Frequently Asked Questions
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Who we are, and what we do
What is BU Tanglewood Institute?
Boston University Tanglewood Institute (also known by the acronym BUTI) is a premier summer training program for talented young musicians ages 10 to 20. BUTI is located in the beautiful Berkshire mountains of Lenox, Massachusetts just down the road from the Tanglewood Music Center: the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO). Because of BUTI’s special relationship with the BSO, students have the opportunity to learn and grow through intensive programming in the presence of some of the world’s greatest music professionals and teachers.
Another program that operates concurrent with BUTI is the BSO’s Tanglewood Music Center (TMC), which is a separate program from BUTI. TMC is a program for older students–those typically in college or graduate school.
What is BU Tanglewood Institute's connection with the Boston Symphony Orchestra?
BUTI is a program of Boston University College of Fine Arts, and operates in conjunction with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) and Tanglewood Music Center (TMC). BUTI students are given access to all* BSO and TMC concerts each summer, and often have the opportunity to study with BSO and TMC personnel in a variety of musical settings. Furthermore, many rehearsals and concert performances take place on the Tanglewood main grounds (about a mile away from the BUTI campus). This close proximity and access to the BSO and TMC allows BUTI students the opportunity to experience several facets of Tanglewood.
*Not including Popular Artists Series concerts.
Who can participate? Are there age requirements?
BUTI is open to US Citizens and International students of all backgrounds. You must be between the ages of 10 and 20 during the summer of your participation. There are specific age requirements depending on the program(s) you’re interested in applying for:
The Junior Strings Intensive accommodates students 10-13 at the time of the program who have not yet matriculated into high school.
Two-week workshops accommodate students ages 14-20 at the time of the program. A freshman or sophomore enrolled in college who meets the age requirements can attend a two-week workshop.
BUTI’s Young Artists Programs accommodate students’ ages 14-19 who have not yet started coursework in a post-secondary degree program (such as a college or conservatory). This means that students are eligible for the summer after they graduate high school, before they begin college classes. If a student is taking part-time college-level classes while in high school, they are still eligible as long as their full-time enrollment is at the high school level.
Students under the age of 14 are eligible to apply for workshops and young artists programs, but would not be permitted to reside on BUTI’s campus until they reach 14 years of age (not including Junior Strings Intensive students, who are eligible to live on campus for that program).
The average age of BUTI students (not including the Junior Strings Intensive) is approximately 16 and a half.
When is the program? Can I only attend a portion of the program?
For the 2019 summer season, programs will run for the following dates:
Two-Week Workshops (2 weeks): June 16-29
Junior Strings Intensive (2 weeks): June 16-29
Young Artists Orchestra (6 weeks): June 30-August 10
Young Artists Vocal Program (6 weeks): June 30-August 10
Young Artists Composition Program (6 weeks): June 30-August 10
Young Artists Harp Program (6 weeks): June 30-August 10
Young Artists Wind Ensemble (4 weeks): June 30-July 28
Young Artists Piano Program Session I (3 weeks): June 30-July 20
Young Artists Piano Program Session II (3 weeks): July 21-August 10
Students are required to attend the full duration of the program(s) in which they participate. Short leaves, typically only a few days, are approved on a case-by-case basis by BUTI administration and faculty.
Are international students eligible to apply for BU Tanglewood Institute?
Yes, and several international students attend the program each year! Due to the short-term, vocational nature of BUTI programs, BUTI students will not receive a Boston University issued I-20 and will not be eligible for an F-1 student visa. Students should enter the United States as a visitor. A letter of invitation will be issued to accepted international students to aid in the process of gaining visitor status to enter the United States. Although there is no required TOEFL, all students must have a working understanding of the English language.
Where is BU Tanglewood Institute located?
All BUTI programs take place in Lenox, Massachusetts, about 130 miles west of Boston. The BUTI summer campus address is 45 West Street, Lenox, MA 01240, and the closest airport is in Albany, NY. During the academic year, BUTI offices and staff are located in Boston.
Do students live on campus?
