Students strive towards career in the arts

Abbe Murphy, Editor-in-Chief

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For seniors, the fall of their last year in high school mainly consists of the following: writing essays, asking for letters of recommendation and sending in applications and scholarships. For the majority of students, this college admissions stress is usually relieved when they send their last application, but for a select few seniors who hope to pursue a degree in the field of music, this is only the beginning.

Senior Keara Corbett, a choir student who plans on majoring in music education, found that the application process for schools of music required additional effort.

“Honestly, it’s a lot more work,” Corbett said. “Not only did I have to fill out six separate school of music applications after the normal application, but I have to audition at each school, be interviewed, and take a theory exam as well.”

At most larger colleges and universities throughout the country, students first must be admitted through general admissions. At the University of Illinois School of Music, applicants complete a second application into the College of Fine and Applied Arts along with auditions after being admitted into the university as a whole. All applicants are also required to complete a music theory diagnostic test at the same time as their auditions.

“Essentially we have to get into the school twice,” senior cellist Tim Edwards said. “Music schools are looking for similar content within incoming college freshmen, and want the same credentials.”
The difference lies within the details. Dedicated musicans practice countless hours for multiple years to achieve the level of success to be ready for a career in music, while students of other subjects of study have different requirements.

“Students can go take a number of classes related to the sciences and within two years be ready to pursue an education. Musicians need to accomplish years of studying and experience before they can be considered to go to a school,” Edwards said.

At DGN, students in the music programs are provided with a wide range of resources and other opportunities to give them the skills necessary to succeed in the college admissions process. Illinois Music Educator Association (ILMEA) competitions at both the district and state levels give musicians the opportunity to rehearse pieces and perform at a high level that is similar to the auditions at schools of music.

“Our faculty always welcomes the opportunity to provide information and coach students who are considering a collegiate path focusing on a Fine Arts discipline,” fine arts chairperson Brayer Teague said. “Most of these conversations are personal in nature. We also use email, blogs, and social media to share information about college fairs in the area that have representatives of schools with strong arts departments.”

In Corbett’s case, a private vocal instructor assisted in the college search and application process.

“My voice teacher gave me an outline of what would be required of me, but other than that I was pretty independent,” said Corbett. “I have an excellent private voice teacher She pushes me extremely hard and also gives me many unique opportunities.”