Any recent experience with Bard Conservatory or thoughts in general? My daughter is just a HS Sophomore and is very early in her research about where she might want to apply, or whether a dual program is on the table. But I find the online info and references to the program kind of thin compared to a similar school like Oberlin, so looking for recent grads or alumni stories...
My daughter applied to the college, not for music. The place caters to people able and willing to be quite off center. Make sure the culture will be helpful to your daughter.
My son knows a cellist who goes there who really likes it. She definitely is not fully focused on her instrument, though, and does a wide variety of different activities there. I believe that all undergrads have to do 5 years and a double degree.
Violin faculty include-
Matthew, we visited there. (Our daughter is a cellist, a high school senior.) Bard offers a very progressive environment. My overall impression is that Bard would be a great place for an introverted or even withdrawn person without much vocational motivation to find some kind of career direction and come out of their shell. Many of the "pillars" of their program seemed designed specifically for that ulterior purpose. And, that's a reasonable niche to have, but it's not what our daughter needs. One thing we learned on the tour is that Bard's music degree is a five year program because you have to take a regular degree program with it -- this information came straight from the director of admissions during Q&A. The same is not true of Oberlin.
Thanks, Paul and Susan.
We are at Oberlin this weekend moving our daughter in. Really good school for double degrees. Sibbi Bernhardsson I hear is an excellent violin teacher and chamber music coach; same with Kirsten Docter for viola. If your daughter does not want double degrees and wants to focus entirely on music then your preferences might change. Several schools talk the talk about double degrees but very few walk the walk as well as Oberlin does. (Look at Northwestern too.)
I second the recommendation for Sibbi!
The cello professor at Oberlin, Dmitry Kouzov, is also known as a chamber musician and coach.
My daughter's teacher is Kouzov; she really likes the vibe in his studio and thought his teaching style will work well for her. Was able to work with the faculty there in a campus visit, through her summer program, and through her teacher's organization. Paul if you'd like more info send me an email, and I can also introduce my daughter to yours if she is considering Oberlin.
Stan you're saying she did that stuff after she was enrolled? Or before? So far we've done one trial lesson. Mr. Kouzov was not available during the summer, as one might expect.
Buri you're entirely right. So far I think everything we've discussed openly has been positive. I'm certainly very positive about Oberlin! There is a pro chamber violinist in my town who has performed quite a bit with both Bernhardsson and Kouzov and thinks the world of both.
Buri, I would be in favor of a situation where personal experience about applications and auditions for conservatory is shared so freely that there's no longer anything special about it. Instead the situation for many of us is just the opposite -- a feeling approaching paralysis, like being in the middle of blindfold chess game where any small mistake might spell disaster.
Totally agree. If musicians can’t lend a hand to other musicians then what’s the point of it all?
I am very grateful for this site, and the contributions of parents like Susan, Paul, and Stan. For non-musician parents, Paul's description of parenting an aspiring classical player as negotiating a blindfolded chess game is apt.