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San Francisco Conservatory of Music Reviews

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SFCM has undergone some amazing transformations in faculty, facilities, and access to local arts institutions which is quickly establishing this conservatory as one of the top student destinations in the country. SFCM is located in one of the greatest cities in the world, gives students access to the world-renowned San Francisco Symphony, as well as the SF Opera, SF Ballet, and SF Jazz. I love the community found within the walls of the Conservatory. The students are very friendly and supportive and the administration really cares about its students. In addition to performing, there are tons of opportunities to teach or gain arts administration experience. With the expansion of the Bowes Center adding practice rooms and performance spaces beginning fall 2020, SFCM is giving its students and unparalleled experience.
SFCM is a great environment. The faculty are absolutely golden and as a graduate student you generally have lots of time to focus on honing your instrumental and musical skills. As present it is beginning to get quite packed for the main building, so the new Bowes Center to be completed in 2020 will be a welcomed expansion. The close ties to the San Francisco Symphony and the SF Opera are wonderful especially making use of free tickets to those concerts.
The Conservatory is the perfect place to hone in on your craft! There are so many opportunities to perform and collaborate throughout the year. You are walking distance away from SF Symphony, SF Opera, and SF Jazz!! Having the chance to work with Marcie Stapp on my diction has been eye opening! She helps you figure out the correct way to understand diction while also acknowledging that your thoughts are valid. I recommend taking ALL of her classes and buying her diction book!
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My favorite thing about SFCM is it's proximity to some of the country's most significant musical establishments, such as the SF Symphony, SFJAZZ, and the SF Opera.
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.
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.
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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.