Prepping for College in High School
This week’s topic is prepping for Juilliard in high school! There are a lot of ways to prepare yourself in high school for Juilliard (and a lot of things you can’t prepare for!). In this week’s blog I’ll talk about some of the things I did to prepare myself for Juilliard before I graduated high school and some of the things that I wish I could have done to prepare.
Brochures, websites, virtual tours, and information sessions are great, but there’s no way to know what a school is like until you actually set foot on campus. My biggest advice is to visit the schools you plan to apply to! There’s no other way to judge how much you will like it until you see it for yourself. Think of it this way, a really good admission office will be great at making their particular school sound the best, but even the most skilled admissions counselors don’t know what your likes and dislikes are. If you can’t visit Juilliard before your audition, contact the admissions office and see about talking to a current student who could answer your questions and provide an idea of what campus life and academics will be like.
Practice, Practice, Practice
This is an easy one! If you’re applying to music school, you probably already practice quite a bit. My advice is to prepare something you are good at for your prescreens and auditions. Challenging repertoire doesn’t mean good repertoire for you. Singing something super hard only if it will actually be impressive. It’s much better to be overly prepared with something you’re already good at than to sing something super hard that you aren’t vocally ready for! Whatever you choose to sing for your auditions, practice, practice, practice!
The one thing I wish I had a better foundation is my language skills. Study as much as possible in your private lessons and if you can find the time, study Italian, German, or French in high school. If your school doesn’t offer any of those languages, my advice would be to talk to a guidance counselor to see if your school as a dual enrollment program. For example, my high school had a program where you could take classes at the local community college while still in high school. Looking back, I would have maybe opted to do that my senior year! If that isn’t possible, don’t sweat it, Juilliard has a fantastic language study program for diction and spoken language.
Improve Time Management Skills!
Juilliard is a small school with a lot of opportunities: Overscheduling is the name of the game! If you struggle with organization, self-scheduling, and keeping track of dates and times, high school is a great place to learn. Keep in mind, your parents won’t be around to help you keep track of things like they did in high school! Working to become independent and self-motivated is a great skill to develop.
Practice Healthy Sleep Habits
Don’t have enough to practice, here’s another thing! As mentioned before, college is all about time management. If you can work hard to perfect your sleep schedule in high school, you will be prepared to adapt for the same in college. Juilliard classes never start before 9am, which may be a bonus for those of you starting high school at 7:30am, however, your body will adjust to the schedule and 9am will start to feel earlier and earlier if you aren’t getting proper sleep.
Don’t Take Yourself TOO Seriously
A big learning lesson for me (one that I am still working on) was learning how to take myself less seriously. Regardless of the school, constructive criticism and failure are going to be a BIG part of your life: it’s up to you to take those things and improve yourself instead of letting them tear you down. You’re going to make mistakes, you’re going to have bad days, and you’re going to want to quit sometimes. It’s up to you to learn from your mistakes and work towards building a better you! This is something you can’t prepare for that everyone struggles with individually. In the end, it’s a great preparation for college to start laughing off the little mistakes and learning not to sweat the small stuff (easier said than done, I know).
Have a great week! We’re getting so close to college application day and one step closer to having you here on campus in 2018!