rest of possibilities.
Wow, I'm surprised to see that UT Austin has an acceptance rate of 40%. I always heard that it was a tough school to get into, but the numbers don't suggest that at all. I know here in California, we have UC Berkeley & UCLA that have both a 17% and 18% acceptance rate and both are extremely tough to get into. So it seems to be a case by case situation.
It is because UT admissions are more prescriptive. If you aren't in the top 10% of your graduating class (now more like top 7%) then there isn't much reason to even bother applying. Berkeley and UCLA are less prescriptive in their admissions and so mediocre students feel like they might have a chance.
texasdiver
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by texasdiver »

alfaspider wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:33 am
AD3 wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:30 pm I think many people over emphasis the importance of extracurricular activities when applying to colleges, what students should be focusing on is one the academic work (primarily grades), second they should foucs on something that they have a passion for (ie. chess, sports, music, building robots, programming, etc...) When the student applies to the university that they want to attend they should have something to write about that in someway relates to the extracurricular activities
Extracurricular activities tend to only be important for the most competitive schools. The very top ones could fill their classes many times over with straight-A students with near perfect test scores, so extracurriculars become a tie breaker. With a few exceptions, state schools mostly just care if you are academically qualified.
My daughter's admission to an SEC school was based 100% on GPA and SAT scores. Once your combined GPA and SAT score reached a certain minimum threshold you were offered automatic early admission. They didn't even look at anything else. I think it was actually class rank rather than GPA come to think of it. The higher your class rank the lower the SAT threshold and vice versa.
PatrickA5
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by PatrickA5 »

My daughter started college as a music major. She got a whopping $500 scholarship for her talent. She changed majors half way through college so her talent ended up costing me more money. Ha!
stw
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by stw »

I played piano and was in orchestra through highschool. My talent was middling, but I enjoyed the camaraderie of orchestra, as well as playing beautiful music. I actually got a small scholarship to play in my college orchestra. I think it was something like $250 or maybe $400 per year. What I can say about being in band or orchestra is that it can give your kid some fiercely loyal life-time friends. There are many hours spent practicing, riding in buses, performing, and the like. Piano is a good gateway to other instruments, as you learn how to read music in both clefs. If your kid enjoys it...encourage it!
cshell2
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by cshell2 »

stw wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:54 am I played piano and was in orchestra through highschool. My talent was middling, but I enjoyed the camaraderie of orchestra, as well as playing beautiful music.
This is my oldest son. I doubt he ever plays for fun on his own or continues on after school, but he absolutely LOVES his band peeps and being a part of that group. I know traveling with the marching band in the summers was some of the best times for him. He teared up at their last performance this Fall. I told him he could always try out for college marching band, and he was like "meh".
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MMLC3
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by MMLC3 »

Thank you everyone for your inputs. Such great wealth of info on this forum, as always.

Info that was missing in OP:
Son 12 yrs old
Started learning classical piano when he was 7. He is at level 6, as per his teacher.
Enjoys it, especially when we have friends n family visiting, he loves to play for them. I take that as a great sign of interest.
He is quite strong academically, self motivated.
We are glad we can enable this extra curricular activity for him, not necessarily just from college admissions point of view. It has also taught him perseverance at an early age, especially as lessons have got more complicated over time.

Great ideas from everyone, will look into: can he play in a nursing/senior/assisted living setting etc
texasdiver
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by texasdiver »

MMLC3 wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:44 pm Thank you everyone for your inputs. Such great wealth of info on this forum, as always.

Info that was missing in OP:
Son 12 yrs old
Started learning classical piano when he was 7. He is at level 6, as per his teacher.
Enjoys it, especially when we have friends n family visiting, he loves to play for them. I take that as a great sign of interest.
He is quite strong academically, self motivated.
We are glad we can enable this extra curricular activity for him, not necessarily just from college admissions point of view. It has also taught him perseverance at an early age, especially as lessons have got more complicated over time.

Great ideas from everyone, will look into: can he play in a nursing/senior/assisted living setting etc
If he is only 12 then don't worry about it. Studying music is reported to increase cognitive ability and math skills so it's all good.

