Spike Series – Performing Arts, Theater, and Music
CollegeAdvisor.com (formerly Bullseye Admissions) presents its spike series webinar on Performing Arts, Theater, and Music in a 60-minute webinar and Q&A with a Bullseye advisor. Our presenters will share their insider perspectives on how to develop an application spike in this area and how they applied successfully to colleges with this spike. Come ready to learn and bring your questions!
2020-10-27 Performing Arts Theater and Music
All right. Are we live? Yes, we are a lot. Awesome. So hello everyone. There we go. All right. Hello everyone. Welcome to the bulls-eye admission spikes series webinar. This is on the performing arts theater in music. So to orient everyone on how this is going to work we’ll start off with the presentation and then we’re going to answer any questions that you have and a live Q and a.
So if you look on the sidebar and in the public chat, then you can download our slides in the handouts tab. And then you can also start submitting questions in the Q and a tab.
Fantastic. So I’ll start with introducing myself. I’m Nadia and I’m currently an English and theater major at Williams. So I’m class of 20, 21 0.5 taking some time off right now. But most of my work is centered in the intersection between social activism and the arts. I’m co artistic directing our student theater group right now.
We only have one on campus. It’s also the oldest, which is really fun. Also doing improv acapella and full disclosure long-term goals. I do plan on being in the theater as a director. But this presentation is about writing about your artistic extracurriculars without necessarily having to pursue it as a professional career.
What. Great. So my name is grant. I am actually a first-year medical student right now. I graduated from Harvard, undergrad in 2019 and I studied so the league lingo at Harvard. We say our concentration is our major. We just say it like that. I don’t know why, but I majored in human evolutionary biology, and I minored in economics.
And I am, I was born in St. Louis, Missouri. So I grew up there and some of my interests include kind of tennis, squash, hiking, and going on long walks. And then we’ll get to like the artsy stuff a little bit later. So pass it back over to not yet.
Great. There should be a poll in the chat. If you guys want to answer, what are your performing arts interests?
It should show up on your screen. But let’s wrap it up.
Thanks for submitting those answers. It’s great for us to know. So I’ll dive a little bit into the details between the BA and BFA. A lot of students are really confused about this. And this presentation is specifically not about BFA programs. It’s about applying to be a programs or BS programs using the arts as a way of rounding out your application, basically.
So the difference between a BA and BFA. Is that the A’s or the normal degree, you’d see at a liberal arts college and IB any college in which you’re taking a variety of classes, usually you have gen ed requirements. So you’re taking classes in multiple departments. It’s typically not audition based.
And it’s, it generally tries to give you a broader overview of your major or if your major is the artsy arts in general. It’s a little more cerebral, a little less hands on, whereas BFA programs, if you’re applying, you typically know because you’re going to be doing an audition. Typically these programs are very intensive conservatory style.
You Michigan has, for instance, the BFA in musical theater there’s be a phase in music, visual arts, X, Y, and Z. Basically the difference between the BnBs. Is he BTK is a career training program. So you don’t necessarily need to get your master’s after you get a BFA. So as I said before, we’re going to be focusing on BAS in this presentation and about how, when you’re applying to schools, even with a different interests, major interest, for instance, you can use the arts as a way being a more competitive candidate and also just showing the admissions team.
What’s your, what else in your life you’re excited about? I, as you have seen and primarily based in theater a lot of my essays were about this. So you generally have three spots in your application to share your interests. You have the activities list which if you, which you have, hopefully all done, already created an activities list in your common application, or if you use it a co-op like coalition application and the coalition application.
So you’re usually listing name of what you’ve done. How many years you’ve been doing it for hours, et cetera. It’s a very dry resume style overview of what you’re interested in. There are the essays, the general essay, for instance, like the common app essay. They’re also the supplements. For instance, we often get supplements that are expand on this activity, expand on it.
A thing you do outside of school, you were interested in, and this is also a really great place to include that. And if your interest in, I’m going to talk about theater specifically, if you’re interested in theater stems, outside of doing it more casually as a hobby, and you have material you’d like to submit for creative portfolio, which is not offered by all colleges, you can, by all means, do that as well.
So these creative portfolios typically are submitted on a thing called slide room. Your university will tell you one, if they require it two, if they offer it even as an option, it usually encouraged an additional fee. So something to keep in mind if finances are on your mind and they want usually five to 10 segments of material, So you can start gathering, especially if you’re a junior right now, I’d recommend gathering photos from production scripts.
You’ve written videos of two monologues, one contemporary, one classical, and any film snippets of work you’ve done at your high school. So basically anything that gives the admissions team abroad overview of what you’ve been working on. Often, I will say there are particular essay prompts that go along with this creative supplement.
So something to keep in mind when you’re applying always look earlier because certain schools like Swarthmore, for instance, in their theater supplement will actually ask you additional questions to describe your experience rather than ask for filmed material. Yeah. So my tips for underclassmen, if you’re zooming in from freshmen or sophomore year, Keep documentation of basically everything you’re doing capable list of the shows you then the roles you’ve played, design elements, anything else that you can start creating your portfolio with?
Just because as seniors, it can be really difficult in the rush to put together exactly what you need to apply to the college in time with it. And because VAs don’t necessarily need this supplement it’s, there’s nothing wrong with not submitting one, but if you have a strong desire to really showcase what you like, the growth that you’ve done in the arts and have that considered as a part of your application, you should start collecting that material as soon as possible for upperclassmen.
