College Audition Repertoire
My current orchestra director has recommended that I start preparing a list of possible College audition pieces( Like Violin Concertos, Showpieces, and Caprices) so I have an Idea of what I'm going to learn in the few years I have before college, and I was wondering if you guys have any suggestions.
A lot of major music colleges require
1. One movement of a Standard Violin Concerto including the Cadenza if applicable
2. One Paganini Caprice
3. 1 movement of a Mozart Violin Concerto
4. 2 movements of unaccompanied Bach
5. A Showpiece
What recommendations do you have for each category? I plan to audition for a bunch of major music colleges with the hopes that one of them will accept me, so any input on repertoire(both for the audition and what I should learn before hand) is gladly welcome.
Thanks for your time!
Also, if you have the time, please provide the reasoning behind your suggestions. You don't have to though.
College auditions? Really, it depends very heavily on how you are defining "College." To what kind of program do you aspire?
I'm auditioning for the Bachelor of Music Program for each of the schools I aspire to audition for.
Sorry, what’s 5. A Showpiece?
The Examples given were Kreisler's Tambourin Chinois and Ravel's Tzigane
Do you guys think the Hindemith Finale https://youtu.be/Y8BCt1V3_NU would count as a showpiece?
No. Show pieces are a fairly well defined genre. Wieniawski, Paginini, Ernst etc. This includes being able to titillate a less than musically nerdy audience.
Well the majority of those pieces would be too difficult for me to learn even given the time I have, so I'm trying to find alternatives. What would be an easier "showpiece"?
Which schools are you planning to audition for? This will determine what repertoire is appropriate.
I am just trying to work through this with my son (junior year), though your list of requirements doesn't quite line up with the list he has made. All of the US programs require one mvmt of a concerto (occasionally 2), 2 mvmts of Bach, and most require a Paganini or other caprice. After that, it varies quite a bit from Mozart to virtuosic to post-1960 to even a BIPOC piece.
Well, I was planning to audition for the top tier music schools like Juilliard and Curtis, not because I think I'm good enough to get in, but because I think it's better to have at least tried and gotten rejected than to not have auditioned at all.
Thank you for the advice Susan!
My son is still narrowing down his list, but his current choices include what you would expect: CIM, NEC, Juilliard, Colburn, Curtis, Rice, Indiana, Michigan, Oberlin, San Fran, and maybe Eastman, Peabody, and Mannes. He will likely cut about 5-7 of those from his list by fall.
Tchaikovsky concerto always goes over well for auditions-I agree with the others that you should stick with a Romantic or 20th century concerto for auditions. The choice obviously depends on your own strengths-what would you consider the strongest aspects of your playing? Try to choose a concerto that highlights these features within the first few minutes of the exposition, because the panel will most likely only hear that much of a first movement, and maybe some of the cadenza. Along with Tchaikovsky, other options that may have a good chance of getting you past a prescreen round are Wieniawski 2, Prokofiev 2 or 1, Dvorak, or even Vieuxtemps 4 or 5. If you can, I would avoid Bruch or Lalo, and do Saint-Saens 3 only if really necessary-these three are generally known as some of the easiest of the advanced violin concerto repertoire and are really hard to sell. For the Mozart, definitely the 1st movement of 4 or 5 would go over the best. Agree with the other comments not to do Paganini 16, 13, or 14, because these are known as the easiest ones. I personally think either #5 or #20 would be a great choice. For the Bach, I would do two mvmts from either Sonata 1 (like the Adagio & Presto), Sonata 2 (Grave or Andante & Allegro) or Partita 2 (Allemande or Sarabande & Gigue). Again, depends on your level of comfort with each, and what you feel your strengths are as a player. Showpieces that could work are a fast movement from an Ysaye solo sonata (first mvmt of #2 is great and not too long), a Sarasate piece like Zigeunerweisen or Romanza Andaluza, or something like Saint-Saens' Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso or Wieniawski's Scherzo Tarantelle. Hope this helps, and good luck!!
I don’t know about college auditions, but for professional auditions that require a Mozart, 5 is the most common followed by 4. 3 is a distant third.
This is a great thread. Susan (and others), as always so helpful. (Screen shooting and filing this.)
I have to give credit where credit is due -- my son's scholarship and mentorship program has been amazing at providing information on the process, and the huge number of seniors in the class above him at his music school have taught us a ton of lessons on what to do and what not to do.
