Sorry for way too long post, but figuring out future college stuff for my 17 year old violinist

May 21, 2023, 1:45 PM · I am the mom of a very sweet 17 year old who desires to go into classical music for college. Specifically I think she see's herself someday owning her own music studio and teaching perhaps Susuki and or developing her own business in the knowledge of Alexandra Technique and holistic therapies for musicians. she also see's herself playing ongoing in performing chamber local and less competitive smaller local orchestra's . (where we live they are always looking for talent and far and few between do they attract locally). She has been studying since she was 3 years old and has attended a conservatory Prepatory school for the past 7 years which has been a comittement since it is a far drive every Saturday. All of this in hopes her passion in classical strings is met with some career. Some involvement more than a hobby at the end. However, she was told by her main teacher that perhaps she should not go into violin as a profession . To quote "There is a huge disconnect between dreams and reality" So glad for his honestly actually. but wanted to ask, if your child is not "good enough" for a conservatory, would it be possible to consider a lesser path? Say a dual major (she is very good and interested in fine arts as well) A college with a very good music program? I do know there are schools out there that she could possibly get into of course, but I do believe she could rise to the occasion if only her highschool (huge homework load IB school) and commute and no days off, would just allow her to practice. She wants to practice but many nights stays up late to get 45 minute in and then just crashes. I don't really want to fall into the one year to practice since I just don't think we have that sort of time and resources. Some colleges that caught our eyes as a possible fit are: Bard/Williams/DePauw University/NEC/&Boston Conservatory. And a c list Ithaca College and Syracuse University. We would be thrilled if Oberlin was not so competitive but alas, it does look to be low acceptance rate. And also the financial aspect. I am a widowed mom of three with very low income so would help to know of any colleges that are kind in awarding any sort of financial assistance. All a long journey. My daughter is most likely top 2% in strings in her high school but when she is compared against a very large Boston city of brilliant stars, she does not seem to match the competition. (she gets into Southeastern competion but falls 13% below All States) - most of that 13% is in music reading and there lies the problem. She can't get to the music theory fast enough to catch up with the harder pieces. thus, tell your kiddos to start reading music early early.

Replies (78)

Edited: May 21, 2023, 2:18 PM · There are a lot of threads on this site asking similar things, so I suggest poking around. What repertoire is she playing right now? That can help us give you a better idea of where your kids are at. There's been a recent thread about Curtis auditions. Read that thread, it'll give you a sense of the sorts of kids she's competing against. It sounds like she is committed and willing to work hard, so a gap practice year after high school may not hurt, especially if her practicing has been stalled due to other life commitments. Since her goals seem to be focused on becoming a Suzuki teacher and performing on the side, going to a less competitive school with good teachers and lots of opportunities may still be perfectly viable.
May 21, 2023, 3:12 PM · How does she feel about music education? That's what her bio seems to say (loves music, talented, interested in teaching, not on the competition track).

The practice time description is also helpful. The ones who want to do violin performance are sacrificing everything to get in several hours a day. It's okay that that's not her.

Where are you based? People might know schools where she could pursue a degree or double major and continue to improve as a player.

May 21, 2023, 6:06 PM · NEC is at least as competitive as Oberlin, possibly more so.

There are lots of public universities with good music education programs that would love to have someone like your daughter.

May 22, 2023, 1:18 AM · It's probably a bit late to be asking this question now, but why is a child that wants to become a violinist only practicing 45 minutes a day (and then at the end of the day when already exhausted)?

What solo repertoire has she played / is she working on now?

May 22, 2023, 2:55 AM · I never attended music school, but have taught violin as my sole source of income for many years now. She doesn't need to attend conservatory to teach, if that's her goal. It just depends on what level she wants to teach. Honestly, she could probably start now. I was teaching around her age because I enjoyed it, and I started making money at it later on. I started doing it for free, and waited until I had enough experience to validate charging money. Then, I charged just a little bit , and gradually increased my prices over time to meet what I thought was fair.
May 22, 2023, 8:34 AM · My son just went through this process, so I learned a ton this year. Some things to consider:

1) Music can't be treated like a hobby if you plan on pursuing it as a career. Right now your daughter is treating it like a hobby. She would need to prioritize practicing way more than she is currently. I know IB schools are known for having a ton of work. Maybe she needs a different school if she can't reduce her load at all. My son didn't go to an IB school, but one of the top public schools in the country. However, he took fewer AP courses and picked easier electives to give himself more time. Most of his peers actually do online school, but we felt it was important for him to do high school. Don't rule out any options. I know some IB schools allow you to do a so-called music major where you focus more on music in the last two years. Is that an option? Practicing needs to be about 3 hours a day.

2) Start doing Suzuki teacher training once she turns 18.

3) As for conservatories, it's difficult to know what her level is from the information provided. What is the rep she is currently playing? Your list includes one school that is not easy to get into on violin (NEC), a few medium ones, and a few that don't have rigorous violin programs. If you can give a little more info, I may be able to point you in the right direction. Most likely you are looking at regular private or state universities is my guess, but I'm not sure at this point.

4) There are some schools that specialize in Suzuki training that you may want to seek out. For example, where I live there is a joint Suzuki training program between Roosevelt University (which happens to have one of the best violin teachers in the world) and my kids' precollege program. That might be a great fit for your daughter, though it may be a graduate level program. There is a list of them here:

May 22, 2023, 9:14 AM · Once you've decided on a good program for music education (performance probably not happening), then look for the second major that is the closest thing to pre-physical-therapy. Where I teach, that would be Human Nutrition Foods and Exercise (HNFE) but it will go by different names at different schools. Something where you're going to have courses in psych, sociology, human anatomy, physiology, etc. Because all that stuff that your daughter is interested in is totally reasonable, but each thing, whether it's Alexander Technique or holistic medicine, requires training and experience. Somewhere along the line you also need to learn how to run a small business. None of that is going to come easily. The next 4-6 years will be a crucible of grueling work, but also ideally a period of tremendous growth and discovery. If she has learned self-motivation (see below) and time-and-task management, then she should be able to hit the ground running.

Another trap that you can fall into -- and I'm speaking from experience -- is doing too much of the leg-work for your daughter. You've made her posting for her, but maybe she can do the follow-up? She'd be forgiven for signing up under an alias.

Edited: May 22, 2023, 1:33 PM · Sometimes the dreams of a 17 year old are realized. More often, those dreams slam into reality.

At minimum a double major in college that has the potential to be a solid professional degree in addition to a strong music degree. Not easy, but then life isn't easy.

When the aspired to career lands on the rocky shores of reality life gets difficult. It is important to understand how this works in reality. I learned about this from a good friend who was an excellent pianist and had been accepted to a prestigious conservatory. Hi father got him a job as an assistant to a touring professional pianist for a semester. He came back shriven at the level of work required to be a preforming professional pianist.

While music was a huge part of his adult life, it was not his source of income.

If there is a way to introduce your young musician to the life of a professional that would be the best suggestion I can offer.

