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HURST OR BRANSBY ???

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by Dr Rod, Nov 24, 2005.


  1. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    If you were to apply to IU, should it be Hurst or Bransby?

    Rephrasing the question, who's students get the most jobs?
     
  2. G-force

    G-force

    Jul 1, 2004
    oslo Norway
    Oh please...Diplomacy my Lad. Good students make good teachers . If you attiude is that "teacher will make me" then you are in for a shock.
    I have heard both are fine teachers. So you could get something out of both. Of course your bow style could be a determining factor. Hurst=violin bow, Bransby=buttler bow.

    But if it's stats you want then maybe Paul Ellison knows. I hear he has a good overview on who's students win what jobs. Though he is probably soon #1.

    Why don't you ask Bransby or Hurst yourself if you really need to know and see what they say. I'm sure they will help you out.

    I hope this helps.
    BTW I would check Roland Decurb. He is an awesome teacher with lots' of sudents getting gigs
     
  3. Justin K-ski

    Justin K-ski

    May 13, 2005
    I've heard ir from a number of sources that Mr. Hurst is no longer accepting students to persue retirement. However, knowing Iu's great history of bass teachers they'll get another monster to replace him.
     
  4. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    Sorry, I didn't mean to offend anybody. I certainly apologize if I did.

    I agree with you about the fact that the teacher doesn't make the student. Having said that, certain teachers/schools place more students in orchestras. It's a sad fact. You have famous schools with famous teachers that don't really place many students (I won't mention names), then you have others that do. Maybe they are good psychologists and know how to motivate students, maybe it's technique, I don't know.
     
  5. G-force

    G-force

    Jul 1, 2004
    oslo Norway
    Yo Dr. Rod, I appologize. Upon rereading your original post I realise that I read too much into it. PLease excuse my post. I guess my caffeine was kicking in at the same time as I read your mail.
    I agree with you that good teachers are good psychologists. I think the best teachers are the ones who really "teach" nothing but instead create the circumstances under which the students learns on his own.
    I have had "famous" teachers and some things Learned from them were things they never said. and some of the things they told me to do kept my paralyzed with fear to try anything else. But that's me.
     
  6. Justin K-ski

    Justin K-ski

    May 13, 2005
    ah...
     
  7. Colin Corner, now assistant of the Vancouver Symphony, studied with Hurst and Bransby. He said he had to pull a lot of strings to manage it, so I wouldn't count on that being an option. However, what he told me was that Hurst was really great about solidifying technique and getting students to be more expressive in their solo playing, while Bransby got his technique sharpened for orchestral auditions and so forth.

    I studied for two months with Mr. Bransby this last summer, and I really enjoyed my time with him. It's bad to speak in general terms, especially when comparing teachers, but I felt like Bransby was at his best when teaching orchestral technique and literature. He is a German bow player, but can teach French just as well.
     
  8. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    Hey G-Force, no problem, I understand how my post could lead to misunderstandings.

    Now what you guys are saying basically is that Hurst is great to actually teach you how to play the bass, but Bransby would be a better orchestral coach. That's very good info. I am a German bow player too so I might think about auditioning there.
     
  9. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    By the way, what school is BTW?
     
  10. Justin K-ski

    Justin K-ski

    May 13, 2005
    BTW= By The Way.
     
  11. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    stupid me, so embarrassing

    :)

    So, who is this Roland Decurb, He doesn't appear on the internet search engines.
     
  12. Hoyt5String

    Hoyt5String

    Apr 27, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    Tom did his undergrad with Hurst and his grad with Bransby.
     
  13. G-force

    G-force

    Jul 1, 2004
    oslo Norway
    Well I will give you one hint..Redrum...
     
  14. bierbass

    bierbass

    Sep 5, 2005
    Knoxville, TN
    I thought his name was Roland E. Curb. One of Bransby's favorite composers I think.
     
  15. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    Chriieeess is that you, good old Hoyt ??

    How are you?

    Hey Hoyt, what is your opinion in this? How did you like IU ?
     
  16. Hoyt5String

    Hoyt5String

    Apr 27, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    IU was great. The only real problem I had with it was that some of the bass students there like to talk trash about the teacher that they don't study with (both studios are guilty of this, it has nothing to do with the teachers themselves) because they're insecure about their choice in teachers. But I know that you would rise above that nonsense.

    Both teachers are great Rod. Your German bow is good enough that it doesn't matter which person you study with in regards to bow technique.

    I personally had no problems with Hurst, though some people didn't like him so much because they felt like he didn't really care and was more in to the adminstrative thing. He's very nice and I'm sure he'd love to teach you Rod. Though I'd be weary, he might be retiring soon, no idea about that though. I could maybe find out for you if you want.

    Bransby is superb too, but obviously since I didn't study with him, I don't know first hand. What I do know from people I trust who studied with him, is that he's really good at getting in to detail in the excerpts. The bad thing that I hear about him is that he's a bit impersonal and it takes awhile for him to warm up to you. If that doesn't bother you, then go for it.

    Both are great teachers, if you have the time and resources, go down and take lessons from each of them to get a better idea about them.

    And despite what everyone will say, it's really not that hard to switch from one teacher to the other at IU. Sure, there is some tension between both of them, but as long as you're honest with whoever you're switching from, it's fine. The problem is that some people switch without telling their teacher, which I think is kind of a slap in the face. My former roommate studied with Hurst for his Masters and Bransby for his Doctorate. He was upfront with Hurst about it when he made the decision and Hurst was fine about it, and actually appreciative that he was being upfront with him. The problem is that people are scared for some reason.

