Review of The Juilliard School

Rating: StarStarStarStar_grayStar_gray By: Heidi G., Student Posted: April 26, 2011

My review

The Good:

Needless to say, The Juilliard School is very well known for producing incredible (and some very famous) alumni. Roaming the halls that once were shared with the likes of Robin Williams, Audra McDonald, Yo Yo Ma and Chick Corea is nothing short of electrifying. Students of all disciplines are privy to unbelievable experiences - performance opportunities, career workshops, a mentoring program, and community outreach, to name a few. The recently completed renovations done on the building and surrounding area of Lincoln Center is just the icing on the cake that is New York City. As a student concentrating in the performing arts, there is simply no better place to be. The resources of the city are limitless - The New York Philharmonic, The New York City Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera, Jazz at Lincoln Center - (and those are only in a Juilliard student’s backyard)!!

Prospective (music) students should make their decision first and foremost by the rapport they feel with their private instructor. The faculty at Juilliard is truly incredible - many are members of the aforementioned ensembles. They have an unbelievable wealth of knowledge, expertise, and most importantly PASSION to bring to the table. Performing and expressing art is such a personal experience - that a healthy and mutually inspiring relationship with the individual teacher is essential. It is recommended to meet with the teacher at least once, and to take a private lesson if possible. Students should ‘audition’ their instructor, too - to make sure that their personalties harmonize well (pun intended).

The Bad:

Obviously, you get out what you put in. Dancers and actors have very rigorous and demanding schedules that sometimes require them to be at school for twelve-hour days. The schedules of musicians are somewhat dependent on the motivation of the individual student. Class requirements are sparse, allowing for practice time to be prioritized. Self-discipline (and a desire to spend several hours a day alone in a practice room) are a must.

Students who are looking to be challenged academically may be bored. At the undergraduate level, students must take basic Humanities classes. The academic faculty is very invested in the careers of its students. They work hard to create a curriculum that appeals (and applies) to the performing arts. Juilliard does not offer any math or science classes - and the only available history classes are art/music related. There is an excellent exchange program with Columbia University - although it is extremely difficult to keep up classes at an ivy league institution while maintaining sufficient performance at Juilliard. Students who wish to do this must have an excellent academic standing and must get permission from their private teacher (who are usually reluctant to see their pupils spread thin).

Juilliard does have an excellent Office of Student Affairs that sponsors discounted activities and events, and encourages a flourishing student life. Unfortunately, a typical ‘college experience’ isn’t readily available. There are no sports teams, no cheerleaders, and no frat parties. Incoming freshman do have the advantage of Orientation - which is chock full of amazing and diverse activities (Circle Line Cruise, a hypnotist, Vegas night - complete with shot gun ‘weddings’) and opportunities to bond with fellow classmates. Beyond that first week, however, students must make extra effort socially. NYC can be a very intimidating place to move - and often times students can become too contained within the ‘Juilliard bubble’. (Robin Williams once referred to Juilliard as a “prison with cellos”). Its important to exercise initiative to fully take advantage of the city and what it has to offer - while remaining street smart, of course!

Would I do it again?

Yes, The depth experiences I have gained while being a member of the Juilliard community are quite nearly indescribable. I have been so consistently inspired (by the faculty, of course), but mostly by my classmates. While attending performances by my peers I have often thought to myself - 'wow . . . I am witnessing history being made'. The artistic and personal relationships I have made during my career as a Juilliard student are invaluable.

About this school

Biggest influence when choosing this school Career potential

The financial aid process went smoothly and I received the financial aid I needed.

Professors are generally Inspiring

The night life is Epic

Every student at this school needs discipline

Most students spend their Saturday nights exploring NYC!

About the reviewer

Went to Pittsburgh, PA

Currently a Graduate Student

You might also consider The Curtis Inst. of Music

Favorite class is Classical Music in the Age of Pop

Favorite professor is Ms. Cox (ear training)

Favorite activity is attending performances of my peers

Study Hard? Pray? Donate Money? develop a relationship with the faculty by expressing interest in studying with them, planning a visit and taking a private lesson (if possible).

I wish I knew how quickly college goes by - I wish I had taken advantage of every second.

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The Breakdown:



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