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AdmitMe: Why College ApplicationEssays
andArtistic Statements Matter
RebeccaJoseph,PhD
AssociateProfessor,CalStateUniversi...
Danielle’s Essay
I find English, the everyday language that rings in my ear, just as complex to
understand as any other la...
More Danielle
The three minutes I spend on any stage are a gift to me. Walking on the
stage in a long, black dress is like...
Even More Danielle
When the poetic phrases fuse together in song, I let my emotions connect
with the music and use the wor...
Danielle
Resume
• Top Grades
• Medium test scores
• Singer
• Violinist
• What do we learn about
her from essay?
RJJ
Essays = Opportunity
Show unique stories that make applicants jump off the page
Master the highest ranked non-academic a...
Successful Admissions Writing
includes:
• Introspection ~ Self reflection allows for depth in writing
• Complex Thinking ~...
How Important Are the Essays?
1. Grades
2. Rigor of Coursework, School
3. Test Scores
4. Essays*
5. Recommendations-Teache...
Application Essay Vs. ArtisticStatement
•Application Essays are stories that
communicate key messages. They are
creative a...
Steps to Success
1)Understand the essays you will have to write
2)Create a master chart to highlight patterns
3) Write two...
Understand the Essays…
1)The Common Application: 2014-2015 Prompts!
 One Long:
 Some students have a background or story...
Artistic Statements
• Each schools has different prompts and requirements.
• Some are the entire application
• Some are su...
USC Acting Program
• Step Three: Submit these items to the School of Dramatic Arts
via SlideRoom
• Upload a current pictur...
New England Conservatory of
Music
• Describe your educational and professional goals and tell us your
specific reasons for...
NYU BFA Steinhardt Studio Art
• For slideroom.com, you will submit:

1. 15-20 images of work completed within
the last two...
Danielle’s Music
Autobiography
Last summer was my dream summer. Never in my life have I been able to
pursue my interests i...
More Danielle
My desire to continue this individual and communal vocal
development full-time brings me to the New England
...
Even More Danielle
At NEC, I can immerse myself in the amazing classes that will enable
me to work with different repertoi...
Helping Release Individual Voices
Create a Master Chart:
Organize!
1) Major Deadlines
2) Core Essays (color code all similar or
overlapping essays)
3) Suppl...
Write Two Resumes
Traditional—Overall Academic,
Activities, Service, Work, Etc.
Art—Specific to your art. Artistic
Acade...
The Power of Brainstorming
Brainstorm Possible Topics
•Think of unique stories
•Think of metaphors for your
power
•Look at your resume
•Look at your ...
Organizational Structures
Into
• Lead the reader into the story
• Start with a hook
• Consider cutting first paragraph(s)...
Revise and Revise
• The best essays take several drafts
• Keep focusing on the specific moments for
application essays
• K...
Final thoughts
Remember you
Can create amazing essays and control this process
Understand that for BFA programs essays a...
Read Acting Essays
•What are core differences between
the two essays?
•What do you learn from each about
Jane?
Contact Dr. Joseph
rjoseph@calstatela.edu
FB: getmetocollege freeadvice
FB page: All College Essays
iPad/iPhone App: All C...
Admit Me: Why College Application Essays and Artistic Statements Matter
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Admit Me: Why College Application Essays and Artistic Statements Matter

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Presentation to the juniors at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts on April 25, 2014.

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  • Placeholder for info about essay of kid
  • Placeholder for what Essays=I put in my idea. We can change them
  • I thought Joe and Sylvia can put this slide together.
  • RJJ
  • These are steps I have put in the past with number 7. We can change them all
  • Encourage students to look for patterns between college essays and use essays more than once!Discover how college essays should work together to help communicate key qualities and stories not available anywhere else in the application.
  • Encourage students to reflect on WHAT they’ve done and HOW they have spent their time in and out of school.
  • I put in what Dr. J uses. But we can switch to another
  • Place holder for another cool essay. To end with
  • Transcript of "Admit Me: Why College Application Essays and Artistic Statements Matter"

