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Music Resume for University Admissions


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#1 lewelma

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 08:58 PM

Can someone please walk me through this.  I have seen a bunch of examples on line, but they don't seem to be what these universities wants.  DS plans to major in mathematics, but a number of universities he is applying to recommend that he turn in a music portfolio that includes a recording, recommendation, and music resume to show his breadth.  He will be earning the DipABRSM this month (tertiary diploma in music). However, he will NOT major in music in university. 

 

DS is quite accomplished, but I am not sure how to highlight this on a music resume.  He has had 12-15 public performances each year during high school, and his tutors/coaches are top in NZ in classical music.  Not sure how to describe his awards, not sure how to describe his qualifications, not sure how to highlight his leadership roll in the chamber string orchestra (first violin), not sure whether to list his public performances for the last year.  The school does want some recent repertoire listed.  How does this all fit together?

 

Thanks,

Ruth in NZ 


Edited by lewelma, 18 October 2017 - 08:59 PM.


#2 Heigh Ho

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 06:26 AM

All of it together describes his level of accomplishment.  My son did not list everything or present a recording since he wasn't applying to Ivy League; he listed his top ensembles and their directors, his chairs, his solo rating, his solo repertoire, the person he studied with and how long, and his volunteer activities.  First chair speaks for itself to a qualified reader; no need to describe further unless he's gone above and beyond the usual duties. Performances with paying general public audiences should be listed. 


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#3 GoodGrief

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 01:13 PM

Follow the instructions given by the university closely, as far as the recording length, format, and content. As far as the music resume, don't get too lengthy there. List his most notable accomplishments and activities. Since he is not applying as a music major, this is just presenting another side of him, so it's not a "make or break" aspect of his application.


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#4 lewelma

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 01:29 PM

Thanks guys. So I've put "coached by" for quartet, is that the right terminology? And the chamber sting orchestra, what is that guy called? Is he a conductor? He leads the practices and stands on stage conducting. What is a solo rating?

As for performances, his quartet plays in a small cathedral a couple of times a year, so I'll put that down, but the solo performances at the retirement home don't go down?

Do you just list "recent repertoire" in a section? Right now I have it with the performances by date (with location)

I'll be super careful on the recording. Fortunately or unfortunately his performance is one day before the application is due.

Ruth in NZ

#5 amy58103

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 02:14 PM

Do the universities provide specific guidelines?  How do you know the samples you’ve seen are not what they want?  (Just asking so we have a better understanding of the dilemma.)

 

Not an expert, but I suggest something organized with these headings:

 

Music Education:  list (with dates) his private instructors and mention if they are members of prominent ensembles or faculty at notable music schools.  If he attended any notable music camps, you might want to also list those here (they are popular in the US, don’t know if you have them in NZ)  Example:

 

Jan 2015 – Present          Small Ensemble Instruction with John Doe (NZ National Conservatory Faculty)

Jan 2014 – Present          Private Violin Instruction with Jane Doe (2nd chair NZ National Orchestra)

Jan 2012 – Jan 2014         Private Violin Instruction with John Doe (NZ National Conservatory Faculty)

 

Honors/Awards:  list (with dates) any competitions he might have won; performance in master classes; and his ABRSM exams (in the US, the DipABRSM will be viewed more as an award than an actual “education diploma”).  Example:

 

March 2014         Winner, Young Person’s Concerto Competition, NZ National Orchestra

April 2015            ABRSM Grade 5 Music Theory Exam, Passed with Merit

May 2016             ABRSM Grade 8 Violin Performance Exam, Passed with Distinction

 

Performance Experience:  list (with dates) any ensembles he performed with, along with seating assignment.  I would only list a specific performance if he was a guest soloist.

 

Jan 2016 – Present          NZ University String Ensemble, Violin, First Chair (4 concerts per year)

March 2014                         Beethoven’s Concerto in D Major Op. 61, with NZ National Orchestra

Jan 2013 – Present          Guest Performer at Lucky Retirement Home (3-4 recitals per year)

 

Recent Repertoire:  List the most impressive stuff he’s done over the past 3-4 years.  Consider putting this on a separate page and group it with headings ... etude/method books (only list intermediate/advanced things), concertos, orchestral works, chamber music, etc.  


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#6 lewelma

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 04:28 PM

The samples I've seen seem to all be for professional musicians or for kids applying to a music school/conservatory, rather than as a supplement to show breadth in an application.  So I was listing teachers and their credentials and ds's repertoire because the school asked for that specifically, but none of the online resumes I saw had anything like that.  No big deal, but just trying to get a feel for how much detail to put in within different sections. 

