Music performance programs can be very vigorous and competitive, and to have the best chance of getting into your first choice school, you need to make some informed decisions.
Most music programs expect that you have been taking lessons privately. Your instructor can be your best resource when creating a list of schools you would like to attend. It is never bad to put a few dream schools on the list, but make sure you have a few safety schools as well. I would recommend a good mix of conservatories, private schools and state schools. The more you can apply to, the greater your chances!
Worried about a new teacher?
If you feel as though no one can quite fill the shoes of your current teacher, find out where they went to college! Most private instructors learn their unique teaching techniques from their professors in college. If their teacher is still a professor at the college, you may even have an easier time getting in!
Make sure you and your teacher spend a good portion of time working on your resume and repertoire list. Take a few masterclasses, plan a recital during your senior year, or go to a summer music camp! Things like this will help add to your resume, and you will have a blast doing it!
Performance or Education?
If you aren’t sure that you want a career in performance, or just don’t want to be restricted to this, consider looking at schools like Ithaca College, which has a wonderful five-year program to double major in music performance and education. You can get the best of both worlds from one of the best music education schools in the country!
Just remember that your teacher is your biggest fan! They want you to succeed, and most will do everything in their power to help you prepare. Listen to everything they say, and trust them! Ask questions whenever possible, and do your own research as well, but remember, your teacher is always right.