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I know some high profile schools (northwestern, miami, indiana) have GREAT music programs, but my grades aren't sufficent enough to get in (3.3-3.4 GPA)

Does anyone have any experience with a talent waver where their grades weren't good enough, but with a great audition they got in?
 

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That does happen sometimes, but I wouldn't count on it. I'e heard it's fairly uncommon at most schools. Do be aware that there are many excellent music programs that exist at schools that are otherwise not high-profile. First one that comes to mind in my area is Western Michigan University, which has an absolutely incredible program (check out Prof. Trent Kynaston sometime, he wrote a method book that I've seen on many college music lists as the primary workbook). Others might disagree, but I'd place it as one of the top non-conservatory programs in the midwest.

There are schools worth going to, with big-name teachers who are excellent, that don't cost a fortune or are difficult to get into.

The other thing...you may have your heart set on a certain school, and the fact that you're even considering this path tells me you're good, maybe great, but even the greats don't always get in those programs. I've heard some exceptionally talented young musicians fail to get into those programs. These schools get a huge amount of talent auditioning for only 2 or 3 spots. and...being able to play isn't enough. You'll hear a lot of discussion about "music as worthy of academic study" and they look at your past academic studies in other areas as examples of that.

I'm not trying to squash your hopes. You SHOULD audition at these schools. I'd make a list of Schools you know you'd get in, schools you think you'll get in, and long-shots. Make sure you have a backup school so that you at least get in somewhere. You can always transfer later, and it might be easier to do once you show a strong academic performance at another college.
 

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A 3.3-3.4 could get you into Indiana.
 

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A 3.3-3.4 is plenty high to get into these schools. I had about a 3.3 myself when I applied for my Undergrad. I didn't get rejected from any schools.

Even if you think your grades are too low, apply anyway. The worst thing any school will say is 'no'.

Steve P
 

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You stand a good chance of getting in at both Indiana and Miami with that GPA and a great audition. Northwestern is another question. I graduated with a 3.7 GPA, got a 33 on the ACT, and NAILED my audition at Northwestern and guess what?---I was accepted to the School of Music but NOT to the University! Northwestern, as I understand, is much more of a "numbers" school than many others. Unfortunately, there were probably a lot of intelligent lower-middle class white guys applying my year. Sorry, it's 3 years later I still haven't quite swallowed my "bitter pill" over the Northwestern thing.

My suggestion is try to find a lesser-known school with a great professor and program (as many others have suggested) and go to a big name school for your Master's Degree (Northwestern, NEC, Manhattan, etc.). Good luck!
 

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I got into way more schools than I should have b/c of music (a really really good SAT score to boot too). My GPA was awful though. I'm not saying that just b/c you're good at the horn will mean you can get in anywhere, but it could help you.
 

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William Paterson has a great program with some great faculty members, and probably about a fraction of the price of those other schools. Its incredibly close to the city aswell (20 min drive... a little more if theres traffic).
 

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From what I've heard, William Patterson aims for a smaller intimate program with lots of interaction between students and faculty. Kind of the opposite of a UNT with its humongous program. Anyway, since they want to keep it smaller, they can be really selective. But it is a great school and my favorite altoist, Vincent Herring, is now on faculty there.
 

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Cassino said:
I know some high profile schools (northwestern, miami, indiana) have GREAT music programs, but my grades aren't sufficient enough to get in (3.3-3.4 GPA)
I wonder about the primes of your question altogether. Are you sure this GPA is too low for most schools with good music departments?
 

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http://www.wvu.edu/~music/

WVU could be a fall back school (I know it was mine, and it turned out to be probably the best choice for me!) I'm not in the SOM but I know they're good. I've heard it's very hard to get into though. (Despite the lazy reputation that WVU has as a party/study school!)
 

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I echo the comments that have been made in regards to your GPA. I only had a 3.2 gpa due to practicing instead of doing a significant portion of homework in high school. When I auditioned for Miami, USC, Cal State Northridge, Indiana, and Patterson I was accepted at all of them. I did score very well on my SAT (1250) which really helps. If you nail your music audition, often times certain things such as a lower GPA can tend to be pushed aside a bit.

As someone else said, it never hurts to apply and audition anyway. The worst that can happen is being out the application fee and a couple hours of time if the answer is no. You won't know anything unless you try.

Good luck!! :)
 

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3.3 cumulative in high school for me, and I'm now almost a Western Michigan graduate. I got a 27 on my ACT, nobody made a fuss about that number. Remember that grades aren't everything -- schools want to see that you have applied yourself in many different ways. 3.3? Well did he participate in extra-curriculars, hold a leadership position, play a sport, win awards, write us a cogent essay ... etc. Schools, and eventually the global workforce, really consider the total person.

You should be just fine. Also, FWIW, you have some great schools in the surrounding South to look into. States like Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi have awesome SOMs. But you did mention Miami - a great jazz place.
 

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Also, it is fair to mention that at many (if not all) Universities, you must be accepted by the general University before the School of Music will ever even look at your application. Find out what the schools you are interested in usually look for grade wise. These statistics are readily available through the university web site.
 

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North Texas is easy to get into... you don't even have to audition to get in. Great program for jazz, legit, composition and education.
 

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cann0nba11 said:
North Texas is easy to get into... you don't even have to audition to get in. Great program for jazz, legit, composition and education.
Well.... kinda. You apply to the Univeristy (very easy to get into), and you audition either before hand for scholarships/admittance, or sometime during the first week of classes. No audition, no lessons.
 

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Don't know if you're still looking for suggestions, but I didn't see Berklee in this thread. They have a really high acceptance rate (they'll pretty much accept anyone, as long as you give them money). That said, a lot of people get lost in the program and it can be pricey. But someplace like that or a conservatory like Oberlin usually won't care about your grades. Somebody already mentioned WVU; I'm a jazz major there and it's definitely cost-effective. Nice program too.
 
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