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Thread: Need some advice, college-related

  1. #1

    Default Need some advice, college-related

    I *think* this is the right place to ask, if not, please move the thread <_<

    So, I'm a senior in high school, and I auditioned at four places over the past year. I was accepted to the studios at Ithaca College (Steven Mauk) and University of Iowa (Kenneth Tse), and was waitlisted at Michigan (Sinta) and Northwestern (Hemke). As of right now, Northwestern is my favorite school (academically, as I've been accepted to the liberal arts colleges at all four and do intend to double major, one in music, one outside), and Ithaca is my favorite of the two where I'm in the studio.

    My question is: is the quality of the Northwestern music school (and Hemke in particular) greater than Iowa or Ithaca to the point where I should risk not getting in off the waitlist? And if I do go and do not get in off the waitlist, what's the chance that I'll be able to get in at the beginning of the year/beginning of an academic period/next year, assuming my ability remains the same or increases? (And are there any rumors of Hemke retiring any time in the near future?)

    Thanks for any answers/insight anyone can provide.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Need some advice, college-related

    Congratulations on Iowa and Ithaca! I don't know if you would get more out of the courses at Northwestern than you would at Iowa or Ithaca, but it is a well known school for music and would lend you some credibility based on the name alone. However, I think the more important questions to ask are these: Which teacher and studio would best help you achieve your saxophone goals? Also, if you are considering a second major area, what is the reputation of your second area at each school? Good luck!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Need some advice, college-related

    I agree with the advice about the teacher and studio. While all these schools are great, try to pick a place where you are not the best player. You need to be surrounded by musicians (not just saxophonists) who can push you. Lastly, remember that this might not be the final decision. If you go somewhere and hate it ,you can always re-audition and transfer.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Need some advice, college-related

    I highly doubt that Hemke will be retiring in the immediate future. If he did, he'd be leaving me high and dry!!

    I'll vouch for the quality of the undergraduate music school in general (to name the strong studios would take some time...). Everyone kind of pushes each other up, as long as you are paying attention to the kinds of things they are doing when you walk up and down the practice rooms.

    Also, all of that being said, I find (personally) where you do your undergrad is somewhat less critical than where you end up for graduate degrees or post-undergraduate work (Europe, etc.). Though they are formative, I think you do most of your musical growing in the later years of education.

    (But then again, you should go for what you want)

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Need some advice, college-related

    Any of these schools would be a wonderful "foundation" to your education. I know players that have gone to all of the schools and you should try to go wherever you feel most comfortable. With that said, even though the University of Iowa is not in a huge town with culture, Kenneth Tse is probably my favorite classical saxophonist. Such a great tone!

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    Default Re: Need some advice, college-related

    Perhaps an even better question to ask each school would be "Do i get to study with the Sax Proff or his teaching assistant"? Would it suck to wait for Hemke only to get a Masters student? Or Tse and Get a grad student. Sure, those are awesome graduate students, but for the big bucksthat college cost, i would find out where i stand.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member Kini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need some advice, college-related

    One thing to keep in mind is the name recognition of the school. Since you're majoring in a non music degree as well, that probably means your career could be in that area. As a generalization, a Northwestern degree will carry more weight from the name recognition perspective, and may help when applying for jobs. This, of course, depends on your area of study and career choice.

    If you want to stay involved in music post college, but wish to have a "normal" job, a business or IT degree will help for good paying jobs, or possibly engineering. Just be careful if considering a "double poverty" degree combination, such as music and art history or theatre, or philosphy...
    Intellect over emotion. Veritas Vincit. Recommended Reading: How the Irish Saved Civilization. Erin Go Bragh!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Need some advice, college-related

    Here's a few things:

    -As far as financial aid goes, Northwestern is the best deal.
    -My other degree would most likely be computer science or writing or the like - something that's not a poverty degree, however music would still be my first choice, given the option

    -My real question is whether it's worth waiting at Northwestern and not getting in as opposed to getting in to Ithaca or Iowa without a doubt. I'm not questioning how good a school Northwestern or Ithaca or Iowa is.

    Also, for any sax profs/knowledgeable fellows who read this thread, how many students are usually added to the waitlist, and by when do they usually get notified of acceptance/rejection?

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    Default Re: Need some advice, college-related

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Alto View Post
    Here's a few things:

    -As far as financial aid goes, Northwestern is the best deal.
    -My other degree would most likely be computer science or writing or the like - something that's not a poverty degree, however music would still be my first choice, given the option

    -My real question is whether it's worth waiting at Northwestern and not getting in as opposed to getting in to Ithaca or Iowa without a doubt. I'm not questioning how good a school Northwestern or Ithaca or Iowa is.

    Also, for any sax profs/knowledgeable fellows who read this thread, how many students are usually added to the waitlist, and by when do they usually get notified of acceptance/rejection?
    You could always ask Ithaca/Iowa if you can get an extension until you find out from Northwestern what the decision is. Also, you should make sure to contact someone at Northwestern and ask them to notify you when a decision is made either way, because if you don't get in, they generally don't send you a second notice informing you that you didn't move up from the waitlist.

    Ithaca/Iowa should be understanding that you want to know all of your options before making a decision. It's worth inquiring.

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Need some advice, college-related

    I would e-mail, both Ithaca and Iowa, the admissions office and the music school, because I know that at least some schools will offer to match scholarship offers, especially from a school such as Northwestern. srcsax has a very good point about whom you study with. Last spring I was admitted to the sax studios at Michigan State, U. of Illinois, Central Michigan and Bowling Green. The three biggest factors in my decision to attend Michigan State were lessons (each week I have an hour lesson w/ Lulloff and 30 minutes with a grad student), the overall strength of the music program, and cost. Steven Mauk is a great saxophonist and teacher. I don't think you can go wrong attending Ithaca, in-state tuition is a definite plus. You still have three full weeks to think about your decision. If it makes you feel any better I didn't decide until after April 20th.

    -The size of the wait-list depends on the number of students admitted to the studio. As soon as you notify a school you won't be attending the prof. will contact someone on the list ASAP.

    Good Luck.
    Nicolas

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Need some advice, college-related

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Alto View Post
    Here's a few things:
    -My other degree would most likely be computer science or writing or the like - something that's not a poverty degree, however music would still be my first choice, given the option
    Writing would probably fall into the "poverty" category. Just like music, jobs are generally hard to get, low paying, and don't have much of a career path. Think of it this way: the more espressive, creative, and fulfilling the career, the less it pays....

    Please keep in mind that I'm specifically addressing the financial aspect of this, having taken the hard road from music to business, and playing with musicians all the time who thought they were going to be pro musicians or repair techs "making good money", and always just barely making ends meet.
    Intellect over emotion. Veritas Vincit. Recommended Reading: How the Irish Saved Civilization. Erin Go Bragh!

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