If you are looking for other ideas, my daughter who is a competent HS pianist (but not conservatory level) now makes money on the side as an accompanist for other HS instrumentalists in music competitions and also teaching private lessons to little kids that her teacher does not have the room to take on. Her music teacher has a group kinder-music program with little kids and has more parents who want to continue with private lessons than she can accommodate so my daughter takes up some of the overflow in her teacher's studio as a nice HS part-time job.

When he is finally 17 and you are doing college applications then his interests, grades, and test scores are going to be the threshold tests for what kind of higher education you can even bother applying to. If he has say at 50% in his HS class rank and median SAT scores then you will be applying for ordinary state schools and less competitive private schools, for which you aren't going to need some enormous portfolio anyway.
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MaryO
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by MaryO »

ohai wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:53 pm
AD3 wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:30 pm I think many people over emphasis the importance of extracurricular activities when applying to colleges, what students should be focusing on is one the academic work (primarily grades), second they should foucs on something that they have a passion for (ie. chess, sports, music, building robots, programming, etc...) When the student applies to the university that they want to attend they should have something to write about that in someway relates to the extracurricular activities
I'd say you can get into at least one top 7-10 type of university on the basis of strong academics alone. Sure, you will need some kind of activities, but from what I have seen, most people aren't really that great in clubs and stuff... they just write to make it sound like they did something.

Of course, a lot of people are not going to get 1600 SAT and be the high school valedictorian. Hence, the need to pad with extracurriculars.
This is simply untrue. Top ten universities reject more 1600SAT Vals than they admit.

If a kid is applying to a highly competitive math program, for example, every single kid he's up against will have scored an 800 on SAT Math, 5 on APs, and likely close to perfect scores on all SATIIs. If that's all he has, he's unlikely to be admitted unless he has some other hook, like coming from an underprivileged background.

What the successful applicant will bring is years of involvement in math related activities, like all those American International Mathematics Exams, USA Mathematical Olympiad, etc. Throw in an award at the Regeneron Science Talent Search for good measure.

Tippy top schools are very serious about engagement outside the classroom. The kids they select aren't just padding a resume with silly clubs. The vast majority of colleges, of course, do admit with just grades and test scores. Most are very easy to get into.
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CyclingDuo
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by CyclingDuo »

MMLC3 wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:44 pm Thank you everyone for your inputs. Such great wealth of info on this forum, as always.

Info that was missing in OP:
Son 12 yrs old
Started learning classical piano when he was 7. He is at level 6, as per his teacher.
Enjoys it, especially when we have friends n family visiting, he loves to play for them. I take that as a great sign of interest.
He is quite strong academically, self motivated.
We are glad we can enable this extra curricular activity for him, not necessarily just from college admissions point of view. It has also taught him perseverance at an early age, especially as lessons have got more complicated over time.

Great ideas from everyone, will look into: can he play in a nursing/senior/assisted living setting etc
Level 6 at age 12 is pretty good!! :beer

Certainly worth continued encouragement to see if his skillset improves to a higher grade level over the next 4-6 years. Level 7 and 8 are really high end adult levels (technique and musicianship). Reaching that level at age 16-18 is not frowned upon in the music teaching world. Some who play really well never reach it even after 20 years of study, but for those who do - it is a major benchmark. No need to push him to do it earlier than his mid to late teens as if he is missing out compared to others. If his love of music provides the drive for continued improvement and practice - let that alone be the guiding force. No need to set long term goals and career options at this point, but it is important to keep the joy and desire in playing/practicing/performing for him along with balance in the rest of his life to avoid burn out. Keep it real and transparent with his teacher and in your discussions with him about his craft.

I assume you have listened to performances of the youngest Van Cliburn Competition Winners in history?

https://www.cliburn.org/

Just Google search for Videos of Van Cliburn Competition Winners (in all categories) if you need a reference to compare and see what is out there.

Edit

P.S. for those wondering about what level the OP's 12 year old is playing, here are some examples as he is currently at Level 6:

Level 6 Playing: https://www.julianlambert.org/tr-gd6-2018-2020
Level 7 Playing: https://www.julianlambert.org/tr-gd7-2018-20
Last edited by CyclingDuo on Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ohai
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by ohai »

MaryO wrote: Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:58 am
ohai wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:53 pm
AD3 wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:30 pm I think many people over emphasis the importance of extracurricular activities when applying to colleges, what students should be focusing on is one the academic work (primarily grades), second they should foucs on something that they have a passion for (ie. chess, sports, music, building robots, programming, etc...) When the student applies to the university that they want to attend they should have something to write about that in someway relates to the extracurricular activities
I'd say you can get into at least one top 7-10 type of university on the basis of strong academics alone. Sure, you will need some kind of activities, but from what I have seen, most people aren't really that great in clubs and stuff... they just write to make it sound like they did something.

