Marginalia, Graduate Blog

FAQ: Part 2

Steven Spiel

Chicago Nightlife

Chicago Nightlife

If you checked out my last FAQ and you’ve still got questions, I’m here to the rescue. I’ve got part 2 ready for you today. Hopefully it helps as you consider the Music Composition for the Screen MFA program here at Columbia College Chicago.

1. Do the first year students interact with the second year students? I read that each class of 12 has all their classes together, but is there any collaboration between classes?

1st- and 2nd-year graduate students have a film analysis class together, and there is good camaraderie amongst us all. I have had good conversations with some of the 2nd-years and have their numbers, and we’re all in a Facebook group together to share things daily. Others have assistantships and teach private or group lessons for free if you want them. We are a pretty open bunch of people, and we treat each other like family.

2. Do most film scoring grad students live on or off campus? Is one cheaper than the other, which would you recommend?

Most live off campus. It tends to be a little less expensive just because it is so costly to live downtown. Most live north of campus (along the red line). I’d suggest finding something close to the red line train.

3. Is the public transportation adequate to get around town? Would it be worthwhile to bring a bike?

Chicago’s public transit (the Chicago Transit Authority, or CTA for short) is really good. It’s reliable and fast, and you get an awesome student discount for unlimited passes on all buses and trains. It’s usually $100/mo for that, but students get the whole semester covered for $100. That pass will become invaluable to you. I wouldn’t suggest a bike, unless you live really close, and keeping them safe is another issue.

4. Do film scoring grad students usually stay in Chicago during the summer after the first two semesters?

A lot of that has to do with the kind of housing you choose. If you get an apartment with a 12-month lease, you will either want to stay or sublet your place so you don’t loose any moola. If you live on campus, you’ll probably leave for home or an internship. As for me, I’m heading to Salt Lake City to intern with a company there. It was a bit of a headache working out our apartment lease, but we got it taken care of and are excited. There are also internship and work opportunities here in Chicago.

Chicago Nightlife

Chicago Nightlife

I hope that helps you as you make this important decision!

FAQ: Part 2

If you checked out my last FAQ and you’ve still got questions, I’m here to the rescue. I’ve got part 2 ready for you today. Hopefully it helps as you …

Music Composition for the Screen MFA Steven Spiel, steven.spiel@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605