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If you’re a high schooler dreaming of life as a Dragon, you might be wondering how best to prepare yourself for the challenges and opportunities that await you at DigiPen. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do before graduating high school to set yourself up for success!

If you’re interested in our Bachelor of Arts in Music and Sound Design program*, below you’ll find a few handy tips from us, as well as some words of wisdom from a currently enrolled student.

To prepare for the Bachelor of Arts in Music and Sound Design program, you should:

  • Practice, perform, and record. Spend time honing your chops as a musician! Practicing your instrument or singing as much as possible is the key to improving your technical abilities and your ear for music. Take those skills out in public by performing solo or with ensembles, and ask someone to record those performances. Not only will watching those recordings help you improve your craft, they’ll also help you apply — DigiPen requires music program applicants to submit a performance portfolio.

  • Take your music outside of the classroom. Joining your school band, orchestra, or choir is a great way to develop your skills as a musician, but there’s much to be learned outside of school as well. Consider starting a band with your friends, performing solo at open mics, or joining extracurricular youth orchestras. This will allow you to learn about collaboration, build up your self-confidence as a performer, and show colleges that you truly have a passion for music that goes beyond expectations.

First, listen to a lot of music. Listen to composers that are alive today and have an active career. Listen to the classics who inspired them. As a string player, I’ve been exposed to plenty of classical music, and I still feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of the classical music world. Listen to music, get inspired. Second, when I first started composing in high school, I felt as though I was composing more for my teachers than myself. I also took on a lot of work where people told me exactly what they wanted me to do. I didn’t take the time in the beginning to develop my own style and voice. Make sure you take the time to compose for yourself too and experiment with different styles.”

Suzanna Jelsema

BA in Music and Sound Design

*Are you primarily interested in audio technology? Consider our BS in Computer Science and Digital Audio degree, where you’ll learn the ins and outs of audio programming in addition to music theory and sound design.