3 Steps for the Perfect Music School Visit

Foellinger Great Hall, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

Foellinger Great Hall, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

The single best way to decide if a school is right for you is to visit, but just like everything in life, there are right ways and wrong ways to go about it. Showing up on campus without setting up any events or meetings? Wrong way. Visiting campus on a weekend or during holiday breaks? Only attending a general admissions session without visiting the School of Music? Wrong way. Here are the steps to the perfect college visit:

  1. Schedule a lesson with faculty – As you can imagine, faculty have the least flexibility in their schedule. Because of this, scheduling a lesson with faculty is the best place to start planning your visit. School websites will offer complete listings of faculty and their email addresses (Illinois faculty listing). I encourage you to use email and be persistent if you don’t get a response.
  2. Schedule an information session with the music admissions office – If the school you are visiting has a music admissions office (and most major schools do), they offer information sessions. This typically includes a tour of the School of Music as well as information about applying. It will also give you a chance to meet the admissions staff. These people will be your best resource during the application process. Come prepared with questions.
  3. Ask if there are classes you can observe – Most faculty will welcome prospective students to their classrooms. The music admissions office should be able to provide you with a list of available classes. If one of the classes is particularly interesting to you, email the instructor and ask if you can meet for 10 minutes after class.

The most important thing to remember is that we want to get to know you as much as you want to get to know us. Come with a list of questions. Show that you have prepared for your visit and you’ll be surprised how profitable your time will be. This will likely be your first meeting the faculty who will be hearing your audition and the staff who process your application. Don’t be afraid to make an impression.

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