Of course, a lot of people are not going to get 1600 SAT and be the high school valedictorian. Hence, the need to pad with extracurriculars.
This is simply untrue. Top ten universities reject more 1600SAT Vals than they admit.

If a kid is applying to a highly competitive math program, for example, every single kid he's up against will have scored an 800 on SAT Math, 5 on APs, and likely close to perfect scores on all SATIIs. If that's all he has, he's unlikely to be admitted unless he has some other hook, like coming from an underprivileged background.

What the successful applicant will bring is years of involvement in math related activities, like all those American International Mathematics Exams, USA Mathematical Olympiad, etc. Throw in an award at the Regeneron Science Talent Search for good measure.

Tippy top schools are very serious about engagement outside the classroom. The kids they select aren't just padding a resume with silly clubs. The vast majority of colleges, of course, do admit with just grades and test scores. Most are very easy to get into.
What I am saying is, if you are the best academic student in your high school, and it's a decent school, you don't need very strong extracurriculars to get into one of the Cornell/Duke/Berkeley type of institutions. You will not get into all, but if you apply to 10, you will probably get into at least one.

The 1600 thing you said doesn't mean much if you are applying to many such schools. 10 such schools can reject 90% of 1600 SAT kids and all 1600 kids can still get into one of the schools. Probability of 10 schools rejecting you if you are qualified is tiny relative to any one school rejecting you.

For the most selective tier, ie. Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Princeton types, the second most important factor is having something really outstanding on your background. The most important factor is randomness. Of top tier applicants, some are truly outstanding (or well connected). However, 80% are the same as those who get into the tier below of schools; they are just chosen for unknown reasons. If applicant ranking was objective and known, admission yield rates would probably be like 30%, as those kids would typically apply to a known tier of schools that match them. However, 83% yield at Harvard seems to indicate that people who get into this kind of school, on average, only have one choice within that selectivity range.
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by MaryO »

ohai wrote: Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:38 am
MaryO wrote: Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:58 am
ohai wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:53 pm
AD3 wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:30 pm I think many people over emphasis the importance of extracurricular activities when applying to colleges, what students should be focusing on is one the academic work (primarily grades), second they should foucs on something that they have a passion for (ie. chess, sports, music, building robots, programming, etc...) When the student applies to the university that they want to attend they should have something to write about that in someway relates to the extracurricular activities
I'd say you can get into at least one top 7-10 type of university on the basis of strong academics alone. Sure, you will need some kind of activities, but from what I have seen, most people aren't really that great in clubs and stuff... they just write to make it sound like they did something.

Of course, a lot of people are not going to get 1600 SAT and be the high school valedictorian. Hence, the need to pad with extracurriculars.
This is simply untrue. Top ten universities reject more 1600SAT Vals than they admit.

If a kid is applying to a highly competitive math program, for example, every single kid he's up against will have scored an 800 on SAT Math, 5 on APs, and likely close to perfect scores on all SATIIs. If that's all he has, he's unlikely to be admitted unless he has some other hook, like coming from an underprivileged background.

What the successful applicant will bring is years of involvement in math related activities, like all those American International Mathematics Exams, USA Mathematical Olympiad, etc. Throw in an award at the Regeneron Science Talent Search for good measure.

Tippy top schools are very serious about engagement outside the classroom. The kids they select aren't just padding a resume with silly clubs. The vast majority of colleges, of course, do admit with just grades and test scores. Most are very easy to get into.
What I am saying is, if you are the best academic student in your high school, and it's a decent school, you don't need very strong extracurriculars to get into one of the Cornell/Duke/Berkeley type of institutions. You will not get into all, but if you apply to 10, you will probably get into at least one.

The 1600 thing you said doesn't mean much if you are applying to many such schools. 10 such schools can reject 90% of 1600 SAT kids and all 1600 kids can still get into one of the schools. Probability of 10 schools rejecting you if you are qualified is tiny relative to any one school rejecting you.