 

So 6 out of the 7 schools ds is applying to suggested adding the music portfolio.  The first one we are doing asks for two 5-minute pieces of different styles, a music resume, and a letter of recommendation from music teacher.  This is just a supplement to his application, but seems pretty detailed for a supplement, and we have to pay a bit extra for someone to look at it. DS has the credentials to actually get into a good music school, (he's been taught for six years by the Associate Concertmaster of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and he got a distinction on ABRSM grade 8 in 10th grade), so it is nice to highlight that he has breadth besides his math.  I think that this is a great addition to his application, I just didn't realize that I had to do it and I am pulling it together at the last minute so it is giving me a bit of stress. Your detailed examples are wonderful.  Thanks so much for taking the time to type it out.  I'll compare it to what I have written, make some changes, and ask a few more questions later today.  

 

 



#7 GoodGrief

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 01:18 AM

This will be a wonderful addition to his application. My daughter did the arts supplement to two schools, and I do think it helped, though I'm not sure she is nearly as accomplished as your young man! But don't stress too much about this. Get a decent recording that corresponds strictly to the university guidelines and make sure the rest of the resume is precisely what they ask for. Ask your son to clarify any technical terminology.



#8 lewelma

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 02:05 AM

I've rewritten it in your simpler format and it looks great. DH is coming to the recital with a second camera and we hope to get a good recording. This will be the dress rehearsal for the dipabrsm. So high-level stuff. Crossing fingers that nothing goes wrong!! Thanks for your advice!!

Edited by lewelma, 20 October 2017 - 02:08 AM.

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#9 Heigh Ho

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 06:33 AM

I've rewritten it in your simpler format and it looks great. DH is coming to the recital with a second camera and we hope to get a good recording. This will be the dress rehearsal for the dipabrsm. So high-level stuff. Crossing fingers that nothing goes wrong!! Thanks for your advice!!

 

If the ensemble has arranged to record, they may be willing to give you a copy. That may give you a higher quality recording. Do double check the recording requirements.
 



#10 OnMyOwn

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 09:10 AM

The samples I've seen seem to all be for professional musicians or for kids applying to a music school/conservatory, rather than as a supplement to show breadth in an application. So I was listing teachers and their credentials and ds's repertoire because the school asked for that specifically, but none of the online resumes I saw had anything like that. No big deal, but just trying to get a feel for how much detail to put in within different sections.

So 6 out of the 7 schools ds is applying to suggested adding the music portfolio. The first one we are doing asks for two 5-minute pieces of different styles, a music resume, and a letter of recommendation from music teacher. This is just a supplement to his application, but seems pretty detailed for a supplement, and we have to pay a bit extra for someone to look at it. DS has the credentials to actually get into a good music school, (he's been taught for six years by the Associate Concertmaster of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and he got a distinction on ABRSM grade 8 in 10th grade), so it is nice to highlight that he has breadth besides his math. I think that this is a great addition to his application, I just didn't realize that I had to do it and I am pulling it together at the last minute so it is giving me a bit of stress. Your detailed examples are wonderful. Thanks so much for taking the time to type it out. I'll compare it to what I have written, make some changes, and ask a few more questions later today.


I'm getting excited to hear about where your ds gets accepted. He sounds like an exceptional young man.

#11 mathnerd

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 11:01 AM

I have heard that most elite schools ask for Solo recordings for the Arts Supplement. If your son is a featured performer in the Orchestra, then that should be fine. Otherwise, please consider including a solo recording as well. Your son is very accomplished and I wish you all a smooth college admissions experience.

 

PS: the supplements that I have seen contained the following - 

1. list of 5 major repertoire pieces the student has worked on listed by date. They show progressively increasing complexity in the pieces over a few years.

2. recommendation letter from the instructor (if the instructor is well known or highly accomplished, then, the university will automatically know that the level of instruction meets certain standards)

3. 2 Solo works (violinist) recorded with an accompanist (pianist) in the instructor's studio. The camera was focused on the soloist with the accompanist in the background.

4. List of recent ensemble performances, awards, tests taken, competitions, summer camps and masterclasses.


Edited by mathnerd, 20 October 2017 - 11:09 AM.


#12 lewelma

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 01:42 PM

His recital is solo with piano accompaniment, audience if about 50. Glad you mentioned that it could be done in a studio. All his NZ assessments had to be live performances so I was just thinking along that line. I'll talk to the accompanist.

His teacher will do the letter of recommendation, his credentials will speak to the level of instruction.

How do I list a 30 hour weekend of masterclasses with the NZ String Quartet members instructing? (There is only one NZSQ and is considered the top quartet in the country, two members also coach ds's quartet year round)

As for repertoire, I listed what he played this past year for solo violin, quartet, and chamber string orchestra. So four to six pieces each group. I have not gone back in time. I did not list dates just said "recent repertoire". Is this ok?

