Let’s start with what universities are looking for:
Universities generally pay attention to your involvement in your after school activities. What really counts is how long and how serious you have been committed to your activities. This could be sports, clubs, MUSIC ENSEMBLES, and other various activities. Universities also take into account any leadership roles you might have had and any accomplishments you have achieved within your activities.
Remember, they are going to look at how much time you have spent on your extracurriculars. ~ Quality and Quantity ~ So, start early and make your extra extracurriculars count!
Letters of Recommendation ~
Many Universities require letters of recommendation from any teacher, high school counselor or, since you are a music student, private music teacher and conductors. Also, some universities require letters from individuals you have known in the past and who know you well. These people should be able to provide some information about your leadership roles, maturity, seriousness in your academic pursuits and overall growth as a person.
Many universities will have you submit an essay and some will even ask you additional, specific questions. This is your opportunity to show off your amazing personality! A well-written essay can definitely sway a decision in your favor but remember, a poorly written one will do just the opposite. So take your time and have people you trust read it before you send it off. Also, after you write the essay, read it out loud. This will help you make sense of what you have written. It gives you a different perspective and is almost like looking in a mirror.
Showing an Interest in the University, College or Conservatory ~
There are many ways to show that you care about the school you would love to attend. Early registration, visiting the campus, calling the music department and asking for a tour, attending the university’s orchestra or jazz concert and introducing yourself to the conductor, and making an appointment to meet with any private music professor and taking a lesson as well as meeting with the department head (if that is a possibility). If you choose to take a lesson with the professor (violin, bass, viola, flute, etc.) make certain you are well prepared and bring a list of questions. This will be a great way to establish a relationship with the university before you even apply.
Pre College Classes ~
This is important as well as advantageous. Whenever possible, take these classes so that you do not have to take them in college. Just get them out of the way. This also shows that you have an interest in a college education as well as the ability to think ahead.
SAT/ACT/PSAT Scores and How They Find YOU ~
Before you spend the money and all of your free time preparing for these tests, check to see if the university, college or conservatory even considers the SATs anymore. Many colleges are leaving these tests behind. These tests also use your personal information (garnered from your sign up forms) to find out how to contact you. The College Board then sends out your information to different schools and charges them a small fee to do so.
As I stated in the title of my Blog: This is one of the ways higher education institutions find YOU….
Have any questions?
Contact me and stop by my free “Seven Secrets to College Admission” online masterclasses. I would love to see you all there!