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 Not the usual parent question
Author: JJAlbrecht 
Date:   2009-02-12 13:56

Ok.... maybe at least a few of you have been in a similar situation, so I am trolling for opinions and advice. First a little background:

My daughter is graduating from high school this year, and wants to major in clarinet performance (she will make it a double, along with a second field to make her somewhat more employable). She has applied to three excellent schools at universities within the state, and has auditions over the next month or so. I don't really want to name the schools, so I'll just call them A, B and C. All are well-regarded in their clarinet programs, and her instructor, a well-respected symphony clarinetist, approves of all three.

College A: A very well respected academic institution, with a great music program. They have not yet admitted her to the university, as they lost the first two sets of her high school records, which seems to be comon at this place. They have been quite accommodating at the music school, as far as setting up an audition. She was supposed to go two weeks ago, but had two disasters come up that required her to reschedule: a severe sore throat accompanied by her dropping her good clarinet and bending several keys to make it unplayable for the scheduled audition. She will be doing the audition this Friday. She has had a lesson with one of the possible professors. They will have three openings in his studio, plus several in another studio, but have not finalized who the second professor will be.

College B: Another very good (and very large) state university, this one also has a well-respected program. They have recently lost a well-regarded clarinet professor, but the current professor is also well-respected. My daughter has tried to contact this professor several times for more information, and also to set up a lesson, but has never received a reply. She auditions there a week from Friday. My wife is an alium of this school's business college, which may make possible some scholarship money.

College C: A smaller state university, also with a well-regarded program. She has worked previously with the clarinet professor there, and they have an excellent relationship. She has been admitted to the university, invited into their Honors program, and has completed the first round of academic scholarship competitions there. THis gives her a $3K scholarship automatically. If she gets called back, they guarantee another $3K, plus 50 % of the kids called back end up with $40,000 of scholarships for their four years. I believe she would also stand an excellent chance of getting some music scholarship at this institution.

She has the grades and skills to succeed at any of the schools. She is a top-notch high-school musician and a member of NHS, has taken numerous honoors and AP classes in high shcool, and has a GPA above 3.9. SHe is the principal clarinetist and E-flat player in one of the two youth symphonies in the area.

My desire is for her to attend college C, and here is my reasoning. College A is excellent, but it's still a crapshoot who her instructor will be. She is leaning to this college, for its prestige, ans also because her boyfriend (who will also double in music composition and engineering) has been accepted to the university's engineering school. College B has shown no real interest in her, and so far is a distant third in both of our views. College C is high on her list, but boyfriend has not applied there. Still I feel this would be the best place for her: a smaller school where she is more than a number, and where a fair number of folks at the music school already know her. Colleges C and A are only two hours apart, so she could still see her boyfriend, just not every day in classes.

Another member of our concert band has injected himself into this, and is urging her to pick A or B, and to eschew C, because he feels there will e fewer opportunities for her at C. He is an excellent musician (alto sax) and has been through the same thing. His daughter is a gifted flute player, now finishing her master's degree.

So, for those of you who are still awake and reading this, what would you suggest? I don't want to force her hand, but my wife and I will be writing the checks for any amount not covered by scholarships. That is a significant consideration, and we have explained to her that the less we spend on undergrad, the more we will have available for grad school programs.



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 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: Katrina 
Date:   2009-02-12 14:23

C C C C C!!!

Boyfriends come and go, although that is certainly something she won't want to hear!

Money should be more important than prestige in this instance.

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 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: Ryan25 
Date:   2009-02-12 14:31

I would say School A simply because part of what makes college great is putting yourself in an environment that is unfamiliar. If she is too comfortable at school C because she already knows the instructor and others in the program, it might lead to her taking the experience for granted and or not getting an experience that she could get at a different institution. Smaller schools tend to have less opportunities or if you are good, you get all the opportunities and have a false sense of self.

I think there is also something to be said for going to a bigger college vs a smaller one. Again, I think it has to do with the type of experience one can get at a small school vs a big school. There is nothing wrong with small schools. For me personally, being a big fish in a small pond (my high school and hometown), the best thing for me was to be thrown into an ocean. I'm not trying to imply that your daughter has a big head. I did, and it got squashed in about 2 weeks when I started undergrad. I think being at a big university also prepared me for the competitive nature of life after college. I've always felt that the less people you are around, the more limited your perspective is about your competition in any job field.

Peer pressure can be negative and destructive. It can also be the best motivator available. I would avoid School B simply because they have ignored your interest and the money you will be spending on the program. That always raises a red flag when a prospective student can't get in touch with the teacher.

