So You Want to Be An Opera Singer?

September 2, 2014 4:51 PM

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So You Want to Be An Opera Singer?

Not long ago, I wrote a piece about how college ranking systems aren't useful for students looking to go into music programs. Many people thought I was spot on; a few had criticism. Let me be clear -- many of the programs in the USA Today top 10 list are great universities, and perhaps have solid music programs. However, it is dismaying when it listed Boston College on a top 10 music school list. I lived and worked as a musician in Boston for two years. I don't ever remember anyone talking about the BC music program. That's not to criticize the school, but when there are three large music programs, one of them the historic New England Conservatory, in Boston, BC gets overshadowed. Furthermore, that list wasn't written as one of generally strong music programs, my impression was it discounted the fact that most students at the top music schools are performers and instead approached it with a generic college ranking method. It wasn't written specifically for performers, neither was it written for academics. It was a bad list. Any list of the top 10 music schools in the US that doesn't include the University of Indiana, University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, University of Michigan, The Curtis Institute, or Julliard is not a list worth reading. Those are among the strongest music performance and academic programs in the country.

Here's probably the best advice I can give: Take a year or two off before going into graduate school. All my friends who took time between undergrad and grad school were very happy they did. For one, burnout at the end of four years of college can be pretty intense. Trying to then go into a grad pro...

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