If you’re currently in this process, Highly recommend creating two separate resumes. One of your resumes should be detailing your administrative work. That’s non arts related, and the other one should be an arts-related one just in case there’s a spot in your application where you can submit an extra resume that details your work.
So for instance, if your activities list has, theater more generally, and you describe how many hours you’ve you spend on it per week this resume would detail like specific roles you’ve done specific design elements, positions you’ve held. So any of that nitty gritty detail that you can’t necessarily include in other parts.
And so yeah, I think that pretty much covers that.
So we’re moving through these fairly quickly. Something to keep in mind for both upper and underclassmen is that there’s a lot of current opportunities available despite COVID. There are a ton of programs contests available that you don’t necessarily know about and or think are canceled, which I promise they aren’t.
For instance, there’s a scholarship called young arts. That is a highly, it is highly competitive, but you can still submit with material you’ve done in the past. So my recommendations are talk to your advisors at your local high school because they will be able to give you. Have you into whether there are specific scholarships for, in organizations around you that you can apply for usually they’re less money, but they’re still really great for reducing overall financial aid.
And there’ll be able to point you towards opportunities that other high schoolers have done in the past that you can also potentially take advantage of. I also really recommend to my students, if they’re interested in theater, there’s a lot more accessible now than before. There’s a lot of zoom readings and people giving workshops in tops.
So one great thing to do if you’re in quarantine. Is to access those, for instance, that the New York theater workshop at the vineyard and any of these theater companies that are specifically focusing on education to start the script, you’ve always been dreaming of working on, or if you want to do your own projects, you can simply get together your friends on zoom and do something like that.
And that’s a really nice way of showing colleges that you’re still really committed to figuring out ways of pursuing the art. Even though the current situation doesn’t really allow us to do it in person.
So I’ll talk a little bit about spikes in my personal writing. So my common app, so I also do visual art. So my common app and my supplements were very much mired and literature and theater and circus performance in visual arts. You absolutely do not need to. And I would actually recommend dedicating your essays to different aspects of your interests.
If you have that. But that being said, if you have really found yourself in high school, dedicated to the artists, but now wanting to apply to a different major, it’s totally fine to write about the arts, if that’s what you spend most of your time on, just try to find different aspects of it. For instance, design is a great leadership building experience to find ways of connecting it to what the college wants to see from you.
That isn’t necessarily just in jargon that only artists would understand. For me, theater was a way of showing growth and leadership. I started like in my common app, I basically start talking about my individual performance and then eventually moving into the role of a camp counselor because of how many hours I spent on it outside of my classes, I did not fulfill the traditional like required volunteer hours that usually people recommend.
So just as a reminder, if you have spent a lot of time dedicating yourself to something in high school, and haven’t had time to check off boxes that people take Piggly, tell you, you should do. That’s totally fine. As long as you show that passion and commitment through your essay. So the college there’ll be absolutely understanding of like where those hours went.
They basically want to see that you’re a passionate and engaged member of your community. And if that community engagement was through the arts, that’s fantastic material to write about your work.
Yeah and then your other writing will be your resume, make sure to highlight any responsibilities or leadership you’ve had. And as well as the hours that you spent on everything this looks a little bit, your high school resume will look different from your professional resume, of course. Because again, college is basically want to see an hour.
Layout of what you’ve been committing yourself to. So in this resume, you’ll be also saying number of years, you’ve been doing it for how many hours you’ve spent on it. But just to keep in mind, you totally do not have to list every single small thing you’ve done highlight the most important things, especially in your activities list.
Rather, it’s always better to go for qualities and for quantity. So in colleges particularly want to see how you’ve grown. So again, if you started as a student, as a performer, as someone who participates, but isn’t necessarily confident yet they want to see how your relationship is different to the art.
Now, what leadership roles you’ve taken on.
I talked a little bit about the creative supplement. Yeah. So it’s a way of writing out your application usually includes monologues. So I’m going to go through this information quickly. But one thing to keep in mind is that this does provide additional information to faculty of the theater department of the school year applying to vouch for you.
So even for liberal arts college, like Williams, I submitted like my recordings. I submitted it and my resume, et cetera, et cetera. And they usually will send that along to faculty members to kind of review and vouch for you in the applications process, because it gives you basically another dimension to it.
It is considered as part of your application. So definitely put time passionate and effort into it. It’s much, much better to not submit a supplement than submit one that you haven’t necessarily dedicated the time to crafting because it is as important. Not necessarily as important, but it is still plays a really significant role in your portfolio.
Yeah. So here’s the list of the scholarships that I talked about previously and current opportunities that I’d recommend. So young arts, educational theater association scholarship against the grain free workshops, anything that shows that you’re still engaging with the artistic community and that you are still, it just didn’t leave off once COVID started, even though we know that it’s really hard to keep doing this.
And the process is really great for colleges to show your, like how immersed you are in it, basically. Yeah. So now we have another pool. Are you planning to submit a creative supplement?
Yeah. So we’re getting a lot of maybes. That’s totally fine. It is a big commitment to doing it. But grab a camera, grabs your parents, set up a thing, a tripod in your room. It’s easier than it looks, but just make sure that it showcases the best of your artistic abilities. Great.
And I’ll hand it over to grant. Awesome. Thanks Nadia. And everything that Nadia said, I definitely second and a lot of is actually very applicable to, to music as well. And as I mentioned if you tune in a little bit late I am a first year medical student actually. I did not, no study explicitly arts in undergrad, but I do love playing the cello.
