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College help! PLEASE!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by ao'connor17, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. ao'connor17


    Feb 12, 2007
    Tivoli, NY
    I know I don't post much, but I lurk the forums.
    Regardless, I'm now a sophomore in high school and just recently, I realized that I need to take my playing alot more seriously than I am if I want to play bass for a living. Which got me to start thinking about colleges, and where I want to go/what I need to do to prep for it. I know there are some professors here, but I'm sure they'll understand that I should do whats best for me...
    What I think I want to do is perform in some way. I'd like to continue playing electric and upright bass. In an ideal situation, I'd like to have a symphony gig and a jazz gig, and possibly teaching on the side. I'd like to go to school in a big city (Chicago, New York, etc) but I also enjoy Colorado. The schools I have in mind are all "elitist" programs, such as Juliard, Eastman, Curtis, etc. I guess what I need the most help with is finding a school with a reputable name, that's a little easier to get into, and is in an area that I would like to live.


  2. What does your teacher recommend? Please don't say you don't have one if you are seriously thinking about majoring in music.
    This is not a snobby, elitist remark, it's the truth.
    Having said that, there have been numerous lengthy discussions on this topic. Just do a search on College, and you will be surprised.
  3. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    First, perhaps fill out your profile, maybe?

    Second, you might do well to get a teacher and start hitting it hard, now, if you aren't doing so already (I mean a pro orchestra player, probably).

    Third, Manhattan School of Music is another great place, with some strong bass faculty. Maybe not "easier" to get into than some of the schools you list, but may be a good addition for anyone's short list. It is easier to get into than Curtis...


    Fourth, Mannes College of Music has traditionally focused heavily on ear training, and is another NY option that folks often overlook. Some very famous, world-class alums.


    Fifth, while you are lurking, you might find it helpful to check out all the other threads on this topic...folks are finding lots of good places that work for them.

    Best of luck. :)
  4. Other places to think of -

    San Francisco Conservatory
    DePaul University
  5. ao'connor17


    Feb 12, 2007
    Tivoli, NY
    Yes, i've been hitting it pretty hard for the past couple of years, but just recently, i've been hitting it even harder. I study with Mark Foley out of WSU (wichita state university).
    What exactly do you mean by "filling out my profile?"
    Thanks for the input, keep it coming!
  6. I keep forgetting that not everybody knows this. When you log on, click on the "My Talkbass" Link and it will take you to a screen where you can edit your profile, Like where you live (no specifics, just area) what kind of gear you have, who you study with and what you're interested in. It allows other TB'ers to make better informed suggestions as to recommending luthiers, shops, teachers, etc.
  7. Texas Tech-Mark Morton
    Oklahoma-Anthony Stoops
    Iowa-Volkon Orhon
    Butler- David Murray
    These are lesser known schools with amazing teachers

    Also if you are thinking of becoming an orchestral player you should check out these:
    Michigan State: Jack Budrow (and Rodney Whittaker as the jazz professor, who is maybe the best in the nation)
    Indiana-Bruce Bransby and Lawrence Hurst (also our own Jeremy Allen for jazz)
  8. ao'connor17


    Feb 12, 2007
    Tivoli, NY
    Ok, so I did my background. My teacher told me to ask, out of my list of schools as of now(manhattan, juliard, eastman, depaul, northwestern, Indiana U, USC, UCLA), who has the best bass professor? :D
  9. The answers to that question are going to vary a lot -- They all have terrific professors, but, for me, I think that Tim Cobb at MSM and Juilliard is first-class. I also think that studying with Jeremy McCoy at MSM would be amazing, and studying with Orin O'Brien at Juilliard or MSM is a great choice. However, Peter Lloyd at NU is top-notch, the teachers at IU are fantastic, Chris Hanulik at UCLA is supposed to be phenomenal, and Nico Abondolo is supposed to be really fabulous. I have liked studying with Rob Kassinger who is at DePaul, but I know nothing about James VanDemark at Eastman.

    So I guess to answer your question, if I had to choose from that list, I'd go with Tim at MSM, but in close 2nd would be Bransby at IU tied with Peter at NU.
  10. You could also check out the Boston area schools (BU, NEC, and BoCo). Ed Barker, Ben Levy, Larry Wolfe, and Todd Seeber are all really good teachers. And of course I will mention that Diana Gannett at University of Michigan is an absolutely incredible teacher. I think there's are rumor that she wants to get Alex Hanna to come in and start doing some orchestra work too.
  11. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Another thing to consider (as if you didn't have enough to think about) is the cultural environment in which you will be studying. While a person can get a great relationship going with an amazing teacher anywhere, the power of studying in NYNY, surrounded by all of those schools, high-level student players, and top-flight professionals can be pretty life-changing.

    There was a great podcast on Jason Heath's bass blog a few weeks ago, interviewing Jeremy McCoy (Ass. Principal of the Met. Opera Orchestra, starting on the MSM faculty next year). He talks a bit about moving to NY and the academic and professional atmosphere there. He captures the scene pretty well, I think.


    Even though I, personally, dropped out of conservatory and picked a different career, the experience of studying music in NY was an unforgettable one for me. The level of musicianship all around a music student in NYNY is pretty unique, as far as I know...

    Plus, conservatory students can often get in to free stuff at orchestra and opera concerts, with score desks, etc. Its a pretty amazingly cool and wild scene; at least it was in the late '70's. MSM routinely had passes to all of the major venues that one could sign up for, etc.

    Now, whether you would enjoy living in NYNY is another matter. I was a full scholarship recipient at MSM and lived on virtually nothing in a noisy, roach-infested room at the top of Spanish Harlem/bottom of Washington Heights. It was not my favorite, then, but you may find that city living suits you well. It will have a lot to do with who you fall in with for friends, roomates, etc, how much money you have in your bank account, the neighborhood you pick, family support, and your emotional resilience...

    Whatever you decide, I am excited for you. You have a lot of great options, where ever you end up!
  12. ao'connor17


    Feb 12, 2007
    Tivoli, NY
    Thanks for the help. I think I'll post some audio of me playing, maybe my current level will help you guys help me a little more. As far as living goes, I LOVE the city. Here in Wichita (its pretty much a sprawled out suburb) there is a downtown area, that i've spent weekends in before, and I just loving running around there. State Orchestra was in the downtown area, and I pretty much lived down there. Go to rehearsal, run somewhere for lunch, rehearsal, get out at night, go eat dinner with some friends, go hang out somewhere, drink coffee, go drive around the city, it was the life for me. Happiest times of my high school career so far.
  13. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    In glancing thru the thread most of the top schools have been mentioned. I got to say, that if you like Chicago, I'd really consider DePaul. Rob Kasinger, studied at MSM and Julliard and is currently w/ the CSO. In addition, he has a serious jazz background and from personal experience he's a very nice gentleman. I have no doubt that you'd learn an awful lot from him and I strongly encourage you to consider visting and/or corresponding with him about your interest and goals.

    My $.02.

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