BUTI is a residential program and most students live on campus, eat in the cafeteria, and participate in a variety of student life activities. Learn more about residential life at BUTI.
How do I apply?
Please click here to learn more about the application and audition process.
When is the application deadline? Do you accept late applications?
The application deadline is January 21, 2019 and will mark the beginning of the review process. Late applications will be accepted but will only be reviewed if space permits. We encourage you to submit your application by the deadline to guarantee full consideration for our programs. Letters of recommendation will be accepted after the application deadline, and late letters of recommendation will not penalize the applicant.
Is the application deadline a postmarked or received-by deadline?
The application deadline is a received-by deadline and will mark the beginning of the review process.
I ran into a problem with my online application. What do I do?
Acceptd, the service that hosts BUTI’s admissions application, boasts an excellent technical support team. Technical assistance can be accessed through the HELP tab within the BUTI online application. If you run into continued trouble with the online application or with requesting support from Acceptd, please contact BUTI at email@example.com. If you have already submitted your application and need help, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May I apply on more than one instrument?
Yes, you may apply for more than one instrument, but you must submit a separate application (with a reduced application fee) to apply on a secondary instrument. To apply on a secondary instrument, use the coupon code 02buti21 on the final payment screen of the second application to obtain a reduced application fee on your second application. If accepted into overlapping programs, you may decide which program for which you wish to enroll.
Where do I send my admissions materials?
Please send all materials related to admissions to the following address: BU Tanglewood Institute | Attn: Application Materials / 855 Commonwealth Avenue / Boston, MA 02215
May I send supplemental information about musical and/or personal accomplishments?
The audition is the largest factor in determining admissions. Supplementary information about an applicant’s background and accomplishments may be submitted within the application.
Is it better to audition live or with a recording?
Live and recorded auditions are reviewed equally with no preference given to either method of audition. You may not, however, audition live and then also submit a recording. Click here for more information about auditions.
Is piano accompaniment required for my audition?
BUTI recommends unaccompanied auditions for instrumental auditions. If an instrumentalist chooses to use a pianist for their audition, however, they will not be penalized. Vocalists are required to audition with piano accompaniment. BUTI does not provide accompanists. We recommend that applicants consult their teacher and/or local colleges and universities to inquire if they can recommend local collaborative pianists.
When are admissions decisions made?
Admission decisions are typically released by March 1. Applicants are notified by email of both the admission and scholarship award (if applicable) at the same time, so it is important for applicants to complete their scholarship form at the same time as their admissions application. If you require an expedited admissions decision, please contact us at email@example.com and we will try and help if possible.
What happens if I am wait listed?
BUTI typically sees more qualified applicants than it has space to admit, so we utilize a waiting list. Although it’s not possible to predict the likelihood of an admissions invitation from a waiting list, invitations off the waiting list happen every year for every program. In most cases, BUTI does not release a student’s position on the waiting list. If you wish to withdraw from the waiting list, please email or call immediately so opportunities can be granted to other students.
What types of scholarships are available?
BUTI awards hundreds of thousands of dollars in merit-based and need-based scholarships each year, and individual awards range from $500 to the full cost of tuition. Learn more about scholarships.
Will applying for scholarship affect my admissions decision?
Applying for or receiving scholarship does not affect the admissions decision in any way.
Is there still the possibility of receiving scholarship (or an increased scholarship) after the initial scholarship award notification?
All applicants are encouraged to fundraise through local organizations and/or a benefit concert. Even if you have been declined scholarship with your admissions decision, it is still possible to receive a scholarship (or an increase to your original scholarship offer) before the program starts due to funds being redistributed from students not attending. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if there are any updates or changes to your financial status that BUTI should be made aware of or if you have any questions.
How do I order a recording?
BUTI sells digital recordings, which may be purchased here.
How do I order a transcript?
Official transcripts may be ordered through the BU Registrar’s Office for a cost of $8 each. Please visit this website to create an account with Parchment, BU’s transcript processing vendor, to order your transcript. You do not need to input your Student ID to order a transcript. If you have questions, please contact the BU Registrar’s Office at 617.353.3612 or at email@example.com.