And arts was a huge part of my life in high school, throughout college. And even right now I’m involved in the chamber music society over at my medical school. And it’s definitely permeated all parts of my life. And yeah. What have I done in the arts? As I mentioned, I’m a cellist, here’s a picture of me teaching a kid cello.
I love teaching. I love playing solo. I love playing in chamber music. That’s like a quartet or a trio. I also love orchestra and as well, I, I picked up conducting a little bit my scene high school, and I did a little bit of it in college, but that’s a little bit about me as far as what I’ve done in the past.
And so do I still do the arts? Yeah I love playing. So here are pictures of me throughout all of college and doing random stuff in the arts and you can see my cello is like right behind me. So I still play, Hey, even though, I am not by any means professional, so I definitely enjoy it.
And I think as you’ll see in some of my future slides and some of the things that I want to hit upon that’s what I feel like is the. The important thing when you’re even mentioning the arts in your application, you want to show that, you really love doing this, not just because you’re trying to get into college, but because you enjoy doing that.
And so here’s just some general advice and some tips. And as I was saying earlier, you just want to do what you love to do. Not because someone else is telling you to do it. Maybe it started at the case in which, your parents were telling you to practice the clarinet or something, or a practice, the violin.
And but at a certain point, you want to really show yourself and, time is valuable. And so you only want to be spending your time doing the things that you enjoy. And so whether you enjoy painting or doing music or dancing theater, I feel like you should really find if you are interested in doing the arts, just doing stuff that, that is really, speaks to you.
Not because someone else is telling you to do that. And that being said, Don’t always influence admissions decisions. There’s so many things that go into an application, especially if you’re not applying to an art school specifically, like we’re saying and they’re taking into account, basically your grades, your other, community service opportunities, your personality, your essays, your letters of recommendation.
And so maybe your arts, if you, all you do is arts, that can be a large part of your application. But for most people, the vast majority of people, arts doesn’t necessarily make that much of a difference. And once again, what I’m saying is you want to do it for yourself and not for college.
And then the college kind of admissions process will be a by-product of all of this stuff that you’ve done beforehand. And so that’s just my biggest piece of advice. And another just amazing thing about the arts is for the rest of your life, not just for applying to college, But even just in general, when you’re at parties, having a conversation with someone or even, applying to jobs, applying to medical school, applying to whatever, or just like hanging out with people.
It’s a great conversation starter. If you maybe did theater and someone else did theater, you really hit it off and you get to talk about that or you enjoy classical music and you get to like talk about Mozart together or something. And I think that’s one of the greatest assets of continuing to do arts and starting up.
That being said, arts definitely can help bolster application a lot. I feel like a lot of the reason I was successful in college and medical school admissions process in that process was because I played a lot of cello and I did a lot of stuff with that. And so it can definitely help. And so how, and so Nadia touched upon a few of these but you have 10 activities in the, in, in the common application.
So the common application for those of you who are younger is the main portal that you fill out with all your information. You’re like, where did I go to high school? What classes did I take? What was my score on the sat? And you get 10 slots for activities, extracurricular activities that you can fill out.
And then all of that information. Sent out to all the schools that you’re applying to. There are few exceptions, some schools have their own portals. But mainly, everyone gets all that information. And so you get 10 slots to say what you’ve done and you can say, oh, like I was doing community service.
I enjoy reading. Like I like to play tennis and then you, and then there’s space for the arts. And so this is where, you can really highlight any of the arts that you’ve been doing. In addition she’s talked a little bit about an art supplement and so you can either tape yourself playing.
I had a a few tapes of me playing the cello. You want to make sure if you do submit an art supplement, that it is at a pretty high level because as you’ll see it can potentially be detrimental to your application if you just Chuck it in there and you’ve never touched the cello, and then you take yourself playing the cello and they’re like, why is this.
Putting a video of them playing an instrument that they don’t know how to play. As well as, it gives you an opportunity to write a bunch of essays about the things that you like to do. And as I said earlier, it’s great conversation starters. And so I think in all of my interviews for anything ever, I’ve always talked about music and it’s just it eats up time and it’s something I’m comfortable talking about.
And it’s it’s, I think it’s very helpful in that regard. So here’s just an example of, writing down kind of activities that you’ve done and then putting them down concisely on a sheet of paper. So this is like a version of a resume that I had a few years ago. But so for example, like if I was a cello teacher, then I just say exactly what I did, like instructed and mentored X number of people at these music festivals.
And then you can even put in like community service opportunities I have as a freelance musician. You guys don’t have to redo all of this. So this is just an example. I think the slides are available for download if you’re more interested. And so let’s just move on from it. So as I was saying even though arts can help your app it’s also possible that they do, hurt your app at the same time.
So for example, if you have a poorly organized supplement and you just Chuck it in there you’re just adding to your app just to make it a longer application. I don’t think that’s necessarily the strongest idea. And so you want to be very careful about if you are saying something about the arts, you have something to say about it.
I, there you’ve you enjoy doing it a lot and you help influence your community. It’s some sort of community service activity you’re involved in an organization or you’re competing. And so there are any number of ways to do that, but you don’t just want to add it in there because you S oh, this person got into Johns Hopkins because they did a lot of theaters.
So I should put something about theater, even though I don’t act. So you should really only do what you like to do. And okay. Enough about that. I’ve said that a million times. Okay. So what are some examples of. Some things that you can do that will help your application either in, those 10 common app activities that I just said, or, some essays that you could write about, or just like you can even put awards and honors and for her, for some things that you do.