For the most selective tier, ie. Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Princeton types, the second most important factor is having something really outstanding on your background. The most important factor is randomness. Of top tier applicants, some are truly outstanding (or well connected). However, 80% are the same as those who get into the tier below of schools; they are just chosen for unknown reasons. If applicant ranking was objective and known, admission yield rates would probably be like 30%, as those kids would typically apply to a known tier of schools that match them. However, 83% yield at Harvard seems to indicate that people who get into this kind of school, on average, only have one choice within that selectivity range.
Harvard's yield is so high because of three reasons:
1) It is a brand name, like Xerox or Q-Tips known throughout the world.
2) It now provides incredibly generous financial aid even to solidly middle class/upper middle class families
3) It offers perhaps the widest variety of top-tier programs in diverse disciplines of any US school. There aren't many cases where a kid could say, "Wow. I got into Harvard, but I'm turning it down because XYZ college has a much better program in ABC."

Only Stanford comes close in yield.

Yield is increased by early decision, and that is the reason why schools a bit lower down the list still have yields over 50%, but no where near that of Harvard. Colleges love ED, because they can capture students who then can't compete for spots and $$$ at other top schools.

Holistic admissions can't be called objective. The only thing in admissions that is truly objective is one's standardized test score. High school grades are often subjective. Class rank can be gamed. College essays can be technically & grammatically perfect, but the tone can turn off a reader. A kid's big interests can be off-putting to an application reader and he's tossed into the reject pile. Plenty of subjective factors, but if you read a college's admissions site, they give lots of hints!

There is no way an unhooked kid could get into Cornell, Duke, or Berkeley without impressive credentials beyond just grades. Often those credentials are the hook.
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by alfaspider »

ohai wrote: Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:38 am

What I am saying is, if you are the best academic student in your high school, and it's a decent school, you don't need very strong extracurriculars to get into one of the Cornell/Duke/Berkeley type of institutions. You will not get into all, but if you apply to 10, you will probably get into at least one.
My old (very competitive and well known) high school generally had 10-15 valedictorians per year (because that was the number who received straight A's their entire high school career in all Honors/AP classes). Quite a few were rejected from all schools at that tier (including my sister). Granted, that was over 15 years ago, but I doubt things have gotten easier.
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by jpelder »

I would hesitate to recommend any particular action (other than making the best grades possible) to a student if the only reason for it is to increase college admissions likelihood. Students should choose the hardest classes that they can handle, and make the best grades possible. They should also do several things outside of academics.

I'm an advocate for the arts, and my artistic abilities are musical. Piano will do a good job of teaching how to read music, and it will introduce basic music theory. I took 4 years of piano lessons, and I kind of wish I had kept up with it. I still sing and play trumpet, and both bring a lot of enjoyment to my life.

My musical abilities made no difference in college admissions, and college marching band only offered a modest "service award" the scarcely covered the cost of dry-cleaning our uniforms. That said, I was not a music major and did not seek any music-related employment, either.

So my advice is to have your kid try piano. If they like it, they should try another instrument (wind or string), as well as singing. They should also try painting, drawing, pottery, photography, drama, etc. They may like any or none of these. Maybe they will be an athlete like my wife was, instead. Finding a non-academic passion enriches your life.
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by swaption »

Apologies for being direct, but the problem here is the question itself. It makes me crazy to see so many obsessed with how various things will impact the college admissions process. What these colleges want, more than anything, is kids that are genuine and have a passion. This does not come from the parents. If your child is really into the piano, then go for it, but certainly don't throw gobs of money at it based on some dotted line to college admissions. My oldest daughter is at Columbia because she is smart, intense, and passionate. She easily could have landed any one of a number of other places, including state schools. If she had, so what? She still would have been the same person, ultimately that''s all that matters, and she would have had ample opportunity to succeed anywhere. Way too much tail wagging dog out there. Don't let the whole college thing hijack your child's life. We can't on the one hand long for a simpler time, and then on the other hand go out of our way to over complicate everything. These things really are a choice.

But will speak to the question. Do colleges care? Yes, simply because they care about everything. In all cases, if you are better, they'll likely care more and that applies to everything. My daughter did science research, I'm sure that mattered, but not as much as it does for the two kids this year who were Regeneron award winners. I see stuff in here about connecting activities to your essay. Yeah, whatever. For both of my kids, what seemed to work in the essay was taking risks. What can you do as a parent to help make that happen?
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by fyre4ce »

Broken Man 1999 wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:34 pm DD rode her viola to 6 years tuition at a small private university.