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 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2009-02-12 14:42

Hi Jeff,

(Caveat, I don't even have my first kid yet. But I have helped many of my students with college advice, so feel free to ignore me if you'd like).

I went the C option and can recognize many of it's benefits. Looking back I'm curious about the A option, but wouldn't change my path...I get paid to teach and perform full time.

The fellow concert band member obviously doesn't feel as successful with C, and has weighed in. Obviously again, you're opinion in the matter is more important and influential with your daughter. It is good for her to have heard a dissenting opinion, no matter if it was invited or not, in the selection process.

One question for you that is not represented in your post: How accommodating are either A or C's music (and other major) program to double majors? Some schools/programs SAY they are accommodating but will give you daughter trial after trial to complete the two programs, often coming to contradictory advice as to which requirement must be completed when. Other schools are actually disposed to double majors that seem at odds, and will help the student achieve their goal.

I recall a friend of mine from undergrad who was able to complete a five year professional architecture program and her music major in five years at a major VA school.

Perhaps you could contact both music departments (if you haven't already) and ask for a list of double majors that are occurring in their department? Perhaps you can find some undergrads to talk to that will "make or break" either school.

In agreement above: with the two schools two hours apart the boyfriend should not be a consideration in any way, shape, or form. No offense to him!


Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: reprise 
Date:   2009-02-12 14:53

I'd also take into account the size of the city/town that each school is in. I went to schools in smaller towns, and while I had a good experience, there were very few opportunities for freelance work. People I know who went to schools in large cities had much better chances for getting professional gigs --- whether they be subbing in a smaller symphony, playing receptions with their chamber groups, or doing pit work. These opportunities are important too -- both for the experience of taking professional jobs, as well as for the connections she would make and the reputation she would begin to establish for herself.

Also, I might push her teacher a bit more for opinions -- although you say he approves of all three schools, it's possible he has more detailed opinions or even a first choice himself.

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 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: Nessie1 
Date:   2009-02-12 16:21

I think college C sounds as if they really want her and I see nothing wrong with her going to a professor that she knows and likes already. In terms of the boyfriend, if it's a relationship that's meant to be then a few years seeing less of each other won't stop them staying together in the long term and, in the meantime, it will probably help them both to decide what they really want and won't do their results any harm either.

I remember one of my fellow students. We were reading French (at a UK university) which meant that we had to spend a year abroad as part of our course. She had a boyfriend she had met at college (who wasn't reading a language) and went through a lot of heartsearching about whether it was worth staying in touch while she was away. Well, they're still married 25 years later!


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 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: weberfan 
Date:   2009-02-12 16:41

Good questions, and actually a nice dilemma to be in.
A question for you: What are the chances of serious scholarship aid from College A?
I sent two children to expensive private colleges, which were great for each of them. I don't regret it, though the cost has been --and continues to be--onerous. I wanted the best for them.
From what you've written, I'll surmise that your intelligent and highly motivated daughter will be more challenged by the company she keeps at College A. That's a strong reason to consider it, as long as the music program works for her.
Will she find the same atmosphere, the same social and intellectual climate, at College C? Perhaps good music departments sustain that kind of atmosphere. In which case, the current economy would weight heavily in favor of C.
In my view, the boyfriend isn't part of the discussion. And I will gladly cede to you the task of conveying that view, should it become necessary.
All good wishes on your/her quest. In the end, if the program she's seeking is right for her, she'll be fine wherever she goes. I can say that from experience.


Post Edited (2009-02-12 16:42)

Reply To Message
 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: Bluesparkle 
Date:   2009-02-12 17:03

I followed a boyfriend to school, but there are so many changes in the lives of young adults, that it just didn't work out (praise be). Met my husband at the same school, though so I never regretted my school choice decision. Ask her if her boyfriend decided to go to College D, then would she still be pursuing a letter of admittance from A?

In the long run, choose the school that will provide her with the very best education and opportunities upon graduation. When she begins to audition for her first "real" job, it will be more about how she performs than whether or not she got along with her college instructor. My husband is a professional musician, and I can say by watching his career that it is also some about WHO you know rather than WHAT you know. Which school can help her launch her professional career the best?

As a parent, however, scholarship money is significant...maybe even the deciding factor. If she can get an EQUAL education and career boost from C as she can from A, and if you need the financial assistance that you can get from C, then that's a no-brainer.

She can't see past the boyfriend thing, I know. Neither could I.