So the first thing that kind of pops out is potentially competing. And so this is completely unnecessary. You don’t need to compete in anything, but it is something, if you do feel like you’re at a certain level, then you can look for competitions in whatever kind of art you do. I have no idea what theater competitions are like or drawing competitions, like other painting.
I don’t know how that any of that is judged, but I know a lot about music. And so there’s definitely regional and statewide national, even international competitions that you can enter. I’m not saying you have to do any of that, but let’s say you are at the international level. That’s going to be very attractive to a lot of colleges.
But even if you compete at like the regional level that shows the colleges, oh this person is pretty serious about this and they do a lot of it and they spend a lot of time doing that. So that’s definitely something that can help. Whether you’re involved in organizations, this could be like if you go around and playing for nursing homes, if you play classical instruments, or if you are involved in an orchestra or a, just a community chamber music society, these are just all music, examples, just cause I do music, but these are applicable to any number of different things.
And yeah, so involvement in organizations and then any sort of community service and outreach. And I really love teaching. And so you can mix and match some of the things that you like to do. If you’d like to teach, then you can take what you’ve learned and then pass that onto someone else.
Maybe someone who isn’t as fortunate to, have lessons or something, you can teach them how to do whatever art that you’re doing. And I think those are some examples of things that you can do in the possibility is really endless. There’s no, as you’ll see, as you start to think about applying to college, there’s really no one way to get into college.
If someone says, do X, Y, and Z, and you’ll get into Princeton like that’s not true because there’s so many different ways to get into college and everyone’s looking for different things. And so you just have to find your own path and see what is what speaks to you. So current opportunities available as just Nadia said, it’s a lot of, we wanna make sure we’re social distancing still and everything, but you can definitely practice whatever kind of art you’re doing, or be creative with some sort of video or online mediums.
There’s definitely things to brainstorm about in that room. But at the end of the day, everything is individualized. As I said you have to ask yourself the question do you want to be an artist when you grow up? Do you actually want to do this for a living? Or do you just enjoy doing it?
Are you just doing it for college or will you continue doing it throughout college and after? And I think these are all really important questions to ask yourself because you have only so much time in a day and you want to know, spend time studying. You want to spend time with your family and friends.
You want to be able to, watch Netflix and read. Go outside and enjoy things. And so I think it’s really important to pick the things that you want to do because you want to do them. And that’s just a thing that permeates throughout all parts of your applicant application, not just the arts.
And so as a capstone for all of this arts can supplement your app, but in most cases they’re probably not going to be the most important component, unless you’re just like a gung ho on the arts. And but that is also totally fine, but it’s really individualized to everyone. That’s basically the end of the presentation part of the webinar, and I hope you found some of this information helpful and just remember that you can download all the slides on the handouts tab from the link I think that’s on the side of your chat.
I believe so. Nadia and I will alternate reading through the questions that you submitted through the Q and a, or we have some questions prepared to, to answer. And so we’re go ahead and do that.
Yeah, so I can start with the first few queue it’s in the common app. If you apply as a major, other than the performing arts, the plan to double major, once accepted, should you still include your resume and headshots since it’s a big part of your extracurriculars? So the resume is a fraught question in terms of where to include X, Y, and Z.
If the school was specifically offering you a place to add in an additional resume, that kind of summarizes that. Of course, I actually, haven’t seen many school applications in the common app that give you space for a resume and a headshot, unless it’s a creative portfolio. My overall kind of consensus with this and grant feel free to disagree is included if it adds additional information that they can’t find anywhere else. And if it’s specifically arts targeted headshots are usually unnecessary. Yeah. But you should include it if it is like an additional aspect and dimension to your application that they can’t find anywhere else.
Yeah. I definitely agree with what’s said I know theater is slightly different than performing arts. I don’t think, include a headshot for if you were like a violinist necessarily. And a lot of colleges will have you submit, a picture of yourself as well. So they know what you look like.
Yeah, it all depends on the level of that, that, you do arts in your life. If you. I’m just going to go with music cause that’s what I know. But if you play music all the time, you’re involved in an orchestra chamber music group, you play in solo stuff. And obviously a ton of your application is going to be about, that music.
And for me, cello was like any up to half of my application and I submitted an art supplement and all of that. And but there’s definitely people who also played the violin that I knew and only had one activity about it and didn’t even submit an art supplement. It was just something that, they enjoy it.
So it really is personalized. And something I would add on to that is simply by submitting an art supplement. You’re not, confining yourself to only doing that art in college, or even saying that you will continue doing it in college. It’s just a way, again, of having a showcase of what you’ve spent many hours on.
For the admissions team. So if you submit a creative supplement to create a team will probably think that you’re going to continue doing it in college, but there is absolutely no obligation to do yeah. So I’m just going to pick one of these pre panel questions. If you guys have other questions, you can go ahead and throw them in the chat.
But one that stands out to me is, how do you stand out in the application process? And we’ve talked to touched upon, some of those, some of the answers to that, whether it’s, you can compete. But one of the things is you don’t have to be the best person at your art, especially, if you’re not applying to do your art as a profession there are many creative things that you can do.
For example you can as I said, you can teach people who, are underserved, necessarily don’t have access to those things. Or you can start a group that goes around to hospitals and, performs at those places for patients and whatnot. I think anything that involves getting people together, after COVID has gone, and encouraging people to enjoy the art together and be able to appreciate it, teach someone anything is a really great community building and kind of shows that you’d like to be a leader in something.
