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San Francisco Conservatory of Music Reviews

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I absolutely love the conservatory. I study Violin with Professor Wei He, and am very happy in his studio. My peers at the conservatory are extremely driven and this is, as any college experience should be, a very inspiring environment. Some of the academic coursework can be really challenging. Western Civ (required for all undergrads) is one of the best classes. Professor Hohmann will turn you into an intelligent human being as long as you put in your best effort. Be warned though, this course will take more time than you have, and you will have to sacrifice a lot of your sanity in order to keep up with all the assignments.
I think the administration should avoid scheduling students in western civ and Music History at the same time. I also think they should reformat the scheduling for concert cycles so that you are able to participate in ensembles without dying of sleep deprivation.
The SFCM has many advantages to those wishing to develop expertise in the field of music. There are classes in technique, ear training, music theory, ensembles, music history, ect. All of these classes have highly esteemed professors who devote many hours to teaching their students to perform music at a high level. The school is small and most of the students know each other making it easy to collaborate.
Directly surrounding the school, expect low quality or high cost. Really great food for little money is easy to find a little farther away from school if you do the research.
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A new dean and new president are overhauling the system in some ways. I think it will help students with their degree-specific and instrument-specific education.
Every department is different; if you have found what you are looking for in a private teacher here, that is mostly what matters.
If you want to party, San Francisco certainly has the resources.
Don't drive. San Francisco is a dense city. There are way more people than parking spots.
There are almost never issues on-campus due to no on-campus dorms. There is a converted hotel that many students live in; its what you would expect in a cheap city apartment plus RA's.
As an oboist, I can tell you about weather. It doesn't rain frequently, and the humidity and temperature levels are pretty moderate. Sometimes there are abrupt shifts, especially when its hot, but there are many, many pleasant sunny days.
You really get a sense of what it is to fend for yourself as a musician in a city right away.
Beautiful, new building. A lot of good resources in the library.
The San Francisco housing market is kind of a disaster, as well as competitive, due to socioeconomic issues. Expect to pay a lot, live with a lot of people, or live pretty far from campus.
We've recently employed new security guards. I've heard most are ex-military.
San Francisco is an awesome city. Food culture is huge here. Its constant fun, even if the tech invasion can bum you out a bit.
Small computer lab. Working on your laptop at home or internet cafes is the way to go.
Its not like a university. No frat culture.
No meal plan; school cafe. Overpriced, but the food is good.
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Muni is notoriously bad; an outdated fleet of buses and streetcars. Invest in a bike if you need to get around fast.
Housing in San Francisco is incredibly difficult. The "dorm" that the school is affiliated with is actually a converted hostel/hotel and the building is very run-down. The rooms are very small, and expensive for what you get, like everything in San Francisco. The only plus is that the dorm is only a five minute walk from the school.
I have had an amazing experience at the conservatory so far. My voice teacher and coach are both wonderful and all of the faculty that I have worked with are great. I love that the school has a unique fusion of baroque and new music.
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