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Does it really matter where you go to college?

I plan to major in piano and voice performance with a minor in psychology, and then start private music lessons. Does it matter where I go to college, or should I try to get into one that is more prestigious in the realm of music performance? I kind of want to go to a Christian college that is closer to home, but obviously they aren't really known for music performance so I'm just wondering what I should do.

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Kim’s Answer

When it comes to pursuing a career in music performance, the reputation and resources of the college you attend can certainly play a role in your opportunities and connections. Prestigious music schools often have renowned faculty, top-notch facilities, and a network of industry professionals. However, it's important to consider your personal goals and priorities. If going to a Christian college closer to home aligns with your values and provides a supportive environment, that can be a valuable experience too. You can still pursue private music lessons and seek performance opportunities outside of your college. It's ultimately about your dedication, talent, and passion for music that will make the biggest difference in your career. Trust your instincts and choose a path that feels right for you.
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Romir’s Answer

Hey Josiah! The college you choose to attend can indeed shape your future, but it doesn't necessarily mean one choice is superior to the other. Remember, the value you gain from any college largely depends on the effort you put in. If you're driven and self-motivated, you can carve out a successful path for yourself, even at a less traditionally "prestigious" college.

There are, however, certain factors to consider:
1. Networking: Prestigious colleges often provide more opportunities for high-quality networking, which could potentially influence the future prospects for your private music lessons.
2. Quality of Instruction: Generally speaking, more prestigious universities tend to attract more distinguished professors. However, this isn't always the case. It would be beneficial to meet with your potential professors at the Christian college to ensure they can guide you towards your goals.

Remember, there's no absolute right or wrong choice here, but rather two distinct experiences offered by each college. It's entirely up to you to determine what you believe will be most beneficial for your future. Best of luck on your journey!
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Josiah,

Does It Matter Where You Go to College?

Choosing the right college is a significant decision that can have a lasting impact on your future career prospects and personal development. When it comes to pursuing a major in piano and voice performance with a minor in psychology, the choice of college can indeed play a crucial role in shaping your educational experience and opportunities post-graduation.

Reputation and Prestige in Music Performance

Attending a college with a strong reputation in music performance can offer several advantages. Prestigious music programs often have renowned faculty members, state-of-the-art facilities, and connections within the industry that can enhance your learning experience and provide valuable networking opportunities. Additionally, graduating from a well-known music school may carry weight when seeking employment or furthering your education in the field.

Specialized Training and Resources

Colleges that specialize in music performance typically offer specialized training tailored to aspiring musicians. These institutions may provide more focused curriculum, performance opportunities, masterclasses, and access to resources such as recording studios, practice rooms, and performance venues. Choosing a college with a strong emphasis on music performance can help you hone your skills and develop expertise in your chosen field.

Personal Preferences and Goals

While attending a prestigious music school can be advantageous, it is essential to consider your personal preferences and goals when selecting a college. If attending a Christian college closer to home aligns with your values and provides you with the support system you need, it may still be a viable option for pursuing your academic interests. Ultimately, the best college for you will depend on a combination of factors including academic offerings, campus culture, location, financial considerations, and long-term career aspirations.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, while attending a college with a strong reputation in music performance can offer certain advantages, it is important to weigh all factors when making your decision. Consider how each college aligns with your academic goals, personal values, and long-term career plans to determine the best fit for your educational journey.

Top 3 Authoritative Sources Used:

The College Board: The College Board is an authoritative source for information on colleges and universities offering guidance on various aspects of higher education.
National Association of Schools of Music (NASM): NASM provides accreditation for music programs at colleges and universities across the United States.
U.S. News & World Report - Best Colleges Rankings: U.S. News & World Report offers rankings of colleges and universities based on various criteria including program offerings and reputation in specific fields like music performance.

GOD BLESS YOU!
JC.
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Tara’s Answer

Hi Josiah!

In my humble opinion, the prestige of going to a renowned university has lost its luster. Unless you have a desire to work on Broadway, choosing a college is more about trying not to drown in a bunch of student loan debt. Paying for prestige is soooo 2023 :)

Things to keep in mind: How is the music program at the Christian college? Is the program sufficient for your needs? Is the faculty talented and experienced? Do they still perform from time to time? What is the facility like? Are there enough practice rooms? Are there enough opportunities to perform? You can absolutely develop your talent and get a good education at any school as long as they are accredited, have an experienced faculty, and have enough resources for you to succeed.

Choosing where to go to college is a tough decision, but don't worry if you choose to prioritize staying close to home over trying to get into the most prestigious music school. At the end of the day, employers will assess your experience level, and pay less attention to a school listed on your resume.

I hope this helps you to make the decision that is best for you and what you want out of life :)
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! This answer is very helpful!! Josiah
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Charlene’s Answer

I played the clarinet. I went to Public School it was a class in High School. I wanted to be in the arts so kind of way. So, Like you I found that I would not be able to student any thing I wanted until I finished High School that was years ago. I still speak to my teacher from Band rehersal he plays the Sax. I would try to do whatever I want to to as far a an education as you earn credits you will be able to transfer. the private lesson are planned from profitable rewards when in comes to the teacher to in advise you.
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Charlene’s Answer

Yes, I went to college to get the better money but it also was harder for me or people to find a stable atmosphere because I would go to people and not professional.In fact, once I choose private college I gain skills to guarantee I'll have the best than making opportunity to what I taught that what I needed leaving me with remorse for self other than were I knew was best or have understood to be better overall.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the help. Josiah
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Harshit’s Answer

Hey, Hope you are doing well. I have been in this exact situation as you where I had the option to choose from a very prestigious college far from home( and very heavy on my bank balance) and a far less recognized college which was more easily accessible. In my opinion, there are only two key things :

1. If you chose a prestigious college, the networking is far better. The connections you form there have a much higher chance of you landing a career boost. It definitely looks good on a resume although in the field you are in, you'll benefit far more from an active portfolio than your resume.