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 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: jsc 
Date:   2009-02-12 17:45

Find out what you can about the teachers and playing opportunities. I went to a school where the teacher was highly recommended and whom I enjoyed my lessons with. I didn't even know the school existed before I applied but was very glad I attended there. And in some situations, big and small schools, you can make your own opportunities. I've got students at various universities and colleges that started their own chamber groups whether they are music majors or not.

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 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: sdr 
Date:   2009-02-12 18:37

Harry S. Truman said, "The best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and advise them to do it."


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 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2009-02-12 18:45

"The best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and advise them to do it."

I think that that is a wonderful bit of fancy that probably worked ok in Truman's time. But I wouldn't use it as policy now-a-days.

EDIT: I should add that the daughter in this case has already followed "her own advice" a great deal according to Jeff, and with his blessing. Still doesn't address the issue above.


Gnothi Seauton

Post Edited (2009-02-12 18:48)

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 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: EEBaum 
Date:   2009-02-12 19:45

Assuming all the schools have reputable programs in music and in some other areas she might be interested in, I'd look at other things...

First, look at the atmosphere. Visit the place, walk around, talk with some people, and figure out if you'd be comfortable there. I'm on my second round of grad school apps now, largely because in my first round I wasn't taking that into account. I discovered that, for me, it's most important that I go to a department that is focused on an open atmosphere of music and creativity first, rather than reputation. If the department has good people, the reputation will follow. There are some places, though, where reputation seems to be the top priority, and while it often leads to a good department as well, it can provide a somewhat burdened atmosphere, where people do things a certain way because they feel expected to do so.

I also look for where you find the musicians... are they out and about and sociable, or holed up in their practice rooms, too concerned with what they're practicing to give you the time of day?

So that became the top priority for me, and right now I'm waiting for responses from places that, in my impression, have a reputation that comes from having good people, rather than having good people as a result of wanting a reputation.

Another factor, as others have suggested, is finances. I lived with my parents throughout undergrad and they paid my way. Being debt-free after graduation is a HUGE bonus, especially for musician-types who are quite likely to not pull a big salary just after graduation.

I'd wait to see what the exact offers are from A, B, and C, and further weigh it then. In any case, not having actually been to the places makes it impossible for me, by my criteria, to offer much of a comparison.

IMHO, skip the honors programs. It might make sense to some in high school (though I bailed on it after two years even then), but in college I'd much rather take a few extra random courses I'm really interested in than spend a bunch of extra effort in some invented "ooh, look at the smart people" scheme. It's college. You're all, supposedly, the smart people.


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 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: EEBaum 
Date:   2009-02-12 19:55

Tobin wrote:


"The best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and advise them to do it."

I think that that is a wonderful bit of fancy that probably worked ok in Truman's time. But I wouldn't use it as policy now-a-days.


I think it's still a good policy, but that it could be worded better. Perhaps something along the lines of "Look around at the things you're not doing, and see if you might like to do them more than what you're doing now."

I know lots of people that will follow through on a career path simply because they stumbled upon it years ago, then years later find out that there's something that they probably would have liked even more, but it just never occurred to them to try because they were so busy with their first semi-random choice.

I've stumbled upon a lot of paths (the music major was quite unplanned), and still lament that I haven't given linguistics a try.

My advice: Look around you!


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 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: Ralph Katz 
Date:   2009-02-12 21:34

I think stories can be good teachers, so bear with me.

My kids are going through this, albeit not in music.

Kid 1 is doing great at school C. We are amazed at how resourceful and focused she has become. The Honors program is making a lot of things easy for her, out there in the sticks. She couldn't afford the school with the best attitude, and her choice was 2nd best in that category, but still no slouch. There is no snobbery, no elitism, no crowing. Their attitude is "here's the path you need to take, and this is how we will help." A sophomore, a couple of Professors have asked her over to dinner (!!). Wish I had gone there.

Kid 2 is thinking of blowing off her school C and we are trying to keep this from happening as it is an excellent school, albeit a long, long drive away. She was admitted to 5 schools and deferred at School A. Not completely happy with her admissions, she applied to three more schools whose tuitions are totally outside our budget. She is looking at scholarships, but is emotionally far from a decision. News at 11.

My niece grew up in a small town and started at state mega-school E. After a year, she transferred to a much smaller state school and is doing very well there. A theater major, she actually gets to act a lot now. She is rubbing shoulders with talent and experience, and it is a great thing for her.

