Do music colleges look at undergrad academic transcripts?
I'm currently in my 2nd year of a BMus Performance course and it's looking like I'd benefit from further study (i.e. a masters in performance) after graduation. I'm looking at auditioning for universities in Europe/UK, and possibly US depending on finances.
I am fully aware of the *musical* competitiveness. However: do universities tend to look at your academic transcript in addition to the performance audition? Or do they just verify that you have a degree?
I'm not doing badly, but want to know if it's necessary to step up the academic grades to be more competitive.
Thanks Michael - what if you're from overseas and there's no 4.0 system? Would they convert it from a 0-100% system?
Hi Kate - sorry my reply got deleted. My browser is screwy - was trying to edit and ended up deleting!
I don't know what sort of conversion U.S. universities might use when looking at foreign marks, but I am 100% sure that your undergrad academic history will matter when applying to grad school. Not in the sense that a 3.9 will definitely get you in while a 3.3 will for sure keep you out--the audition is still by far the most important part when applying to graduate school in performance--but a questionable academic transcript will say a lot about your work ethic and about how seriously you take your education. If, like Michael, your grades were impacted by other life circumstances, you can always write an explanation and append it to your application.
Imagine 2 clones of yourself. One with good grades, one with bad grades, but both equal musical performance. Who do you think the school will admit? The only difference between this and real life is that you don't have a clone. I did not go to music school, I'm actually in math. Having said that, I'm fairly certain any discipline will view this the same way. Of course if you are very outstanding on the violin I'm sure you can get away with a lot.
This business of BA performance, MA performance, PhD performance is an American concept that doesn't exist in the UK, afaik.
Thanks everyone. Fortunately I have time to bring my average up a little.
Yes, I guess I have to back-pedal a bit.
A music performance degree is performance-based, with academics as supplemental study. Not the other way round.
Andrew, I think you're confused. The normal performer's route is a bachelor's in music (performance degree) followed by a master's in music (performance degree). Some people may do an Artist's Diploma or a DMA.
Just to clarify Lydia's otherwise excellent explanation, an Artist's Diploma is very, very different from a DMA. The former is either wholly or mostly based on performance. The DMA is an academic degree with a heavy performance component (think lecture-recitals). The AD is intended for people who are on the verge of a performance career. The DMA is the qualification necessary for a tenure-track teaching position at a second- or third-tier music school--some professors at first-tier schools do have DMAs but there are many who, in lieu of the doctorate, have an international performing career. If you aren't interested in pursuing a tenure-track university position, there is no advantage to having a DMA.
OK, I didn't realise I was living in the past (and I got the Associateship and the Licentiate the wrong way around).
LRCM and ARCM aren't obsolete, they're just not the same thing as a degree from a music conservatory or university. Apples and oranges.
I don't think grades matter all that much in BA, MM, or DMA programs unless one has below a 3.0. Some grad programs, like Michigan or Indiana, are known to be academically more rigorous. But still...