Mary, I do have a couple less prestigious options on my list, but more recently I've improved enough that my directors say I have the potential if I work hard enough for the next 2 and a half years to make it into some of the colleges I listed previously.
Would the Glazunov Violin Concerto be a good option?
Yes on Glazunov
Your idea about applying to Northwestern is a good one. Lots of CSO players teach there. Some of my brass friends have opted to go there over major conservatories to study with the CSO brass members who teach at NW.
Another question, How long should I be practicing?
Nate, I'd rather not go to an Ivy League school, because although my academics are good, they aren't THAT good. I will look into IU, because what I've heard of it makes it seem like a good fit for me.
I was doing about the same thing with my teacher last year (but I was preparing for BA and MA auditions at the same time), so I'll share my 2cent on this:
Mavis, what did you play for your college auditions?
I'm sensing a disconnect here. The OP is not currently taking lessons but wants to prepare for conservatoire in 2.5 years. (S)he is "between teachers" and not expecting to take lessons again for another five months, whilst practicing 90 minutes on school days. When lessons restart, the teacher will be another high school student -- did I read that correctly? You need an established, reputed, credentialed violin teacher who has prepared students for conservatoire before -- successfully and repeatedly. And you need one now, so that your playing and repertoire can be properly evaluated and your aspirations calibrated and normalized accordingly.
It is a bit like trying to dig your own grave in a grave-digging competition, using a trowel instead of a shovel...
What Paul said.
I totally agree with Paul-finding a teacher with experience getting kids into conservatories is priority number one at this point. As you continue to consider repertoire, a different approach for a concerto that would set you apart among the hundreds of Tchaikovskys might be to choose a very modern, not very well-known work. Of course, depending on the place/faculty, this may not work to your advantage-but it really helped me in all of my conservatory auditions (I graduated with my masters degree from SF Conservatory in 2018, and played William Bolcom’s Violin Concerto for my entrance audition). I also did get past the prescreens at Rice, Juilliard, CIM, and a few others with this concerto. Totally up to you, and again, you need to assess your strengths as a player to see if this kind of piece would benefit you most. Just another suggestion :)
OP, your high school orchestra directors are not to tell you, but here it is: if you cannot play the equivalent of Paganini concerto #1 at some sort of local competition level by the time you are 15, you probably should not be thinking of going into music schools.
There are many good and strong recommendations already on this post. Allow me to add a few additional items to consider.
David, I am a professional musician, and while I may have been able to make it through Paganini concerto #1 at 15, I wouldn't have been able to perform it respectably, let alone in a manner that would've impressed a conservatory audition committee. With the right attitude, drive, and focus, you can move from where I was at 17 (a very good player but not super impressive, full of technical flaws that made many top music schools not want to take me) to a much more competitive place. I am currently on or near the level of violinists who could have played circles around me at 15. I realize this type of improvement is not very common, but please do not tell the OP which advice to value and which to reject. There's a difference between impossible and unlikely. There's a middle ground between "never gonna happen" and Carter Brey.
It seems like this student posted before about not having or being able to afford? a teacher.
Evan, while I agree mostly with what you said, I do think the evaluation process of a conservatory/college audition is highly subjective and most BM/BM auditionees are not mature enough (well, there are definitely exceptions like Susan's son) to give performances up to a professional level.
Evan, the kid doesn't have a teacher and when he/she gets one, the teacher is going to be another high school student! With all the resources available to you (which the OP does not have) in high school, did you end up studying music in college? Perhaps you can share with the OP why you made that decision.
If I recall correctly from past postings, Evan went to Yale and didn't major in music, but continued to take lessons (and he was the concertmaster of the non-music-major orchestra, I think?). He was able to make a late-in-college decision to prepare to take an MM audition directly without a BM, and was successful in getting into a decent program. That suggests that he came into college already a very good, well-taught player, and continued to receive excellent instruction even though he wasn't a performance major.
On the subject of repertoire:
Matthew, what other kinds of fundraising do you suggest? I don't think it would be right to start a GoFundMe for my own personal gain so I most likely won't use that route. The only teachers I know of that have gotten students into conservatories that are within a decent range of where I live charge a very large amount. My parents sadly do not see the benefits of me taking lessons and tell me I have to pay for it by myself but then won't let me get a job. Another thing, wouldn't it be better for me to save up money to take lessons long term rather than on a short summer camp?