I went to state mega-school F, and it was not a good thing. 40 years later, it is easy for me to see how adversarial relationships, elitism, and all that other stuff clouded my decisionmaking process and effected the rest of my life. I did spend a lot of time running with the herd, lowing, consuming grassland and raising clouds of dust. Their placement office sucked in my discipline, but then the training I got was not very appropriate either. This was not a happy legacy to have to break out of.

My brother also went to state mega-school F. Hated engineering school, but was stuck there for a year. Transferred to art school, but a sage TA told him "Get out, you'll die here." Shocking stuff, huh? The TA provided a short-list of transfers schools, which was really incredible. The out-of-state private school lead to an MFA and a teaching career at the university level.

My wife transferred from a community college to music school at an outstate university and it is easy to see how the small size, accessibility of her teachers, and performance opportunities have led her into a successful teaching career.

These are just stories though. It will be very, very important for your daughter to feel comfortable, and not have to be continuously competing for basic services. The bottom line is that this will have to feel like her own decision. Without carping on what you really feel, the best thing you can do is try to help her to sort out actual goals. Try to get past the prestige thing, and into the level of training, accessibility of help, the raw mechanics of university living, and the ending debt-load. What really makes the most sense?

Good Luck!

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 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: NBeaty 
Date:   2009-02-12 22:11

I'm from Texas, and am very curious as to which schools these are!

Following a significant other from high school to college is something that shouldn't be factored in as much as any other factor.

I went to undergraduate school for clarinet performance out in the flat lands of west texas and enjoyed it. It was flat, dusty, snowed a few times a year, and constantly windy.

At the end of the day, for music, the clarinet professor is what should decide where to go. If you don't like who you're studying with, it doesn't matter how NEW the facilities are, how REPUTABLE the school is or how "COOL" the city is.

If you practice and learn as much as you can from your teacher you can get into graduate school much easier than just having a "big name" and "big city" on your resume.

Hope this helps,


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 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: JJAlbrecht 
Date:   2009-02-12 22:23

Thanks to everyone, so far for their thoughtful insights, including those I have received via e-mails!

Just as a point of clarification, we are in the state of Michigan, even though the ISP listing here shows my point of origin as Texas. All three universities are public universities in this state. For the moment, I think I am going to digest everything everyone has said. As many have mentioned, this is her decision in the end, but as a responsible parent, I feel obligated to look out for her best interests. Her mother, of course, feels the same way. Mom used to be a clarinet player, back in high school, too, but now won't even pick up the instrument, because she says she doesn't want to be "ridiculed" by the two of us. It's sort of a shame, as I think we would have been the first family to have three members in the same band, let alone, all in the clarinet section!

As to the boyfriend, our daughter is also aware of our history: my wife and I met first in '75 on a study trip in Europe for students of the German language. For a couple of years after that, we corresponded, but eventuially lost touch with each other. I sent her a note, out of the blue, in 1983. Three years later, after she had finished law school, we got married, and (so far) have lived happily ever after. I think my daughter realizes that the best relationshis will stand the test of separation over time.

I will let you all know the final outcome when the time comes, but for now, I want to thank everyone for the suggestions!


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 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: Mark Charette 2017
Date:   2009-02-12 23:09

I put one son through U of Michigan, double degreed in economics and actuarial science. IMHO - vastly overrated as an undergraduate school, but deserves its graduate reputation. It was of absolutely no help to parents or students who needed the advice of a counselor - essentially figure it out and do it yourself. Excellent education, but, previously as a hiring and firing manager, I saw no real difference at the undergrad level between most schools that had engineering programs.

I put one son through Cleveland Institute of Music. Friendly, though sometimes disorganized staff. Helped the students in any way possible.

I'm putting the last son through (hopefully - waiting for the interview now that he's in his sophomore year at college) the pharmacy program at Ferris State. I'm not easily impressed, but the level of education and involvement with the students by the staff at this smaller school was a real eye-opener. I've dealt mostly with research universities in my career, but I know now that getting a solid undergrad degree at a smaller university is probably a better thing in most cases than that undergrad degree at the "name" university.

Grad degrees are a different ball of wax ...

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 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: Amalton543 
Date:   2009-02-12 23:25

In case this helps, I'm a junior at Grand Valley in Michigan. I couldn't be any happier with my decision to go here. The teacher is amazing, and that is the most important thing when looking at your undergrad school. If we are one of the schools you are looking at feel free to email me and I can give more details.

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 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: Bassie 
Date:   2009-02-13 09:32

A difficult conundrum.