FWIW: I've come to know more than a few professional musicians in my life. While it is psychologically rewarding it is physically and emotionally taxing to a lot of the professionals I know.

All career/life choices require sacrifices. That is what most teenagers fail to understand.

While I had a successful career in Supply Chain Management, my 17 year old dreams, and subsequent dreams, were shattered on the rocks of reality until I discovered my talent for teaching and knowledge of how supply chains work combined to make a career.

And yes, I love music and playing the violin. I fell in love with the instrument in 7th grade and only started playing in my late 20's.

Edited: May 22, 2023, 6:17 PM · I see you named a few schools in Massachusetts - Williams, NEC, and Boston Conservatory. If you’re looking for schools that have both music and business programs, Boston University and UMass Amherst might be good options too. Another school that may be an option is the University of Utah; they seem to have invested a lot in the performing arts over the years. Utah is one of the fastest growing states in the country with perhaps the best skiing in North America.

Edited: May 22, 2023, 8:36 PM · My advice would be to find a college that is

a) affordable: something you and she can afford without taking out debt (so either an in-state public school or a private school with signifiant need-based financial aid.)


b) flexible about majors and double-majors. If she's never really spent more than 45 minutes a day practicing, she may learn in college that she'd prefer to maintain music as a hobby. She may take a biology or psychology course and find herself excited about an entirely different pathway. This would be significantly trickier to pursue if she's at a small conservatory or a school where you get locked into a major from the outset.

If her teacher doesn't think she's a candidate for a career in music, I'd also ask more about that. Being told that she shouldn't go into violin as a profession is pretty direct/clear (and in my experience unusual). I wonder why her teacher is so certain. What does s/he know that would be helpful?

Best of luck. Music is the journey of a lifetime whether or not one gets paid to perform and teach. Your daughter is so lucky to have had both music education and (what sounds like) rigorous academic preparation for college. She should have some good options!

May 22, 2023, 10:18 PM · It seems like people are taking this from a variety of angles, since there are quite a few missing pieces of information. What she has done in high school and her aspirations gives her several good options, whether she makes music a major focus or not. Is she willing to practice more if she has the time? It sounds to me like her practice time is limited primarily by external pressures, maybe deep down she wants to practice more if she has more time? That's why I said a gap practice year may not be a bad idea depending on what her goals are and her current abilities. As others have said, if she does go into music, either music education or a performance program at a lower tier school sounds like a good choice for her, especially if it has flexible double major options.
May 22, 2023, 10:25 PM · I am super curious what level the OP's child is playing at, that their teacher would tell them not to pursue this very modest dream -- small town Suzuki violin teacher with occasional gigs.

However, since the OP doesn't sound like they have money to spare, I think the opportunity cost (for the child and for the family) of choosing an expensive-to-train-for low-wage career is pretty significant. A great student has the opportunity to win a scholarship to an academically solid school to train for some kind of higher-paid career. Even graphic design, while not fantastically well paid and already impacted by the rise of generative AI, pays well compared to music. An academically outstanding student, though, has a lot of other possible career paths.

But I'm going to guess that small-town violin teachers don't make much money, and local symphonies that are always on the hunt for players probably pay an unattractive per-service fee (and might not even be union) -- else they'd probably be getting plenty of freelancers willing to make the drive from Boston. So going away to college to study the violin, without a scholarship, and then coming back home is probably not rife with opportunities to make an income that's going to make it easy to pay back those loans.

I also don't think that a 45-minute-per-day kid is likely to suddenly find that they want to immerse themselves practically 24x7 in music. Music as a hobby is very different from music as a career.

The good news is that for amateurs living in the right places, there are LOTS of opportunities to stay immersed in playing music. There are plenty of careers that offer good flexibility that leave time to practice, take lessons, play in a community orchestra, play chamber music -- and even gig and teach, if that's what a player wants to do.

Edited: May 23, 2023, 12:02 AM · The 45 min is due to being really busy with school and other activities from what I understand from the original post. I did read a post on Medium from a professional orchestral musician (Canadian) who only practiced 45-60 minutes a day in high school due to being very busy with music, school, and other related activities. She made it into a good music performance program in Canada, and by her second year, her practice time had gone from 1 hour a day to like 4 hours, and the rest is history, so yeah, I think internal motivation plays a huge role. (EDIT: this poster was born in the 90s). While a kid who only practices 45 minutes a day is less likely to want a career in music, there's still a difference between external pressures and internal motivation.
May 22, 2023, 11:28 PM · I was a 45-minutes-a-day kid, but I was still Tchaikovsky level by the time I was 16, and I would have been competitive for major conservatories. However, the playing level of kids these days is meaningfully higher than it was for those of us who are Gen X-ers (and it's much higher than it was for Boomers).

I don't think any child who wants to be meaningfully good at anything these days can spend any less time on that thing -- whether it's music or calligraphy or circus ribbons -- than athletes spend training for a sport each day.

Edited: May 23, 2023, 3:18 AM · @Lydia - recalling Michael Palin and Monty Python, what do we mean by "mean(ingfully)"? In this case it implies the ability to compete successfully for a career in music but amateur music-making is no less "meaningful".

May 23, 2023, 8:10 AM · Pro athletics is the best analogue to performing arts. You get the best kid in your high school, might get recruited to a college with a good team. Good as in Division I or Division III? Already that places limits on where you go. Then you look at the UMichigan or Stanford varsity, and only a handful will get drafted to the pros. The rest had better have some backup.

As for OP's child, what exactly was the teacher discouraging? Joining the NY Philharmonic? Or starting a teaching studio? And why? Context counts. Perhaps a conversation there might be more helpful than anything you hear on this board.

May 23, 2023, 8:54 AM · I'm thinking about the sub-thread about the amount of practice time. If the young musician has a solid practice plan to, during the allotted 45 minutes, develop a specific skill/memorize a passage/fix a problem/ 45 minutes every day will yield a lot of growth in a week.

Of course if the 45 minutes is simply (pardon the pun) fiddling around, and nothing specific is accomplished that is a poor use of time. That being said, two hours of fiddling around won't make things better.

I have often printed out specific instructions for a daily 15 to 30 minutes of daily practice and those who followed them improved skills rapidly.

It is the age old problem of quality versus quantity. The only necessity for lengthy practice sessions is to develop the stamina required to play full on performances even as an orchestra member. Being able to play and focus for long periods of time is an issue of mental and physical stamina. Skill development doesn't require endless hours.

May 23, 2023, 10:58 AM · Yeah, quality of practice really matters, but past a certain point, if you have a lot of music to work on and you really want to polish it (and this is common with high level students), then the quantity of practice inevitably has to go up. I mean, it's totally unreasonable to make someone practice 3 hours a day if they have no idea how to use that time productively, but if they can practice effectively for 1 hour but then their workload increases and they need to pay more attention to detail, then the quantity goes up. There was a similar thread discussing this issue at length called how to practice more efficiently sorta thing.
Edited: May 23, 2023, 11:12 AM · When I used the term "meaningfully", I was using it in the context of kids these days, where it's something notable enough to be regarded as meaningful by an admissions officer reading an application -- whether that's at the college, high school, or earlier level. (Each level will regard "meaningful" differently, of course, based on the age of the child.)

