Archive for the ‘travel’ Tag

Brown Is Beautiful

The beautiful hills of Southern California

The beautiful hills of Southern California

I’m from Southern California, so I’m allowed to mock it a little, right?

I’ve spent the last three days traveling from Palm Springs to Idyllwild to Los Angeles and now I’m in San Francisco. It’s been a fun trip and I’ve enjoyed seeing a lot of friends along the way. Of course, the real reason I’m here is for college fairs.

The first fair was in Idyllwild. For those of you back in my part of the states, the Idyllwild Arts Academy is the Interlochen of the west. It is an excellent boarding school for the arts with a lot of very talented students. The best part about the Idyllwild fair is the drive. Even though Idyllwild is only an hour from Palm Springs, it get snow in the winter because of it’s high altitude. Let’s just say the road is a little windy.

The road to Idyllwild

The road to Idyllwild

Yesterday we had a fair at UCLA in Los Angeles. This is always an excellent fair. The best part about college fairs for me is the chance to meet new people. I really enjoy answering questions and offering advice to students that are just beginning to look at schools. And in answer to the most common question, yes, it snows in Champaign.

The last fair for this trip will be this afternoon in San Francisco. I leave in a few minutes to pick up counselors from other schools as we all try and get to Cheesecake Factory before the fair starts. This is truly the highlight of our trip.

I won’t be travelling again until next weekend, when I’ll be in Chicago and Interlochen. Let me know if I’ll be able to meet you at either of these fairs.

The Idyllwild fair

The Idyllwild fair

How To Make The Most Of A Performing Arts College Fair

As I said in my last post, college visits are the best way to decide on a school. But what if you can’t visit? Or what if you don’t know which schools you want to see? You need a college fair!

Every fall, the National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) hosts a number Performing and Visual Arts College Fairs. At these fairs you will find admissions counselors from most of the major schools of music around the US. They will have information about their school and will be available to answer any questions you may have.

Here are a few tips to make the most of a college fair:

Come Prepared

  • Before the fair, make a short list of schools that you are most interested in visiting
  • Make a list of questions that you wish to ask at each school
  • Print a sheet of labels with your information (name, address, phone, email, instrument, year of graduation). These will make filling out cards requesting more information very fast and will also guarantee accuracy.

Come With An Open Mind

After you have stopped at your top choices, it is likely you will have some time left. Look around and see if there are other schools that you had not originally considered. You already have a list of questions to ask; sometimes a school will surprise you.

When I was looking at schools, I used to keep a list of questions by my phone. There was a time when I got a call from a small school and I ran down my list of questions. I was so impressed by their answers that I visited the school. Guess where I decided to attend!

Remember, you are not committing to anything, just getting ready for the choices ahead.

Make An Impression

It’s OK to stand out. You don’t need to be over the top, but if you come prepared and have thoughtful questions, we are more likely to remember you when you apply.

Throughout the next month, both Joyce and I will be traveling around the country. You can see the list of fairs we will be at below (click on the link for times and locations). Please come out and say “Hi”. I will also be posting on this blog about my travel experiences and introducing you to some of the other schools on the road.