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Will I look better to college admissions if I learn to play an instrument?

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Katherine’s Answer

Totally agree with Melanie here! If you like to play an instrument personally, then absolutely put it on your college application. But if you don't, then don't force it! What else do you like to do? I was never very good at sports in high school, so I looked to places where I had other interests, like joining clubs. I became a member of the Key Club for volunteering and joined the yearbook staff–two things I was very passionate about that shined through on my college apps.

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Cindie’s Answer

Hi Henry. This is a great question. When you apply for to college, in addition to good grades, application reviewers are looking for an indication that you have additional interests and/or can do more than just work related to being a student. They want their student-body to have some sense of what it means to have "life balance." Given that, if you have an interest in playing a musical instrument, then go for it, but it could also be singing, or languages, or community work, or working. Colleges particularly like to see signs of leadership. For example, if you like math and there's a math club, besides just joining the math club, do you hold a leadership position on the math club? Same for music for that matter. You may play an instrument, but do you have a leadership role in the band or orchestra?

I hope this answer helps you. Good luck in your studies and all that you put your hand to. :)

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Blake’s Answer

Hey Henry,

Anything to differentiate you from other applicants will help!


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Riley’s Answer

Hi Henry, playing an instrument for a long period of time does look good on applications because it shows dedication. However, one of the most important qualities you can showcase is leadership. You can do this by joining any club or organization and staying in it long enough to earn a leadership position, like treasurer or president. If you are particularly interested in music, however, you could also do this by joining your high school's band. If you stay in the band for several years it will show dedication, and it will look even better if you can become an established member.

Riley recommends the following next steps:

Join a club and try to earn a leadership position.

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Melanie’s Answer

Hi Henry!

It could, but it is better to play an instrument for wanting to do it yourself, not to get into college. It is easy to tell when a student Is only doing something for the application rather than personal interest. Passion will take you farther than people-pleasing activities.