I was six when I started, and I learned much faster than my peers. My teachers thought I would become a pro. And yes, I'm aware of the level of perfection expected from professionals -- when I was taught the Tchaikovsky, for instance, it was with intense exactitude, with the expectation that at that level, the standard must be technically flawless, as well as artistic.

There was one year (my final year of playing) where I practiced more -- but my teacher then was a firm believer that if a student needed more than two hours to get through everything (in his particular way of assigning: concerto, pair of Paganini caprices, solo Bach, scales and exercises), you were being inefficient and/or too stupid to play the violin at the level he wanted to teach it at. (For the record, I don't agree with him, but I did put in two hours for a while, and sometimes as much as four, for which I was reprimanded.)

I will note that I did not share my teachers' beliefs that I would become a pro, but despite my lack of personal practice time, I spent an awful lot of time with the violin in my hands, between orchestras, chamber music, and by the time I was fourteen, gigging. More so than anything else, it was the defining feature of my childhood.

But I was a Gen X kid, back before everyone began hothousing their children in the high-investment parenting pattern and you can't enroll them in practically anything without being told about how this teacher/place produces students who are international champions at whatever -- and the kids put in intensive hours into that thing.

By the way, I don't think 45 minutes a day is sufficient to acquire pro-level precision and velocity, from a purely physical perspective. I think you need about that much on pure physical drill, daily, to build the nerve and muscular connections up. After that you can maintain it with very modest amounts of practice. You can probably achieve it in a burst, especially when young (when that occurs more quickly) -- i.e. you could send a kid to Meadowmount for the summer and they'd probably come back with that, if they worked at it.

Edited: May 23, 2023, 11:40 AM · @Stephen - you analogise the performing arts with pro athletics. I cling to the belief that playing the violin isn't a competitive sport but an expression of something more (for want of a better word) spiritual. To approach it like an athlete trains for an event is to mistake the point hugely. Unfortunately that seems to be the way it is headed in certain countries.
May 23, 2023, 11:47 AM · Steve Jones I would think high level athletics could be just as "spiritual" as high level art.
May 23, 2023, 11:50 AM · @Gabriel - do you really believe that?? A winning athlete may get a big buzz out of running faster than the competition but for everyone else it's just another day at the races.
Edited: May 23, 2023, 4:40 PM · I should have found a better word. By "spirituality" I mean the transcendent quality of great classical music that is a central pillar of western culture. I think (hope) most professional violinists would still cite that as their chief motivation, far beyond the solipsistic satisfaction in personal achievement that means nothing to the wider world.
Edited: May 23, 2023, 5:34 PM · It’s an unfortunate reality that in order for a professional violinist to get to the point of having experiences in which one can enjoy the deeply spiritual nature of western art music, it is necessary to pass through an extended period of competition. Idealism is more a winning strategy for an amateur than an aspiring professional.

Getting back to the OP, I am very curious because it seems off for a teacher to be discouraging a student from the extremely modest goal of private teacher and gigger. It makes me wonder both about the student’s level and also what the teacher’s personal experience has been. When I was teaching at the University level, I had a few music ed students come in whose private lesson experience was slim to nonexistent. After four years, they had become competent players and better than competent teachers. I am extremely proud of those students.

May 23, 2023, 9:10 PM · "I am very curious because it seems off for a teacher to be discouraging a student from the extremely modest goal of private teacher and gigger."

I read it as the teacher expressing caution about pursuing violin as a profession, which is a common sentiment on violin boards. It sounds like the daughter is interested in a conservatory or performance experience, but there are many reasons to be wary of trying to pursue that.

I personally think the liberal arts options are a great idea: Williams, Ithaca, etc. If she can get in, that would be a great education and would give her options going out.

May 23, 2023, 9:58 PM · Why are you assuming that women must transition into a role as the primary parent, if they want children? Men are certainly capable of fulfilling that role.
May 24, 2023, 1:58 AM · The OP's daughter attends a conservatory prep program in Boston, and Boston's cost of living is very high. That’s probably where the teacher is coming from.

May 24, 2023, 7:07 AM · But if the daughter is in a conservatory prep program in Boston, that implies a playing level that would make the daughter’s aspirations well within reach. Surely even residents of Boston are aware that there are less expensive metro areas in the United States.
May 24, 2023, 12:31 PM · In my case, my private teaching is the lower-earning career and it's hard to say, let's choose to give up or scale back the higher-earning career. The concern isn't so much capability as comparative advantage and opportunity cost. Then again, it's also hard to choose to take that self-employed leave, along with the inevitable reduction of clients, and wonder if I'd want to put in the work later to rebuild* while juggling parenting responsibilities (Bruce's words, thanks). *Rebuild to the previous standard that was made possible by a single childless person's copious creativity and energy, or accept having to reduce my ambition.

I started off writing that I "wouldn't actively discourage my teen student from pursuing private teaching" but I would point out challenges and drawbacks and say that if you could be content and fulfilled doing something else (while keeping music for leisure), you should do that effectively, I'm discouraging it.

May 24, 2023, 3:41 PM · "your family is still in a position where the same financial responsibilities exist" - not me! I know this will be different for each person or family but I don't see it happening that we make choices that result in living to the top of our means. (I refer to lifestyle choices such as buying too much house, too much car, too much toys, not something catastrophically unexpected like chronic illness or legal disaster.)

One benefit of private studio business (and being accustomed to living below one's means, i.e., no summer pinch when I drop one full weekday and half the Saturdays because fewer students are around) is that I never have to face being laid off or fired. Individual students do leave of course, but I don't lose the entire roster all at once.

Edited: May 24, 2023, 8:01 PM · Bruce Hardy wrote: "Lydia, it might surprise you to realize that not every woman is a career driven GenXer that feels good about popping out kids and running back to work a few weeks later. Some actually want to spend time with the baby, and breast feed them and be there for them for a couple of years."

Well, that sure was a fascinating attempt at a personal attack. Setting that aside, Bruce was presumably replying to my comment, "Why are you assuming that women must transition into a role as the primary parent, if they want children?"

Bruce went on to say, eventually, "What may seem wrong and offensive to you, is perfectly normal and acceptable to somebody else."

When did I ever indicate that women who made the choice to be a primary parent was wrong and/or offensive? I merely asserted that no one -- male or female -- should make assumptions that women desire to be, or should be, the primary parent. Of course I understand that people come from different cultures with different values (and some of those cultures are sure judge-y about women who don't choose to stay home with their children), but that's no reason to reinforce those choices as the Correct Defaults.

[Telling a personal tale here for the archive, so to speak, since kids look things up on search and I think it can help to see examples of non-default choices.]

I am entirely content and comfortable with the fact that I didn't choose to be a primary parent; my husband and I would not have had a child if he hadn't wanted to be the primary parent. Like many Americans, I received no maternity leave from my job, so I went back to work (working from home, as I had for years already) three weeks after my son was born. My husband got paternity leave, but we split baby duties pretty evenly through the no-sleep phase of parenting.