And so this applies to art. This applies to anything, but colleges are a lot of the times looking for people who have the potential to be leaders or have, who are who, are innovative and the things that they do. So maybe take a spin on the arts. So either, start a little group, do something about it with that group, or, take a different spin that might not be traditional.
So for example, I have a lot of friends who would tape classical cello covers. They would play cello, but they would tape like, I dunno, Rihanna on the cello or something and then throw it on YouTube. And so there’s like many interesting things that you can do to help yourself stand out in those regards.
And I think there’s another question. Not yet. Yeah. So the next is, do you, art supplements, extended pieces of creative writing as well? Yes, absolutely. I’m a creature of the arts is actually really annoying. So I think I submitted for every college. I could, I submitted a visual art supplement, a theater supplement and a creative writing supplement.
Because I do, I did all of those things and I continue to do all of those things. The creative writing supplement usually entails segments of work you’ve done before. So if you’ve written poems, if you’ve written short stories, if you’ve written clays, like all of that can go in there. My recommendation.
Don’t submit too much material. So the poor admissions officer has to read I don’t know, the first 20 pages of a Tolstoy novel. If you’ve done different types of writing include that in there, it’s better to submit shorter samples of stuff you’ve worked on. So for instance, if you’re a playwright and the poet include some different types of poems, different lengths different styles include a snippet of your play.
And that’s plenty. You don’t, you should be showcasing the best of your writing. And again, it’s about quality, not quantity because you don’t want to bore the admissions team, but yes, absolutely submit a creative writing supplement. If that’s something that you’ve been really investing your time in something worth mentioning is that different schools will offer different supplements.
So not every school will offer theater supplement, not every school offered creative writing supplements. Sometimes it’s a weird combination sometimes. There’s an architecture supplement. So it really depends on the program. Really depends on where you’re applying, but it’s worth checking out. If you feel compelled to.
All right. So we have another question. If you apply ed one in the performing arts and are denied, can you apply ed to a regular set decision in another way, if you’re planning to double or dual major anyway. So I think this is really a school specific question. You’ll find that when you do start applying that every school kind of has their own little nuances and rules, and you have to just poke around their admissions page and see what they’re doing.
Just for those of you who are maybe younger and you don’t know what ed means, that means early decision. And so there are multiple kinds of ways to apply to college. You can apply regular decision in which that’s the wave in which most people apply, which applications are due around January 1st, generally it’s, give or take a few weeks.
And that’s when most people to apply, but they also, a lot of colleges give you the option to do what’s called early acceptance or early decision and early action. And so early decision means if you apply to a college. And you get in then they’ll review your application in November, and then you’ll know if you got an early and then you have to go to that college or early action means if you get in, then you have the option of going in early decision.
A lot of the times you’re you have to go if you get in. And so this is an, and they have multiple rounds so there might be ed one early decision one, which is like in September and then ed two might be in November or something. And then regular decision is in December, January.
That said, if you apply early decision, you can either get accepted. Rejected or deferred. So if you’re rejected, they won’t look at you in the next cycles. If they defer you, they’ll continue to look at your application. They just roll you over until the rest of the applicant pool.
And then if you’re accepted. And so I can’t, this person is asking, if you’re rejected in the performing arts or deferred in the performing arts, can you apply regular decision as another major? And I’d probably say they would allow you to switch the major that you want to do.
I, it’s probably, it’s gotta be, done by definitely by the by individually by each school, but I’m sure if you contact each admissions committee and like maybe email them or give them a phone call and say, Hey, like I know I applied as a, as an arts major last time. But I’ve since, thought about things.
And even though I want a double major, I’m going to apply as a different major, a lot of places will be flexible, some places won’t, it’s always individualized by the school. Yeah, I would second all of that. I think that applying again to a school in a different major, it really depends if first of all I’m sure the school has certain rules around that and also never be afraid of reaching out to the admissions team of that school. If you actually do have questions about it, it’s a great way of showing your interest in the school.
So if the college will know that you’ve already applied, that’s not necessarily the best way of getting into your second major, if that makes sense, like it’ll probably decrease your chances. However, if departments aren’t allowed to cross examine the applications that they get then absolutely.
Because what usually happens at larger schools is your app is sent to the different department who then approve or deny you after a general look of the committee. So if they don’t. Yeah, why not? So we have another question and apologies. If you hear background static my tech is going a bit crazy.
But the question is, can you submit videos of things you aren’t involved in an organization for example, I love to sing, but don’t have room in my schedule to join choir due to band. So I take part in theater. Would I still be able to tonight singing this, the supplement is again, like showing what you’ve, what your hours of practice have culminated in.
If you left a thing and are a very good singer and can submit a competitive, like supplement that includes singing in it. Absolutely. Why not? You don’t necessarily have to be involved in choir to do for instance, if you play an instrument don’t necessarily compete and you would just like to submit a recording of yourself playing, even if you haven’t officially joined band or anything else like that.
Absolutely. Again, it’s just. Making sure that it stands up to the scrutiny of the admissions team and that it is a competitive video, for instance. Yeah. So I’m just going to add a little bit onto that. If you’re submitting a supplement that is more of a judgment of kind of the quality or level of the arts that you do.
And so I know I said that you don’t have to compete. You don’t have to be the best at any of the arts that you do, but if you do submit a supplement, they’re going to judge you. Based on everyone else that is submitting a supplement of that same caliber, right? There are tons of ways to stand out. Other than that, as I said, you could write essays about it.