Perhaps I might relate a somewhat similar experience with my own degree (not music, I'm afraid). After interviews, I got an extremely welcome reception from a middle-of-the-road University (what they used to call an 'unconditional offer' in the UK), and a very hard offer from an extremely well-respected University.

I chose the extremely well-respected University, but /only because/:

(1) I liked the atmosphere at interview

(2) It was /really really/ well-respected. I mean, it was the kind of opportunity that would just have been silly to pass up.

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 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2009-02-13 15:41

I just want to add to a statement of mine above, and I will do so briefly so I don't detract from a good conversation:

" 'The best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and advise them to do it.'

I think that that is a wonderful bit of fancy that probably worked ok in Truman's time. But I wouldn't use it as policy now-a-days. [my comments]

I think it's still a good policy, but that it could be worded better. Perhaps something along the lines of "Look around at the things you're not doing, and see if you might like to do them more than what you're doing now.' " [EEbaum's comments]

As with so many things, at the heart of it the idea is good. But in practical application it doesn't work. The overwhelming majority of kids that I teach in the many different situations I have are allowed (by their parents) to do TOO MANY things: They essentially become ok at everything, but not accomplished at anything.

IMHO, James.

Jeff, good luck to your daughter, and I'm certain we'd all like to know which school (alphabetically) that she chooses!

Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: EEBaum 
Date:   2009-02-13 16:20

Tobin wrote:


As with so many things, at the heart of it the idea is good. But in practical application it doesn't work. The overwhelming majority of kids that I teach in the many different situations I have are allowed (by their parents) to do TOO MANY things: They essentially become ok at everything, but not accomplished at anything.


I totally agree. I was more suggesting that people look around for different things to focus on, rather than more things to add. Essentially, to look around as much as they can now to increase the chance that whatever they choose to focus on won't be preempted later on by something they find even more fascinating.

I double-majored in computer science and music composition, and my biggest problem after graduation has been my inability to dedicate the time I want to either of them. It sounded like a great idea at the time, and I don't regret it, but while there's some room to blend both, I've found myself having to choose between one and the other. My computer job has been paying the bills and demands certain hours at the office, so my music has suffered. I plan to flip to a music focus in grad school in the fall, with the computer experience lending support but not being a primary aspiration.

There just aren't enough hours in the day for me to do both.


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 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2009-02-13 16:52

I can commiserate Alex: in between degrees and after my masters I relied on bartending to make bank.

The hardest part was when I was straddling the growing studio/performance responsibilities, and the scariness of quitting the "sure money". I was able to do that over three (four?) years ago, and am enjoying nice stability.

The difference between us: you love computer science, and I like, but don't love, bartending!

I do see your point about trying many things to discover where you want to spend your time. The problem is that many parents today do not help their children to make the decision about where they will do so, instead indulging them in everything.

My initial issue is that the quote, by itself, was a silly thing to add to a good conversation.


Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: EEBaum 
Date:   2009-02-13 20:00

Our situations are more similar than you think... I loveD computer science. Once I really discovered music, I began to lose interest in it, to the point that I have little interest in it now, save for the occasional cool thing I can use it for in music.

What really doomed me in computer science was the slow pace. I left the workforce for two years to finish my undergrad, during which I was mostly in the music department. Every day was different there, always a new take on something, a different rehearsal, a different set of rep for the concert, a different group of people every year, all in the same place. Personalities would change over a matter of months, and someone was always playing something new and exciting. I then got a full-time job at the place I had interned at up until two years before. Everything was the same... same kind of projects, same technology, same people, same arrangement of desks in the office, same arguments about lunch. Great people and work environment, mind you, but just very little change. Even if I went to work for another company, I'm pretty sure it would be a variation on the same. It's been making me slowly crazy for the past couple years, and I'm looking forward to breaking back out.

After hearing a quarter-tone piano duet a friend wrote, there simply was no going back for me. No new Ruby framework, no C# release, no artificial intelligence techniques could ever get me as excited. And, for most of the people I work with, a quarter-tone piano duet could never get them as excited as a Linux server that requires zero configuration.

It can be deceptive in academia. I really liked computer science... for about 6 hours a week. 40 hours a week for months on end? Burned out and lost interest completely. Spending about 60 hours a week on music in academia, though, never had that effect (though the generous summer and winter breaks may have had something to do with that).

