Juilliard

October 12, 2009 at 10:20 PM ·

I know that its hard to get accepted into schools like Juilliard, but I was wondering just how good you have to be, to get in?

Replies (26)

October 13, 2009 at 04:52 PM ·

Strange question.  The bottom line is you have to not only be good, but you have to show potential.  Are you interested in auditioning?

October 13, 2009 at 07:51 PM ·

What exactly do you mean when you say that you have to show potential? Yes, I'm thinking of auditioning next year for 2011 along with a few other schools. I'm just not quite sure what the likelihood of me being accepted is.

Anna

October 13, 2009 at 09:17 PM ·

 The schools publish their auditions requirements. They typically include playing advanced etudes, (e.g. Dont, Rode, Paganini), scales and arpeggios  and movements from major concertos. If you already playing at that level you'll probably only be concerned about how much financial aid you can qualify for. If you are not at that level you should ask your teachers whether it is feasible. 

October 13, 2009 at 09:52 PM ·

Well, I've been learning repertoire at that level for a few years now but I'm sure that all the other auditionee's will all be studying at that level also.. which makes me uncertain about how big a chance I will have

October 13, 2009 at 10:02 PM ·

I don't think anyone can really give you a straight answer.  The judges will be looking for something in you that is sometimes partly subjective on their part.  So, we v.commies and not even your teacher can predict how a judge will react to your audition.  

The best thing you can is prepare to the 190% best of your ability and go in with your own style and originality. 

October 13, 2009 at 11:54 PM ·

We can't give you a straight answer because we don't know your playing, only you and your teacher can judge that.  As for the other people that will be auditioning, don't worry about them.  Just know that they will be some of the most talented young violinists from all around the world, people come from everywhere to study at Juilliard.  The competition is fierce, but that's too much to think about.  No matter what your level is it's great experience at Juilliard.  The worst that can happen is you don't get in the first time you try, so what?

October 14, 2009 at 01:29 AM ·

Here's an idea...prepare auditions to Juilliard, Manhattan School, and Mannes. If you're good, you'll get in to one of them. You may even be able to study with a Juilliard teacher if you don't get accepted there, but you do get in another school in New York.

October 14, 2009 at 01:48 AM ·

Another thing to consider is to audtion for Juilliard and the best music school in your home State's public university system.  Why?  Get the experience of the Juilliard audition.  Then, go to school someplace much cheaper.  Save your money (and your parents) for a Masters degree at Juilliard (or someplace comparable). 

Can you (or your family) afford to pay cash (no loans) for Juilliard and acquire a professional level bow and violin?  If not, do you really want to come out of school with a bucket full of student loans, no graduate degree and a music performance degree? 

Elaine

October 14, 2009 at 02:07 AM ·

Two outstanding books you need to read right now: Performance Success,  by Don Greene and The Talent Code, by Daniel Coyle. Master performers apparently are made and not born. Both  books together explain how.  I'll say no more except just do it.

October 14, 2009 at 02:24 AM ·

Juilliard typically accepts about 6% to 8% of its applicants.  Probably all of the applicants are playing music at the level of the audition repertoire.  Many have been playing music at that level for several years, often since they were 10 to 12 years old.  Hence it is not sufficient to merely play the "right" music or "difficult" enough music;  one must play it at a very high level.  The vast majority of high school students that attempt the Tchaikowsky concerto are not nearly good enough for acceptance to Juilliard.

Some people claim that even the very best players are not "sure things" for admission to Juilliard.  That is probably not entirely accurate, but there are many violinists that play at a very high level, so for most capable applicants, it is not a "sure thing."  Some call it a crap shoot and perhaps auditions at most places are because one can never predict how one will play on a given day and how a jury of individual human beings will respond to one's playing on a given day.  In any case, there are many stories of students admitted to Curtis that are not admitted to Juilliard, and Curtis is generally considered a tougher admit.

You have nothing to lose by applying to Juilliard (except for the $100 that you will have to pay to apply to most schools).  Juilliard, like many good schools, requires a prescreening recording.  If your prescreening recording indicates that you are not anywhere near the standard for admission, you will not be given a live audition.  A live audition would be a waste of your time and the listeners' time.

Ultimately a high school violinist should be more concerned about finding an appropriate college teacher that is a good fit for them rather than finding a college.  If one is studying violin performance, the single most important factor in determining the value of one's education is probably the violin teacher.  There are many excellent teachers outside of the premiere conservatories;  inside the premiere conservatories there are many teachers that would not be a good fit for a particular student (although they would be excellent for other students).

If you want to know if you stand a chance of admission and if your own teacher cannot tell you, then you should take a sample lesson from a teacher that either teaches at Juilliard or that has had students admitted to top conservatories like Juilliard.

