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UBC, UC Boulder, UMKC - which one for a grad program? (Read 1148 times)

Offline freebagels

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UBC, UC Boulder, UMKC - which one for a grad program?
« on: March 01, 2017, 09:38:06 PM »
Hello all!

I recently finished my undergrad studies at the University of New Mexico, and after auditioning for a bunch of schools, I've been accepted into three graduate programs for piano performance:

- University of British Columbia
- UC Boulder, Colorado
- University of Missouri-Kansas City

As of right now, I know that I've been accepted into the studios of Mark Anderson at UBC and David Korevaar at Boulder.  I do not currently know whose studio I've been accepted in at UMKC, but I had a lesson with Robert Weirich and it seemed to go quite well, so I'm hoping to get into his studio.

Does anyone have any experience with these teachers/programs?  I've done a fair bit of research on each school and have spoken extensively with each teacher, but I wanted to get some outside opinions on things.  Thanks!   :D :D
In between music degrees...waiting to see what the future brings!

Offline iansinclair

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Re: UBC, UC Boulder, UMKC - which one for a grad program?
«Reply #1 on: March 01, 2017, 10:16:06 PM »
Have you had an opportunity to listen to recitals or performances by any of their students?  That can be illuminating, to put it mildly...  it is possible to have a teacher who is really charming and all, and turns out mediocre performances by her or his students -- or one who is a catastrophe in three acts, and turns out fabulous performances (I had one of those once -- he couldn't keep his eyes off the ladies (and sometimes hands) and I never once saw him sober, but the performances and interpretations by his students were world class, and worth the grief).  And, once in a while, you get one who is charming and wonderful and turns out superb performances, too. 
Ian

Offline huaidongxi

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Re: UBC, UC Boulder, UMKC - which one for a grad program?
«Reply #2 on: March 04, 2017, 01:13:16 AM »
congratulations.  all three of those mentors have tremendous resumes.  in whom would you feel most comfortable in guiding your career -- their musical personalities seem fairly different.  since your area is performance, you're probably considering those instructors as performers as well.

Offline evang42

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Re: UBC, UC Boulder, UMKC - which one for a grad program?
«Reply #3 on: March 06, 2017, 07:07:37 PM »
I don't know if this is relevant to you since I'm an adult amateur, but I was a private student of Mark Anderson for many years.  He is a really nice person who cares greatly about his students.  He is also a wonderful performer (I have turned pages for him so have seen him up close), but his resume speaks to that as well as I ever could.  I also found him to have an incredible breath and depth of knowledge of anything related to the piano and music in general.   Finally, I always enjoyed being in his company, as did all of his other students that I knew.   We only stopped being his students because he moved to Vancouver for that position.
Obviously, I cannot compare him to the others but thought I'd give you some personal insight since I had some.   Good luck with your studies wherever they take you.

Offline freebagels

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Re: UBC, UC Boulder, UMKC - which one for a grad program?
«Reply #4 on: March 18, 2017, 08:51:13 PM »
Thank you all so much for your input!  I've spent a fair bit of time researching the playing levels of some of these teachers' students, and it's been very, very informative.

I also recently found out that in addition to the schools previously mentioned, I've also been accepted to the University of Michigan piano program (although I do not yet know with whom I would be studying).  Is there anyone who studied there and has some input or advice?  My understanding is that this music school is generally a higher-level program (I considered it to be one of my "reach" schools), but I know relatively little about the quality of the piano department. 
In between music degrees...waiting to see what the future brings!

Offline afarmboysforte

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Re: UBC, UC Boulder, UMKC - which one for a grad program?
«Reply #5 on: March 18, 2017, 09:51:53 PM »
Thank you all so much for your input!  I've spent a fair bit of time researching the playing levels of some of these teachers' students, and it's been very, very informative.

I also recently found out that in addition to the schools previously mentioned, I've also been accepted to the University of Michigan piano program (although I do not yet know with whom I would be studying).  Is there anyone who studied there and has some input or advice?  My understanding is that this music school is generally a higher-level program (I considered it to be one of my "reach" schools), but I know relatively little about the quality of the piano department. 