You could put it in your activity section, but if you choose to submit the supplemental, this is where it can potentially hurt you. If it isn’t at a very high level, because the admissions committee is going to spend the time looking at your supplement, what they do a lot of the times as they take either your seeing supplement, your voice supplement, they’ll send it to acquire professor or something, or the voice professor they’ll take your, a musician supplemental and they’ll send it to the orchestra director and they’ll listen to it.
And then they’ll say, is this person good enough to want to, to, for us to want to admit for this extracurricular. And so you definitely want to be at a very high level. If you do choose to submit an art supplement or else it’s either going to hurt you or not do anything. So what I would do is talk to someone who Who does the arts, if you have, if you do have a teacher, have them listen to it, if you don’t have a teacher look for someone who, either majors in that art or someone who does a lot of that thing and then make sure it’s at a very high level, but I would be very cautious if you aren’t involved in something.
And you’re not at a super high level to, to submit an art supplement like that. So let’s see. So we have another question. If submitting tapes or singing, playing an instrument, do they have to be based on classical pieces? Can they be more alternative modern music? You can really submit any kind of tape that you want.
It doesn’t have to be classical. It can be modern just as long as it’s it’s good. And then adding onto that often, if you have space, I’d recommend submitting. Yeah. The way that I like to view applications as a whole and not necessarily even arts application is filling in the gaps between what the admissions officers might not know about you.
So for instance, if you are a musician, I played guitar for 10 years. And I worked on both song accompaniment plus like classical. If you want to submit shorter pieces of alter like different types of music, for instance, if you’re singing or you can submit a classical piece and then you can submit a modern piece that actually showcase your talent more fully, that actually could be a benefit as well.
Nice. So we’re halfway or partway through the Q and a. So as a quick break, I want to let you know what you can do after this webinar. If you want to, get help on your college apps from someone like me or Nadia or any of our other bulls-eye advisors. We have two advising plans, the starter plan and the scholar plan.
And they’re both monthly subscriptions where you can get matched with an advisor of your choice. And you get to a one or two hours of one-on-one advising each month. And so as advisors, we work with you on your college essays, choosing schools, interview prep anything about the arts we’ll answer any questions about, life in general, like in college and whatever.
And I just sending everyone at this panel a link just to get you guys started, if you’re interested in that. So I think tests will hopefully help us out with that.
Cool. Wow. That’s fancy popped up on my screen.
Nice. So that is that like we can go back to any sort of questions that you guys have.
Is anyone here, a classical musician just type typing the chat, because I don’t want to give you guys practice tips if none of you guys play any classical music.
All right. While we’re waiting, we just have a bunch of like random questions in here. Is playing an instrument hard with no experience generally? Yes, it is very difficult without any the experience, but, I think it’s very it’s very rewarding as well. It’s definitely worth it. If you’re interested now you play the clarinet and take private lessons.
That’s great. Do you play in any orchestra or chamber music? So I just a personal story, I, my mom maybe play the cello when I was little and I hated it up until I was like in seventh grade, like when I was 13 or something. And then I went to cello camp and then I realized, oh wait, like I actually really do enjoy this.
And so then it flipped from like her telling me to practice, to telling me to stop practicing because I needed to do other things. And so for a while, I actually wanted to be a professional cellist up until I was like in 10th or 11th grade. And then I decided that, I just wanted to to go to college for random things.
And then I decided that I wanted to go to medical school a lot later. So that was like junior year of college when I decided that. So it’s
random things, arts, but then I really enjoy doing it. And that yeah, Gave me a lot of incentive to practice more because I just enjoyed doing okay. In the school marching and concert band and audition yearly for the Illinois music education association, district senior honors band.
Yeah, that’s very cool. So this would be like regional kind of level quote unquote, like competition. I don’t like to even say competitions or anything because arts should be done because you enjoyed it and it’s fun. You shouldn’t necessarily be competing, but that’s just what people have turned it into sometimes.
But I just want to stress that, like you should do it because you enjoy doing it. How many months, hours is typically needed under the scholarships? So the bulls-eye scholars. Okay. Or are you talking about the program that we just
that we just threw up because you can either do a one hour or two hours. It’s basically. Yeah, it’s a subscription. So it’s basically a, we have students that start with us as early as sophomore year or even freshman year. And it’s basically how long you need advising for it’s really up to you and like what you think your hopes, schools, dreams, desires are.
If you need if you have a particularly hard moment and you’re trying to get your essays done, figure out summer plans you might want to sign up for a few months, and then it’s just based on your schedule, based on where you are. Yeah. It’s a monthly way of checking in and getting your questions answered.
Excellent. And we have another question, which is, oh, sorry, go for it. Oh, no, I was just going to say, you can also sign up. Hourly things. It’s theirs. These aren’t the only things that you can sign up for. Bulls-eye and there are also larger packages if you’re interested and you can go on the website to look up what those are, but this is just like a starter kit.
If you’re interested in seeing what it’s about some people benefit from a lot of advising. Some people don’t need any advising. And so you just gotta do there’s a lot of, bulls eyes. Great, because we’re a lot of people who are very recently through the admissions process who have been somewhat successful.
And so I think it’s helpful to have that, very recent a firsthand experience.
So the other question we have is I want to be pre-med, but I’m, and I’m stuck between biology and theater as a med student. What would you recommend? So grant, this is for you. This is a loaded question. There’s a lot of things that go into medicine. Medicine itself is a very difficult career.
