Meri’s Musical Musings

Thinking about studying music in college for a band or string instrument? Consider finding a teacher who has these resources as well as teaching your instrument…

Posted on: August 5, 2012

  • A teacher who has easy access to an excellent pianist with strong sight-reading skills which the pianist knows the standard pieces for the instrument you play. This person may be able to help you with the often required sight-singing, ear training, and rhythmic clapbacks.
  • A teacher who has audio recording/editing software, and knows how to use it well. Some college auditions require a CD or DVD of your playing to pre-select live audition candidates, especially at the most selective schools. In the very least, it’s often required for scholarship applications. They can also compare your performance, making a few small improvements by editing their recording to show how the piece could be better performed, such as with a fuller tone quality, more dynamics, or a slightly faster tempo overall.
  • A teacher who has a large recording library of the standard repertoire for the instruments you are auditioning on.
  • A teacher who has access to a video camcorder, and knows how to use it well. Many people when doing video recording do not know how to keep a camcorder relatively still, and end up doing a lot of shaking while filming. Video recordings are often required for scholarship applications.
  • A teacher who knows how to edit videos, by cutting out any preliminary talking, clicking, or shaking of the camera, and can add titles and credits.
  • A teacher who has access to at least an entry-level digital SLR camera, and knows how to take good photos. A few colleges, though mainly for singers, require photos of applicants, but they are useful to any musician, especially in applying for performance jobs, or to use on websites and business cards.
  • A teacher who knows how to create nice CD/DVD labels using software such as Microsoft Publisher. This is to enhance the presentation of the CD or DVD; if they see that the candidate or their teacher took every measure to make a great presentation, those candidates will likely be considered more seriously.
  • A teacher with a solid understanding of English and its grammar. So they can help you with the essay portion (a significant percentage of schools require one) and interviewing skills. If your teacher’s first language is not English, and they have only recently immigrated to an English speaking country, this one is really important. A teacher who writes blogs of significant value, or has even been professionally published, is a huge asset.

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  • None
  • V V: Wish I had read this before I fell for their scheme ! Oh well - have posted my experience on Yelp and N49 and hoping others can avoid the pain of fal
  • clariniano: Thanks for the additional information. It was actually Yelp that deleted my reviews, because of so-called bias. I too have seen the horrible technique
  • No Thanks: Former Teacher at the Ontario Conservatory of Music I took lessons at the Ontario Conservatory and when I left for private lessons from another tea
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