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This is a VERY rough draft. I am seeking a MM in Conducting. I know it's not STEM, but it's my field of study.

The institution for which I am applying provides these guidelines for their SOPs:

no longer than 120 eighty-character lines of text (including spaces and blank lines).  recommends that you keep your essay to between 350 and 500 words in length, with no more than 650 words



Statement of Purpose: REQUIRED

Describe your reasons for pursuing graduate study and your academic and professional interests and goals.




Be as frank and hurtful as you need to be. I probably deserve it, thinking I'd be qualified for a grad school.  Thanks







It was early in life when I first started performing in concert band as a trumpet player and since then it seems the majority of my interests and activities have involved music, either in performance, in enjoying listening to a performance, or in studying musical works. My interest in the study of works of music began at the age of thirteen when I purchased my first musical score; it was the score to Beethoven’s seventh symphony. Throughout high school I knew that my career path would be in the field of music education, and during my senior year I bought my first band scores.

I first came to love conducting during my undergraduate work at [my undergrad institution], wherefrom I earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Education and Performance, and especially during my conducting courses with Dr. [redacted], who I was very privileged and fortunate to have as my academic mentor.  I excelled in basic and instrumental conducting classes and sought out every opportunity I could find to observe professional conductors and their rehearsals. It was also during my undergraduate studies that I developed my love for in-depth music analysis of both tonal and non-tonal music and for musicology in general.

Since graduating I have for six years taught band, orchestra, and piano on the secondary level, and I have seized every opportunity to get conducting experience, to reflect on my practices as a teacher and conductor, to accrue a repertoire of effective rehearsal techniques, to observe conductors and rehearsals, and to learn as much repertoire – band, orchestra, and opera – as I can. I have also participated as an active conductor at conducting workshops at the [two universities].

I believe that now is the most opportune time to continue my education as a conductor and educator on the graduate level with the goal of obtaining a Master of Music degree in Wind Conducting, and I hope in this process to expand my knowledge of repertoire, develop advanced rehearsal methods and techniques, and obtain more experience as a conductor – and in these processes also mature as a leader and as a professional. I am most interested in the idea of studying lesser-known works and bringing them to a larger audience and in supporting the composition of new works of music for band or orchestra. In addition, my own experiences travelling to other countries (as well as learning from my undergraduate mentor who was himself a Fulbright fellow) have interested me very much in the idea taking my study of musical works abroad. Among the reasons I have sought admission to the [university] are the program’s world-class wind ensembles and the prospect of working for and studying under distinguished faculty members such as [two professors].  

After obtaining my graduate degree I wish to continue my career as an effective and successful instrumental music educator and wind band conductor on the secondary or post-secondary level, perhaps in time earning my Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting; also among my long-term career goals are premiering new musical works – and rediscovering old ones – and continuing my lifelong interest in studying the vast repertoire of music for band and orchestra.

I believe I have an understanding of the level of hard work and time and energy expenditure will be necessary in the pursuit of these goals and I have never been so eager to begin. My passion for inspiring and nurturing a love for performing and appreciating music in my students motivates every action in my life, and it is all of my students and teachers to whom all of my efforts are dedicated.



Edited by musiklehrer
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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi there!

You're mostly talking about how you'll benefit from your graduate degree, but you should also talk about how the school will benefit from hiring you. They already know you want in, you have to give them tangible reasons to hire you. What's so different and great about you? You say that you have international experience - great! Now frame it as diverse international experience that has allowed you to absorb a multitude of musical traditions and styles. Talk a bit more about the school you're applying to - how does its culture/traditions/program correlate to your personal experiences and aspirations? 

TL;DR: sounds kinda rushed and generic; try harder to convince them that you're worth it! 

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