#13 mathnerd

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 03:02 PM

His recital is solo with piano accompaniment, audience if about 50. Glad you mentioned that it could be done in a studio. All his NZ assessments had to be live performances so I was just thinking along that line. I'll talk to the accompanist.

His teacher will do the letter of recommendation, his credentials will speak to the level of instruction.

How do I list a 30 hour weekend of masterclasses with the NZ String Quartet members instructing? (There is only one NZSQ and is considered the top quartet in the country, two members also coach ds's quartet year round)

As for repertoire, I listed what he played this past year for solo violin, quartet, and chamber string orchestra. So four to six pieces each group. I have not gone back in time. I did not list dates just said "recent repertoire". Is this ok?

If he is performing solo and if you have a clear recording of it, that should suffice. The recording is much clearer and the camera is more closer in a studio recording, which might be why it is preferred by many applicants in the US.

 

The letter of recommendation seems to be taken care of by his teacher. So, nothing to worry about there.

 

You can make a separate category in his music resume like this: 

Special classes and coaching attended:

Masterclasses: Played in X number of Masterclasses (for 30 hours) conducted by NZSQ

String Quartet Coaching: Coached year around from January 2016 by Mr. XYZ (Music Director of NZ Music Association Orchestra ....) , Prof. ABC (Concertmaster, Chamber Music Society of NZ ...)

 

For repertoire listed: most people add a timeline to show the music faculty that they have improved over time and are not stuck at the same level for the past 5 years. In your son's case, his repertoire should speak for him, and it sounds fine.

 

Also, include a section called Volunteering and add his time spent at the retirement home. If he has taught other kids, add that also.

 

Good luck.


Edited by mathnerd, 20 October 2017 - 03:03 PM.


#14 GoodGrief

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 11:21 PM

His recital is solo with piano accompaniment, audience if about 50. Glad you mentioned that it could be done in a studio. All his NZ assessments had to be live performances so I was just thinking along that line. I'll talk to the accompanist.

 

 

Yes, all of my daughter's submissions were done in a studio. That would definitely be preferable if it is feasible for you.



#15 lewelma

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 12:40 AM

Well, I have no idea where there might be a studio and I know ds's accompanist is completely booked up until Nov 1st. So for the early admit university, we will have to go with the recital, but I might be able to find a studio in November. I'll look around. It will be an expensive option, however, as the accompanist is 80 dollars an hour and I would have to pay for the studio also! All for a ten minute recording. 😲 But the Diploma abrsm exam itself is 600 dollars, and the rehearsals with the accompanist totals to around 450. Nobody said music was cheap!!😱. I actually started my tutoring business to pay for the violin instruction!!

#16 Emerald Stoker

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 08:42 AM

Whoops--misunderstood something....ignore me!


Edited by Emerald Stoker, 21 October 2017 - 08:44 AM.


#17 amy58103

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 09:29 AM

A studio and the accompanist is not necessary. There is a nice video on the CIM website on how to put together a recording. While it's geared to pre-screening for music majors, I think it still applies for your situation.

https://www.cim.edu/...ly/prescreening

#18 lewelma

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 01:25 PM

Wonderful. Thanks!

#19 GoodGrief

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 03:38 PM

Well, I have no idea where there might be a studio and I know ds's accompanist is completely booked up until Nov 1st. So for the early admit university, we will have to go with the recital, but I might be able to find a studio in November. I'll look around. It will be an expensive option, however, as the accompanist is 80 dollars an hour and I would have to pay for the studio also! All for a ten minute recording. 😲 But the Diploma abrsm exam itself is 600 dollars, and the rehearsals with the accompanist totals to around 450. Nobody said music was cheap!!😱. I actually started my tutoring business to pay for the violin instruction!!

 

To clarify :-), this was not a big time studio, but rather a small home studio (two different ones, as she used one for her piano recordings and one for violin) put together by her instructors, who are pro musicians. I just wanted to differentiate between what she did and recording a piece at a concert via an iphone or something similar.

 

The college sites are usually pretty clear about what they require as far as quality and such, so as long as you follow the individual instructions, you will be fine. The specifics really do vary quite an bit from institution to institution.


Edited by GoodGrief, 21 October 2017 - 03:39 PM.


#20 lewelma

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 03:53 PM

I'm currently asking around to see who has a decent recording device. Not sure I can get it done by Nov 1st for this one university, but definitely by Jan 1 deadline.

Interesting that in NZ, kids are evaluated based on live performances not the perfect studio recording. Different cultures I guess.

#21 lewelma

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 04:10 PM

dp

Edited by lewelma, 21 October 2017 - 04:11 PM.