I really feel for your dilemma. I'm just not sure how you are going to do any of this without family support. If you at least had that, there are organizations that could help you financially with lessons and instruments. But without family support, it is near impossible.
I have the accompanist figured out, my cousin has a degree in piano and she's willing to help me. I'm sure my Orchestra teacher would let me use the microphone we use for All-State recordings, he's done that for some of his past students, and as for the travel if I get past the prescreening I'm not 100% sure what I'll do about that yet, but I have ample time to get that figured out so I'm not too stressed about it.
You're getting good advice, and it may take some time to process. Here are a few thoughts:
Okay, I guess I understood the whole situation now and I completely agree with what Mary and Susan said.
Do you have any videos of you playing?
For a more accurate idea of the level of the competition for admission to Juilliard/Curtis/other top schools, please go to youtube and search Juilliard precollege violin senior recital.
In my own field, I see young people all the time using GoFundMe to pursue apprenticeships, residencies, etc.. But respect your personal feelings about this. It is the donator's choice about the value of your request and the use of their money.
I did not understand the full situation of the OP earlier, and did not see the comment where they indicated that they were being taught by a fellow HS student. I have to agree with the other posters here. Your situation is heartbreaking. If music is something you are super passionate about, I would take Mary Ellen's advice. She lays out the most realistic path for you.
Again, just trying to throw out ideas.
I have nothing useful to add. Just wanted to send some virtual hugs to you, OP. I cannot imagine not supporting a child with that kind of passion for anything.
Just to throw out a wild card (not knowing your family's financial status or their support of your choices)- and as an addition to this helpful thread for others-
"if you're not playing Paganini concerto by 15, you're done"
What Mary Ellen said. This is the reality.
"I've never heard of a dedicated violin student being told by their parents to not practice at home."
Have you talked to your parents about college? If you apply to 10 places with a $100 application fee, that'd cost $1,000 plus the cost of travel if you pass the prescreening(s). Depending on where you live and where you plan to audition, that's going to be a big expense. I'm thinking if your parents won't get you a better violin & bow at this point, are they going to support you throughout the audition process and pay for their share if you decide to major in violin performance?
While you're at it, make sure you have checked with the school guidance counselors (or other source of info) about financing. There are different ways to afford college-- as some have mentioned, there are schools that will give you a ride on academic 'merit', however that is defined. Conservatories and other professional schools will do something quite similar also. It's actually part of the salary package for better professors that the school will bribe top students to join their studio and lure them away from free rides at Curtis and elsewhere.
Some really good advice here. I would say with your situation you should be looking at non-conservatory level schools that have really good teachers. This will give you a better chance of getting into a school. In the Meantime you really need to find a good teacher. They don’t necessarily have to have a record of getting students into conservatories, but they need to have experience of getting students into music schools or at least the background/credentials to do it.
To the people who say I need to get a better teacher, I'm working on that. The director of the Youth Orchestra I'm a part of knows my financial situation and is trying to get in contact with some of his Colleagues who might be able to give me lessons, as well as find people willing to cover the costs of my lessons. My friend who got into Northwestern just got admitted and I believe she starts next term.
We don’t really need to know where in Texas you live. The state was enough to recommend schools. I understand wanting a different environment, but since you do live in Texas I would keep UNT and SMU in mind as back ups if you don’t get into the other schools you audition for. In state tuition is very helpful as it’s cheaper than going out of state.
The UNT academic scholarships, as far as I know, are 100% based on SAT scores. I know a student whose scores were solid but not spectacular, and they were offered the second highest level scholarship.
Mary Ellen twice named Columbus State University in Georgia, and she's got a very interesting idea there. The academics at Columbus State will be solid but not bone-crushing. Often times, teachers in places like that might not have all that many students as eager and hard-working as you. (On the other hand this school seems to emphasize performing arts more than most smaller state schools. They do have two violin professors, one of whom seems really exceptional). What's more that's not a super expensive school. Your current situation really doesn't look super promising for the straight-and-narrow path through a top conservatoire. The path to getting there is just SO expensive.
