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What Parents Need To Know Before Their Kid Applies to A Music Conservatory or College

Applying for a music school is an exciting process for both students and parents.

However, it can also be a daunting one, especially when considering the time, resources, and money costs involved. I know because I just underwent the process with my child who applied to five music schools including one conservatory thought he toured three during his journey.

Because I didn’t find a single article or video on YouTube detailing the process for parents, who are likely the ones that would have to foot the bill and arrange the travel for the music school and conservatory audition process, I decided to record my own.

In addition to the video above, here is a summary of the music school application process and what parents need to know to make informed decisions based on my independent research, communication with other music parents online and experience with my son and trial and error.


Before your child applies, you, as the parent need to make sure that you and your child understand what’s involved. There are additional costs, time and resources you will need to expend.

The Time Committment

First, it’s important to understand that the music school application process can be time-consuming.

Sample Lessons

A year or two before auditioning, your child should conduct some research to determine who is the professor or instructor teaching the instrument or in charge of the vocal studios at the various music schools and conservatories.

Then, they should check out their websites to see if the profs offer camps, workshops or more and/or offer sample lessons. If they do, take them. These offer your child an opportunity to realize if they have a good vibe or connect well. Unlike high school and college, your child will be spending most of their time in college with this person so if there is not a connection there with this person, they have NO business appling to their studio.


My son actually decided against applying to one conservatory after taking a sample lesson with the professor for his instrument.

Preparing for Audition

Depending on the school, students may be required to prepare for and attend auditions, submit recordings or videos, write essays, and complete interviews.

This can take several months of preparation and planning, so it’s essential to start early. My son has a private tutor who used to cost about $70 per month to see him in person and/or virtually 1-2 times each month. But by the time he was done, sessions increased to multiple times each week and the last bill was close to $1,000 for that month.

If your child doesn’t have a private tutor, he/she/they should get one becaue they will be competiting for spots with kids who do have one. And for us, it was worth the investment because he got two full tuition merit scholarships for music. It took talent and the aid of the tutor to get there.

The Application Process

To begin the application process, parents and students should research the different music schools and their requirements. Each school has its own set of admission criteria, including specific academic requirements, musical skills, and personal qualities

Some schools may also have a minimum age requirement for applicants, so it’s important to check the age limit before applying.

Once parents and students have identified the schools they want to apply to, they should start preparing for the audition or evaluation process.

This may include practicing their musical skills with their private instructor, researching and learning about the school’s faculty and program, and preparing a repertoire for the audition.

It’s important to note that the resources required for the application process can vary greatly depending on the school.


The Cost of Applying to Music Schools

Some schools may require students to submit professional-grade recordings, which can be expensive to produce. Additionally, as stated above, private lessons and coaching sessions with instructors can be costly.

Parents should also be aware of the financial costs of attending a music school.

The Travel Costs

Something that is not talked about is the amount of travel required once a child passes the pre-screen process. For live auditions, they’ll have to travel all over the country and this require transportation, lodge and meals which can add up.

Tuition fees for music schools can be expensive, and parents should be prepared to pay for instrument rentals, sheet music, and other materials.

In some cases, financial aid or scholarships may be available, but these can be competitive, and students may need to demonstrate exceptional talent and academic performance to be considered.

Tutoring, Instruments, Lessons, Camps

Finally, parents should also consider the long-term commitment required to attend a music school.

Studying music is a rigorous and demanding pursuit that requires significant dedication and practice time. Parents should be prepared to support their child’s musical development and ensure they have access to the resources and support they need to succeed.

Applying to a music school can be an exciting and rewarding experience for both students and parents.

However, it’s important to be aware of the time, resources, and money costs involved in the application process. By starting early, researching schools, and preparing thoroughly, parents can help their child navigate the application process successfully and set them up for success in their musical pursuits.

