Isn’t Talent Enough?! To Get Into Music School, Do I Really Need An Admissions Consultant?

by Steven Lipman

Talent trumps all.  That’s what some folks would have you believe when it comes to getting into a top music program.  If you’ve got serious musical chops, and can sing like Pink, rap like Chance, or write like Lin Manuel Miranda, then the doors to NYU or USC or [INSERT your dream school here] will be flung open, and you’ll be invited to take your rightful place at a top conservatory or music college, right?  As head of admissions at Berklee for over 20 years, I’ve got to burst your bubble…it’s not that simple.

Raw musical talent is one factor, and a super important one, of course.  But the admissions and audition process for the best music schools is always highly competitive, and also often complicated and confusing.

What it takes to get accepted into a music program is different than for a typical college or university.  And, to be perfectly honest – with no offense at all meant to your wonderful and much needed support network – the average high school guidance counselor, well-intentioned parent, former “rock star” uncle, bandmate-best friend-boyfriend, theater director, piano teacher, and everyone else ready and willing to offer you their advice, just don’t have the insider knowledge and experience to best guide you in your pursuit of advanced musical training and a professional career in music.

A music college consultant with expert knowledge, years of experience, and a deep network of contacts in the musical education field will give you a major advantage in the admissions process.  Here’s how:

  • An expert music admissions consultant knows this highly specialized field better than the average high school guidance counselor, musical director, teacher or band leader, and can explain the quirky admissions process – in detail and from an insider’s perspective – to you and your family
  • An expert music admissions consultant will determine how your level of musical skills stacks up against the competition through a comprehensive musical assessment, including mock auditions with faculty from top music programs, and professional evaluation of music composition portfolios, music theory background, and studio production projects
  • An expert music admissions consultant will work closely with you and your family to match your unique musical skills, academic interests, geographic and cultural preferences, and professional music goals with a tailored target list of music colleges and universities, conservatories, and music programs based on the most current and reliable industry information
  • An expert music admissions consultant will offer trial lessons to ensure that you’re selecting and preparing the appropriate repertoire expected from different music colleges, conservatories and programs around the world
  • An expert music admissions consultant will serve as a true partner throughout the application development process, ensuring that all application materials, from pre-screening to personal essay and resume drafting, reflect you as a candidate most effectively
  • An expert music admissions consultant will prepare you for interviews with music college admissions counselors and music department faculty through simulations and detailed feedback you can use to leave a lasting impression
  • An expert music admissions consultant will reduce stress and anxiety for you and your family by implementing a roadmap that keeps you comfortable and confident knowing exactly how best to approach each step of the music college admissions process
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America’s Got Talent, sure, but it takes more than that to make it into the top music schools, studios, and stages…and an expert music admissions consultant will provide rocket fuel as you aim to launch your musical education and career. Contact us today to learn more about our music school audition coaching and admissions consulting services.

Founder & President at Inside Music Schools |

Head of admissions and faculty member at Berklee College of Music for 40 years, Steve Lipman and our team at Inside Music Schools speak music as their primary language. We approach each client contact with open eyes, ears, and minds. As the country’s premier music school consultant, he has advised students from the United States, Canada, the U.K., India, Singapore, Dubai, China, Australia, Turkey, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Japan, Israel, Italy, Russia and elsewhere.