Congratulations on being accepted to all of these schools! I don't know how much help I will be, since I am only in high school, and have not studied at a university. However, I thought I might as well write, even though I am not at all a very good pianist, and am young. I do know a little, TINY bit about two of the professors there at UM: Dr. Christopher Harding (Piano Chair at UM), and Logan Skelton. I don't know if you would join their studios, but they should give you an idea of what the other professors are like.

Dr. Harding is an amazing teacher. I have had lessons with him, and have seen him give several masterclasses, and can say he is an extremely good teacher. Of course, my thoughts on him are relative to the masterclasses I have seen/been in, and lessons I have been in. These have included some big names, such as Joseph Kalichstein, Menahem Pressler, Karen Shaw, Sean Chen, and Emile Naoumoff. And some very wonderful teachers who aren't as well known; Karen Taylor, Daniel Schene, Alice Rybak, etc. I can say that, with what little experience I have, Dr. Harding is an astounding teacher. His understanding of not only technique and musicality, but also of body mechanics, is amazing. My lesson with him revolutionized how I played and practiced. His lessons and masterclasses are always insightful, and he is a really funny guy.

I do not know what Skelton's lessons are like, as I have never met him personally, but I do know that his students are extremely good, and all of the professors I have talked with have HIGHLY praised him (even saying that he is better than Dr. Harding...). UM is a school that I have thought about applying to when the time comes, and these two professors would be the two that I would love to study with. I have heard marvelous things about the other professors in the piano department as well. My teacher would rather me attend UM than IU, so I think it is a highly regarded school.

Anyways, feel free to ignore my thoughts, as I really can't comment on the other teachers you are thinking of studying with.
~The Farmboy

Offline freebagels

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Re: UBC, UC Boulder, UMKC - which one for a grad program?
«Reply #6 on: March 19, 2017, 08:46:46 PM »
Congratulations on being accepted to all of these schools! I don't know how much help I will be, since I am only in high school, and have not studied at a university. However, I thought I might as well write, even though I am not at all a very good pianist, and am young. I do know a little, TINY bit about two of the professors there at UM: Dr. Christopher Harding (Piano Chair at UM), and Logan Skelton. I don't know if you would join their studios, but they should give you an idea of what the other professors are like.

Dr. Harding is an amazing teacher. I have had lessons with him, and have seen him give several masterclasses, and can say he is an extremely good teacher. Of course, my thoughts on him are relative to the masterclasses I have seen/been in, and lessons I have been in. These have included some big names, such as Joseph Kalichstein, Menahem Pressler, Karen Shaw, Sean Chen, and Emile Naoumoff. And some very wonderful teachers who aren't as well known; Karen Taylor, Daniel Schene, Alice Rybak, etc. I can say that, with what little experience I have, Dr. Harding is an astounding teacher. His understanding of not only technique and musicality, but also of body mechanics, is amazing. My lesson with him revolutionized how I played and practiced. His lessons and masterclasses are always insightful, and he is a really funny guy.

I do not know what Skelton's lessons are like, as I have never met him personally, but I do know that his students are extremely good, and all of the professors I have talked with have HIGHLY praised him (even saying that he is better than Dr. Harding...). UM is a school that I have thought about applying to when the time comes, and these two professors would be the two that I would love to study with. I have heard marvelous things about the other professors in the piano department as well. My teacher would rather me attend UM than IU, so I think it is a highly regarded school.

Anyways, feel free to ignore my thoughts, as I really can't comment on the other teachers you are thinking of studying with.
~The Farmboy

This is all VERY helpful, actually...my sincere thanks!  Of all the schools at which I auditioned, Michigan was kind of an exception in that I had only heard trace things about the quality of its teachers.  I've heard from a select few individuals that it's comparable to Indiana in some ways, but otherwise I know virtually nothing about the program outside of its website.  Also, none of its piano teachers have a very expansive web presence, and so doing research on them has been limited. 
In between music degrees...waiting to see what the future brings!