2. If you chose a less recognized institution, it's far easier to get a head start and reach to the top of the class and get a good placement (if you are looking for one). Also, it's always, always better to live closer to home and focus on the actual artform. Saves you from an incredible amount of psychological and financial stress while being closer to your loved ones.

I also chose to go to a less recognized college. I did put in all my efforts to get as much out of college and used it for my career growth. Right now, I am still in my last semester of Bachelors with around 5 years of "professional" experience and am a Senior Sound Engineer at Pocket FM.

I hope this helps. I hope whatever decision you make, works in your favor. We all need a little luck for a good career so, Good luck!

Regards,
HK
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much, Harshit! Josiah
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Richard’s Answer

Hello Josiah,

Allow me to start by expressing my admiration for your decision to further your education in a field you're passionate about. It's a path that I find truly inspiring and somewhat enviable. It's worth noting that while it's not a necessity to earn your degree from a top-tier university for your chosen major, such an opportunity can open doors to meeting influential figures and establishing valuable connections that might not be as accessible at less prominent institutions.

However, the crux of deciding where to pursue your higher education should be based on which institution best aligns with your needs and can equip you with the essential tools for your success. The significance of being in an environment that resonates with you cannot be overstated. It could be the determining factor between accomplishing your aspirations and experiencing lifelong regrets.

I would recommend that you thoroughly investigate all possible options, carefully evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of each. Ultimately, the choice should be guided by where you feel you would flourish the most in your pursuit of your dreams.
Thank you comment icon I appreciate your support, Richard Josiah
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Jessica’s Answer

Hello, my suggestion is that you make a list of what you like and don't like then compare colleges that best fit your need . Look into local or for out of state colleges you would need to look at demographics, areas of interest to live, and the cost to maintain a household. Locally I'm sure that you would be familiar with this gs. Good luck !!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Josiah
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Josiah !
I am happy to give you some advice but would like to first say that I support your plan for your education wholeheartedly ! You have chosen an appropriate major and minor and you will see that the school you chose will have accredited, professional professors. I agree with Advisor Tara here. You already have a plan, and in my opinion, it is a wonderful one.

As a performer, you will be auditioning and work will be based on your presentation, talent and unique qualities and the rapport you build during an interview. You will indicate your college and your degree on your resume and chances are that no employer or venue will be scrutinizing the school you went to. I went to a University that a very well known (famous and wealthy) top five box office draw actor went to, this actor didn't obtain a degree and this actors' career skyrocketed to super-stardom. In the performing arts, the emphasis is on performance because one doesn't need a degree (although I highly advise getting a degree), so whichever college is a good fit for you will be to your benefit.

What will be evaluated and considered for a career in singing and music would be presentation. Above average interviewing skills help greatly. Your experience in the field would be looked at closely, too. In college, it will be an opportunity to get experience, no matter which college you attend. I have heard of some people from Julliard or Yale being told they are too much in the mold of those schools and directors question their ability to direct/shape them for how they want them to be for their projects. Although it is an accomplishment to graduate from a prestigious college, it is truly not an indication of how your career would go. I do know an actor who had a TV series (one of the top ten popular shows of its time) for a very long time who did go to Yale, however, so you never know. But think of the expense and possible student loan debt. It's truly not worth it for a career in the performing arts.

Most of what you will develop and learn in college for your particular career is what you bring to it and how much effort and work you dedicate to it. You should focus on vocal and musical growth, adding to what you already know and can do and getting experience performing in public at the college as well as in the community.

I am wondering what you exactly mean by the school is not known for your career interest and you'd take private lessons - does the school offer a music or voice program at all ? Many colleges are "not known" for music but have great Music Departments. That's okay, but does the college you speak of offer psychology, your other interest ? I pose these questions because, even though you don't need the degree for your career, I looked at a college you've described which is near you and they do not offer music or voice or psychology as a major. I encourage you to ask more questions for additional guidance with this just to be clear, but I do support your plan and do not feel that it would deter your chances of getting work as a singer and musician. There is a difference between theologian colleges and colleges founded by a Christian base, so please ask more specific questions.

Best wishes to you with your academic and career plans !
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Jerome’s Answer

I think for some professions it does. Having the right college name behind your degree can open doors. The quality of your alumni community can be instrumental in your success.

That being said, having a degree can be better than no degree and you can network independently of the school you go to.
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Will’s Answer

Hi Josiah - great question! I majored in music performance at a large public university, and while I did not pursue a career in music, I have several friends who have become full-time educators and performers.

Short answer is yes the college you attend does have an impact on your career prospects after graduating, however there are always exceptions. I would do some research and see if the colleges you are considering offer degrees in music and have a dedicated music department/faculty/staff. Most program websites also summarize what types of ensembles and performance opportunities exist for students. I would also encourage you to seek a school that offers a music education degree, which is separate from performance (depending on the school).

Larger schools typically have more resources available to students and can offer a broader network of opportunities. This is relevant if your goal is to teach private lessons, as a larger network makes it easier to find prospective students and referrals. When looking for a private instructor, parents and teachers often research who is available in their area and look at their credentials/experiences. Local elementary, middle, and high school programs may also partner with universities that they have a good relationship with.

If the smaller Christian college close to home has the resources necessary for you to really develop your skills and flourish, then that sounds like a great option. You can also reach out to professors/students at the university and get their thoughts on musician career prospects and placements after graduating. A friend of mine attended a less "prestigious" school that began offering a music degree for the very first time, and he is now a professional french horn player in a symphony orchestra. At the end of the day it's up to you to make the most of the situation you're in.

Good luck!
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