After she earned her BA, the university told her that they didn't have a strong viola player coming in. She wanted earn a graduate degree, so they offered the tuition to keep her. She earned her MBA by continuing playing in the univesity orchestra.

Over all she had an excellent experience, she did the whole college experience, joining a sorority, living the sorority house, being RA for dorms. She and few other select students went to Europe with their music profs to play in various orchestras.

So, $20/week for lessons with The Florida Orchestra's first viola chair for maybe four years, plus a $4500 viola (1994 price) secured a nice education for her, at least for tuition expenses.

As someone already mentioned, certain instruments are not as popular with music students, but orchestras still need them.

She was offered scholarships to three universities, but there was no doubt where she was going, as one of the universities was her first choice.

Broken Man 1999
Sweet! Sounds like it worked out great for all parties! :moneybag
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

fyre4ce wrote: Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:22 pm
Broken Man 1999 wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:34 pm DD rode her viola to 6 years tuition at a small private university.

After she earned her BA, the university told her that they didn't have a strong viola player coming in. She wanted earn a graduate degree, so they offered the tuition to keep her. She earned her MBA by continuing playing in the univesity orchestra.

Over all she had an excellent experience, she did the whole college experience, joining a sorority, living the sorority house, being RA for dorms. She and few other select students went to Europe with their music profs to play in various orchestras.

So, $20/week for lessons with The Florida Orchestra's first viola chair for maybe four years, plus a $4500 viola (1994 price) secured a nice education for her, at least for tuition expenses.

As someone already mentioned, certain instruments are not as popular with music students, but orchestras still need them.

She was offered scholarships to three universities, but there was no doubt where she was going, as one of the universities was her first choice.

Broken Man 1999
Sweet! Sounds like it worked out great for all parties! :moneybag
Sometimes the stars align, for sure.

Broken Man 1999
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OldBallCoach
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by OldBallCoach »

OR be a guy that is 6'4" about 245lbs and run a 4.4 40 yard dash and tuition is never an issue. Grades? We dont worry about that...to me the whole system is completely out of whack...but...I get that 85,000 people dont pay 100 bucks each on a Saturday to watch the kid do math. I see ssssssssooooooo many kids that really have the skills to succeed in school and we for the most part only care about them as an athlete until they get to college then it is so hard to play catch up.
If you have ANY skill that gets you the cash in college ride that deal into the sunset and smile. Music, grades, Athletics, what ever you got...use it...the next new wave is E sports and online gaming...schools are starting teams and offering money...crazy...
IMO
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by IMO »

OldBallCoach wrote: Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:21 pm OR be a guy that is 6'4" about 245lbs and run a 4.4 40 yard dash and tuition is never an issue. Grades? We dont worry about that...to me the whole system is completely out of whack...but...I get that 85,000 people dont pay 100 bucks each on a Saturday to watch the kid do math. I see ssssssssooooooo many kids that really have the skills to succeed in school and we for the most part only care about them as an athlete until they get to college then it is so hard to play catch up.
If you have ANY skill that gets you the cash in college ride that deal into the sunset and smile. Music, grades, Athletics, what ever you got...use it...the next new wave is E sports and online gaming...schools are starting teams and offering money...crazy...
Agree the the whole college admission AND the whole school rank thing is out of whack if you've actually looked at that ridiculous process. Starting to look at colleges now for our teenager and I've concluded the whole thing is just a joke. I laugh out loud when I read the essay questions for some of the apparent elite schools.

OP: You can start or continue to obsess about how to get your kid into Stanford, Yale or whatever "elite" school, or you can have your child try to be the best student he/she can and let him/her pursue personal interests outside school such as music, sports or whatever for their basic own personal enjoyment and self development. We need to let kids be kids. My kid despite being a straight A kid and being a highly competitive athlete will likely just have to settle on a high ranked public school and then get a job at Burger King selling fake meat burgers while living in my basement until he's 50 scraping by on minimum wage and his $1000/month living wage.
JWooden10
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by JWooden10 »

Agree with the responses associated with doing something you enjoy, developing good practice and time management skills, people skills, etc. as those will indirectly impact admissions.

