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The artist, musician and actor have many options available to them after Aiglon.
Knowing that exposure to art education promotes self-directed learning and sharpens critical thinking skills, students who study these areas in university are prepared with the skills necessary to be successful in life. Many employers now actively seek those who have studied the arts! Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, was fond of saying his success was due to his hiring artists and musicians fascinated by technology rather than computer geeks. Top talent management agency, The Curve Group, specialising in financial and business services, concurs: “Employees with an arts degree have developed more quickly in their roles from the start. They have discipline, confidence and can accept criticism.”
Studying the creative arts at university
Some students may determine they wish to pursue their creative passions at a serious academic level, therefore applying to music conservatories, visual art schools, art foundation programmes, or drama schools. Other students may prefer to follow different academic interests at university while continuing to practice their visual or performing art talents in other ways.
In the US, students may select an arts subject as a “major or minor/concentration,” or simply participate in extracurricular activities (bands, choirs, art and design electives) in these areas outside of classes. In other countries, including the UK, students may elect for a one-year foundation course, where they study a variety of genres within the arts, and then begin their three-year bachelor programme following this experience. Regardless of country, the application procedures are similar in that a visual arts portfolio or a theatre/music audition (or recording) will be required for the most competitive programmes.
There are two degree designations to be aware of: Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Bachelor of Arts (BA). A BFA is a more professional degree, requiring approximately two thirds of the course focused on the creation and study of visual arts (or music or theatre), and one third of the course focused on liberal arts (history, literature, etc). Alternatively, a Bachelor of Arts is a more academic degree, focusing on the liberal arts curriculum with a significant- but less- concentration on the arts. It’s important that students research the arts fields, talk to their teachers and college and career counsellors, and gather advice from others in the industry before making any final conclusion on which is best for their future goals.
What are the advantages to studying a creative subject?
According to Cambridge Assessment, the arts make self-starters and develop emotional intelligence; students must make independent decisions and be self-critical; they need to be brave in exposing their creations, and accept criticism; they must work in teams and communicate effectively; they are required to work long hours and remain dedicated to their creations; they pay great attention to detail; they learn strong organisational skills after putting on a play, exhibition or concert.
How to strengthen a university application as an artist, musician or actor?
Students should pursue their art interest at both an academic and extracurricular level. Taking visual arts, music or theatre as an International Baccalaureate (IB) course is preferred if considering an application for these subject areas at university. Also, participating in Aiglon’s CAS options and activities where the creative arts are used, encouraged, and practiced are excellent to add to one’s CV or application by Year 13.
In addition, students should find summer programmes concentrating on their art/talent, allowing for others to comment on their level while learning new techniques and expectations around the world. Usually, summer programmes offer guidelines for art portfolio or music/theatre auditions for the university application process. The College and Career Counselling department has a list of several notable programmes around the world for students in Years 10-12; please contact the department ([email protected]) for more information. In addition, Aiglon’s visual and performing arts teachers are willing to discuss these ideas with students and assist with portfolio/audition preparations.
Successful Aiglon artist have continued on to programmes such as:
Berklee College of Music (USA)
City & Guilds of London Art School (UK)
Conde Nast College of Fashion and Design (UK)
Istituto Marangoni London (UK)
New York University (USA), Tisch School of the Arts
New York University (USA), Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music
New York University (USA), Steinhardt
Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti- NABA (Italy)
Parsons School of Design, The New School (USA)
Rhode Island School of Design- RISD (USA)
Royal Holloway, University of London (UK)
School of the Art Institute of Chicago (USA)
University of the Arts London (UK)
University of Rochester (USA), Eastman School of Music
About Patience Fanella-Koch
Patience is Director of College & Careers Counselling at Aiglon. She leads a four-person team working to offer personalised guidance to students as they search for undergraduate programmes and further careers. Patience brings nearly 20 years of experience in the admission and college counselling world and served six years as an executive board member of the International Association for College Admissions Counselling (IACAC).