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Admit Me: Why College Application Essays and Artistic Statements Matter

Nov 18, 2014



Presentation to the juniors at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts on April 25, 2014.

  • 1. AdmitMe: Why College ApplicationEssays andArtistic Statements Matter RebeccaJoseph,PhD AssociateProfessor,CalStateUniversity [email protected] FB: getmetocollege freeadvice FB page: All College Essays iPad/iPhone App: All College Application Essays Instagram: Getmetocollege

2. Danielles Essay I find English, the everyday language that rings in my ear, just as complex to understand as any other language, despite the fact that it is my native tongue. Within words, I stumble upon meanings that are lucid. My mind is lost amidst a storm of overflowing words that to me fall from nowhere: I have to meticulously make sense of them and plow through their puddles of chaos in order to comprehend the art of language and visualize the structure and process behind it. Singing is another world of communication, a seamless way of expressing oneself to full potential. With singing, one can take beautifully spoken phrases of any kind, whether colloquial, foreign, or from poetic works, and people who listen will understand the purpose of the singer. This is what I find beautiful about poetry and any other type of word form, such as speaking, mixed with the art of music. JB 3. More Danielle The three minutes I spend on any stage are a gift to me. Walking on the stage in a long, black dress is like walking on with an air of mystery. On that stage, I am able to plant myself firmly on the ground and let my internal energy become the external energy that diffuses into the air and fills all corners of the concert hall. No one in the audience may know anything about the piece of music I am singing, except what is listed in the concert program. This is often just ones name, piece, and composer. All they can do is use their inner ear to gather a sense of the connotation of the phrases that I sing, whether they are in English, Italian or French. 4. Even More Danielle When the poetic phrases fuse together in song, I let my emotions connect with the music and use the words to share my passion for the story in my head. The audience is free to interpret what the piece of music means to them and understand that there is no right answer. For them, the process of hearing a gorgeous and passionate Italian art song leaves stillness into the air, as everyones thoughts, including mine, turn to internal experiences and memories that are related to the song. I feel thoroughly connected to the poetry I am singing, I feel the sense of freedom that comes from each three minute song extend into other parts of my life. I no longer feel the urge to act reserved, as this is how I sometimes feel about situations in my normal, everyday life. Now I imagine I can feel, communicate, and express the phrases I want to speak with the same confidence I communicate while singing. This is the power of the human voice: as I start to sing, its magic diffuses to my everyday communications. 5. Danielle Resume Top Grades Medium test scores Singer Violinist What do we learn about her from essay? RJJ 6. Essays = Opportunity Show unique stories that make applicants jump off the page Master the highest ranked non-academic aspect of the application Realize the package of essays countsnot just one Share their unique voices Express who they really are Challenge stereotypes Reflect on their growth and development, including accomplishments and service Seek to understand what the admission officers are looking for RJJ 7. Successful Admissions Writing includes: Introspection ~ Self reflection allows for depth in writing Complex Thinking ~ Identify & showcase multi-dimensions Keep it Simple ~ Addressing the question/prompt Coherence ~ Arrangement of qualities with examples of them Style and Tone (personal) ~ Be true to oneself Syntax and Format (maturity) ~ Multiple drafts are a must JB/SJ 8. How Important Are the Essays? 1. Grades 2. Rigor of Coursework, School 3. Test Scores 4. Essays* 5. Recommendations-Teacher and/or Counselor 6. Activities-Sustained consistency, development, leadership, and initiative 7. Special skills, talents, awards, community service and passions RJJ 9. Application Essay Vs. ArtisticStatement Application Essays are stories that communicate key messages. They are creative and can vary in format. Artistic Statements are linear autobiographical pieces that reveal why your progression as an artist and why you are a good match for program or college or conservatory 10. Steps to Success 1)Understand the essays you will have to write 2)Create a master chart to highlight patterns 3) Write two resumes 4)Different brainstorming strategies 5)Brainstorm core qualities and unique stories 6)Use effective organizational structures 7)Revise and revise L 11. Understand the Essays 1)The Common Application: 2014-2015 Prompts! One Long: Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn? Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again? Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you? Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family. Short, Activities, Additional Information, and Supplemental 2)Large Public UniversitiesThe UCS, and other big publics 3)Private College Specific Applications 4)Other Systems (Universal Application, etc.) JB 12. Artistic Statements Each schools has different prompts and requirements. Some are the entire application Some are supplements to Common Application or UC Application 13. USC Acting Program Step Three: Submit these items to the School of Dramatic Arts via SlideRoom Upload a current picture or headshot Upload a Drama resume Upload Autobiographical essay The total length of your essay should not exceed 750 words and address the following: What influenced your decision to apply to the USC School of Dramatic Arts? What are your expectations from a college education? What are your professional goals and objectives What extenuating circumstances (if any) may have affected your previous academic performance? 14. New England Conservatory of Music Describe your educational and professional goals and tell us your specific reasons for choosing to apply to NEC as you pursue these goals. We review the essay to learn more about you as a musician and person, as well as to assess your competency with written English. The essay should be 300500 words in length and must be entered into the appropriate page of the online application. Please note that the online application will accept only very basic text formatting. If you write your essay in a word processing program with the intention of pasting it into the online application, we recommend that you keep the formatting very simple. (Avoid using bold, italics, underlines, indentations, or other similar formatting.) 15. NYU BFA Steinhardt Studio Art For, you will submit:1. 15-20 images of work completed within the last two years, done in any medium (painting, drawing, sculpture, video, photography, digital art, installation, sound, etc.). Each image MUST contain the works title, year completed, medium and size.2. A one-page artists statement describing your:a) goals as an artist;b) artistic influences, including two contemporary artists who are nationally or internationally recognized (these artists should have created new work within the past 20 years and they should be represented in major art museums or art galleries which feature contemporary visual artists);c) background and interests, including previous art training, and films, literature, or music you enjoy and how they relate to your art work;d) what you hope to gain from studying in the studio art program at NYU. 16. Danielles Music Autobiography Last summer was my dream summer. Never in my life have I been able to pursue my interests in such a short time interval: music and science. All my life, I have thought of school as my "major" and focused my energies on my academics for the majority of my time, while working on my music in my spare time. Last summer I decided to focus on both. I took a conceptual physics course at UCLA to have a solid foundation of the subject before my senior year. At the same time, I participated in intensive vocal and violin music programs. While I enjoyed all three programs, I truly bloomed in the two week Songfest Program at Pepperdine. Last spring, I auditioned for and was accepted to attend the two-week master program for classical singers from across the country. I took master classes, private lessons, and sang in multiple ensembles. I thought I had died and gone to heaven in this intense, yet incredibly supportive community. The program gave me the confidence to want to experience this kind of development and community full-time in college. As I work with my private teacher this year, she is helping me create the space in my mouth for the sound color, and I cannot wait to focus on my vocal development throughout my college experience. 17. More Danielle My desire to continue this individual and communal vocal development full-time brings me to the New England Conservatory. I feel that my soul and body truly merge when I sing, and I have been blessed to work with amazing teachers in and outside of my school. Each one helps me find new ways to express my voice, and I like how at NEC I can also work with world-class faculty members, who are actively working as professional artists, including Karen Holvik, Lisa Saffer, and Michael Meraw. Three years ago I first experienced the joys