Going to conservatory after High School

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by CaseroRubical, Nov 2, 2018.


  1. CaseroRubical

    CaseroRubical

    Apr 23, 2018
    How viable is it for me to go to a conservatory after finishing High School? (I've been playing bass for a year and I'll finish in one year).
     
  2. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    1. You will be going up against people who have been playing for over a decade. It will be tough.
    2. Not sure where you live, but what are the honest prospects for a bassist making a decent living?
     
  3. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    ^^^This

    There are music schools -- even accredited ones! even a tiny handful of (gasp!) respected, accredited ones! -- that will accept neophytes into their freshman class. But they are rare, and almost never are they true "conservatories".


    Allow me to play devil's advocate for a moment, if for no other reason than because I had this exact conversation with my grandmother when I announced that I would be attending a music conservatory to get my Masters Degree in Composition:

    Is the only reason for getting an education to improve one's employment prospects?
    Perhaps OP is interested in attending a conservatory so that he can become a better musician, irrespective of the employment prospects.
     
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  4. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    And he may, which is why I asked the question, rather than to say he shouldn't. But this question is usually asked here (from what I have seen) from people after high school, and they want to be a professional musician. If he has the ability and resources to do that, so much better for him.
     
  5. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Peabody Conservatory (now part of Johns Hopkins) offers both teaching and performance degrees.
     
  6. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    Under the flight path
    I did this. I was good at my chosen instrument. But what I found out (immediately!) was that I didn't have the long-term well-rounded musical education that my peers did. I had barely heard of music theory, and bang, there I was stuffed into a class designed to separate the haves from the have nots. Sightsinging? You have to be kidding. Score reading? Keyboarding? Music history? Yeah. Sure, these places exist to teach that stuff, but not to people who know NOTHING about it.

    Career prospects aside (that's a whole 'nother thing), going to conserv was in most ways a bad idea for me. Yes I did well (3.46GPA) and did REALLY well at some things, but it was a massive struggle and for the first year and a half I was absolutely in over my head.

    Take from this what applies to you....
     
  7. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    All great points. If you're not strong in the non-performance classes he mentions, you'll have a tough time of it. Those are what we called "weed-out" classes. And they did exactly that. Several people I knew changes their majors not long after dropping them.
     
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  8. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    Under the flight path

    Yes. Theory 101 was designed to weed out 25% of the incoming freshmen all by itself. This was stated - in writing. I think the actual number was more like 1/3 gone.
     
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  9. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    Under the flight path

    OP, be aware that if the conservatory you're considering is attached to a college or university, changing major isn't necessarily easy. The fact that you got admitted to the conservatory doesn't mean you've been admitted to the college. I had one classmate discover this. He undeclared as a music major, but his high school academics weren't strong enough that the college would accept him. He ended up at the local JuCo until he could get his grades up.
     
  10. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    The two biggest weed-out classes from my recollection were Music Lit and Sight-singing/Ear training.
     
  11. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    Under the flight path

    Sightsinging was nearly the death of me. Tiny skinny little textbook cost $60 (in 1987) and was a jumble of clefs and keys and time sigs. Did I mention I was not a singer at all? Oh, the terror.
     
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  12. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    My son studied music in college. He had the advantage of having started music lessons of a sort when he was about three. He picked up the trumpet for the first time in fourth grade, then went to a middle school and high school that both had outstanding band directors who took normal kids and turned them into seriously good musicians. With all that behind him, he was about the least accomplished trumpet player of the three or four the school took that year. I'm not saying this to discourage anybody, just to make sure there's a level of realism about expectations. If the OP can pull it off, I think it's great, and don't see any reason not to try. The worst thing that can happen is a rough year, some bills, and some good stories. The bills part is the biggest negative, and if you can avoid that, do it.
     
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