Just for clarification if needed, the UNT Scholarship Undergrad Quartet is awarded by the College of Music at UNT, so it largely depends on your audition whether you get that or not. As for other scholarships from them I think they give most of their money to postgrad students (MM, DMA, etc.), but that doesn't mean it's impossible to get undergrad aid from them. I do know that UNT themselves have a program called the Emerald Eagle Scholars where they will pay for your college for up to 4 years given to people whose household income fall under a given amount. I was able to get this scholarship when I went to UNT and because of that I have no student loans from my undergrad degree.
These are the UNT scholarships I was referencing:
Oh I was just talking about the scholarship I mentioned earlier. Those are definitely SAT/academic based
Looks like February 1 is the Financial Aid application deadline for Walnut Hill. Early admission and financial aid has already passed. Without financial aid, and including boarding, the full price is close to Ivy League college tuition. All on their website.
If you live in a major city in Texas, chances are that there are abundant teachers around you. Given your passion, you might have some luck finding a teacher through the
As always Lydia is right on the money. I have a friend whose parents weren't very supportive of a music degree and because of that he is a senior Bio/Chem major at UNT with a minor in music. During his time at UNT he was playing in one of the orchestras and taking lessons as a secondary course as well as attending the studio classes. He is now taking lessons with a different teacher since he's a Science major to better fit his schedule and he just recently finished doing auditions for a MM. It may not be ideal, but perhaps doing a more "practical" major to satisfy your parents is the way to go. But only if you can't convince them to let you do music which you need to figure out ASAP. If you go this route make sure you talk to some of the violin professors at the schools you apply for to see if they will take you on as a student even though you wouldn't be a music major. Lots of them will, but some of them will have you take lessons with a Teaching fellow (TF) or Teacher's Assistant (TA) which is usually a DMA student.
Not everyone would recommend that route, but my stand partner (co-concertmaster) in college started as pre-med doing something in the lab. She found a good teacher in Philadelphia while finishing her science major BA, and spent summers in Aspen. After an MM at Michigan, and she is in the Detroit Symphony.
Double majoring is great for someone who is extremely prepared in
That reminds me. There are festivals and camps that offer scholarships as well as some that offer free tuition to everyone that gets in. I can't think of any off the top of my head, but that would definitely be the way to go if you want to go to festivals (which you should).
A junior I know was investigating the possibility of double majoring in music performance and pre-med (at Peabody/Hopkins). She abandoned the plan, as she didn’t think it would be possible to do justice to either major. And she’s no slouch in either department (perfect SAT/ACT, concertmaster if the all-state). She said that double majoring with pre-med was not a problem, but the music takes up so much time, it is difficult to fit anything else in.
I never said double majoring was a good idea just that it was a possibility. My friend doubling in violin performance and engineering is a really good violinist and judging from the lack of sleep I'm sure she's getting she's probably doing well in engineering as well considering she's hasn't dropped either major yet. Double majoring is definitely not for everyone.
If you decide that the music school you want to attend isn't in the cards, here's another vote for finding a school with an excellent teacher you can take lessons with while doing a non-music undergrad. Just factor that into your college search. My son is a an engineering major but has benefited from and greatly enjoyed his piano lessons at school. BTW he is one of the most organized kids I know, extremely good at what he does (straight As and already a junior after 1st semester), but no way he could manage a performance degree at the same time.
Double-majoring is super hard in subjects that have lab courses (chem or bio) or really hard projects (comp sci) or tragically difficult homework (engineering). With these programs you will have horrific scheduling headaches and not enough practice time, unless you're the kind of student who aces everything easily (and even students who are like that in high school can meet their match in college.)
Paul made a good point I forgot to mention. Yes you should definitely tell the professor you plan on taking lessons with your plans of pursuing an MM after you graduate so they can help get you prepared.
I was a double major in Physics and Music, Paul. I didn't find it particularly hard. This was many years ago, but still....However, to be fair, all the things you mention are true about scheduling.
if you look at my original posts I go by the name of Buri. Please read my posts to the end.
Dear Classical Violinist, virtual hugs for you, this thread must be disheartening, but please, you are still young, but know that, if your current dream wouldn't become true, you can also have a beautiful life with music as a hobby (the best hobby there is, in fact) but not necessarily your *job*.