20 Best Food Storage Containers for Reaching Your #PantryGoals

Say goodbye to food waste with these stylish storage options

When you walk into the pantry at Ree Drummond’s guesthouse, The Lodge, one of the first things you see is her pantry—with a full wall of amazing food storage containers. As you can imagine, Ree likes to keep a lot of ingredients on hand for her show, so she’s found ways to expertly (and stylishly) store them. She’s also got a fridge packed with leftovers…don’t you want to move in?

But there are even more reasons to love storage containers besides sending home leftovers and packing school lunches. These containers are also such a great way to prep a week’s worth of meals ahead of time—meaning they’re the perfect accompaniment to those healthy eating resolutions of yours. And the best way to ensure you’ll stick to your goals is to splurge on a brand-new set you know you’ll use and love! Plus, can you really ever have too many storage containers for optimal pantry organization purposes? Of course not.

Below is a shoppable list of the prettiest, most versatile, and hardest working food storage containers out there. For those short on cabinet space, there are a bunch that nest to save room. For parents, there are lots of cute options for kids that are perfect for packing an enviable lunchbox. And of course, Ree has a few floral storage pieces of her own that can brighten up any fridge or countertop. Scroll down to see just how many awesome picks are in store.


The Pioneer Woman Dazzling Dahlias Storage Containers

The Pioneer Woman Dazzling Dahlias Storage Containers

Ree’s Dazzling Dahlia pattern carries over onto this cute six-piece set that looks pretty enough to serve out of too.
The Pioneer Woman Gorgeous Gardens Storage Container

The Pioneer Woman Gorgeous Gardens Storage Container

The Pioneer Woman Gorgeous Gardens Storage Container
Bormioli Hermetic Glass Storage Jars

Bormioli Hermetic Glass Storage Jars

These containers have been around forever, and it’s because they can store dry food, fresh food, and make the perfect packaging for gifting homemade treats.

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27 Best Christmas Tree Toppers for the Finishing Touch to Your Holiday Décor

The holiday season is almost upon us—which means it’s time to lug your Christmas tree decorations out from the attic and get to work!

Many people have a favorite topper that they take out year after year: Maybe it’s a family heirloom or just the best Christmas tree topper in their collection.

But if your topper is looking a bit raggedy or you’re just ready for a change, you’re going to have no trouble finding a fun new piece in this list. There’s something special about a classic design like a star or angel, and there are some beautiful options here if that’s what you love (think: mercury glass, birchwood, and faux candy).

If you’re looking for something a little different, there’s also a whole world of options out there that you might not expect. Those who collect vintage Christmas decorations will be excited by the Shiny-Brite topper, and people who love personalization will find great tree toppers to keep or give as gifts.

Whatever your style, these are the tops.

Ktown Creative The Original Personalized Topper


Ktown Creative The Original Personalized Topper

Goraygami Papyrus Origami Topper


There’s no place like gnome, right? This cute felt topper would do a great job guarEach one of these beauties is made of nine feet of commercial-grade wrapping paper that’s folded into a star shape. It has an incredible shape and solid feel.ding your tree. 

ScreenDoorGrilles Horse Tree Topper


The aluminum horse topper would look right at home on The Lodge’s Christmas tree. It comes with a metal clip on the back, so it easily attaches to branches. 

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20 Outdoor Pumpkin Decorations to Display Outside Your Home This Fall

It might be the dog days of summer right now, but we’re getting so close to the brisk beauty of fall. In addition to sweater weather, apple cider season, and leaf peeping, that means pumpkin decorating is just around the corner!

Of course, that probably brings to mind all the ways you can carve a jack o’lantern. While we’re big fans of getting creative with pumpkin carving kits, sometimes it’s fun to switch up your go-to Halloween decorations. Luckily, there are so many different outdoor pumpkin decorating ideas to choose from—and they’re all gourdgeous!

outdoor porch decorations

We know what you’re thinking: How many ways can you really arrange outdoor pumpkin décor? There are more options than you might think! After scouring the web for the best outdoor pumpkin decorations, we came up heavy-handed. From overflowing porches to minimalist displays, there are countless creative ways to show off your pumpkins outside. Ahead you’ll find over a dozen outdoor pumpkin decoration ideas. Whether you prefer real pumpkins or something more long-lasting, you can fully replicate these DIY ideas or use them as inspiration for an idea unique to you.

