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Old 10-09-2006, 07:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
Best Musical College United States?

I have a friend that's looking to study Piano in College, and she didn't know what college suited her best. If anyone could share with me excellent Colleges for the study of piano that would be great. I realize there is no best for everyone, but there is a best for individuals. Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-10-2006, 04:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Don't know too much about the U.S. schools, but we hear that the University of Indiana is widely considered to be one of the top schools for classical piano.

I hope the primary source of information for what school your friend should attend is not TFP. She should be consulting with her teacher and other peers, and especially other people who attend the colleges she's looking at.
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Old 10-10-2006, 06:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
Originally Posted by dun_ask
I have a friend that's looking to study Piano in College, and she didn't know what college suited her best. If anyone could share with me excellent Colleges for the study of piano that would be great. I realize there is no best for everyone, but there is a best for individuals. Thanks in advance!
What kind of study? Performance? Jazz? Classical? Contemporary?


If she's studying piano repair Steinway has a 1-year course up in Boston. No need to waste time on frivolous college courses ...
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Old 10-10-2006, 06:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Julliard's good.
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Old 10-10-2006, 06:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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a buddy of my brother's went to the berklee school of music, in boston. - he's a very accomplished piano and guitar player and now does scoring for movies.

I had two friends from high school who were extremely talented go to the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio
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Old 10-14-2006, 12:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I would recommend Berklee as well.
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Old 10-14-2006, 01:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: HRM
Berklee, Juliard these are private schools where the cost of going there is at least 30k for tuision not to mention living in a city like NYC or Boston which are insanely expensive. Unless you are good enough to get your tuision waived I suggest studying at a state school with a high rep.

I study at UNT, University of North Texas which has a very solid reputation in Jazz, Music Education and Performance. Compared to the costs of Berklee for example, your courses on scholarship might run you 3 grand a semester... in a competative school with excellent facilities in an area where there is plenty of work for musicians and easy to get around in if you have a car.

Depending on what you want to major it the school can make a big thing. If it's film scoring or composition then a place like Miami or Berklee are good choices but these again are stupidly expensive. It depends on the priority. I came to UNT because it's one of the best jazz programs in the world and certainly dollar for dollar the best deal in academic music.
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Old 10-14-2006, 01:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: Ellay
Juilliard's tuition is well under 30k and financial aid is very good. The cost of room and board there is also much lower than at schools in other cities. I got 2 degrees there and worked as staff. On the other hand, the acceptance rate is running at around 7%.

Check out Juilliard, Curtis (free), New England Conservatory, Eastman, Peabody, University of Indiana, Rice, Manhattan School of Music, and University of Michigan. Berklee is more oriented towards jazz and pop than the above. UNT has an excellent jazz program - one of the best.
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Old 10-14-2006, 02:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: HRM
Yeah Julliard is sure as hell tough to get into. While Berklee you don't even need to audition anymore (which I think is pretty stupid). They have a huge technology and filmscore thing happening there (so I hear). I have a good friend and excellent pianist who did his undergrad at Berklee and loved it. I have another friend who's finishing his 2nd semester and hates it. That's music school for ya

NEC is also a good school for everything! Also insanely expensive (20kish or it used to be when my teacher went). Eastman I recommend. MsoM i've heard lot of mixed reviews of.
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Old 10-14-2006, 03:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
Location: SoCal
I can only speak for local schools...

Cal State Fullerton and San Diego State both have excellent music programs.

UC San Diego is very cutting-edge and experimental in their music program.
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Old 10-14-2006, 03:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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in general, it's not the case any more that the schools with the biggest reputation are the best places to be. the only upside of the overproduction of phds is that you have good people all over the place--which really means that you should figure out what exactly you want to do (piano is a little vague--you can do lots of things with one..) and figure out what school has the strongest program as a function of that.

there are tons of good programs out there too.
i wouldn't recommend berklee at all, unless you want to do studio musician work in a pop or smooth jazz context or think that fusion is the greatest thing since sliced bread. it is a good place to be for VERY specific kinds of things and not at ALL a good place if you do not want to do one of those.
plus they used to overadmit the first year and then you'd find out after giving them a year's tuition if you really got in or not.
i know alot of people who went there--the better deal seemed to be nec or boston conservatory which would enable you to take advantage of the good stuff at berklee without having to actually go there.

anyway, without knowing more about what you want to do on the piano, it's impossible to say more.
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Old 10-14-2006, 03:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Location: HRM
also suggest to your friend that he/she decides why he/she wants to study music in school. In many cases it's not worth it to invest in a music degree unless you are completely fixated on performance and even then you should just get a degree in something else and study privately on your own.

If however, teaching is the goal then from that point on selecting your schools carefully is a good idea. You don't always have to be in a major city to find a great school. The talent pool is large all over the place, certainly there are some pretty shoddy music programs all over, but then you might find that gem in the middle of nowhere.
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Old 11-04-2006, 11:19 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Location: Texas
check out the university of north texas...they have world renowned jazz bands and drum lines. they are probably cheaper than all the others as well. it's is the great city of denton, texas, which is just north of dallas.

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Old 11-04-2006, 11:41 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Location: Windy City
I have been a piano player for almost 18 years, and a very good point was raised here about the reason behind the degree.

I have a passion for piano - i love just about everything that goes along with it. However, it is my passion because it is not Work. I enjoy performing, but the most intimate moments are between that piano and myself.. in the dark with no one else around.

I am in Rochester where the Eastman Music school is housed - everything I've seen and heard has been excellent - they have a strong support program for their piano initiative, and work hard to make sure you have excellent pianos to train on.

Your friend needs to get the nitty gritty details in order for us to be of further help.
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Old 11-20-2006, 07:04 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Location: Amsterdam, NL
I here tell Julie's Yard is a swell place to be learned that there musical stuff.
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:12 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Location: Yonder
I went to St. Olaf college--a small liberal arts school in southern Minnesota that you've never heard of, with a top-10-in-the-country music department. They're best known for their choral program. Every year the Christmas Concert is broadcast on public TV nationwide, and the St. Olaf Choir is very well-known and respected in choral circles. They also have excellent instrumental performance programs.

I went there intending to be a theory-composition major. I got weeded out in the Freshman weed-out, and graduated with an English Lit BA, which I've never regretted. I'm a lot like amonkie: I don't need any fancy diploma to tell me how much I love playing music.
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Old 11-20-2006, 09:42 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I find it's better to take private lessons from accomplished pianists than to go to a school. While some people are impressed by Juliard, the people that matter will judge you by your playing, and I found that my ability to play improved the most with private tutelage.
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