Jacobs School of Music vs. Manhattan School of Music
Can anyone offer pros/cons of the schools? How do they compare overall? (assuming tuition cost is out of the equation)
I think they offer a fairly similar level: some truly impressive, top-notch international competition laureates, a lot of really solid players and then some OK players that pay full tuition. There is one huge difference... MSM is in New York City, where the cost of living is WAYYYY higher than in Bloomington, IN. There are pros and cons. I lived in NYC (Harlem & Inwood/) for 12 years as a freelance violinist. NYC is not as dangerous as it is made out to be, but I did have to live in some fairly sketchy apartments/neighborhoods to be able to afford rent during my undergrad, and spent so much time gigging/babysitting/waiting tables that I wasn't left with much time to do homework or practice (or sleep! or date!) resulting in a very stressful and not entirely productive or healthy undergrad experience. You will easily pay $800+ per month in a CRUMMY neighborhood for a single ROOM in a shared apartment in NYC vs $500 per month for an entire 1 bedroom apartment in a nice-ish area near Bloomington all to yourself (according to friends that went to IU.) I kick myself for not accepting a full ride to IU for undergrad because I wanted to move to NYC/stay with my current teacher at the time (Mannes) and thought Indiana seemed really boring. It's true that I had a lot of incredible experiences in NYC that could have only happened there- like getting to play with Paul McCartney and Alicia Keys, recording soundtracks for films and doing studio work for pop and rock artists - but at the same time, I never was able to save any money and was always living paycheck to paycheck, and had very little time to relax. I was always hustling for the next gig! I wonder where my playing would be now if I had taken the full scholarship at IU, found a cheap room in a shared apartment for $200 (possible back then) and only had to do one or two gigs a month to pay rent. I could have practiced so much more!
Jacobs slightly outranks Manhattan on the prestige scale, in my opinion. Manhattan may be in NYC but it isn't Juilliard. But it really comes down to the individual teacher you end up with. There are fine teachers at both schools.
Dear Mary Ellen,
I don't have any advice for your situation, sorry. But I think it is highly unlikely you would get a bad teacher at Jacobs.
As someone who has a fine art degree that she took on debt for, I wholeheartedly agree with Mary Ellen to NOT take on debt for an arts (performing or fine) degree.
I am an IU grad and can agree with Mary Ellen. There aren't any "bad" teachers there. Couple others that are great and worth reaching out to.
having a teacher who you work well with is probably the most important factor in choosing a school - if both schools are financially feasible you shouldn't decide before you know who your studio teacher is at IU and how their style meshes with yours. Also, keep in mind that the financial aid schools offer is a first offer, and you can bargain. How much it will change depends on the school and how much the professor wants you / how much sway they have, but it's worth asking - the easiest way is to usually bring the numbers from a school they consider competition and ask if they could match it.
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