My husband and I are both lucky to have worked for the same companies for many, many years. As well-compensated and very senior top performers, we've been lucky to receive significant job flexibility. He uses that flexibility to be the primary parent. And I've used much of that flexibility to pursue my musical interests. (I gave up frequent business travel pre-pandemic once my son was born, though.)

[End of personal bit.]

Everyone benefits from flexibility in gender roles, so they can tailor lives that work well for them and their families (or for themselves should they not choose to take a partner and/or have children). And, of course, this helps people change those roles over the course of their lives, either because they want to or because circumstances force alterations.

Broadly, I think, regardless of gender, a life of patching together teaching and gigging for a living isn't very family-friendly. Most teachers are in demand precisely at the times that people normally want to spend with their spouses and children, and income instability makes family budgeting difficult, creates complexity in purchasing a home, etc. on top of the relatively low pay.

But certainly, if a teacher doesn't want to be the primary parent, there are plenty of jobs their spouse could hold that would offer both a good income and the ability to function as the primary parent. After all, professional working women have done that for the last 50+ years.

May 24, 2023, 8:51 PM · You clearly intended to describe those choices in a fashion that was pejorative. Or at the very least, you're completely insensitive to the fact that when people direct those kinds of comments at women, the common intention is to disparage those choices. Otherwise, you'd almost certainly have chosen a different phrasing.

Clearing up a misconception, my husband and I don't work in related businesses, and while we both work in the technology industry, we have different sorts of careers. But yes, they're careers that (at least at this stage of our lives) are conducive to either of us playing parenting roles. I will note, though, that we also deliberately chose to delay becoming parents until we had reached the level of career advancement necessary to become parents in the way we desired.

But this is somewhat orthogonal to the point that freelance musicians can decide to not be the primary parent (regardless of gender), since they may very well have a spouse who can bear that weight (along with a job, whether high income or not) so that the musician can maximize the students they take and the gigs they play. People who stay in their small home towns can also often lean on the grandparents for help -- and the lower cost of living helps compensate forlower incomes.

May 24, 2023, 11:54 PM · It definitely helps that "young in early stages of career" are not our most representative adjectives ;) Coming from individual incomes that supported our individual households, joint finances wouldn't be an issue as long as the lifestyle creep is at a "reasonable" rather than "excessive" level. For the late teen or college student on the precipice of young adulthood, it's a different story.
June 4, 2023, 11:57 AM · Oh my goodness, I am just seeing so many wonderful and amazing replies and thank you so much to all who replied. I have a 4 year old (cello player who seems to compete with anytime I go to my computer so let me try to address here all. and so sorry for such late reply I had not seen this. Busy here with three kiddos. Is anyway to reply to each one under each reply? I am new to this format .
June 4, 2023, 12:02 PM · Ella, I have researched other similar sites yes, I see categories but none that fit what my daughter may be in. There are the top tier struggling with medical degrees their parents sway them toward or violin performance. Not us, though I do secretly wish we fell in this genre. There is the started late but can can I still. Not us, my daughter started at age 3 with Ms. Carol Sykes. There is the what should I do with all my talent, do this or that. My daughter knows she wants to teach music but it is so so competitive. I wish I could reply right below each persons much appreciated response but I don't see anything but (report as spam) button. But no reply choice except all the way down to bottom.
June 4, 2023, 12:10 PM · J. Seltz, Thank you for your reply. she thinks music education may very well be best suited for her because she loves the idea of having her own studio. She is wonderful with children of all ages and has a heart of gold. She has had so many violin teachers over the years and has gained so many diverse ideas and life lessons on each one. Each one she has seen what to do as well as what not to do (i.e. don't keep going on cell phone while she is in lesson, even if she is very young, still showing disrespect) ...

I am glad you mention that going to a state university like Ithica, Williams is a good option as we are looking at that and although she put Ithica as her C choice (Boston Conservatory and Depauw University her A and B ) it is still a wonderful way to explore more and delve into what she may want. I have not heard of Williams so thank you for adding this so I can take a look at it. We are located on Cape Cod. And she attends New England Conservatory Preparatory School for past 6 years. Her level there at Orchestra is YRO and she does chamber with Dr. Song and has a wonderful teacher there. He does not think she is up to Par to get into a conservatory but another teacher suggested she at least put her hat in the ring for experience and why not, they can only say no. But to not be too surprised . She does attend a summer 2 week summer program as well and did get into South Eastern competition but can't quite reach all states. (13 points shy and many of those loss points due to her not being able to read as proficiently )

June 4, 2023, 12:13 PM · Mary Ellen Gory
Thank you for your reply. I know I don't have to reply to everyone but I like to get back. Yes, I didn't realize that NEC college was so competitive as online acceptance rates were deceiving me. It is very competitive . Most likely too much so.

Thank you for saying a Many public universities would love to have her. That brings hope and light to our current path . ??

June 4, 2023, 12:34 PM · Lydia,

Fantastic question. and I agree, "practice everyday you eat, my dear, and at your age. 3 hours is to be expected" are my forever words as I see her slump in her chair half closed eyes in her lap top trying to keep on top of the overloaded IB high school an exceptionally hard high school which she struggles with since she was homeschooled for 6 years she is missing a lot of foundation to math and such. So I am proud she is able to maintain a B- usually even though I wold love a B+ or more. Her math and language keep it down and it is true most violinist seem very advanced in math and science as well which is not her. She shines in arts, music and creative writing but does the natural sciences.

So to speak to this. Sorry for long answer. She wakes at 6 has a 1.5 hour commute to a hard high school, has another 1.5 hour commute and then dives into her homework because now teachers all use computer and can just email assignments anytime and usually it is a midnight due in. There are points if late so she madly rushes to get her homework in.

Then she does practice and it is usually really late at night. We are all asleep or going to sleep. She has, in my opinion poor practice habits since she started high school which are exactly the years she needs to be doing more. It is a daily struggle between grades and violin and she is resentful at her school for not honoring her need to practice. She wanted to be in a type of high school that put more emphasis on the arts but we don't have that option.

So she only gets, if that 45 but if she can get vacation and a good run of no homework, she gets in 3 hours a day. Must say it is rare. This summer she plans on 4-6 hours and 2 lessons per week.

She is working on currently Mozart, Concerto No. 3 In G Major and Mozart W.A. Concerto No. 4 in D Major Bach Partita no. 2. n D Minor
her is sample of a snippet if anyone wants to chime in if can view

June 4, 2023, 12:36 PM · Erik

That is so wonderful that you did this on your own. Because of her sincere respect for her teachers and her desire to really get more input from a academic level and really network and have a university education, I know she would want to attend a college with a really great music program. Of course her dream was Eastman but she was told in a text, that would not be a reality for her. Hard pill to swallow but we appreciate reality here.