I imagine the 10,000 hours of practice has to be of a very specific or concentrated kind. I’ve practiced driving a car for over 20,000 hours, an experience that perhaps makes me an expert in navigating roads and highways but wouldn’t amount to anything if I were to compete in a Formula One automobile race. I think it’s not easy to focus on a skill that is very specific in nature; one needs time, opportunity, and an environment conducive to the task. Generalists are probably at a disadvantage.
I agree with Michael that considerable shade / skepticism has been cast on the "10000 hours" figure. Whenever "10000 hours" comes up in these discussions, the real point is often missed, even though I think Buri made the point clearly enough. Reaching a high technical level on the violin is a long, hard slog that requires steady time commitment over many years. Moreover, anyone hoping for a performing career needs to be aware that many MANY young people around the world are practicing their butts off, often in an environment of strong emotional and financial support from their elders. Thus the particular number (10000) is not what's important. What's important is what your competition is doing. Three hours per day for ten years is 10500 hours. I have to believe that a lot of kids entering Juilliard and Curtis have practiced more.
I struggle with threads like this one, because I feel like a good student who is often a good player gets pounded into the ground for not being competitive for Juilliard. I think we could just as a community say, "hey, the acceptance rate at Julliard is 7.6%, and that includes really great players, so know that it's a super long shot." Aiming for a music degree for university is a fine thing to shoot for, if the OP can find a way to swing it. I think the advice about teachers, camps, TX schools etc., are also very helpful. What's the percent of major orchestra players on this board? Probably still under 1% but you guys are doing a lot of cool things.
I don’t think anybody has been pounding the OP into the ground. The suggestion that they not waste their time and money on an effort with a 0% chance of success is not criticism.
So, for instance the "financial aspects" and "family difficulties" are pretty much normal US middle class life. Probably most regular students don't take private lessons but many still live musically full lives.
J wrote, "Sometimes reading violinist.com it can feel like if your child isn't practicing three hours a day with weekly lessons and a $20,000 instrument then they are somehow deficient."
Paul, I think we're mostly on the same page, but when you put "inability" in air quotes, it says to me that you really believe the parents could come up with the money if they made different "choices and priorities." That still feels pretty judge-y to me.
Classical Violinist and others might want to read the extensive blog about conservatory auditions on violinist.com: https://www.violinist.com/blog/karenrile/20149/16226/. The blogger's daughter ended up at Julliard, I believe. The blog is written from the parent's perspective, so it helps you understand the level of parental support necessary for success. Note that attending Julliard hardly guarantees a spot in a major orchestra!
The OP didn't say that their parents
What Lydia said. A lot of people don't seriously value the arts, or understand the kind of investment of time and money that it takes to be truly good. This isn't as strongly correlated with wealth as you'd think.
I'm not saying that you (the OP) should just give up. What I and a lot of other people are saying is that your path to what you want is not as straight-forward as it is for other people. You could get to a top conservatory, but it might not be as an undergraduate or right when you graduate from high school. That's why a lot of us were recommending you go to camps, get a good teacher, and take lessons at college while you pursue a major that your parents are supportive of (because college is expensive) while minoring in music. You can always audition for an MM later OR you could even do a secondary bachelors in music after you graduate with the first bachelors if you really want to. My Bio/chem major friend was considering doing that, but it comes with some caveats. It's another 4 years of school depending on how many cores the music degree will accept from your first bachelors. Ultimately he decided to audition for MM for most of the schools he applied to but he is preparing an audition for one secondary bachelors at UNT where he currently studies. Either of these paths are viable, but I would talk to whatever teacher you would potentially end up taking lessons with at college to see what they think. They might think a secondary bachelor's is a great idea, or they may tell you a MM is the better choice.
To clarify my advice, I was not suggesting either a double major or an alternate major. I was suggesting that while studying the violin with a good teacher at a lower tier school, the OP could take other classes as electives and possibly find new interests.
I just wanted to share the story of one person we know with a kind of similar situation to the OP, though he did have a bit more support as a teen. He was homeschooled and sent to college (two years early I think!) to become an accountant. Given the culture he grew up in, he didn’t have much choice. But he kept practicing and after finishing his accounting degree, practiced a ton and successfully entered a top tier conservatory for both his BM and MM. Most of all this happened after he became an adult and was able to make his own choices. He’s now a young professional and is doing pretty well, though the pandemic has been very hard on him. The point is that we all have more time than we think to make our dreams come true.