And you have to realize that you’re going to be working late nights and constantly learning new things all the time. And so I think the first step is to figure out, okay, I do want to do medicine in the first place cause it’s very demanding and it’s and it takes a lot to get into medical school.
Like it’s as, as difficult as it is to get into college, it’s much harder to get into medical school. And a lot of people it’s I think 30 or 40% of the people get in, don’t quote me on that statistic. But you have to maintain a very high GPA as well as do very well on the MCAT.
As well as do all the extracurriculars that you’re seeing for getting into college and but medically related, and then there’s some research involved. If you want to do that. And so stuck between majoring in biology or theater. So to, to get into medical school, you need to take a bunch of requirements regardless.
And so you have to take a year of chemistry, a year of organic chemistry, your physics, a year of biology sometimes statistics and there’s a bunch of requirements. And so you will be studying biology no matter what to get into medical school, because that’s the requirement. A lot of my classmates, majored in the social sciences or they majored in like economics or they majored in the arts.
And so it’s totally cool. And sometimes that can even help you stand out as a medical school applicant, because you have so many people who are applying as biology majors, although there’s nothing wrong. They’re not going to discriminate people against people who either do biology or don’t do biology.
I studied human evolutionary biology but there was nothing that helped me or hurt me in that. It’s just literally, if in everything that I’m saying, not just about the arts you want to, once you get to college to you, like you want to start. What you want to study because you want to do it not to get somewhere else.
And I think that’s just a really good mindset to have so that you don’t burn out, because if you’re doing something just to get somewhere and you don’t enjoy it, that’s just a recipe for disaster at the end of the day. So you want to make sure that, you’re doing something to get somewhere, but you also enjoy it at the same time.
Those two things aren’t mutually exclusive. So if you love doing theater, but you want to be, pre-med be a theater major and then also be pre-med because you can do all the required courses on the side. But if you just want to do some theater courses on the side and do mostly medical stuff and pre-med stuff, then that, which is what I basically did.
I did a lot of like science and stuff and some economics and stuff. And then a little bit of arts on the side. So it’s whatever kind of balance that, that floats your boat. Yeah. To add on to that, I think both of your interests are very time demanding and very hard. And so it really depends on.
What the majors are as well. At Williams, I’ve had friends, a friend for instance, who majored in dance and is now working in a neuroscience lab and will be applying to med school. So absolutely second, everything grant said, it is very possible to major in like the arts or whatever. Other majors you’re interested in and just complete the required coursework for medical school and a ton of people do that and actually enjoy that because it amplifies their application.
Something to keep in mind is if for instances, theater major requires you to participate in productions which at times they do figuring out how to balance rehearsal time with the sheer amount, like difficulty of doing a pre-med course load, as well as something worth considering and how you’re going to do that in the most healthy way.
And it’s not something you have to figure out now necessarily. And you can always try it and then move majors around. But something to keep in mind is if you’re doing is how difficult the things you’re trying to do are, and pair them together. And whether that will actually lead you to enjoy doing both or whether you want to do for instance focus on pre-med, but just do like theater as a student group, extracurricular thing.
If you actually want to major complete those requirements and complete, the coursework are very different. Levels, if that makes sense. Yeah. And just in general, I am a huge proponent of balance, like work-life balance. I think it’s really important to work really hard and work towards those goals. But if you’re, cutting sleep and cutting time with friends and family, you have to reevaluate and say, is this really worth it?
Because a lot of times, everything’s getting so hyper competitive and a lot of times, and people get bogged down and, thinking about what’s next. And it’s really important to take a step back, breed and say, okay, like what is really important to me, it’s important to try really hard, but I can only do my best and that’s as much as I can do.
And it’s really important also to, enjoy life along the way. And so if you’re trying to balance theater, which is heavily demanding, you’re going to be in rehearsal all the time. And then also, and then you’re studying all night. Maybe that isn’t necessarily the best thing to do, unless you just love doing that.
And just keep in mind, it’s, you don’t have to do everything always. And yeah. I think it’s difficult when you’re always seeing what other people are doing and maybe your friends are talking about what they’re doing. I think it’s just really important and helpful to just block that out of your head.
Just be like, I don’t, it doesn’t matter to me what other people are doing. I’m just going to do what I’m going to do and I’m going to do my best and that’s it. And that’s all you can ask for yourself. Hopefully that helps relieve a little bit of stress and it’s definitely helped me throughout the process applying to competitive things.
And I think that’s just a better mindset to have rather than be like, oh, what is this person doing? Let me one up then it’s, you should be, don’t care about when you also doing, do what you’re doing and then, do your best. And that’s all you can ask. So how long did it take you to decide your major?
Did you decide prior to applying or during college and what would you recommend from when you should declare your major? I’ll let you go first. Yeah. This is a great question. And again, is met with a very typical, it depends on the school. So if you’re applying to. A liberal arts college and Ivy typically you don’t, you apply as undecided and you don’t have a choice to declare your major because they want you to explore in the school.
And then sophomore year, you have to submit this piece of paper, basically that tells the school what you want to do. Some schools you have to decide in advance and it’s very difficult to transfer out of them. So again, depends what the program is, where you’re applying. I knew I wanted to be a theater major.
Basically when I was applying I had some doubts about it, of course, and which is why I ended up not going to a conservatory style program because I wanted a more well-rounded interdisciplinary education. But there’s nothing wrong with taking a little bit more time to figure it out. And in fact, schools often want you to figure it out.