June 4, 2023, 12:50 PM · Susan Agrawel
Thank you and you are absolutely right. 3 hours minimum but she falls asleep with her lap top on top of her. IB is a hard school but for her even harder as she processes things differently. She is smart, but a different sort of smart. Let's say she may see things through a slightly different lens and what makes her so incredibly geniune. But yes, you are exactly right something would need to give for her to get those 3 hours in. She just does not want to switch schools or not go for her IB. She does have IB music in her school but when they asked all the kids to write a paper on an artist, that amazed them, everyone else was a pop Rock star and hers was Beethoven. It was not the same. She loves fine art as well so so picked IB art so she is thinking maybe double major art and music.

Thank you for that information about Susuki schools. She took her first lessons from a ms. Carol Sykes who was amazing. they had a special connection and we always hoped she may be able to give her teacher Susuki lesson as she was a trainer but she passed away 2021. She has taught a little girl down the street who asked and would be very good at a very beginning teaching but really wants to go to college to get the proper teaching to teach. because we have maybe all had those great teachers who gave wrong bow hand or wonderful performers who played in all sorts of fancy venues who are not great with communication. The art of being able to do both is, in my opinion, not as easy to find. She wants to be reaching for performing but teach.

We are still trying to find schools. Of course her dream is Eastman but looks like maybe her next level choices may be a state school with a wonderful music program but we are in the North East. We are not sure about the levels of this one but a school like Bard on the Hudson or Boston Conservatory we would be thrilled with .

Her current pieces working on are Mozart concerto No. 3 in G Major and concerto no. 4 g major. L'Abeille by Francois Schubert, Op. 13, Bach Partita no. 2 in D minor

June 4, 2023, 12:57 PM · Paul Deck
What great feedback. and yes, I will defiantly have her look into that to see if she would like the idea of coming back into music in that manner or even that being her major yes. It is a process. And I agree, I am doing the mom thing and stepping into her search and only because she has such little time with her school as she is in a hard IB that she does work hard on as well as NEC which is another entire school even though Saturdays, we are just exhausted after a 6-6:30 full day I Boston. And Sundays she does not have off either. But I agree, she does need for initiative to be a self starter for most all of this. I think there will be a lot of telling information once she is out of her high school about how she handles this next transition of her life. I am curious to see but from coming from a way too overprotective mommy and homeschooled for 6 years with not devices and very little and no tv until age 8, she has some a long way. I just wish I knew she wanted to pursue music while she homeschooled as that would have been a lot more time dedicated to her practice. But that is hind sight now.
June 4, 2023, 1:05 PM · George Wells,
You write very well. And yes, agree. I just wish I had come to know this as a mom of a dear violin lover on our pathway so the ignorance of it all. I think it is important to let parents of young musicians in on this at a much younger age. I believe for me, it would have not changes a thing about how dedicated she nor I are about getting her those lesson and practice, but all the same, a important reality to know sooner then later.
I think we have both come to terms with, don't quit your day job. So that is all fine, but I also don't think violin is a hobby although she is now treating her practice like it is. So that is our journey, to find out where it falls in her life. I think maybe something all together different, but once you stop. Once your child who has slept with her violin so that it not get too cold when electricity goes off, or who worships the composers of so many centuries ago. Once it is in your heart, it is there .And what a gift. What a blessing. She does not have to make money at it , go into dental assistant or physical therapy. But she may very well be a wonderful violin teacher just waiting for the honing, the time to get there and be that. She might very well be. I really like your advice and actually understand this well now. thank you for it. Wise words .
June 4, 2023, 1:08 PM · Raymond
Yes, Umass Amherst is on our list because it has art as well and NEC found out is too out of reach. University of Utah will look at that . And ah yes, we did actually see Williams which looks like a dream, but also way too hard. GPA has to be higher and it only takes in a few students so competitive as all . But Umass Amherst may be something yes.
June 4, 2023, 1:19 PM · Katie B.

Yes, I agree with a college that is affordable. I am a widowed mom of three and desperately battle the economy of affording music, which to me is as important as any subject in school but that is just me. Not sure why I am like that. But I am.

We are looking at schools that maybe kinder to give a financial help and state schools yes.

The teacher is wonderful and I think he simply thinks she cannot go into music as a career. He teaches students at very very high levels. We are lucky to have him but to give an example, his students come from Eastman school undergraduate to his masters at BU. I know it is harsh , but my daughter respects his advice so she appreciates it. His words verbatim " there is unfortunately a huge disconnect between dreams and reality. We understand and it did shake her to her core. I did tell her, if you can't get in the practice, you should not be surprised. But she is caught right now to get through her hard high school or getting in her practice.

She just had her teacher yesterday and we asked to speak to this subject and he just said, there was no path for her in music. He said to go into art and take music courses as a minor. That did not sit well with my daughter because although she loves art, she does not like her teacher she admires telling her what she can or cannot do. She just was not brought up that way. So yes, it is a bit uncomfortable but I am grateful for his honesty anyways.

June 4, 2023, 1:26 PM · Ella Y.

It is true that her major thing preventing her from getting more ahead with her abilities in music is her high school and the commute is a grueling 1 and a half hours each way. I know , awful. but it is top high school charter IB in the state lottery ticket gets a lucky kid in so we feel so lucky for her to have that education. But it keeps her from her practice. She says that she is in school all day using her brain and really working on many different subjects, then the commute and she has to really switch her mind set since violin uses such a different type of energy and she has a hard time after getting home from school with tons of homework, to do this. She is just so tired. And violin she says is very physical and takes a certain mind set that is opposite from the requirements as her school. So a gap year may not be a bad idea. She is planning on a 6 hour practice all summer and taking lessons 2x per week for her Mozart #3 / #4
stops, scales, hone basics, etc. pre-screen auditions submitting to several schools to throw her hat in the ring if you will.

June 4, 2023, 1:42 PM · Lydia

Ah just read your other post. You were a 45 minute practicer but still got to the Tchaikovsky level by the time I was 16, is very telling. Thank you for sharing that. This may be what her teacher is referring to then. Perhaps she is just not able to "get there" is a reality. I watched a utube video of a girl who went from 6 to 21 on violin and my daughter was right along with her level and pieces until she got to be about teenager and you could see a noticeable increase in her abilities and pieces where my daughter is not. So that made me curious. At what level do you say, I'm out if you don't make those key jumps? Music is like no other career path, but does one really play and let music into their lives wholly from age 3 and just keep as a hobby. Perhaps. I just don't know.