I smiled at Katie B's post. My story is similar in many ways. Lets just say I'm grateful for the choices (read: sacrifices) my parents made.
Whereas my experience was more like that of OP -- we were well off but my parents did not see any value in music lessons other than looking more "well-rounded" for college applications, and similarly didn't want me practicing while they were home. (I'm guessing OP's parents can afford to pay for lessons but won't, given that OP isn't allowed to work to earn money for lessons.)
For the Bach- Does to matter if the movements are in order? Should they be movements adjoining one another or would it matter?
Watching the others in my son's program, the ones who pick a Bach Sonata tend to do adjoining movements, 1st/2nd or 3rd/4th. Those who do Partitas do not usually do adjoining movements. (Though the pairs of dances like the 2 Minuets in Partita 3 count as one movement. Ditto with the doubles in Partita 1.) Generally, those doing Partitas do a first movement and then choose a contrasting later movement.
Just received via Amazon the book Susan recommended early in the thread, College prep for Musicians, looks very useful!
Matthew, I totally agree. My son still does some orchestra with his program (2 hours chamber orch a week) and did full orchestra up to age 12. He learned all the necessary skills and now spends most of his focus on independent practice and chamber music.
Some understanding of "orchestra skills" is valuable, but I agree that a conservatoire student ought to be able to pick those up pretty quickly even with zero prior orchestral experience. On the other hand, for the intensely driven and hyper-scheduled kids, school orchestra might be just about their only form of diverse socialization.
Ensemble experience is vital, although in theory the skills are more efficiently built with chamber music. But learning how to blend with a section, listen across the orchestra, etc. are all skills unto themselves that need to be learned in an orchestral setting. And, of course, following a conductor and a section leader.
Lydia I agree with you, but I wonder how the "appropriate level" is selected. Even in a decent high school orchestra there will be a pretty wide range of skills. For example one might have a mean level of Suzuki Book 6 but a standard deviation of two Suzuki Books.
Paul, my daughter is going to middle school next year, and they have 5 levels of orchestra, and something like 250 kids in it, any given year. Placement is via a (brief) audition, if I understand it correctly. I would assume that she would find an appropriate level in the orchestra. This sort of thing is not unusual here.
It depends a lot on the school. Most public schools around here have orchestras, but in most of the high schools there are only two levels of orchestra: an "advanced" orchestra that takes all the students who can play in third position, and a "beginner" orchestra that's really all beginners. There may be no more than 50 kids in the orchestra program even at a fairly large school. The skill range in the upper orchestra is extremely wide by necessity, because there simply aren't enough skilled string players to have more levels.
Lydia, I agree that it really depends on how much the child/student enjoys orchestra. My daughter fell asleep after 10 minutes when we first started taking her to concerts at age 5. She likes ballet and opera though but not if it's orchestra only. So naturally, she decided she'll do viola and space out during school orchestra class. For her, it's a strictly social hour. I haven't ever seen her open the viola case the entire school year at home.
My daughter is only doing ES orchestra because it’s a condition for playing in the youth orchestra, which she absolutely loves. She doesn’t really practice that much either, so the material isn’t particularly challenging, but it makes her enjoy her instrument more, which I think is quite valuable. One of her friends is only staying with her instrument because she loves her YO.
Three hours a day is a snap for middle-school kids who usually don't have much if any homework and less competition for their time from volunteer (i.e., resume-building) activities, sports, or part-time jobs. It'll get harder in high school.
Her high school is notorious for pushing kids too hard. The mental health issues for the students are quite serious. They also send very few kids to conservatories each year. 0 or 1. IF she really is sure she wants to pursue becoming a violinist a few years from now, we will have to consider either homeschooling her or an online schooling option.
Is 3 hours of practice a day necessary for anyone, unless they’re planning to go to a music school?
OP, I work in student finance - not in the US, but I know enough about financing college in the US to have to tell you: the most important thing you have to do before you apply and audition for any of these schools is figuring out your budget.
There are plenty of students who will decide against attending conservatory, but still effectively want to compete against the kids who are (in terms of orchestra seats, solo competitions, etc.). That means that their practice commitments will probably be pretty significant despite the lack of career ambition.
I find myself wondering how these kids will find the time to be "practice buddies" for other violin students if they don't have time to do their own practicing on top of their schoolwork.