    1. 1. AdmitMe: Why College ApplicationEssays andArtistic Statements Matter RebeccaJoseph,PhD AssociateProfessor,CalStateUniversity rjoseph@calstatela.edu FB: getmetocollege freeadvice FB page: All College Essays iPad/iPhone App: All College Application Essays Instagram: Getmetocollege
    2. 2. Danielle’s Essay I find English, the everyday language that rings in my ear, just as complex to understand as any other language, despite the fact that it is my native tongue. Within words, I stumble upon meanings that are lucid. My mind is lost amidst a storm of overflowing words that to me fall from nowhere: I have to meticulously make sense of them and plow through their puddles of chaos in order to comprehend the art of language and visualize the structure and process behind it. Singing is another world of communication, a seamless way of expressing oneself to full potential. With singing, one can take beautifully spoken phrases of any kind, whether colloquial, foreign, or from poetic works, and people who listen will understand the purpose of the singer. This is what I find beautiful about poetry and any other type of word form, such as speaking, mixed with the art of music. JB
    3. 3. More Danielle The three minutes I spend on any stage are a gift to me. Walking on the stage in a long, black dress is like walking on with an air of mystery. On that stage, I am able to plant myself firmly on the ground and let my internal energy become the external energy that diffuses into the air and fills all corners of the concert hall. No one in the audience may know anything about the piece of music I am singing, except what is listed in the concert program. This is often just one’s name, piece, and composer. All they can do is use their inner ear to gather a sense of the connotation of the phrases that I sing, whether they are in English, Italian or French.
    4. 4. Even More Danielle When the poetic phrases fuse together in song, I let my emotions connect with the music and use the words to share my passion for the story in my head. The audience is free to interpret what the piece of music means to them and understand that there is no right answer. For them, the process of hearing a gorgeous and passionate Italian art song leaves stillness into the air, as everyone’s thoughts, including mine, turn to internal experiences and memories that are related to the song. I feel thoroughly connected to the poetry I am singing, I feel the sense of freedom that comes from each three minute song extend into other parts of my life. I no longer feel the urge to act reserved, as this is how I sometimes feel about situations in my normal, everyday life. Now I imagine I can feel, communicate, and express the phrases I want to speak with the same confidence I communicate while singing. This is the power of the human voice: as I start to sing, its magic diffuses to my everyday communications.
    5. 5. Danielle Resume • Top Grades • Medium test scores • Singer • Violinist • What do we learn about her from essay? RJJ
    6. 6. Essays = Opportunity Show unique stories that make applicants jump off the page Master the highest ranked non-academic aspect of the application Realize the package of essays counts…not just one Share their unique voices Express who they really are Challenge stereotypes Reflect on their growth and development, including accomplishments and service Seek to understand what the admission officers are looking for RJJ
    7. 7. Successful Admissions Writing includes: • Introspection ~ Self reflection allows for depth in writing • Complex Thinking ~ Identify & showcase multi-dimensions • Keep it Simple ~ Addressing the question/prompt • Coherence ~ Arrangement of qualities with examples of them • Style and Tone (personal) ~ Be true to oneself • Syntax and Format (maturity) ~ Multiple drafts are a must JB/SJ
    8. 8. How Important Are the Essays? 1. Grades 2. Rigor of Coursework, School 3. Test Scores 4. Essays* 5. Recommendations-Teacher and/or Counselor 6. Activities-Sustained consistency, development, leadership, and initiative 7. Special skills, talents, awards, community service and passions RJJ
    9. 9. Application Essay Vs. ArtisticStatement •Application Essays are stories that communicate key messages. They are creative and can vary in format. •Artistic Statements are linear autobiographical pieces that reveal why your progression as an artist and why you are a good match for program or college or conservatory
    10. 10. Steps to Success 1)Understand the essays you will have to write 2)Create a master chart to highlight patterns 3) Write two resumes 4)Different brainstorming strategies 5)Brainstorm core qualities and unique stories 6)Use effective organizational structures 7)Revise and revise L
    11. 11. Understand the Essays… 1)The Common Application: 2014-2015 Prompts!  One Long:  Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.  Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?  Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?  Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?  Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.  Short, Activities, Additional Information, and Supplemental 2)Large Public Universities—The UCS, and other big publics 3)Private College Specific Applications 4)Other Systems (Universal Application, etc.) JB
    12. 12. Artistic Statements • Each schools has different prompts and requirements. • Some are the entire application • Some are supplements to Common Application or UC Application
    13. 13. USC Acting Program • Step Three: Submit these items to the School of Dramatic Arts via SlideRoom • Upload a current picture or headshot • Upload a Drama resume • Upload Autobiographical essay • The total length of your essay should not exceed 750 words and address the following: • What influenced your decision to apply to the USC School of Dramatic Arts? • What are your expectations from a college education? • What are your professional goals and objectives • What extenuating circumstances (if any) may have affected your previous academic performance?
    14. 14. New England Conservatory of Music • Describe your educational and professional goals and tell us your specific reasons for choosing to apply to NEC as you pursue these goals. • We review the essay to learn more about you as a musician and person, as well as to assess your competency with written English. • The essay should be 300–500 words in length and must be entered into the appropriate page of the online application. Please note that the online application will accept only very basic text formatting. If you write your essay in a word processing program with the intention of pasting it into the online application, we recommend that you keep the formatting very simple. (Avoid using bold, italics, underlines, indentations, or other similar formatting.)
    15. 15. NYU BFA Steinhardt Studio Art • For slideroom.com, you will submit:

1. 15-20 images of work completed within the last two years, done in any medium (painting, drawing, sculpture, video, photography, digital art, installation, sound, etc.). Each image MUST contain the work’s title, year completed, medium and size.