June 4, 2023, 1:55 PM · Stephen Symchych

Good annalogy.
Yes, it is important to have a Plan B. As my daughter may be the top two violinist in her high school of 850, but this doesn't say as much as I would like because in Boston at NEC Prepatory, she falls behind. In her high school there just are not many violins and why is because schools don't prioritize this. They actually don't offer it really. That is another thread.
The teacher says that she should not go into performing and when says, hey what about teaching little kiddos, he says that even very very talented top of their game violinists compete for teaching kiddos. It is maybe a matter of perspective and a dash of reality because he is right. Most teachers in areas around Boston are even overqualified and may have gone to they finest conservatories and performed at some top orchestras and yet there are teaching pre-twinkle to a small lot of proud parent little ones. So I see what he is saying. Yet, as well, it is not to say that she would not have a successful teaching career in the places not near a large city where everyone else quit. Gave up. Kids need a caring, respectful passionate role model to introduce them to these amazing arts. It is not given in schools at young ages. I think there is a bit of truth to her teacher yes and to her own desire yes. Ms. Skyes started out with a lot of varying ages in Susuki when my daughter started out. We saw many of them quit. Several went on and became very very good. One went into microbiology , one is a high advanced but his own mother is a violinist. and then there is my teen. Who searches where she fits here. Not the prodigy, works extra hard to read the notes, but had a wonderful ear. There has to be those caring and compassionate early teachers to make all those amazing advanced students. That we were lucky my daughter had. If not for that one caring amazing Ms. Sykes, my daughter would have never known violin. That speaks volumes (pun intended) to me

June 4, 2023, 1:58 PM · George Wells

I do believe there is importance to how someone practices so true. If it is not productive practice it can be lost and even less time is truly given to practice. I wonder how if teachers should from the get go, establish the "right way" to practice. so important .

June 4, 2023, 2:00 PM · Ella Y.

I totally agree about your comment on practice . Well said

June 4, 2023, 2:06 PM · Lydia Leong

I agree with you about 45 minutes not being enough. Just even to practice scales and warm up and such, there is no way to get into and sort out a piece in that time. I just wish my daughter had more time to do such. I have really gotten upset at her and it has really cost her not to but I was told by one of her teachers, not to push as it will only produce the opposite affect. I think it is about establishing a base expectation like anything we want to excel in. You have to put in the work there is just no way around it, and high school demands really compete with this. Perhaps we should all start a charter division of high schools for the arts across communities. Where we put music and it's practice right up there with science and language . That would be something.

June 4, 2023, 2:15 PM · Mary Ellen Goree

I think you hit the nail on the head in your comment about "in order for a professional violinist to get to the point of having experiences in which one can enjoy the deeply spiritual nature of western art music, it is necessary to pass through an extended period of competition. " It is true that we realize in this form it is highly competitive, but also I have seen such lovely young rising performers who really want to find a place of this in their lives. Truly are they all going to come home from work to their little kids and play violin as a hobby. Maybe but I think once someone experiences the language of classical music, it is a different thing all together than say, other forms like pop . I am not sure as I am not a musician and I only wish my parents introduced me to this when I was young. But I did not have that myself. Classical music has given my daughter something different than her peers. she honors it and it has made her see the world differently. It has been her voice when she was too shy to talk, it has been her friend. Her dearest. It is not about competing or being on top, although she would love to and welcomes to rise to that. But it is not about that for her. So this was nice to read.

June 4, 2023, 2:17 PM · J Seitz
thank you for your input. I do hope it is "off" to discourage as it did strike us down in our feet and to be honest, I cried and my daughter didn't practice for a week. It was hard to hear
June 4, 2023, 2:20 PM · Frieda Francis
May 24, 2023, 1:58 AM · The OP's daughter attends a conservatory prep program in Boston, and Boston's cost of living is very high. That’s probably where the teacher is coming from.
in reply to this. Yes, the competition in this city is just amazing. you really have to hit true bench marks or it is just not possible to catch up. No amount of practice or lesson if not reaching these marks, will do. So the teacher is saying that there are too many very high level violinists for my daughter to be able to go into this and make a living. That is his true belief yes.
June 4, 2023, 2:24 PM · Mary Ellen Goree
May 24, 2023, 7:07 AM · But if the daughter is in a conservatory prep program in Boston, that implies a playing level that would make the daughter’s aspirations well within reach. Surely even residents of Boston are aware that there are less expensive metro areas in the United States.
In regards to this. That was our hope but even though she is top violin of two in her school of 850, there are just so many high level performers and the thing that holds my daughter back is that she took Susuki for too long so her musicianship, her music reading skills are behind her peers . As they all get harder pieces she falls behind catching up with the reading. That is so hard to reach and this may be where he is saying it won't work but we feel that she is not the only one who struggles with reading a higher level. Lesson learned. : susuki is wonderful but switch to traditional soon and take piano as well.
June 4, 2023, 2:30 PM · Mengwei Shen
great comment. I keep telling myself to encourage my child, whatever she wants to go for belief in her. No matter what anyone says, let her follow her passion. But it is challenging yes. It is hard to know for sure. As a homeschool parent I come from things a bit differently. It has never been my aim to have my daughter be the highest reader or win awards or get straight A's in anything. It is to live her authentic self and be happy. That is it. If we have her in her highest authentic self and happy. That to me is success. But, reality is one has to pay for this increasingly expensive world. So we seek outward input. and thank you for all of it. So happy to hear every comment.
June 4, 2023, 2:34 PM · Mengwei Shen

in reply to not loosing all rooster. I get that . I work for myself and my business fluctuates. I decided that I just could not have my entire profession be judged or even taken by one person. A boss, so working for myself has always been a must. I gain, I loose clients. Some years are very hard. But it is my gig. My thing. I am so glad for it every single day. My daughter has been raised watching me in this role. Doing it on my own, working for myself, creating our own reality. In this, it may help her see herself in her own studio as a teacher. She has said she can clearly see it. So that is meaningful to me.

June 4, 2023, 4:05 PM · Thank you Kara for all the info. Just for reference, you can certainly condense all your responses into a few comments instead of like 10-15, so yeah.

Anyhow, I think your daughter sounds like a lovely young woman, and I think she certainly has potential to improve a lot more if she doesn't have to worry about school. I think getting a degree in music education (not performance) and teaching young children isn't an unrealistic path for her as long as she's willing to work hard. My understanding is that the audition requirements for education majors are often not as difficult, so that helps. I'm glad that gave her a well rounded childhood. Many youth don't know they want to do music until their teen years. On the flip side, some may have dreamed of a music career for years but decide by the end of high school I'm not going into music, so yeah.

Edited: June 4, 2023, 7:11 PM · Kara, it's great to see you come back and reply! Many posters asking for advice don't bother to do so.

I watched the video (and looked at some of the other more recent videos). I would say that her repertoire seems appropriate at the intermediate level, but she's very, very far behind even students entering decent music ed programs -- and nowhere near the students who would be entering performance programs. Even basics like "be consistently in tune in 1st position" aren't fully solidified.

You can't just go from "practice 45 minutes a day when lucky" to "practice 6 hours a day" as she hopes. That is a recipe for injury, not to mention that she's unlikely to know how to use multiple hours of practice effectively. (In general, it's also not effective to practice more than 4 hours a day.)

Teenagers need sleep, by the way. They shouldn't be sacrificing sleep in order to put in more hours of academics, or in order to cram in more extracurricular time. Sacrificing sleep is counterproductive and has long-term negative effects on their growth, health, and brain.

I think if your daughter was 15, it would be worth considering a less rigorous academic route, given her relatively low grades. I believe that it's generally considered better to take a somewhat less intense academic schedule, but to get As in those subjects. To me, a B- suggests that not only is she struggling, but she's also not really learning the material well. It'd be better to fully comprehend and absorb less challenging schoolwork -- and stronger grades would have really helped the quest for financial aid.

