Music as a Gateway to College

Perhaps you love the thrill of being on stage, the drama of that perfect intense song or just the thrill of being able to master a complicated set of notes. Yet you will have many guidance counselors tell you that music does not look as impressive to colleges, as say, AP Calculus. That may be true, but there are still many positive qualities colleges look for in applicants that can be learned in music programs. You can accent these on your college application or entrance essay. In many ways, music is more than your passion: it’s your ticket into college.

Leadership

Do your best to work towards being first chair if you are in an instrument ensemble. Many music teachers count on the first chair to carry the section and tutor others in that section. This will show you can lead a whole section and help other students become better at their own music.

If this cannot be done, try starting your own quartet or ensemble. This is something to put on an application to say you had the leadership skills to start up something and see it to completion.

Diligence

It takes a lot of work to become progressively better at your music. You can highlight your time working your way to progressively harder pieces. Make sure you enter music contests as well. Winning high awards shows your persistence in mastering a difficult song.

Confidence

Playing music in front of a large crowd is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of guts to get up in front of hundreds of people and still play like you did back in your room. There is that fear that you will screw up. It’s easy to be afraid that every single person in the audience showed up specifically to judge you. And if your audience is a contest judge, that critical eye is a very true reality. So let the bold side of you shine, because you earned it.

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