Also agree with the thoughts that skill level doesn’t matter unless music is your major. A specific example from personal experience and interviewing recent grads: colleges don’t view you differently if you play an instrument. They do however like it if you earn your book or walking around money by giving lessons.
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by leftcoaster »

aristotelian wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:03 am Colleges like kids who are well rounded and good at things. Playing piano will not likely get your kid into college. What will make them successful is trying piano, baseball, coding, debate club, etc. loving to learn and getting really good at one or two of them.
Colleges do not like kids who are well rounded. They want a student body that is well rounded, but made up of individuals who excel in one or two areas Of focus. You said as much in your second sentence, but the lead in about liking kids who are well rounded is incorrect.
cshell2
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by cshell2 »

IMO wrote: Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:44 am
My kid despite being a straight A kid and being a highly competitive athlete will likely just have to settle on a high ranked public school and then get a job at Burger King selling fake meat burgers while living in my basement until he's 50 scraping by on minimum wage and his $1000/month living wage.
Why bother with college at all if that's all you expect will come of it?
stoptothink
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by stoptothink »

cshell2 wrote: Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:06 am
IMO wrote: Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:44 am
My kid despite being a straight A kid and being a highly competitive athlete will likely just have to settle on a high ranked public school and then get a job at Burger King selling fake meat burgers while living in my basement until he's 50 scraping by on minimum wage and his $1000/month living wage.
Why bother with college at all if that's all you expect will come of it?
Apparently your sarcasm meter is off...
cshell2
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by cshell2 »

stoptothink wrote: Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:08 am
cshell2 wrote: Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:06 am
IMO wrote: Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:44 am
My kid despite being a straight A kid and being a highly competitive athlete will likely just have to settle on a high ranked public school and then get a job at Burger King selling fake meat burgers while living in my basement until he's 50 scraping by on minimum wage and his $1000/month living wage.
Why bother with college at all if that's all you expect will come of it?
Apparently your sarcasm meter is off...
Too early in the morning for me. 8-)
finite_difference
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by finite_difference »

CyclingDuo wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:39 pm
MMLC3 wrote: Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:18 pm Anyone here, whose kid pursued Piano as an activity and it ended up helping them with College admissions?
If yes, how exactly does that come into play? Is it based on what levels you have graduated to? Or based on where you have performed?

Piano classes, at least here in CA are quite expensive for a private instructor. Would like to know, if other than being a lifetime skill and an art form to treasure, does it help at all with College admissions and if yes then in what perspective? My wife and I didn't have the opportunity growing up to learn a musical instrument, so we are glad our kid is getting the opportunity and he is picking it up quite well.

Would like to hear some first-hand examples. This question sort of extends to any extra curricular activity like an art form or sports. Does it only help with College admissions when you can demonstrate that you are absolutely exceptional at it?
If a prospective student can play classical music well enough to accompany students that are music majors; then almost any college will throw a nice chunk of change at that student with a scholarship for accompanying. Playing the piano is one thing, but being able to read music and accompany others is getting into rarified territory. The better talented ones that can do this get really good scholarships.
Lol. Yeah, being what amounts to a professional piano player does seem like it should place you a rarified category for music at a time when you are starting the college admissions process. :D
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whaler08
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by whaler08 »

Do you know how to get a music major off your front steps ? Pay for the pizza !
anon3838
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by anon3838 »

Broken Man 1999 wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:34 pm DD rode her viola to 6 years tuition at a small private university.

After she earned her BA, the university told her that they didn't have a strong viola player coming in. She wanted earn a graduate degree, so they offered the tuition to keep her. She earned her MBA by continuing playing in the univesity orchestra.

Over all she had an excellent experience, she did the whole college experience, joining a sorority, living the sorority house, being RA for dorms. She and few other select students went to Europe with their music profs to play in various orchestras.

So, $20/week for lessons with The Florida Orchestra's first viola chair for maybe four years, plus a $4500 viola (1994 price) secured a nice education for her, at least for tuition expenses.

As someone already mentioned, certain instruments are not as popular with music students, but orchestras still need them.

She was offered scholarships to three universities, but there was no doubt where she was going, as one of the universities was her first choice.

Broken Man 1999
Congrats to your daughter, that’s an inspiring story!

