Replies

  • Well what music school are you planning on entering, because depending on the school, the size, the location, whether or not its part of a larger university or a conservatory, and whether or not its a private school or public will greatly effect what is required to gain admission into a music school.

    It also depends on what kind of music you are trying to do, be it film, concert, or pop.

  • I posted so I could find out what category to use for this discussion---clearly "Compser's Forum Tips and Tricks" is not the right category, but I had no idea which one should be used, so I posted here to find out which category to use.

     

  • Dont worry I can move it to the right one for you.

  • Okay, well I have a Bachelor of Science degree. Have been out of school for 19 years. During this time I have created a number of compositions in classical styles. I have not done much formal study of analysis, and have not practiced sight-singing or piano (though I played piano as a kid). My question is: what would I have to do from this point to achieve a viable application to a graduate program in composition? Could I bypass the undergraduate study if I demonstrated enough competence via some method?

     

    My main interest is in "classical", I guess what you would call "concert" styles. (Following the tradition of the 19th and 20th century composers into the modern era.) As far as which school, cost is an important consideration so it probably has to be a public school. I'd like to get into the best school I could, obviously. I'm willing to relocate anywhere in the country.

     

    There is no definite timeframe for this. This is not for admission in fall 2011, but sometime later than that.

     

    Thanks,

    Mike

     

  • Hi, Mike,

    Most of the grad schools I've checked from their website seem to require a Bachelors Degree. I think it's worth making personal contact with the schools you're interested in attending, no matter what their posted requirements are. They just might allow you to take their entrance exams, and admit you if you do well, requiring you to make up only the classes they feel you need to make up. This may be a long shot, but worth a try.

     

    If that doesn't work, you may be able to test out of quite a bit for the Bachelors Degree, such as music theory, ear training/sight singing, piano, and music history. I'm just finishing a Bachelor of Music Degree in Composition at a state college. I had transferred from another college, and the new college required me to take their music history classes, even though I had taken them at my first college. They also required a certain amount of private lessons on my instrument, regardless of how good I might have been.

     

    I haven't decided if I want to go to grad school for composition at this point. One thing for sure, is my piano skills have to be far better than they are (it's hard to gain the keyboard skills grad school requires, when one is well into their 40's and just learning!). I was told, however, that when choosing a grad school to apply to, I should be looking for teachers whose composing style is similar to my own, rather than looking for a particular school. For me, that means looking outside of my home state.

     

    Good luck with your search! School is much more fun now than it was 30 years ago...

  • You are kind of doing what I am doing now, in that we are both looking for graduate schools. However in your case I would seek an undergraduate degree in music first. If for anything to get the knowledge you would need to really sucseed in graduate school.

    Though most schools say a degree in music is not really required, it is implied in the classes you must take in graduate school. Most of which are continuations of undergraduate classes. Classes like graduate theory, and graduate form analysis would be far better to take if you had the 4-3 years of basics under your belt.

    Another reason why it might be better to start at the undergraduate level for music is that all the graduate schools I have looked at and most everywhere in the country require letters of recommendations from some one in your field (i.e. music). And the slandered and best letter of recommendation usually come from your undergraduate professors, such as your private composition professor and your theory professors. Though Im sure you might already have a few in mind, a recommendation from a music professor holds more water, mainly due in part that the world of academic music is quiet small and your undergraduate professor will most likely know someone personally in the graduate department at any   school you apply to. I know that has been the case for all the graduate schools I am applying to.

    The best thing you can do is call the school you wish to attend and see what they require. Every school is different in what they requirements are. Some schools, like the schools Janet is going to, require that you declare an instrument as well as declaring composition and require you to audition on said instrument. Some times that the case for undergradutate degrees only, other times its for both. There are also schools, like my current one, that have done away with requiring composers to declare a principle instrument, which allows you to focus on just composing. And there are many other variations you need to look up.

    What ever the case may be, you need to make a short list of schools you would like to attend, what they offer, who are the professors at that school (even look up what the professor of composition wrote himself), what are they requirements, and whens their deadlines to apply. Then call and/or email these schools and get in contact with the administrators and the professors of composition and see if that school is the right one for you.

     

    A good website to get started would be here:

    http://www.bridgetomusic.com/

    This list most of the schools that can pertain to your needs, and list their contact information.

    Good luck.


    Michael Mossey said:

    Okay, well I have a Bachelor of Science degree. Have been out of school for 19 years. During this time I have created a number of compositions in classical styles. I have not done much formal study of analysis, and have not practiced sight-singing or piano (though I played piano as a kid). My question is: what would I have to do from this point to achieve a viable application to a graduate program in composition? Could I bypass the undergraduate study if I demonstrated enough competence via some method?

     

    My main interest is in "classical", I guess what you would call "concert" styles. (Following the tradition of the 19th and 20th century composers into the modern era.) As far as which school, cost is an important consideration so it probably has to be a public school. I'd like to get into the best school I could, obviously. I'm willing to relocate anywhere in the country.

     

    There is no definite timeframe for this. This is not for admission in fall 2011, but sometime later than that.

     

    Thanks,

    Mike

     

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  • Thanks for the advice, everyone.

     

    The main problem with seeking a bachelor's degree is that it would be a 2nd bachelor's degree. I know some schools will not accept students for 2nd bachelor's degrees. There may be problems with funding as well, such as obtaining student loans or scholarships... I still have to research, but I'm betting that 2nd bachelor degrees are mostly not eligible.

     

    I have taken composition lessons with a couple different professors for years, so I can get letter of rec from them. Both of them have known me for 15 years.

     

  • I can attest to this: you do NOT need a B.A. in music to get into Graduate School!

     

    I was admitted into SUNY- Purchase (New York) in about 1993 as a grad student. I had not completed my Bachelor's at the time. And there was no discussion about it. Small schools are more likely to bend rules. It helps to know someone in the school you are seeking.

     

    * I did finally finish my Bachelor's degree. I had about 7 schools under my belt, and so no one school was going to make it work for me. I had more than enough credits. In my case, I also had more than enough music credits. I sent all my stuff to Albany, New York.

     

    At the time, it was called Regents College. Now, it is called Excelsior College. And it is run by the State of New York. It is not a crap degree. It is seen as a way to get into graduate school, often, for older students. They look at your transcripts, will consider life experience (at least they said they would, if needed), and tell you what to do, next.

     

    Look at this: the program requirements for the Master of Liberal Arts at Excelsior. You take courses at any university/conservatory, and Excelsior helps to assemble them into a degree:

    http://www.excelsior.edu/ecapps/faces/DegreeProgramController?actio...

     

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