Whichever you choose, these outdoor pumpkin decorations are bound to help your fall décor stand out this Halloween.

outdoor porch decorations

Idyllic Fall Porch


One word: Wow. We want to spend all our time on this idyllic, pumpkin-filled porch.

outdoor porch decorations

Overflowing Farmhouse Porch


And you thought one pumpkin was enough. Here, you can see how more than a dozen pumpkins and gourds can make for a picture-perfect porch display.

Minimalist Pumpkin Decor


If you want to make a nod to the season without letting your outdoor pumpkin decorations take over your space, this cozy porch will give you the inspo you need.

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Family Halloween Costumes the Whole Gang Can Wear Together

When you can pull off a group Halloween costume with everyone in your family, the results are magic.

Family in Halloween Costumes

They’re creative, they’re fun and they make a big impact in Instagram photos or walking down the street. But they’re hard to do, because every member of the family has their own tastes, their own favorite characters and their own tolerance for what they’ll put up with in a costume.

These family Halloween costumes are sure to be a hit. They’re often from movies (like The Addams Family), games and franchises that have lots and lots of characters, so there’s no squabbling over who gets the to be the star. Many of them are super comfortable and possible to pull together at the last minute. (Thank you, furry one-piece costumes!) And you can adapt them to include baby costumestoddler costumes and costumes for big kids, so everyone will feel included. Whether you’re looking to dress a huge brood of siblings, cousins, uncles and aunts or just want a simple “Mommy & Me” costume, we have ideas for every size of family. They’re so easy, all you have to worry about is how you’re going to carry all that candy home.


'The Incredibles' Family Halloween Costumes

‘The Incredibles’ Family Costume


Go as the lovable superhero family, The Incredibles, and fight off monsters on Halloween night.
Three Pigs Family Halloween Costume

Three Pigs Family Costume


Go as the little piggies that go to the market, stay at home and have roast beef in this kids’ nursery rhyme.
Scooby-Doo Family Hallowen Costume

Scooby-Doo Family Costume


Go as the little piggies that go to the market, stay at home and have roast beef in this kids’ nursery rhyme.

Glow-in-the-Dark Skeleton Family Costume


These onesie costumes are warm, comfortable and glow in the dark. (Safety!) They require low effort and make it easy to identify each other on Halloween night.

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Winter Candles That’ll Make Any Room Feel Oh-So Warm and Cozy

Winter Candles are a perfect addition to any room.

Ahhhhh, winter. The freezing weather, excessive layers, and snow up to my knees, all easily convince me to snuggle up in my cozy bed and binge-watch just *one more* Netflix series. If I’m spending a ton of time indoors, my room is def gonna be a snuggly oasis. And what screams cozy more than a soothing blend of warm winter aromas?

Not that you asked, but I am a certified candle addict. Unfortunately, for your girl, that means I dish out a lot of $$$ on them (yes, I constantly remind myself that I don’t need a hundred candles in the same scent). But, luckily for y’all, that also means I’m your go-to-girl on the topic.

If you like baking, cuddles, or sippin’ on cider during those cold and brutal months, you best believe I found the candle that suits your needs. Whether you are a scent hoarder or buy ’em only occasionally, these 13 winter candles are a perfect addition to any room.

Scented Soy Candles

This candle screams winter. It’s a combination of sweet and spicy, filled with earthy undertones and a spike of vanilla. Also, it will totally fit your insta aesthetic with the adorb packaging.   