When my kid was going into middle school, the music teacher mentioned that if any of the violinist wanted to pursue a music scholarship, this would be a good time to switch to viola (“forget about a scholarship based on violin—that’s insanely competitive”, he said.)

We are not at the college level yet, but for the kids who can make and keep first-chair throughout middle and high school, this seems like a very viable option, especially at colleges/universities that have a performing arts program (and need orchestra).

ETA - I think that the child’s private lessons teacher can make a difference too. Some teachers are helping steer the kids towards opportunities that give them the exposure to help move them forward. For example, finding ensamble performances where there will be judges, who are looking for college orchestra talent. For lack of a better description...music scouts.
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by JPM »

Music is the greatest hobby IMO. Very few people make a good living at it, but many enjoy it as a relaxing hobby. As mentioned above, unless you are a superstar high school musician or play an unusual orchestral instrument, unlikely to make a difference in admission to a competitive college. Not impossible, but not likely either.

Many of my friends and colleagues in their 60s and 70s play music in amateur or semipro orchestras and rock or jazz bands. The midwestern industrial towns I've lived in have decent orchestras made up of locals with a guest star from the music dept at one of the nearby universities at performances. The local doctors, dentists, accountants, etc enjoy it immensely. In one town, the local HS has a big strings program and the kids in it play weddings and parties as a group. As a result, some of the local shopgirls and tradesmen became quite good amateur violinists and the local orchestra is quite good as a result.

The university of Chicago department of surgery has a good jazz band made up of its faculty and residents. Playing trumpet or sax would probably help you get a surgical residency there if your qualifications were otherwise adequate.
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MaryO
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by MaryO »

JPM wrote: Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:34 am
The university of Chicago department of surgery has a good jazz band made up of its faculty and residents. Playing trumpet or sax would probably help you get a surgical residency there if your qualifications were otherwise adequate.
This is super cool!

Carnegie Mellon offers a scholarship for the bagpipes, if anyone is so inclined.

Speaking of jazz, I know three kids studying engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in NJ and at Lehigh U in PA who have been awarded jazz scholarships. Not sure of the $$$ amount. I know all three were more than qualified for the engineering programs, so I doubt musicianship boosted their admissions likelihood. But free $$$ is great! And these kids loved music and were all very accomplished. Neither school offers BM degrees, & I can't speak to the skill level of their jazz bands. (It's a general rule that schools without BMs don't have the highest caliber ensembles. There are, of course, exceptions.) But both schools have very well regarded engineering programs.
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by JupiterJones »

whaler08 wrote: Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:04 am Do you know how to get a music major off your front steps ? Pay for the pizza !
And how can you tell when the music major at your door is a vocalist?

They can't find the key and don't know when to come in.

:D
Stay on target...
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Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by willthrill81 »

I was good at playing piano as a teenager and initially thought that I would pursue a career in piano performance. But I quickly discovered that it's extremely difficult to provide well for a family that way, so I quickly abandoned it and majored in business. I have no regrets whatsoever.

My perception is that it's extremely difficult to get a scholarship worth much from playing an instrument unless perhaps you're in the college band, and I don't think that those scholarships are worth very much in most instances.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
stoptothink
Posts: 8509
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by stoptothink »

JupiterJones wrote: Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:03 pm
whaler08 wrote: Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:04 am Do you know how to get a music major off your front steps ? Pay for the pizza !
And how can you tell when the music major at your door is a vocalist?

They can't find the key and don't know when to come in.

:D
:mrgreen: No joke, my across the street neighbor has a masters in musical performance (he plays various string instruments, though I've never heard him play). Super nice guy, but he is living in his dad's rental home for free and delivers pizzas (no joke) while his wife works at the call center of my employer.
stoptothink
Posts: 8509
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Piano & college admissions

Post by stoptothink »

JupiterJones wrote: Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:03 pm
whaler08 wrote: Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:04 am Do you know how to get a music major off your front steps ? Pay for the pizza !
And how can you tell when the music major at your door is a vocalist?

They can't find the key and don't know when to come in.

:D
My across the street neighbor has a masters in musical performance (he plays various string instruments, though I've never heard him play). Super nice guy, but he is living in his dad's rental home for free and delivers pizzas (no joke) while his wife works at the call center of my employer.
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