\"\"
Piano Forum logo

stay in college or go to a conservatory? (Read 3831 times)

Offline Colette

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 95
stay in college or go to a conservatory?
« on: August 04, 2002, 02:56:41 AM »
This is a huge problem for me.....I spent a year at New York University attempting to schedule my classes at night so I could practice all day, 6/7 hours...yeah, that worked for about a month. By the end of the year I was so tired and frustrated that I practically had a nervous breakdown. I'd go to a conservatory but I know they don't offer a good ( or ever decent) liberal arts education. I don't want to go through life stupid! But at college, I'm totally isolated from other musicians and there aren't enough hours in the day to fit in practice and work. There has to be a happy medium to prevent me from tearing my hair out, cause other musicians must find (or have found) themselves in similar situations, right?

Offline MikeThePianist

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 43
Re: stay in college or go to a conservatory?
«Reply #1 on: August 05, 2002, 12:32:47 AM »
So, if I understand your problem correctly, you are a music major but have trouble balancing practice time with your liberal arts classes?  If that is the case, I'll try too help...

I don't know who NYU organizes their degree program, but perhaps you just need to look into another university.  If you're looking into a well-rounded education, then you should stick to the university in my opinion, maybe just not this one.  I am attending the University of Michigan as a piano major, and am still required to take general ed. classes.  The piano faculty is world-renowned, as is the university as a whole.  I might check that out and see how it suits you.

I hope that helped.  Good luck.  :-)

Mike
Michael Fauver is pursuing his bachelors degree in piano performance at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Offline Mandy

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 44
Re: stay in college or go to a conservatory?
«Reply #2 on: August 10, 2002, 10:43:23 AM »
I think Mike is right, you might want to consider a smaller university.  I went to a small university to do my undergrad. 2500 students, only about 120 of those were music students.  It was a great experience, I had so many more oppotunities to attend and participate in Master classes, you get to know you're profs, and fellow students much better.  You would be surrounded by people interested in the same things you are.  I also know that it is quite expensive to attend NYU, are you working a job, on top of school?  Because by the sounds of it, it seems impossible-you do need time to yourself, and that time should not be spent in a little white room with a piano.  

If you are looking for a good well rounded education, you might want to consider looking at the schools in Canada.  Since I'm from Canada, I can tell you that Saint Francis Xavier, Acadia, Dalhousie, and Mount Allison universities all have excellent music programs, and with the current exchange rate, it wouldn't cost you very much to attend.  I'm sure there are schools like these in the US which you could research. But at the same time, I've just moved to the US to go to one of the biggest music schools and people here seem very involved, and interested.  So, maybe NYU isn't offering you what you need, but you could find that at a big school if you know what you're looking for.  Does that make sense?

I also wouldn't recommend practicing that much a day.  It seems a bit much.  I was always able to accomplish what I needed in 4 hours.  The only time I ever practiced this much was the month before my grad. school audtions, and I too almost had a breakdown!  

Take it easy, you don't want to injure yourself.  And, if you aren't enjoying your degree, change it so that you do.  You would probably regret all of those long hours if in the end you didn't enjoy every minute of it.


Offline bonske

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 1
Re: stay in college or go to a conservatory?
«Reply #3 on: September 09, 2002, 06:33:41 PM »
Curious...who did you study with at NYU?  I am  considering transferring to study with Marilyn Engle, who just finished her dissertation from NYU.  I have worked with Miyoko Lotto a bit and thought she was incredible.

I am finishing up my Master's at a college and I would have to say that switching to a Conservatory would be the best thing for me.  I don't know how it is at NYU, but unless you are the type who enjoys spoon-fed, structured learning, and not enough emphasis on performance and recital preparation (which is what I have experienced) then conservatory education is better.

It has been my experience that as long as you are self-motivated and thirsty to learn, classes reinforcing personal research strategies are not necessary.  It is a natural part of learning new repertoire to research the piece, gain historical perspective, listen to a mad amount of recordings, and practice.

What I have noticed is that many conservatories offer more specialized and focused classes (music in modernism, bach keyboard works, etc.) which are more beneficial, in my opinion, to one's playing than a survey course where material is crammed into the course of one semester.

Offline Colette

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 95
Re: stay in college or go to a conservatory?
«Reply #4 on: September 10, 2002, 07:30:50 AM »
NYU has a less than noteworthy music department, so i'm studing privately with a teacher outside of NYU. i never took any music classes at NYU, i just took writing/english courses. however, i've pulled out of NYU for this semester to focus solely on the piano for 5 months, competing, concertizing, practicing like hell. i'll see where i am in the spring and that'll determine if i go back to NYU or transfer to a conservatory.