    Are you thinking about doing a Doctorate there? It's a bitch of a program, just so you know.

    As for Roland Curb, it's not really that important, it's just an inside joke that's been going on for some years now.

    And B. Johnson, I was just pointing out that Tom studied with both of them. What's the problem?
     
  17. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    Thanks Hoyt, that's really helpful.
    Now, you say the doctorate is a heavy program, what would be the program to go for if you just want to practice and be left alone?

    Where are you now?
     
  18. ineedajob

    ineedajob

    Apr 5, 2005
    Like everyone is saying, you should get lessons from both to see which style you would like. I find that Hurst teaches by allowing yourself how to figure out your tech. problems, fingerings, musicality, etc., while Bransby would teach you how he can play (which is extremely quick, great intonation, and overall extremely impressive). Both are very different ways, and utilizing both styles (i personally think) would make you an incredible player. However like most schools, you can only have 1 primary teacher.

    This is all from personal expierence of course.

    As for who's winning the most jobs? by pure numbers Hurst. I am not biased because I personally studied with Hurst, but numbers don't lie.

    Recently Tom won 2 jobs, but like someone said, he studied with Hurst for 4 years, and is now finishing his masters (2 yrs) with bransby. As for Ben, thats incredible that he has "won" both jobs, but until he keeps one of these huge jobs, bransby students haven't really won too many in recent years.

    I know for a fact that Hurst will not retire. He is going to teach until he physically can't anymore.

    and for Colin "pulling strings" to get lessons with bransby is a stretch. During the school year he got some lessons with bransby while still being a hurst student. The only time you could say Colin had bransby as his primary teacher was in the summer when he is at Aspen (for 2 more years now). Which is of course 2 yrs after he won LPO section, LPO assistant princ., and now the associate. VSO.

    I think that Hurst is a miracle worker for aspiring bassists. I feel the reason why Hurst picked myself after my audition for the school over bransby, is because bransby probably didn't have the patience to take someone who had my playing abillity then. Although there were some times that i wish hurst would just straight up tell me why am i playing bad (bransby style), but it just depends on how you learn, and if you have a good connection with your teacher. EVERY teacher and student relationship is unique.

    But Dr. Rod, why are you getting your doctorate if you want to be orchestra player? I find most people that get their DM's are more incline to teach. Personally by the sounds of it, you wanting to just practice and play with no work, I would suggest just getting a performance diploma, because the course work to get your DM from Boston, IU Rice, is pretty time consuming.
     
  19. ineedajob

    ineedajob

    Apr 5, 2005
    I have something else I would like to add. Indiana is a humbling school. It doesn't matter how good you think you are, there will always be bassists better then you. No matter what you age or expierience. Its just incredible that every year at IU there is always 1 or 2 freshman that are way way ahead for there age- always keeping you on your toes..

    So my point is, if your looking for an ego boosting few years, you looking at the wrong school.

    If your still interested, then i think your ego may diminish (by the way im not saying you have one, ive never met you), but im basically saying however good you think you can play, you will probably be dissapointed at first (at your playing), but you will have to look at it in a different perspective. Use your peers (even if they are much different in age) as an advantage that most schools wont have to offer; 40 great players that are always practicing, 40 different peopel to play for, 40 different ways of playing, and 40 different views on playing.

    My experience at IU was great, and thats why after seeing the caliber of players and teachers that are at IU, I can safely say it is one of the best (or the best) schools for a bassist to learn at.
     
  20. Hoyt5String

    Hoyt5String

    Apr 27, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    Rod,

    Let's put it this way, the Doctoral Program requires you to play 3 recitals, 2 solo and one chamber; two minors on top of your Bass Performance major, one of those minors HAS to be Education, Theory or History, the other can be whatever you want, but I think it still has to be music related. Plus electives and a thesis. I know one person who's done it since I was at IU (2001-2004-5ish), and he is now teaching at a small school in Northern Florida. I mean...it's a sure way to get a job to pay the bills, but you'll be teaching at a smaller school. If that's what you're looking for then the Doctorate is for you. This degree generally runs about 3-7 years. The guy I know did it in 3 or 4 I think...but he crammed like hell.

    However, like the guy above (Adam?) said, the performance diploma is a good way to just go to school to study and practice for auditions. But just like your Bachelors and Masters, it's just a piece of paper that you can hang above your toliet in case you run out of toliet paper. The only annoying thing about a Performers Diploma is that they make you take a foreign language. I'm not sure if they still do this or not...though I don't think that would be a big problem for you Rod. ;)

    Oh and one other thing to consider, with the Doctorate you don't have to play in school orchestra, with the Performers Diploma you do. As great as it sounds to play in the orchestras there (and they are great) I know how you like to do gigs, and IU is a bit unforgiving about letting you out for them. They're good orchestras (especially the Phil and Chamber) but like any school orchestra, it gets to be a pain in the ass quickly if you're lucky enough to get the few gigs there are around there, which I'm sure you would.

    Right now I'm in Chicago playing with Chicago Civic.

    And Rod, if you end up deciding to go to Bloomington, let me know through email. You still have it right? We should really talk, I still have your number so I might give you a call sometime. It's been how long? 6 years? More? Crazy. I still remember the last thing you said to me before you left....

    GERMAN BOW!!!! :bassist: