Getting Accepted

Home Forums Teaching the Harp Getting Accepted

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
  • #86411

    I am hoping to get teachers at higher-education schools to post answers here. What kind of students do you prefer to accept when listening to auditions for college level and for graduate level study?

    Do you want fast and flashy, or solid, secure and musical?

    Can you find both, or is it usually one or the other?

    Do you try to accept a mix, or is that the usual result?

    In other words, how do you advise a student which school to apply to, without knowing specifically what a teacher is looking for, if one ever does.


    I would love to see some responses here since I am on the student side of things!


    Saul- I hate to be the sarcastic pessimist here, but the primary criterion for many harp departments is that the student have a pulse and body temperature of 98.6. The list of harp departments that actually screen students and require certain standards of playing is quite short. All the rest will take whoever is willing to enroll.

    J P

    I have to agree with Carl on this.

    harp guy

    From what little I have seen being a University student myself [for Flute Performance though…. not harp], I have seen very similiar things.

    As far as flutists go, without “tooting my own horn” if you will, I am fairly decent. I just won 2nd flute in our All-State Inter-Collegiate Orchestra. The auditions consisted of every flute music major [Bachelor, Graduate, and Doctoral degrees] in the state, and were very hard and quite vicious. But the standards I have seen for harp are quite a bit lower.

    I quit taking harp lessons at the end of my senior year in high school. I really considered majoring in harp, but ultimately couldn’t afford a pedal harp in enough time to effectively transition and then


    At UBC, first of all, the student has to have high enough marks to be accepted into the university before he or she can be accepted into the School of Music. They also have to play an audition, which can be sent in as a DVD. The school expects a high enough level of playing that the student can function well in orchestra, opera, and chamber music while still keeping up with their academic classes. The requirements for solo performance get more demanding as the student progresses from year to year.
    They can be fast and flashy or more solid and musical; after all, it takes all kinds to make a harp department! As long as they are able to get around the instrument, and show all the usual signs of musicality such as good rhythm, intonation, and nice phrasing, they have an excellent chance of getting in.


    So having a checkbook for tuition doesn’t matter that much?

    Now, I know that many schools/conservatories limit the number of harpists they will accept, so there has to be criteria in place.

    I find it hard to advise a student, not knowing what teachers/schools are looking for. I guess I’ll have to write to each one and ask.

    For instance, are Solfeggietto by CPE Bach and Au Matin by Tournier good contrasting solos? Does the Bach need to be replaced by a longer solo?


    Most schools should have a web site with their criteria listed.

    Mel Sandberg

    Carl, I think you forgot about blood pressure…….although, sorry, I just realised, blood pressure does create the pulse……doesn’t it?

    Mel Sandberg

    Saul, your question is interesting….


    Does that mean every student in Great Britain has to take the same compulsory exams? That would never happen here.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.