Thursday, February 5, 2009

Is Music School Right For You?

By Amanda Brandon

So, you love music. You want to make a career of it. How do you do this? Well, there’s the old-fashioned grassroots “get out and tour” route. And then there’s the go to school route. Only you can decide which is right for you, but here are some tips for picking a music school.

Decide what you want to do in music. If you have dreams of being a concert pianist, it’s probably a good idea to get classical training at a top-notch music school. If you want to work on video game soundtracks, you’ll want to find a program that offers this specific type of education.

Find someone who does what you want to do. Interview that person. Find out how they got their start. Ask them what school they attended. Get real advice on what the wish they had done differently when it came to choosing a music school.

The program has to match your desired job. It’s fine to go to music school, but if you want to make a career of it, you’ll have to go get specific instruction in your chosen discipline.

Don’t just choose a school based on reputation. Choose one based on what you want to do. Let’s say you want to be a music teacher. You’ll need to get an education certification in addition to formal music training. Find out what tools they offer to get you certified before entering the workforce.

Think about cost. It costs money to go to music school. Not only are you shopping for a fantastic program, but you’re looking for something you can afford. Be sure to check out what scholarships and other aid are available.

What are the admission requirements? Do you have to audition? Do you have to have a portfolio? Certain prerequisites? Recommendations? Minimum requirements such as GPA, test scores, etc?

Visit the school. Set up an interview with key people at the school, so you get a real look at what the school will offer you. Be sure it’s an environment you can be creative in. Talk to other students in similar disciplines.

With these tips, you should be able to start your music school search. Remember, choose the school based on how it can enhance your career.