Cedar Stack

Not only is this brand *super* cool due to its celebration of sexual fluidity, but the founders of Boy Smells perfect this scent. Tobacco and cedar chips are hit with notes of floral, creating what they call, “glamping in candle form.”  

Josephine scented candles

Citrus, bergamot, jasmine, rose, sandalwood, tonka bean, amber, and vanilla make up this sexy, well-balanced scent. Also, how cute would this look next to your stocking? Aww.

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16 Silk Face Masks That Are Practically Made for Spring

The fabric can also help prevent breakouts, fyi.

At this point (this point being more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic), you may already have a strong rotation of face masks and coverings at the ready to protect yourself and others while maintaining social distancing measures. I see you and your possibly-out-of-control collection, but have you considered using a silk face mask? The fabric is a great choice is you’re looking for something a bit dressier than your typical cotton one, and there are plenty of options out there that won’t break the bank. Also! The benefits of silk face mask coverings is vast. The fabric is lightweight and can have a cooling effect as the temperatures start to rise, and if you struggle with the dreaded “maskne,” the soft material causes less irritation, which can mean less breakouts. Praise be.

Another thing: Natural silk fabrics are known to effectively block particles (perhaps even better than cotton), so you can make sure you and others are safe while wearing any of the below while also bringing your best ~fashun~ foot forward. But aside from being a potentially better choice for your skin and health, a silk face mask just looks luxe and super chic. Here, we rounded up 16 cute silk face masks that will help you level up your spring and summer style game.


Fabric Leopard Silk

Leopard Silk Bandana Face Mask


Lele Sadoughi offers a silk bandana scarf mask if you prefer this particular style. It also has ear loops and a way to knot it securely and tightly around the back of your head. (Psst, shop the matching headband to go all out.)
Fabric Silky Face Mask

Glam Silky Face Mask In Starburst


Add a touch of sparkle with this pretty black one featuring gold stars. The ear loops are adjustable so you can loosen or tighten them to be at your most comfortable. 
fabric face mask

Silk Face Mask


Lingerie brand Fleur Du Mal knows a thing or two about silk, and its butterfly and floral printed mask is perfect for spring. It features a side opening to insert a filter in as well, if that’s something you’re looking for. 

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17 of the Cutest Throw Blankets to Gussy Up Your Home

Throw blankets give your seat that extra touch

I know you’ve seen it. Those random throw blankets that are just so perfectly tossed at the end of a bed, hanging off the arm of a couch, or draping over the back of a chair in every Instagram influencer’s home. Don’t get it twisted: That chic, messy touch is less of an accident and more of an intentional home decor choice—and I, 1,000 percent, need one.

When it comes to shopping for the best throw blanket out there—well, there’s lots to look at. Thankfully, I have the will and stamina to do the research so you won’t have to. I’ve gone ahead and found all the worthy options—from a pretty, under-$20 throw that’s still worthy of the ‘Gram to a super soft organic cotton blanket that’s ultimate nap-time goals. Shop them all, below.


The Alpha Throw: All Smiles-Natural/Beige


For those who love looking up, here’s a cozy throw featuring beautiful sun medallions all over it.

Tiger Pink Woven Throw


This pink tiger throw is totally fun. If you have a ton of funky decor, it’ll fit right in, or if you have a more understated look, this is the perfect statement accessory. (I also may or may not have bought it the moment I saw it.)

Arrow knitted blanket


For all my bougie people, here’s a designer option you’ll want to curl up in every night.

14 (Non-Cheugy) Thanksgiving Decor Ideas

Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year or keeping it virtual, your home deserves a little autumnal glow-up. Pro tip: Pumpkins, plaid, candles, garlands, turkey motifs on things that really have no business being turkey-themed—you can find it all there.

Not only does the retail giant have tonsssss of cute fall home decor options to choose from, but you can also compare prices with other vendors and read up on customer reviews. Both are clutch moves if ya asked me. We love being an informed buyer!

But if you’re on the hunt for some Turkey Day decorations, then know that you won’t have to do the aforementioned work, because I’ve gone ahead and done it for you.

