You’ve probably heard it a hundred times: admissions officers are looking for well-rounded applicants with plenty of extracurricular activities.
So, what does it mean if your interests lie in the arts?
Misinformed people will tell you that the arts aren’t important in college preparation, but that’s not true. While all extracurricular activities look great on college applications, high school arts and music are just as important as math and science to admissions boards.
Here are a few ways to use your fine arts classes and extracurricular activities in music and drama toward your college applications.
High School Band, Orchestra, and Choir: Making the Most Out of Your In-School Music Activities
When applying to college, many students overlook their band, orchestra and choir classes. Don’t make this mistake! Participation in a music ensemble demonstrates teamwork, focus, and dedication - all of which are invaluable traits for college applicants.
Look to expand your involvement in your music ensemble, if possible. For example, try to become a section leader, or run for cabinet position. Organizational and leadership skills are important to develop early, and admissions officers will certainly take note. Take advantage of extracurricular musical activities, as well. Glee clubs, show choirs, jazz bands, and chamber orchestras will strengthen your musicianship, and your college applications.
Theater and Drama: Marketing Your Passion for the Stage to Admissions Officers
If you’ve ever worked on a play, you know that it can be a lot of fun. What you may not have considered, though, is how well it can fit into your college application. Theater requires extensive research, interpersonal and organizational skills, concentration and perseverance.
Of course, these traits aren’t reserved for actors only; technicians, crew heads, stage managers and directors have heavy involvement in production too. Be sure to make your theatre experience known on your application, and look for as many participation opportunities as possible. Lead roles are probably more notable on your applications than bit parts, but don’t forget to seek out leadership positions as well. Stage manager, dance captain, and assistant director are just a few of the great leadership options available.
Music and Drama: Tips and Tactics
- Getting involved in music and drama outside of the classroom is a great way to set your application apart from the crowd. By finding opportunities outside of your high school, you’ll show admissions officers your passion and dedication for music and drama.
- If you’re interested in music, check out the competitions offered by your state’s high school band, orchestra, or choir associations. For example, solo/ensemble and state honors ensembles will hone your musical skills in a professional and competitive environment.
- As for drama, community theater is a fantastic opportunity. Find out about the productions scheduled at local theatres and audition for anything that looks interesting. Even if it’s a professional production, it can’t hurt to try.
- Many regional theaters and festivals offer internships and workshops for high school students. While they are often quite intensive, if you’re willing to put in the work, they’ll be worth the effort. Admissions officers love to see that kind of commitment, especially if you’re applying to study theater.
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