Article from Yale’s Admissions division, schools only consider students’ course choices primarily based on the choices available to them. In different phrases, you won’t be penalized for neglecting to take benefit of alternatives your high school didn’t present. Fostering an atmosphere of mutual respect and support–as opposed to that of hostile competition–means encouraging openness and humility. This doesn’t preclude criticism; trustworthy and skilled judgements are crucial to the development of a musician, and teachers who soft-peddle such assessment do their students no favors. Neither, however, do teachers whose criticism denigrates or destroys.