8. Attend a Masterclass
Frequently, well-regarded university professors in strings, brass, winds, percussion, piano, and composition travel around the country to present masterclasses available to the public.
What is a masterclass? It is a showcasing of a number of students’ talent in a usually public setting to a “master” teacher.
Once you start to investigate the schools out there and the teachers, see if you can track the schedule of a particularly desired teacher and attend his or her masterclass.
7. Get Your Playing Evaluated
You may decide you wish to study with teachers of renowned stature, such as a Heidi Castleman at Juilliard or a Richard Aaron at University of Michigan, however I can tell you that many, many other students wish to study with teachers of this renown as well.
Some years, top music teachers only accept 1-5 undergraduate students in a particular major/instrument.
So what does this mean? It means you’ll have to perform at an exceptionally high level to be considered for admissions at one of these schools.
Getting your playing evaluated by professionals who oversee hundreds of evaluations every year will be critical for you when deciding which colleges and professors are realistic for your level of education, abilities, etc.
6. Be Cognizant of Your Grades & Test Scores
Some great music programs are housed in some of the world’s most respected academic universities, such as New York University, University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, and Northwestern University.
Let’s say you find a teacher you really would like to study with at one of these schools. To even be considered for admission, you will need to have a GPA that is exceptional.
In fact, one of the reasons that Northwestern University’s acceptance rate into their Bienen School of Music is so low is because they have to filter out students whose grades don’t make the cut.
Now, if you aren’t the best academic student, that is okay, as a standalone independent conservatory, or a university whose GPA expectations aren’t as high as the aforementioned three, do often accept students based mostly on musical ability and accomplishment.