5 Tips: Find a Music School Community That’s Right For You
You’re looking for the right music school and have narrowed down your list. What do you factor into your decision? Location? Tuition? Faculty? What about the community of instrumentalists, producers and instructors you’ll be engaging with daily during your school life? Since your ideal community isn’t as tangible as the gear in your practice room, let’s discuss five ways to gauge the community at your future music school:
1) Take a Tour (duh)
The best way to get a vibe for your future school is to visit the campus. Check out the classrooms, practice labs and studios…where you might hang out in between classes. Watch how the students and teachers interact with each other. How are you greeted by staff? If you can’t visit, see if they have a virtual tour or check out the school’s Facebook page (more on that below).
2) Open House
Open houses are a music school tour on steroids and another great way to get a feel for the community. At the Q&A session, ask a school official about the student community in particular and any events. If they seem caught off guard by the question, you might be suspicious. At a LAMA open house, you hear about social gatherings, faculty and visiting artist performances, concerts and much more!
3) Check out Facebook
We live in a social media world playing a great role in the lives of today’s professional musicians and producers. Check out your potential school’s public social networks. See if the school and students are posting on the wall, photo albums and the events pages. Look for student performances, vocal showcases, drum hangs and themed parties.
4) Lurk on Twitter
Use Twitter to discover more about your future music school’s community. Follow the school and check out the chatter. Look up alumni and see what they’re up to. Gauge the “temperature” of what others have to say. You might be surprised at what you find out but don’t believe everything you hear. That’s why you always need to do some fact-checking
5) Ask a Student
Ever heard the phrase “straight from the horse’s mouth”? It means cut through everything and just go to the most direct source – the students! When you are on an open house, touring or on Twitter and Facebook, ask some students about the school! You should get some pretty honest answers!
What are some other techniques you would use to gauge the community at your future school?