Below, you’ll find 14 Thanksgiving decor ideas  that have all been vetted by yours truly and also the great people who have left top-rated Amazon reviews. All high quality. All cute. And, yes, all affordable.


iron Dutch oven for thanksgiving dinner

7.5 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

USD 100
Obvi, you’ll love using this to cook Thanksgiving dinner. But also, it’ll look so gorgeous sitting on your stove (especially in this pumpkin hue).
Burlap runner table for thanksgiving

Burlap Table Runner

USD 40.99
A pretty and yet understated table runner to pull the whole ~dinner lewk~ together.
Garland for thanksgiving

Artificial Eucalyptus Garland

USD 60
A pretty and yet understated table runner to pull the whole ~dinner lewk~ together.

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The 12 Best Cutting Boards to Buy in 2021

Stock your kitchen with these top-rated cutting boards.

A Knife and Meat loaf on a cutting board

Much like a great chef’s knife or a dependable skillet, a great cutting board can seriously up your home cooking game. Whether you’re cutting veggies, chopping herbs, or slicing steak, the best cutting boards provide a large area on which you can work, as well as protection for the knives you’re using.

But here’s the ultimate question: What type of cutting board should you use? The best cutting board for your kitchen will depend on what types of foods you cook and your favorite knives. Indeed, you might actually need more than one type of cutting board. From flexible plastic boards you can stash in a drawer to sturdy wooden boards with juice grooves, there are more than enough models on the market to find precisely what you need.


T-Grip Cutting Board

San Jamar Saf-T-Grip Cutting Board


San Jamar cutting boards are a staple of professional kitchens – and their Saf-T-Grip board is no exception. It may not be the prettiest of the bunch, but this well-priced workhouse board will serve you well in a variety of kitchen tasks.
Made of durable co-polymer plastic, this dishwasher-safe board features sturdy non-slip feet that hold it securely in place during cutting.
During testing, Rachel plowed through tasks like dicing cucumbers, chopping fresh herbs, and slicing steak with ease. The hard surface of the board was gentle on her knife – and she especially loved the built-in ruler notches along the side, a unique feature that makes portioning ingredients a breeze.
This cutting board is available in five different sizes and seven different colors. While we preferred the 18″ x 12″ size, it may be too large to fit in a standard dishwasher. Lastly, a built-in hook on the board allows for easy storage – simply hang it on a wire shelf or a wall-mounted hanger in your kitchen.

Gorilla Grip Oversized Cutting Board 3-Piece Set


Amazon’s best-rated cutting board proves you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a really great cutting board – or in this case, set of cutting boards. The Gorilla Group Oversized Cutting Boards boast more than 22,000 perfect ratings and cost less than $40, or about $13 a board.
Reviewers love that these boards all have juice grooves and no-slip rubber handles that help you move the cutting boards around the kitchen safely and also secure it in place while you chop and slice. The largest board is a generous 16″ x 11.2″; the smallest 11.8″ x 8″. And if that kind of variety wasn’t enough, these cutting boards are also available in 24 colors or color combinations.

San Jamar Saf-T-Grip Cutting Board


Totally Bamboo’s Kona Groove Cutting Board looks and feels luxurious without the hefty price tag. Rachel gave this board top marks in every category, and she especially liked its smooth surface that was gentle on knives.
Made from sustainable, eco-friendly bamboo, this surprisingly lightweight board is the perfect size (18″ x 12″). The reversible grooved and flat sides on this board make it practical for everyday or special occasion use.
Like the Boos’ wooden board, Totally Bamboo’s board requires regular seasoning. (Try their Revitalizing Oil.) It’s also not dishwasher-safe and should be hand-washed and rinsed with warm water and soap. (Learn more at TotallyBamboo.com.) Totally Bamboo’s board isn’t as durable as the Boos board, but it looks just as beautiful and offers great value.

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