It's too late to make that decision for high school, but perhaps you can make a better choice for college. Even if your daughter decides to pursue a fully academic rather than artistic path, I'd look for a school with really solid teaching (which will probably be a SLAC and not a research university), that isn't a stretch academically. You may be forced down this route regardless because a GPA below 3.0 will be regarded as problematic. She'll want great SAT/ACT and AP scores to make up for that, if that's possible. You'll want to pay close attention to where Naviance thinks her profile fits, and what her guidance counselor advises.

If your child desires to go into art instead, have you invested in doing portfolio prep, so she's a strong candidate for an art school? If not, can her art teachers work with her on the portfolio? Would you consider a gap year at a place like Interlochen, where she could work more intensively on both her art and music? (Scholarships are available, and I'm guessing your income would make her eligible for one.)

June 4, 2023, 7:25 PM · I think your daughter should consider a college that offers a BFA or BA program that allows students to study multiple art forms, allowing her to combine her interest in visual arts with music. She could then follow that with a master's degree in creative therapy (art therapy or music therapy). This is a lovely way to work with children and teach supportively. It pays decently and is in high demand, AFAIK, and doesn't require as much mastery of the art form itself.

Most of the adults that I know who manage high-paying day jobs while moonlighting as violinists (especially if they're teaching and/or gigging) were academically outstanding as well as being very strong players by the time they finished high school. Personally, for instance, I coast on the technical skills I developed when much younger, which allows me to lead a rich musical life, despite having an intense professional life and a family.

I think if your daughter wants to get to a level where she's able to teach and gig as a profession, she's going to have to major in it during college, and really devote herself to practicing intensively during those years. She's probably going to need the additional time spent getting a master's to get her playing level up to par, and it'll be something of a roll of the dice to see how quickly she'll improve if she devotes time to it.

June 4, 2023, 7:44 PM · Yeah, I agree that going from 45 minutes a day to 6 hours suddenly isn't a good idea. That being said, there's no reason why she couldn't just increase her practice time gradually over a few weeks. If she makes it to two hours a day in a week, that's already a big improvement.
June 4, 2023, 11:59 PM · Would it be too late to drop the IB program and take one additional year to improve the mark? This will give the girl opportunities to have better choices for college.

IB program is not for everyone especially if you are getting only B- and wasting 3 hours on the road everyday!

June 5, 2023, 1:58 PM · So glad to have a bit more feedback here and yes, I am wordy and reply way too many times, I am just so grateful for feedback you have no ideal.
Ella , yes, I do believe my daughter may try for music education as that does seem like something she says she can really see herself as. Thanks you . She really tries to use the summer to catch up on her violin and knowing this is such an important year, I think a slow increase is a great idea. I was thinking she could maybe have a practice check in to get goals each week to work on. Luckily I think she can use her south eastern and all states pieces she will be learning for those auditions also for her pre-screen auditions. thank you again.
June 5, 2023, 2:16 PM · Lydia,
You are giving me so much amazing advice here and so thankful you were able to give her videos a look see and see her level. I wish we could have had more to compare with as she was progressing, because even though she plays in orchestra and chamber, it can be hard to see just how she compares and yes, I think it does seem like she is behind for her age. A lot of it is her fight for time and energy, and yes, she does not get enough sleep and the other is she is not that great at reading music and she blames this on staying in a susuki program too long. I wish we had gotten someone just for this. Music reading, at an earlier age.
The colleges I think as we refine abilities, grades and such are (and some above level but to try for anyways and for experience of applying ) are Umass Amherst, Bard on the Hudson (may be a bit harder to get into) and Ithica College. These were a diverse selection to start. Someone mentioned maybe Depauw University in Indiana. A state college may be a good fit. My daughter is really great in her art as well and she is working on getting a portfolio ready since a dual art music major was something she is considering.
The art therapy, music therapy is a wonderful Ideal. She wants to make sure she has income when she gets out of college so that is a practical field using her love of art and music.
On Saturdays she is in two private lessons, Orchestra, chamber and a practice room so she does play for a straight 6-7 hours but that is only Saturdays. She is fine practicing 3 hours a day when schedule allows but you are right, going from far less to a full 6 hours could be too much . Slow and steady wins the race.
This is really wonderful feedback and it helps so much going forward truly. ??
June 5, 2023, 2:22 PM · Victoria,
I have asked my daughter maybe too many times if she should go to an easier high school. To switch schools because her grades don't reflect well. She was a B student but never an A there, But if fluctuates between a B and a B-. the math and French bring it down so much . (use to be B was ok, but it is such a competitive world now).
She is very loyal to her teachers ands schools so she won't budge from there even with the long commute. It is a top notch school we are so lucky to have gotten in but I know it is a hard work load. Thanks for feedback, I think sometimes as a parent I have to remind myself that it is also about the journey, even if the end result doesn't always match expectation. But we are still grateful for her school.
June 5, 2023, 3:47 PM · Is she stronger in other subjects e.g humanities, English? Does she at least ge some As?
Edited: June 6, 2023, 7:32 AM · Kara, you have received a lot of good advice here. I think it’s important to realize that there are lots of kids out there doing a full IB diploma (or harder paths in HS), while also performing their instruments at a high level, playing multiple sports, holding leadership positions in their extracurriculars and clubs, etc. I have 3 nieces and a nephew (all out of college now) that have gone the IB route, and a friend’s daughter who went to the local Governor’s school with a similar commute (one of the best public high schools in the nation and a difficult STEM school), that have all done so. In and of itself, going the IB route is not going to be considered as an excuse or obstacle to playing at a high level, because there are thousands of kids out there that do so successfully.

Your daughter is playing currently what mine was, a year or two ago. She’s 13, and not considered particularly advanced for her age. Just in her teacher’s studio, there are at least two kids her age that are more advanced than she is, to give you an idea of what the landscape looks like. Like your daughter, she’s a 45 minutes a day player, but has only been playing since she was 7, and is strictly doing it for fun and enjoyment.

All this is my long-winded way of saying that your daughter’s path in music is not going to be easy or straightforward if she chooses to go down that path. Based on what I have seen of music teachers in local schools (who are by and large not good enough to have private studios), they are all playing at a much higher level, and are versatile, able to play multiple instruments decently (piano, cello, violin, and viola). There is a significant gap between where your daughter is currently, and where they are.

I think the idea of going into something like a music/art therapy program is a good one. I have two friends, one a speech language pathologist, another a special ed teacher, both of whom find it handy to have musical backgrounds (SLP friend is a singer and pianist, the other friend is a cellist). Those are all in-demand careers that would allow your daughter to work with children, incorporate music into their lives, and still make a good living. She will always be free to join chamber groups or local adult orchestras and keep music as a hobby as well.

