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question about extracurriculars and musicians

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by woodson, Oct 5, 2001.

  1. woodson

    woodson Junior Member

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    hey, i have a question about extracurriculars for anyone who can help. i'm a sophomore now, during my freshman year, i played for our nationally ranked varsity tennis team but the time commitment was too huge and i am taking this year off because it infringed on my music. i have played the piano for 16 years, and now it is my main activity. is it OK to just have one extracurricular activity that i go deep in (i.e. quit tennis to spend more time on piano) just one activity? will schools prefer students who are in all sorts of pre-med organizations, etc.? also, a question for musicians, how do you list your music on the application? for example, for college it was easy, just list all-state, district, county awards, but in college music is more or less for recitals and performances than state wide competitions, although there are a few. i may take a few offers to be a lounge pianist but other than that i can't think of a way to list it on an application. do schools like being sent a videotape of a performance? anyways, thanks to anyone who can help. great site!
     
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  3. aisha

    aisha Senior Member
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    hahahha

    that is so funnny. yes, it is perfectly fine to have just concentrate on music and quit playing tennis.. thats what u like, an dthat what you can handle.. med schools dont have probs with that. I would recommend to have clinical experience in some shape that shows ur interest in the field, after all that what the gist of it is
     
  4. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    Woodson, welcome to SDN. :) I am also a musician, and didn't find it too difficult to get my music activities onto the AMCAS application. 8 out of 16 of my "post-secondary experiences" were music related. You will need some volunteer and/or research activites to round out your application, but just the fact that you're that good a musician AND athlete will open a lot of doors.
     
  5. woodson

    woodson Junior Member

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    thanks for the replies...smw, if you don't mind, what kind of activities were you in? i'm not sure how many activities i do out of piano, other than competitions...what do you play? i hear that med schools really like musicians, hope it's true. i was worried that i couldn't list tennis since i only played 1 year, but i guess it's better than not at all? who knows, i miss it and may go back...later
     
  6. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    I play the flute, but dropped intensive study of it after my sophomore year, because I didn't feel I could give it the time my professor required and still have time to study, volunteer, exercise and have a social life. So after that I played in pit orchestras for musicals, a chamber music ensemble, sang in the choir one quarter (something I'd always wanted to do but had never had the time), was music director for a student production of Much Ado About Nothing. I also did some volunteering and a couple of internships.

    The "post secondary experiences" section of the application includes paid employment, honors, conferences attended, artistic endeavors, hobbies & avocation, etc. so there's lots of room to put down every detail of everything you've done. I even put down a couple of end-of-high school honors because they showed the level of my musical accomplishments.

    I think it's fine if music is your main EC, but won't you at least play intramural tennis to keep up your game and stay in shape? I don't think adcoms really care about membership in premed organizations (unless you're the president or organized it -- they do like leadership), they just look for interesting, interested people. I don't think sending them a videotape is necessary, although if you're spectacular, maybe some schools (like Johns Hopkins & HYP) would appreciate it. The main thing is to get good grades and have fun! :)

    P.S. Are you a music major? I wasn't.
     
  7. Legend

    Legend Super Senior Member
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    When you list your musical achievements, make sure you list only significant ones. There are many premeds who call themselves 'musicians', but to make yourself stand out from the others, you need to list some unique ones.

    ex) have you ever won National or International competitions? Have you performed solo with major philharmonics (like New York Phil)?
     
  8. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    Those would make you stand out all right, but I don't think that level of achievement is necessary to be a musician! I think adcoms will be more than happy to hear about a continuing, serious interest without national or international acclaim.
     
  9. goldie

    goldie Senior Member
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    I was a musician for about 5 years before doing a post-bacc program and applying to medical school. So far, I've gotten 8 interviews, so I guess having a musical background can't hurt.
     
  10. woodson

    woodson Junior Member

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    thanks for the replies...i didn't know that it was o.k. to add a few h.s. achievements in the application. i was a 3 year missouri all state band member, and was 1st chair all-state my senior year (euphonium). could that be something i could add to my application? i also think that smw and legi are both right; med schools are looking for musicians that are dedicated AND talented. later!
     
  11. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    Well, it's a judgment call. I didn't put down my all-state and first chair things, but put down my state Solo & Ensemble Competition Superior/Command Performance as best woodwind soloist 2 years running, basically because the last time was at the very end of high school, so it showed my level of achievement going into college.
     
  12. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member
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    actually i would stay away from listing high school experiences. the AMCAS app specifically states that this space is for 'post-secondary' experiences--meaning, AFTER high school. i had plenty of great things from high school that i would have loved to list (including musical awards--i was very involved with music too) but i think that if you start to list such old experiences/awards, it makes it look like you really have to stretch in order to find something significant.

    and i would definitely NOT send in a videotape. you're trying to prove your worth for medicine, not a professional career in music! i don't think that anyone would watch your tape (if an adcom even bothered) and think to themselves, 'wow, he/she'll make a great doctor!'. applying to med school isn't like applying to college.

    i think that you should just list your college musical experiences. SMW is right in that you will need to do some medically-related activities to round out your app and show that you are genuinely interested in pursuing medicine. if all your app talks about is how accomplished a musician you are and you have no med-related stuff to speak of, an adcom would probably start to wonder why you don't just pursue music instead. if you're an accomplished enough college musician to be giving recitals, then it will be obvious to anyone who reads your app that you take your music very seriously--in my college only the bona-fide music majors could give recitals.

    hope this helps...
     
  13. Legend

    Legend Super Senior Member
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    I personally know a few talented musicians at various undergrad schools. What I mean by 'talented': a pianist I know won Chopin International competition as well as Young Artist competition and one of my closest friends (a violinist) played solo with New York Phil at Lincoln Center.
    However, I haven't known anyone at Med school who is that talented. I guess it is impossible to be both an excellent musician and a great doctor. I tried to be like that but I just couldn't keep up with challenging premed courses at the same time practicing 5 hours/day. But, I am sure that having the passion for music is what counts in getting into med school.
     
  14. E'01

    E'01 1K Member
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    I agree with you Legi. In ALL my interviews they asked about what I do for fun, and so music came into the conversation each time. It just so happened that several of my interviewers also played piano which helped in terms of our conversation. One interviewer and I really clicked and he pulled out this Mozart piece that he was working on and went over it with me. Then again, I was talking to another interviewer on another occasion about composing music electronically and he kinda blanked out and looked rather bored.
     
  15. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    Cool. :cool: I hope I get to talk about music at my interviews (assuming I get some...)
     
  16. woodson

    woodson Junior Member

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    what amount of volunteering do most students do? i was thinking i could do volunteer work along with research during the summer vacations, will that be enough?
     

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