Choosing a Music School: Why Location Matters
Our staffers visit with a lot of prospective music students at LA Music Academy open houses and on-campus tours. It is amazing how little location factors into students’ decisions on what music school to attend (“consider the location” is the first tip in our recent blog post “How to Choose the Right Music School“). We can imagine how it happens — you get so focused on the intricacies of each school and the great faculty (Tariqh Akoni chairs the guitar dept at LAMA!? cool!) that you often forget that you are going to be living in a city for your entire time at college. Let’s examine why it is important to look into location:
There are music schools located all over the world with a million different climates so you want to make sure that the weather is conducive to your learning. Ask yourself where you grew up and live now, was it a cold climate or a hot climate? Did you like it? Have you ever lived in a different climate? It can be a huge adjustment. Witnessing your first snowstorm can be very scary to anybody! If you want sunshine year round, you might think about a school located in California. If you don’t mind carrying your instruments and books through the rain and snow, the east coast may be more up your alley. Go visit the schools and see if the weather suites you! Don’t get fooled if you visit an east coast school in Summer since the weather, most of the year, will not resemble anything like what you see.
PROXIMITY TO THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY
If you wanted to go to a music school, wouldn’t you want to be, well, you know, sort of close to the entertainment industry? People often don’t take this into consideration. Why waste time in a state that has NO music industry? The great thing about going to a school like LAMA next to Los Angeles is you get to use your time in music college to network and meet all the people IN the industry who will help you get your first job after you graduate. Not to mention, sometimes you need to be close to all the action and get inspired by seeing other people who have made it and living the music dream. Trust me it helps!
COST OF LIVING
There is no doubt that certain cities are more expensive than others to live in. Weigh the options. Would you rather live in a city with cheaper rent or live in a city with a slightly higher premium but with the benefits of being closer to the music industry? Also, just because the music school you are looking at is in an expensive city, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be smart about spending your money and turn it into a cheap city. Make sure to check out our blog on “Living On The Cheap In LA” to get some ideas.
Rumor has it that Axl Rose’s lyrics to “Welcome To The Jungle” are about getting off the bus in Los Angeles for the first time. It can be scary heading to a big city if you haven’t before, so make sure you feel comfortable. If you don’t mind living in an urban environment with higher crime rates, you can look into schools right in the heart of a big city. However, if safety is a concern, you might like LAMA, which is located right outside LA, so you get the perks of safety and less traffic, but still just a short car or bus ride away to being in all the action.
These are just a few of the many reasons why checking out the location of the school should rank high when you are looking at different schools. Don’t forget as well, that each one of us is built differently, so you may or may not adapt well to certain environments and cities. You will know which city feels right to you. Trust your gut more than anything else!