I am a violin major at BSA and I must say that this is probably one of the best places to be if you like art. I can't speak for the other departments, but for the music department at least, I feel like there isn't much competition or pressure amongst the students because although everyone here is talented, they are also connected by a bond that encourages students to be caring and supportive of each other. The teachers can be tough and the academics are pretty darn rigerous most of the time, but every staff member is almost 100% willing to listen to you when you're struggling. We also have a great, brand new technology center and incoming freshmen are getting more and more opportunities for fun field trips and experiences that I wish I had back when I was in 9th grade XD Overall, the workload can get pretty heavy at BSA, but you kind of adapt to it after a while, so it's nothing to really fear. Great school, great facilities, great education, great community!
The person who suggested admission is based on 'who you know' is mistaken. My daughter knew nobody at the school and we came from another state for her to audition. Acceptance for admission is absolutely based on the audition. Unfortunately, there are so very many wonderful and talented students with great potential competing for so few slots so not everyone who has talent can get in. Though our commute was a tough one and my daughter had many late nights leaving BSA after performances and rehearsals and learned to survive on little sleep these past four years, she has grown so much as an artist and is very well prepared for the rigors of the BFA program she's about to enter. BSA offers a very supportive peer environment within their art majors. So glad my daughter had the opportunity to attend such a special, well respected and highly rated arts school!
My son is really happy attending BSA. The BSA students are diverse in their fine arts studies, their ethnicities, backgrounds, physical appearances and on.... The students are attending school there because they truly want to be there. And it's exciting for the parents to experience this with them.
My goodness. Of course there are no sports, academic teams etc. It is an ARTS school. The xtra time aside from academics is spent on the student's art. Seems that you misunderstand what this school is all about.
an extraordinary school! Kids apply and audition to enter, are judged entirely on the strength of their artistic potential, not on grades. Once they are accepted they are helped to get where they need to be academically -- additional help, tutoring, guidance, etc. Of course it is expected that they will work hard. Those that don't work hard generally leave the school. But the rewards are tremendous. The environment is about talent, and support of it. No harrassment, no bullying, no violence.
I am a parent of a current freshman student and we LOVE BSA. It is definitely one of the best education based decisions that I have made for my son. I was afraid that BSA was far to focused on the arts and not enough on academics only to discover that I was WRONG. The advanced placement program is excellent and extremely challenging. The students are well behaved and help one another out a lot. They are like a family.
I went to school here and it was the best high school experience, based on my experience and what others have told me about regular academic high schools. All of the teachers are highly qualified and go beyond the call of duty for the students. Class sizes are small so everyone can reach their personal potential whether it be academic or in their arts field. Students are admitted based on their audition, including their excitement to learn, and their ambition and drive to succeed. It is not an "easy" school to go to, and there is a evaluation that you must pass at the end of every year in your art field, in order to go on to the next year. I would recommend this school for any student who is passionate about the arts, and who can make the commitment to working many long hours to develop their skills. This school is perfect preparation for college, when I went to my four-year school in the arts, it was a piece of cake and there was no adjustment period as I was used to 4 hr studio classes, and critiques. The teachers here don't baby you, and I think that's what helped me develop and learn the most. I appreciated it.
BSA is definitely a fine arts school, but there is a very strong culture which continually promotes some students, giving other students only a minimal, if any, chance to be in the spotlight. Questions or concerns from parents are not well-received. It is interesting that extracurricular activities received a 4-star rating, when actually there are no such activities--no sports, no academic teams, no clubs of any kind. Any after-school activities involve the student's art, with participation mandatory in most instances.