So I think often. People feel like they have to know exactly what their future 10 year goal looks like when applying to colleges. And that’s simply not the case, majoring in the arts being pre-med like anything is a huge decision. So don’t feel like, especially if you’re applying to schools that require your supplies, undecided, that you have to necessarily already know what you want, your like future self to be ’cause, that’s what college is for in a lot of situations.
Yeah. Yeah. And I think when you’re younger you always look towards the people who are older and think, oh, they have their entire lives figured out. They know like everything that’s going on. And you realize that as you get older and older, Everyone is always figuring things out as they go.
And even, I’m in medical school right now, the people I’m with are, 24 to even 35. And some of us don’t even know what we want to do with our lives at the end of the day. And so you don’t have to have everything figured out. It’s helpful to have an idea of what you want to do, but especially in that college transition, this is a time for you to really explore a lot of things.
And so personally, I had no idea what I wanted to study, cause I wanted to be a cellist. And then I was like, okay, now I don’t want to be a cellist. And then I was interested in. Studying economics and computer science. So I was initially an economics and computer science major, and then halfway into college, I took a human evolutionary biology class, which taught me about how the human body became the way it is.
Why do we walk on two legs? Why are our brains so big? Like why can we like create technology in those things? Through my mind, I was like, wow, this stuff is fascinating. And then I was like, oh and then I took chemistry and I was like, wow, this stuff is actually cool. And then I was like, maybe I want to be a doctor.
And so now I’m going to medical school, so there’s a ton of different ways and I didn’t decide what I wanted to do until I was a junior in college. Really. And so there’s no pressure, honestly to think about what you’re going to do necessarily. It’s helpful if you do want to go into medicine to have some sort of inkling in mind cause it’s although people do switch later but overall, this is a time for you to just take a bunch of courses.
That’s what a liberal arts education is all about. Liberal arts education just means you can choose what you want to study. And so I think that’s exciting. The importance of attending college is being called into question in an age where learning and information are much more accessible and free.
And your honest opinion, how useful has it college education been to you so far? Okay. So this is like getting out of the realms of arts, but, I think it’s an interesting, question to ask and obviously it’s a tough question because colleges are charging exorbitant amounts of money for people to go and people question, okay, am I actually learning tangible skills, but no.
Sorry for the locals. I think it’s an interesting question. I appreciate it personally. I thought my college education. 10 million times worth it because the it’s not just, what you’re learning in the classroom. This is a very cliche answer, but I think it’s true to the fullest. Like it was the interactions that I had outside of the classroom with my professors when I just went into their office hours just popped in their office and had conversations with them.
It was the connections that they made with my friends, I have so many amazing friends, throughout all different parts of the country that I hang out with all the time. And I felt like I really learned how to think when you’re in like an online learning environment, even though that’s happening right now, if you get back in person, it’s really great just to have those, 4:00 AM nights when you’re staying up studying or whatever.
And it’s just it is another level of education that you can get. And even though, while there are tons of free, accessible materials online for you to learn a lot college is a great, organized and streamlined way to do that. And obviously the whole question of whether college is worth, it is being called into question in a number of ways, but I still personally think it helps open your mind to a lot of things.
And it’s good just as a stage of growth in the future. So that’s my personal opinion on it. Yeah. I would also definitely say like one of the big things that not to bring the future of the economy into question too, but something that people are really finding is that even entry-level positions require a college education.
So while people are calling it into question, we do have so many more college graduates now, which is a really good thing, but also is causing an imbalance in which, a lot of like internship positions literally require you to have a bachelor’s. So from a purely perspective, like positive perspective, I have loved my experience.
I think it has taught me to think and grow in ways. It’s also connected me to a lot of really formative people in my life. And especially as an artist, like the connections that I formed, I don’t think I could have done by myself. And so it really has been totally worth it for me. Something else to consider of course is what I always tell people is why do you want to go, what are you trying to do this for years?
So you get to invest in yourself and you get to invest in yourself as a person. If you’re like, if your goal of going to college is like career prep. That’s not necessarily the best way of looking at it. I think at this point, especially if you’re going into the liberal arts, it’s about right.
Giving yourself time to fully mature and grow and understand who you are and understand what you want and understand your positionality in society. I’ve taken classes that will they be helpful to me in the field? Hopefully, probably some of them not but have they been really formative to the way I’ve understood the world?
Absolutely. So yeah, I think that’s my answer. I don’t have a clear one. I it’s been worth it certainly for me, it’s also definitely worth it when you look at job requirements nowadays. But again, it depends on your financial situation. It depends on the exact career path you want to go into. And there is again, like there’s always community for the first two years to figure out like what you want to do and then transfer.
So there’s a lot of different paths you can take. And it’s just worth keeping those tabs open, understanding exactly what you’re trying to get out of. Nice. And yeah, I guess with that kind of concludes our presentation in question answer. And so I think there’s going to be a feedback form that gets sent to you guys later, and you can add any sort of additional questions you have there.
Please give us any sort of candid feedback just so we can improve these in the future. The next webinar will be in two days on Thursday and there’s going to be another spike series session on academic contests and Olympiads. Interesting. That should be it a very insightful webinar. Yeah.
So we have our entire October series lined list out listed I think on the website you’ll get redirected to that once we need the session. And so thanks so much for coming out tonight. Hope you guys stay safe and good luck with all your applications and school and everything.
Yeah, have a really lovely night, everyone and overall just take care of yourselves and get some sleep best advice I have for people right now. So I agree. All right, everyone. Take care. Bye.