Music Students: What I Wish I Had Known in High School

By: Lyn Schoch, First-Year Orchestral Music Student and Office of Admissions Work-Study Student

First of all, Hello! I am a first-year classical trumpet major, and so far I absolutely love everything about Juilliard. Last week I was thinking about how Juilliard is kind of like Olive Garden: When you’re here, you’re family! Although I’ve only been here for a little over a month, I hope I can provide you with useful information about getting information about and applying to Juilliard. For me, that whole process happened less than a year ago, so I remember it well.

If you haven’t visited Juilliard yet, consider scheduling a visit or checking out the virtual tour online so you can get a feel for the school. It’s important to visit Juilliard to see how you feel walking through the buildings– the vibe you get when you’re here can tell you a lot about whether it is a good fit for you.

One of the most important things you can do is contact a teacher in your desired major. E-mail them to let them know who you are, your interest in Juilliard, and any questions you may have. The teachers here are happy to hear from you, and they are eager to answer any questions you may have. Contact information can be found on the Juilliard website, and if you can’t find what you need, any member of Admissions would be happy to help you.

To find out more about life at Juilliard, contact current students! Nearly everyone here is more than happy to answer any questions you might have about Juilliard. Do a search on whatever social network you’re on or ask the Office of Admissions about current students who would be willing to answer questions from prospective students. If you haven’t read other blog entries from the Office of Admissions yet, take the time to at least skim through some of them now. Current students have written about what life is REALLY like at Juilliard, and some staff have posted some very important information (such as the fact that some of you will have a November 15 application deadline).

If you’re wondering whether or not you should apply to Juilliard, there are a couple things to consider. For some people, the application fee combined with the cost of flying to New York City for an audition can be daunting. You might also be wondering if you are good enough to be considered for acceptance to Juilliard. All of this is completely normal, and I encourage you to discuss everything with your parents and your private teacher.

As far as the application process, the most important thing to do is BE ORGANIZED. If you have any questions, contact the Admissions Office. Guidance counselors, teachers, and mentors at your current high school should be able to help you as well. Fill out each part of the Juilliard Application for Admission with care, paying attention to each little detail. You’ll have to write a personal statement and/or essay as part of the application, and just remember that the Admissions committee wants to know who YOU are. Also, you don’t have to stress out about it too much, because after all, something like 95% of the decision is based on your audition. But don’t just blow off the essay, either.

In addition to the application for admission, you might decide to fill out the Financial Aid application, which can be found on the Juilliard Web site. This deadline is later than the application for admission, so don’t sweat about it quite yet, but don’t forget about it! It’s perfectly acceptable (if not preferred) to send in your Financial Aid application early, too – but not too early because you’ll need your family’s 2008 tax information.

A couple of my friends who are going through the application process this year have expressed their concerns about a few things, so I thought I would talk about those. First, I understand it can be very nerve-wracking to press the “next” button on the online application for fear that your information will be lost or you will accidentally submit your application. The chance of your information being lost is very slim, however I always recommend that you save essays and other information in a document outside of your internet browser. Technology can sometimes be unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to save your college application stuff in multiple places. As for submitting your application, I don’t remember the Juilliard application specifically, but it should be extremely obvious when you have the option to submit your application online. I’m pretty sure there will be a place for you to “sign” it (just type in your full name) and date it, and then I’m pretty sure you are asked “Are you sure you want to submit your application?” So don’t worry about that– just be alert and attentive to what buttons you’re clicking!

Don’t forget to look at the supplemental forms that you are required to fill out and send in as well. You are asked to submit a recommendation from an English teacher– don’t forget this one.

Now let’s talk about why you should send in your application and recommendations earlier rather than later. If there’s anything missing from your application, you want to know that as soon as possible. If the application deadline has passed and the Office of Admissions doesn’t have all the forms they need from you – most importantly the pre-screening recording! – you’re pretty much out of luck. Also, it’s no fun for the Office of Admissions to receive 95% of the applications on the day of the deadline. Really, it’s not. The entire office would be a lot happier if applications were received weeks before the deadline so we can have all of your information in our system to schedule your auditions and all that good stuff. Wouldn’t you like the Juilliard Office of Admissions to be happy when they’re reviewing your application? ;-)