Preparing for College

One Long Guitar Piece for Common App Arts Supplement?

Question: I am thinking about recording some guitar for my Common App arts supplement and ran into some questions. Mainly, it says to upload a 10-minute piece, but most guitar pieces aren't that long, so what should I do?

First, read the entire Arts Supplement instructions carefully (not a bad plan for all college directions :) ).

You will see that you are asked to, "Enclose a 10-minute CD or DVD with this form that demonstrates contrasting examples of expression and technique." (If you are using the online form--which some students claim to find more confusing than the .pdf version--then you need to direct admission staff to a Web address where they can listen to your performance.)

In other words, your 10-minute CD or DVD should not include ONE guitar piece but SEVERAL, in order to show admission committees (and, possibly, music professors, if the disc or URL is forwarded to them, as it often is) you facility with a range of music and styles.

Note also that your submission should include a list of the pieces that are on it. You must also solicit a reference from a teacher and, when you submit the supplement form, attach a résumé that summarizes your experience with your instrument, years studied, name(s) of teacher(s) or group(s), etc.(Using the online version, you will upload these required documents.)

So, again, make sure you read the form carefully and thoroughly.

Hope that the process is clearer now!