Preparing for College

Optional Music Tape Submissions: Will They Help or Hurt Admission Decisions?

Question: I know that a good music tape may enhance the chance of admission (e.g., at a school where there is a need for a particular instrument to fill a slot on the orchestra). However, could a music tape that is rated mediocre or worse by the music department actually harm an applicant's chances of admission?

Typically, if your application blows your own horn as a musician, but the relevant faculty members at your top-choice colleges have to hold their hands over their ears as they listen to the tape you submit, then your music “hook” will quickly unfurl. You may be admitted for other qualities beyond you musical prowess, but if it was largely those talents that were keeping you in the running, then a mediocre or bad submission could knock you out of it.

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