Answers for Parents

Benefits of Playing in a Youth Orchestra

Playing music in a youth orchestra offers a host of opportunities, from performing to meeting peers who are equally as passionate about music, to preparing for auditions.

A Boarding Arts High School for Music?

Should you consider attending a boarding arts high school for music? If you don’t have a strong music program at your high school or access to an arts high school in your hometown...

Your Child Wants to Major in Music: What Do You Say?

For many parents, myself included, it’s one thing to hear your middle-school-aged child say he or she wants to major in music in college — and a whole different ballgame when they talk about it as a junior or senior in high school.

Ranking Music Schools

Ranking music schools is a disservice to students who must do the important personal exploration necessary for finding the right fit school to call "home" for the next few years.

3 Tips for Parents of Music Students Who Weren’t Accepted

Parents of music students who weren't accepted by their schools of choice have been contacting us. Most have needed an objective ear to listen to their stories and help them overcome their own sense of sadness and even loss around this. Others needed to vent their feelings about their offspring not getting what they wanted and felt they deserved.

What If You’re Not a Musical Prodigy?

Some students (and parents) assume that if you're not a musical prodigy, you should major in something other than music. Nothing can be farther from the truth! In fact, there are actually benefits to not being a prodigy, so long as you're someone who feels compelled to pursue music.

Music as an Employable Major

So, is music really an employable major? These days, every major in music seems to require some kind of business and communications savvy: the ability to fundraise; the ability to use social media and stay on top of its rapid-fire changes; the ability to promote yourself and your ideas; the ability to communicate well with a broad range of people, from business owners and funders to audiences, parents, students and fellow musicians (depending on your area of emphasis); the ability to keep your books and pay your taxes if you are self-employed; the ability to advocate for your particular emphasis in music. Sometimes these skills are associated with the label "entrepreneurship." But regardless of what you call them and regardless of what aspect of music you major in, you will need them to be viable in your field in the 21st century.

Response to a Worried Parent of a Music Major

A worried parent of a music major confided in me that the four years her daughter had spent as a music major might have been put to better use. The daughter, who had joined the Peace Corps after graduation, discovered an interest in public health, and wanted to pursue a master’s degree in that field.

Does Your Student Want to Major in Popular Music?

How would I feel if my student or son or daughter wanted to major in popular music in college? I found myself asking this question at the 2nd Annual Conference of the Association for Popular Music Education (APME) held in Nashville, Tennessee in June, 2012.

Answers to Questions about Your Music Student

When my son was considering schools to apply to for music, he quickly found that research on the internet and on schools' websites brought up far more questions than he had before he started. He realized that he needed to talk directly to admission folks to find answers.

Paying for Music School: Ideas for Cutting Costs

It's important to find out the cost of attendance at every school you plan to apply to without limiting yourself to the numbers right off the bat. There's still time to consider scholarships, merit awards, FAFSA, part-time jobs, loans, and miracles!