June 6, 2023, 12:25 PM · Just one comment, school music teachers learn how to play multiple instruments in their university music education programs. There is absolutely no expectation that a prospective student applying for undergraduate admission as a freshman should be able to do so. Focus on the primary instrument.
June 6, 2023, 1:30 PM · Correct me if this is no longer true of freshly-minted music educators, but, successful public middle/high school orchestra directors only rarely reach the virtuosic string instrument literature (i.e., "Bruch level"). A job as a middle/high school teacher of music might be well within the OP's daughter's grasp. A successful violin studio would be much more difficult because she'll be competing with very high-level local pros. The one caveat is that if she specializes in Suzuki for very young children and develops a knack with that age group, she could possibly have a very successful Suzuki studio.

The OP's original comment about her daughter's teacher's comment sounded as if the teacher was venting personal frustration, not participating in a thoughtful discussion about the daughter's future options. At the least, the teacher should be able to describe what the student would need to do to prepare for success in various careers (violin studio, music education, other pro roles), even if some of them are highly improbable.

June 6, 2023, 2:53 PM · I don't think you're correct, Jocelyn. More competitive programs would expect a Bruch-level audition. Less competitive programs would generally expect Kabalevsky-level or the like. There are places where someone can go get a BA or even a BME with the OP's level of playing, but they're probably not inexpensive. And by the time a music ed student graduates, they should at least be able to manage the Bruch. (Even 20+ years ago this was true.)

A glance at the UMass Amherst audition requirements for violinists indicates that the OP's daughter's playing level is probably marginal for the minimum difficulty. (Kreutzer is the bottom of the etude list there in terms of difficulty. OP has posted a Kreutzer video of her daughter. She's playing it okay-ish, which would be good if she were a hopeful 11-year-old, and not 17. I say that recognizing that the video might not represent a finished state for the etude.)

But UMass (likely the OP's public university given where they probably live) also requires academic acceptance to the university, and with what a quick search says is an average 3.9 GPA for admitted students, the OP's B- average is not going to cut it. (Even if using a weighted GPA for the IB, the OP's academic record would probably be of concern unless their SAT/ACT is really impressively high.)

The academic record is going to potentially be an issue at any college that requires academic admission as well as a successful audition. And getting into a school is quite different from affording it -- and having that investment be worthwhile.

June 6, 2023, 2:56 PM · With regard to Sue's comment, creative therapy is a full career field, not just a supplement to another discipline, and they can work with adults as well as children. Schools and community programs hire art therapists and music therapists. So do hospitals, retirement homes, prisons, etc. Some art therapists are full mental health clinicians with counseling practices.
June 6, 2023, 4:13 PM · Lydia, I meant that even careers that don’t seem to have a direct music component to it could in fact incorporate it, and to not rule them out.

Jocelyn, it sounds like they asked the teacher directly and the answer was essentially to not consider it. It didn’t sound like venting to me, more of a ‘I don’t think it will work out’ type of response.

One of my daughter’s elementary school teachers had mentioned in passing what she auditioned with when she applied to college. I think it was Bruch. She’s not that young, so probably went to college a good 15 years ago.

June 6, 2023, 4:58 PM · Yeah, I agree she is definitely behind. I mean, if she's dead set on really improving her skills and is willing to work hard, a (practice) gap year might not be a bad idea, but I also agree that a career as a music/art therapist could be a good fit here. I'm glad her teachers are being realistic as far as her abilities are concerned.
June 6, 2023, 7:00 PM · Ella

She always get A+ in Art. That is her other passion. (oh joy another area that can be iffy getting job when get out ?????) But she is a wonderful artist.
Yes, I think we are starting to think a bit more as considering other arenas but she is just so set on keeping her violin purposeful. Not just a hobby but something to bring daily purpose. Tricky though I see.

June 6, 2023, 7:08 PM · Sue,
Yes, I agree, there is no real excuse ever not to practice to the level her age demands. I know she is struggling lot this year on both. It may be she just can't keep up with the demands and serve everyone well and I know everyone is different but I do see now. And thank you all that really helps the feedback no matter if it is what we want to hear. It is very well received indeed. Glad to hear the realities rather than find out later. I do understand now that she is several years, maybe 4-5 behind or more give or take. I am not sure where that happened since she has been in lesson every year but we did live in another area and the teacher was not really excited about teaching here and she did fall behind a lot those 3 years. But truly, it really is not an excuse but just an observation. The music therapy idea is a great one and perhaps she should research that to see if it is something she would like. I know she really wanted to do susuki but many music lovers of all areas wear many hats I know. Really great feedback and a reality check that I am very glad to get. So thank you for that.
June 6, 2023, 7:25 PM · I think even though Amherst may not be as easy given her grades (they were at an average B but she does struggle ) I think it is defiantly a school she wants to apply. Perhaps a gap year wold help but I know even with a year, with that sort of time we are talking about her being behind, I am not really sure if it will help but may be good to know more what area she wants to put her time. I am getting such great advice here that is really allowing me to process and get a real grasp on the realities.
I know for certain she is not going to consider to put her violin down for even a week. So we have a young girl who has the passion but nowhere to go with it professionally. That is ok, I think. I am proud of her regardless. She is a real gem. Music Therapy is an idea, Suzuki studio, or something all together differently. Perhaps she would like to pursue studio art with a minor in music. I am also glad her teachers are telling her just how it is. I think they are doing this in kindness, She respects and admires her teachers so much. It is an all together different sort of field. thousands of amazingly incredible, talented young, players funneling into a very small stage. 30 applicants for one seat. We do get this.
June 6, 2023, 9:11 PM · I only wanted to bring this up because I have some awareness - Virginia Commonwealth University has an extremely well regarded arts and design program, one that the likes of Pixar and Disney recruit from. So doing arts does not mean she’ll have to struggle, if she’s able to get into a well regarded program. These programs are also highly competitive.
June 6, 2023, 10:42 PM · For artists who are willing to go work for ordinary corporations (i.e. outside the media industry itself), there are plenty of jobs -- at least at the moment, although this is likely to be one of those fields greatly impacted by generative AI. Businesses hire graphic designers, website maintainers, etc. Artists go into advertising, communications, marketing, etc. Artists with a knack for management can go up the art director path, become project or program managers, etc.

Art is much like music, though -- if a student can't get a scholarship for it, they should probably rethink their future.

"I am not sure where that happened since she has been in lesson every year" -- I think the answer to this is pretty simple. She's been putting in one-quarter of the practice time, or less, than other kids seriously interested in pursuing music as a profession.

Talent and really effective use of practice time can make up, to some degree, for raw hours. That's partially why you see kids who can handle very demanding academic work and music at a high level and sports and other stuff -- they've got brains, energy, and a work ethic that let them just power through a lot of things and learn really fast. For everyone else, they've got to focus and put in the hours.

And it's not "30 applicants for one seat" (in pro orchestras). Think more like three hundred applicants for one seat. And that's after filtering out the thousands that might once have dreamed about that seat but never make it as far as an application for the audition.

June 6, 2023, 11:31 PM · If her art is that good, perhaps she should consider majoring in it as her future day job, and either minoring in music, or taking lessons as an elective in college. She can do Suzuki training in the summers. A day job in one passion and weekend teaching in the other is not a bad life.

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