 

October 14, 2009 at 04:40 AM ·

Ok, I went to Juilliard and got BS, MM and DMA. The way I got in was through connections, my HS teacher Josef Gingold. I auditioned for Galamian a year in advance of the official audition date and was accepted by him them. The formal audition was indeed a formality. Make sure your current teacher is in touch with a potential teacher at the school far in advance. I notice that you are very well qualified as far as recommendations from people like Charles Castelman. Go to some summer camp which your desired teacher works and impress them there. It is very tough to get into some of these places unless you make the right political moves.

Why do you want to go to Juilliard anyway? There are tons of really good institutions out there that have great programs, better teachers, are less expensive, and are more progressive in outlook. I had a very talented hs student recently go to Cleveland. She loves it. She also got into NEC, Peabody, could have gone to Rice but didn't want to be in TX, and Oberlin. I didn't even mention applying to Juilliard, although she could have gotten in there. There is also UMich and of course others.
 

October 14, 2009 at 07:31 AM ·

 Go play for several teachers with big reputations. Your teacher ought to be able to get someone to listen to you and tell you what your chances are. Did you know that Curtis and Yale don't charge tuition if they admit you? Shepherd School (at Rice University) says that no student should graduate with debt so they work with students and their families to develop a tution plan that gets them out of school debt free. 

October 14, 2009 at 07:35 AM ·

 I just looked at your bio. You have played for a lot of good teachers. Have you asked them about your prospects? New Zealand isn't the biggest violin market in the world but there are some very well trained and traveled violinists there. Have they heard you? Have you asked their advice?Someone with the credentials you list shouldn't expect that her inquiries will be treated as an imposition by the best of New Zealand.

October 14, 2009 at 03:26 PM ·

Big, big thumbs up to Sam's post about the importance of finding the right student/teacher combination at this stage in your training.   That teacher may be found somewhere a long way from Juilliard...

October 15, 2009 at 02:45 AM ·

Here's how Juilliard auditions work: first, you go to the website and fill out the online application. They require only one reference, from a language arts teacher (unlike most conservatories who require letters from your private teacher and sometimes other musicians qualified to comment on your potential.) In addition, you will need to send a pre-screening audio cd, to whit:

1. A slow and fast movement from a 19th or 20th-century concerto.

2. One movement from an unaccompanied Bach sonata or partita.

3. One Paganini caprice.

 

Then if you pass the pre-screening you receive a live audition date. 

The requirements for the live audition are:

• Of Nos. 1 and 4 below, one must be a contemporary selection

composed since 1939.

• All compositions must be performed from memory except for duo

sonatas. Memorization of music since 1939 is encouraged but

optional.

• Please minimize piano accompaniment interludes.

1. A slow and fast movement from a 19th or 20th-century concerto.

2. Two contrasting movements from an unaccompanied Bach sonata

or partita. No repeats please, unless ornamented. A dance

movement and its double constitute one movement.

3. One Paganini caprice.

4. A piece or movement written since 1939 other than a concerto

(include the date of composition with the title). If the concerto

selected for No. 1 above was composed after 1939, present an 18th

or 19th-century concert piece.

5. Major and minor scales and arpeggios in three octaves with double

stops.

 

Although in reality they don't ask for # 5 at the live audition, and rarely ask for the post-1939 piece unless it is also the concerto.

What you won't find on the website, but which I know from having attended info sessions at Juilliard is that, unlike many other conservatories, the audition applications are not transparent to the panel. By that I mean, the faculty at your audition will not see your list of teacher choices. Each candidate at the audition is scored numerically by the panel. Panel members are also asked whether the will accept the applicant if s/he is admitted to the school. Top scorers are admitted; then, they are matched to the studios following the order on the application. Sometimes students are admitted to the school by virtue of their score at the audition but are not admitted to their top-choice studios. When that happens, the school works with teacher and the applicants to find a suitable studio.

At many other conservatories, the faculty panel receives a copy of the application, including the student's ranked choices of studio. That makes the process of applying a more delicate matter.  At other schools (Curtis, for example), the school chooses the studio for admitted students. 

It makes sense to try to get lessons with teachers in advance when possible, but many teachers do not offer private lessons to potential students; some have summer programs, but even these can be difficult to gain admission to, particularly if the teachers are taking their own stable of students with them. But qualified students do get admitted "cold" to top conservatories without any prior relationship to faculty. It really does vary on a case-by-case basis. It seems to me that the Juilliard system is decently fair, in terms of giving an "outsider" with good qualifications a chance for admission. 

October 19, 2009 at 08:37 PM ·

 

"Can you (or your family) afford to pay cash (no loans) for Juilliard and acquire a professional level bow and violin?  If not, do you really want to come out of school with a bucket full of student loans, no graduate degree and a music performance degree?" 

Elaine, I would definately need some kind of scholarship or financial aid but fortuately I already have a lovely A.E. Smith 1933 violin and won't be changing violin's any time soon. However I'm still looking for a nice bow..

