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October 4, 2010 / enidarbelo

An inside scoop on studying the arts

Going to college to study music performance or theater is very different from preparing for a degree in physics or English. That’s why we were so excited here at NextStepU to get an interview with Halley Shefler, principal at The Arts Edge.

The Arts Edge, an educational consultancy specializing in music, theater, arts, and dance, works with students who are aspiring to take the arts to the next step.

Halley shared with us what it takes to go for a degree in the arts.

Enid: First of all, how does The Arts Edge differ from other college counseling services?

Halley: Students weren’t getting what they needed; it has nothing to do with the guidance counselors. The guidance counselors in this country are amazing. I just think this is such a niche. That’s why we do this. I try to take the whole mystery out of this process. People don’t know if they’re good enough, they don’t know if their repertoire is right, if grades matter. (Students) audition and get feedback in a very non-American Idol kind of way.

Enid: Many students do college prep, without much advising, is it different for arts students?

Halley: You do everything that other students did, plus you have to be practicing every day. Your friends are done by Christmas, but for my students it just keeps on going. And it’s not like you’ve just started, but you’ve been doing this your whole life…so it’s a big commitment.

Enid: What’s the biggest hurdle for art students in college admissions these days?

Halley: The state of the arts is not great right now, so you have to really want to do this, because it’s how you’re wired. You have to find a way to make this work for you.

The symphony orchestras are definitely feeling that the public isn’t really buying tickets the way they used to. Money is such a problem for people right now.

The numbers are still there for college (admissions), but colleges are very nervous right now. And I think that hurdle is the money. I think a lot of the conservatories and the arts programs don’t have the money that the students need.

Enid: You hear that it’s so hard to break into music or theatre. But sometimes students don’t pursue the arts academically until later in life. Is it too late for transfer students?

Halley: It’s not too late at all. You may be a bit behind, but who cares. You can still do it!

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One Comment

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  1. abbie / Dec 7 2010 11:53 am

    thanks for the scoop:)

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