Music Education with no prior training

Dear Mr Friedland:
I have a question about well really my future.
I just recently bought a Yamaha YCL-450 and I’m playing on the mouthpiece that came with the instrument and a Vandoren 3 reed. I’m looking into buying the Vandoren 5RV Lyr Series mouthpiece but after reading some of your earlier post I’m now looking into the Vandoren B45 and the Clark W Forbes “Debut” Mouthpieces. I have been playing for 7 years now and am entering high school as a senior next year and am worried about college auditions. I’ve never had private lessons but am going to my first lesson on Friday.I have a “good” ear and am an ok player who has been working on develeping her technique and sound but I’m not extremely skilled in technique. I want to be a music education major and go to a school in Philadelphia but I feel the lack in technique and the fact that I’m just starting to get private lessons might hinder my chances of doing well at auditons. So my question is do you think it would be possible to get into college as a music education major without private lessons and if so what kind of repertoire should I look into learning?

Hello C:
It really depends upon how much of an ability you have and to what school you are applying. Make sure that you tell them that you have never had any private lessons as it will make a big difference in your favor. They will be able to determine from your audition what exactly is your potential, realize that you are going for a Music Education degree and gauge all accordingly. It also depends upon the number of potential students have applied to the institution, the more makes them more selective, and less, they become less so. That sounds crass perhaps, but it is indeed the way of the educational system, which is more and more a business.
Don’t worry about technic, worry about the sound you make for that is a reflection of your potential more than any techinc, which is never important, especially for an entering student.
What are you playing now? If nothing else, play a Rose Etude for them.
Do not worry. It sounds to me that you will do very well indeed.
Good luck, and do not worry.
Best wishes, Sherman Friedland


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