"Why do you want to go to Juilliard anyway? There are tons of really good institutions out there that have great programs, better teachers, are less expensive, and are more progressive in outlook."

Bruce, I am looking at a few other schools as well but I'm sure many of the other potential schools are just as tough to get accepted into. I was just using Juilliard as an example. Just wondering though, could you tell me what you thought of the environment at Juilliard? Was it always excessively competitive?   

"Did you know that Curtis and Yale don't charge tuition if they admit you?"

Corwin, I thought the no tuition if admitted only applied to US citizens? Correct me if I'm wrong. Haha I hope I am!

"What you won't find on the website, but which I know from having attended info sessions at Juilliard is that, unlike many other conservatories, the audition applications are not transparent to the panel. By that I mean, the faculty at your audition will not see your list of teacher choices. Each candidate at the audition is scored numerically by the panel. Panel members are also asked whether the will accept the applicant if s/he is admitted to the school. Top scorers are admitted; then, they are matched to the studios following the order on the application. Sometimes students are admitted to the school by virtue of their score at the audition but are not admitted to their top-choice studios. When that happens, the school works with teacher and the applicants to find a suitable studio.At many other conservatories, the faculty panel receives a copy of the application, including the student's ranked choices of studio. That makes the process of applying a more delicate matter.  At other schools (Curtis, for example), the school chooses the studio for admitted students." 

E.Smith, thank you for this info!

 

 

 

 

 

October 19, 2009 at 10:29 PM ·

I think Yale is only free for graduate school.  Colburn and one other are also tuition free besides Curtis (I think one of the professors at curtis also teaches there so you can find that other school by googling all the violin faculty at curtis one by one.  Sorry, I can't think of a better way of finding it).  I think this applies to non-citizens (after all, there's little public funding involved) but you could easily get that information from their website or admissions offices. 

It's hardly fair to discourage her from applying for Julliard though it may be true that she would happen to be happier somewhere else.  If music is what she wants to do with her life, what's wrong with leaving one of the top music schools in the world with a mountain of student loans and a B.M. ...or rather what's wrong with that in comparison to leaving college with a mountain of student loans and a B.A. or B.S.  besides the difficulty of the profession which I'm sure she is aware of. 

October 20, 2009 at 01:30 AM ·

Curtis and Colburn offer free tuition for admitted students of any citizenship (and Colburn, of course, also takes care of living expenses).  Yale does not have an bachelor's program in performance. 

Curtis and Colburn are generally among the very toughest admits in music (or in any discipline for that matter);  not only are their tuition-free policies attractive to the most talented students  throughout the world, but the schools are very small compared to Juilliard and most other schools and thus usually have considerably fewer openings each year. 

October 20, 2009 at 07:16 AM ·

*I think I was thinking of the Bard College Conservatory of Music which offers full scholarships to some students but is not tuition free in general.  *

October 24, 2009 at 08:39 PM ·

 Curtis and Colburn offer free tuition for admitted students of any citizenship (and Colburn, of course, also takes care of living expenses).  Yale does not have an undergrad program in performance (and as previously stated, offers a tuition-free education only to graduate music students). 

Actually, Yale SOM does offer a 3-year undergraduate program, but it culminates in a certificate, not a BM.

October 25, 2009 at 02:21 AM ·

I wouldn't suggest that anyone apply to Juilliard unless they are already proficient on a professional level or know a faculty member that wants them to attend.  If  either of these two conditions are met there could be serious scholarship opportunities.  I am not sure it is worth it to go to any music program unless one is able to obtain about 80% of the tuition in scholarships.  It just isn't worth it to go into serious debt for a music education in performance.  The performance diploma is worthless.  The only thing that counts is ones ability to win auditions.  If you have any chops at all you should be able to get close to a full scholarship somewhere with a decent teacher, and if you can't you should probably not go into violin performance as a major.

October 25, 2009 at 04:01 AM ·

What exactly do you mean by "already proficient on a professional level"?

October 25, 2009 at 02:13 PM ·

Anna, I mean they will take prodigies and young people that have the technique to play almost any piece with proficiency.  I think they want students that basically just need to work on their sound, musicality, and expanding their repertoire,  There may be others that are admitted who show potential but I doubt they would get serious money.

October 26, 2009 at 07:38 PM ·

Michael, so basically you're saying that for an audition they would prefer technique over musicality?

March 2, 2015 at 09:30 PM · "To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable" L. Beethoven

I thought Juilliard was more concerned With violin artistry than technique.

March 2, 2015 at 10:20 PM · Mmmmm. Maybe confusing it with Curtis...;)

On the other hand, technique and artistry are not mutually exclusive which is mor Ethan I can say for my cat and his bad breath.

Cheers,

Bur

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