2. A one-page artist’s statement describing your:

a) goals as an artist;

b) artistic influences, including two contemporary artists who are nationally or internationally recognized (these artists should have created new work within the past 20 years and they should be represented in major art museums or art galleries which feature contemporary visual artists);

c) background and interests, including previous art training, and films, literature, or music you enjoy and how they relate to your art work;

d) what you hope to gain from studying in the studio art program at NYU.
    16. 16. Danielle’s Music Autobiography Last summer was my dream summer. Never in my life have I been able to pursue my interests in such a short time interval: music and science. All my life, I have thought of school as my "major" and focused my energies on my academics for the majority of my time, while working on my music in my spare time. Last summer I decided to focus on both. I took a conceptual physics course at UCLA to have a solid foundation of the subject before my senior year. At the same time, I participated in intensive vocal and violin music programs. While I enjoyed all three programs, I truly bloomed in the two week Songfest Program at Pepperdine. Last spring, I auditioned for and was accepted to attend the two-week master program for classical singers from across the country. I took master classes, private lessons, and sang in multiple ensembles. I thought I had died and gone to heaven in this intense, yet incredibly supportive community. The program gave me the confidence to want to experience this kind of development and community full-time in college. As I work with my private teacher this year, she is helping me create the space in my mouth for the sound color, and I cannot wait to focus on my vocal development throughout my college experience.
    17. 17. More Danielle My desire to continue this individual and communal vocal development full-time brings me to the New England Conservatory. I feel that my soul and body truly merge when I sing, and I have been blessed to work with amazing teachers in and outside of my school. Each one helps me find new ways to express my voice, and I like how at NEC I can also work with world-class faculty members, who are actively working as professional artists, including Karen Holvik, Lisa Saffer, and Michael Meraw. Three years ago I first experienced the joys of opera, and I have a growing passion for this genre. I am so lucky that at NEC, I could audition for The Undergraduate Opera Studio (UGOS), where I can develop my operatic and lyrical singing abilities as well as taking acting and movement classes.
    18. 18. Even More Danielle At NEC, I can immerse myself in the amazing classes that will enable me to work with different repertoires and styles as well as develop my diction in several languages. Through your studio classes and recitals, I will gain the experience to prepare for public performances, and only at NEC, can I take master classes with internationally famous artists. Moreover, I can participate in multiple ensembles, such as the NEC Concert Choir and NEC Chamber Singers. I love performing with different choral groups, and I cannot wait to sing the different genres the groups at NEC explore. I also share NEC’s commitment to serving the community. For the past six years, I have been part of National Charity League as well as tutoring a girl in math. I believe everyone should experience the joys of music, and along with my voice, I can offer my piano and violin skills. NEC’s Community Performances and Partnerships Program will enable me to join a community effort to share the joys of music.
    19. 19. Helping Release Individual Voices
    20. 20. Create a Master Chart: Organize! 1) Major Deadlines 2) Core Essays (color code all similar or overlapping essays) 3) Supplemental Essays - color code similar types i.e. “Why are you a good match for us?” or “How will you add to the diversity of our campus?” “Artistic Statements” 1)Be careful to not use the same core essay topic 2)Avoid canned answers – do your research! LP
    21. 21. Write Two Resumes Traditional—Overall Academic, Activities, Service, Work, Etc. Art—Specific to your art. Artistic Academic. Performances. Programs. Awards. Specific Teachers. LP
    22. 22. The Power of Brainstorming
    23. 23. Brainstorm Possible Topics •Think of unique stories •Think of metaphors for your power •Look at your resume •Look at your Instagram Pictures •Think of your favorite place •Read samples
    24. 24. Organizational Structures Into • Lead the reader into the story • Start with a hook • Consider cutting first paragraph(s) from first draft Through • Use 1/3, 2/3 method: if starting with a life or family challenge, move quickly into who student is now; if writing about someone who influenced, make sure 2/3 of essay is about the student not the person of influence • Use first person • Show don’t tell Beyond • Connect to who student is now and who student wants to be • Evoke core qualities, convey morals RJJ
    25. 25. Revise and Revise • The best essays take several drafts • Keep focusing on the specific moments for application essays • Keep focusing on the key experiences and training for artistic statements • Have internal and external people review • Understand that admissions officers can sniff out adult written essays
    26. 26. Final thoughts Remember you Can create amazing essays and control this process Understand that for BFA programs essays are important but auditions are even more so. Have just a few minutes to grab the attention of an essay reader. Need weeks, not days, to write effective college essays. Cannot manufacture essays; essays convey truth, unique stories, and writing skills. JB
    27. 27. Read Acting Essays •What are core differences between the two essays? •What do you learn from each about Jane?
    28. 28. Contact Dr. Joseph rjoseph@calstatela.edu FB: getmetocollege freeadvice FB page: All College Essays iPad/iPhone App: All College Application Essays Instagram: Getmetocollege
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