It's also a matter of doing something because you're good at it, or because you really like doing it. I sailed through the computer science curriculum, graduated top of my class, etc., but when I finished in lab an hour early, I would just leave lab. No further tinkering, no messing around, whatever. Contrarily, I was instantly put in my place in the music department as a music minor, not even knowing what a sonata was, let alone having played in an orchestra. But every single bit of it was so fascinating that I took every class, every elective, everything that most music majors found mundane or boring (they liked Musicianship 1 about as much as I liked Intro to Java). I came in not terribly good at it, and never dreamed of playing in the school's top ensembles, let alone writing music for international premieres.

So I stuck with it, not to prove something to someone else or to myself, not because I liked the challenge, not to make a career, not to establish a reputation (all things that most music majors want to do in music, and all things that I was setting out to do in computer science), but simply because I really really liked to do it, and was good *enough* at it that it looked like it could go somewhere. And that's why I continue to do it, and the career and reputation seem likely to follow.

I found a field that I'm enthralled enough about that it made my previous field seem inconsequential. That's what I'd encourage people to look for. If you can't find it, maybe you're already there. But do have a look.


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 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: 3dogmom 
Date:   2009-02-15 18:16

I feel compelled to say that those of you who are advising "pushing" children along a certain path are likely to risk alienation and possible blame if things don't work out. I'm a little shocked that so many are fans of that idea.

They need to choose, themselves, the school that feels right for them, cost permitting. If cost does not permit, they can take out student loans which they can pay back if that is their choice. I don't like that idea, but it's one way out of the dilemma.

We visited many, many schools. At some, my daughter was turned off, sometimes by fairly insignificant (to me) things. But if she didn't like it, she didn't like it. My insisting on sending her there would have accomplished only hard feelings.

She's at the school she chose, and doing quite well. She's not a music major, by the way, never was going to be, although she excelled in voice in high school.

To those who argue against letting your children do whatever they want, I must say that wshe and I talk about her future frequently. She's smart enough not to waste her time at a major that's not likely to get her employed, but wants to do something she enjoys and can be successful at. I make suggestions - she listens. You cannot make your child do what you want them to do. Hopefully you have created a bond whereby they listen to your advice, and the advice of others they trust, and then make a decision which is based on their interests and common sense. Not yours, but theirs.


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 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: JJAlbrecht 
Date:   2009-04-16 17:09

An update: Our daughter applied, auditioned and got results from the three schools above.

College A admitted her academically and put her on a waiting list for the music school.

College B Admitted her to both the University and the Music School, no firm scholarship offers, though there had been mention of them. The professor did contact her eventually, and they have worked together well.

College C: Admitted her on the spot at audition time and made a scholarship offer then and there. We received the details in the mail, and while they are not offering a total coverage of the costs, they are the best offer on the table. She has also been admitted to their honors program for music and her other course of study. THe honors program also included an academic scholarship offer.

All three schools had professors my daughter believed she could work with. She has had a private lesson with each of them and concluded that any of the three would be workable.

Since the third school was the most interested in working with her and offering her aid, she has accepted and will be attending there in the fall. Another member of this board attends that school at present, and they know each other from previous ensemble experience.

The schools were (in case you were wondering)
University of Michigan
Michigan State University
Western Michigan University

Thanks again for all the useful advice you all contributed. We let her make this decision on her own, with little parental interference, and we all believe she made the right decision.


“Everyone discovers their own way of destroying themselves, and some people choose the clarinet.” Kalman Opperman, 1919-2010

"A drummer is a musician's best friend."

Post Edited (2009-04-16 23:22)

Reply To Message
 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: ginny 
Date:   2009-04-16 17:31

I trusted my son to make his own choice. He's done rather well, I trust his intellect. He quit the music/math double major, at UC Irvine, which offered a huge scholarship and went for physics. He's been accepted for a PhD at Princeton and Cornell, but will go to Ann Arbor, as they will let him do optics in both the theoretical and applied depts. and he thinks their music program is stronger...

I helped my older son find an appropriate grad school program, but the choice was his.

It sounds like your daughter has made an excellent choice as well.

Reply To Message
 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: clarinetguy 2017
Date:   2009-04-17 00:33

I think your daughter made a great decision. I don't know Bradley Wong personally, but I've heard him play. I have only heard great things about him as a person, performer, and teacher.

Reply To Message
 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: weberfan 
Date:   2009-04-17 00:41

Really great news, and a smart decision all around.

As I said in February, she'll be fine wherever she goes...and what you've outlined sounds superb, both personally and educationally. (not to mention financially.)

Reply To Message
 Re: Not the usual parent question
Author: JJAlbrecht 
Date:   2009-04-17 11:53

College A has also admitted her, but with no scholarship offer. They called yesterday.


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