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5 Things that All Music Students Must Do Before They Enroll in College

The end of the academic year is upon us! As graduation rapidly approaches, here are 5 things high school seniors should do before they enroll in college in the fall:

1. Play a solo senior graduation recital

Any graduating senior who intends to pursue a music performance degree at a college should present a solo recital. There are two reasons for this:

1) at some point, performance majors will need to play at least two solo degree recitals during their time at the university. Performing a senior recital will provide a wonderful learning opportunity in preparation for their time in college.

2) use the senior recital as a way to celebrate the hard work, persistence, and determination that you endured throughout the college application process. Think of this as a send off to college!

2. Learn new music

Are there bucket list pieces that you have been always wanting to learn? The summer is the best time to explore different repertory. Read through a bunch of music and also start learning your pieces for the fall. For me, I have always found that summer is a wonderful time to recharge musically––most of the time is spent putting together new recital programs for the following concert season.

3. Accumulate diverse musical experiences

The best advice I can give to any serious music student is to accumulate as many diverse musical experiences as possible. Here are some ideas for the summer:

- Do you like to teach? Consider asking your teacher if you can shadow and observe them while they work. Find teaching opportunities if possible.

- Take a look at performing in community outreach concerts. The audiences in these settings are usually very appreciative in hearing great music.

- Explore the idea of playing with others in a variety of settings and musical styles. This is a great time to play with other instrumentalists, vocalists, and ensembles.

- Study at a summer music festival. This is a great opportunity to meet other talented students, work with imminent music teachers, and gain additional performing experience.

4. Think about what you hope to accomplish in college and beyond.

Take stock of where you want to go musically and professionally. Have frequent conversations with your teachers. Set semester/yearly goals and a specific plan on how you might accomplish them.

5. Ask your prospective teacher

If you are not sure what you should be doing before the fall, reach out and ask your teacher! It will certainly make a good, first impression.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe here to receive monthly email updates on my performing activities and blogs on lesser-known works and teaching.

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