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Musician's Institute

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by DryDrunk, Sep 30, 2002.


  1. Hello, I'm a high school senior and I want to pursue music as a career. I plan on going to music school after graduation, but I don't know where to go. I am leaning towards Musician's Institute, but it is pretty expensive. I'm hoping to get financial aid and such(afterall, I am from Eastern Kentucky, an economically deprived region). Do either of you guys have experiences from MI...or any tips on financial aid? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    My only experience of MI (the one in Hollywood) was at LA Bass Day last year - the facilities looked OK, don't know much about the teachers. Do check out all the colleges around - in LA you've also got LAMA (Los Angeles Music Academy), and then there's Berklee (the Northern California one), The Player's School (Jeff Berlin's place in Florida), or you could spend your money on Private tuition whilst working with a band and earning some money! :)

    Some people really thrive in a college setting, others find it frustrating. Last week I had the chance to revisit the college where I studied 10 years ago - Perth College in Scotland - who now have a huge music department (it was pretty small when I was there), have added a degree course, have amazing facilities and great tuition - I almost wish I was on the look out for somewhere to study now! :D

    I was up there doing a masterclass and a gig in the college theatre - that was fun!

    anyway, check them all out, go to the open day if you can, and ask people who've studied at them for first hand info. Remember if you don't live in LA and you go to MI or LAMA you've got to figure in the cost of living in LA!

    cheers

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  3. chris griffiths

    chris griffiths

    Aug 20, 2002
    nashville tn
    Endorsing artist: Gallien Krueger
    Hi I can relate to your situation because I come from an economically deprived part of michigan and I go to the berklee college of music in boston. they really helped me out and made the money available to go but I also applied at oberlin new school western michigan university and New England conservatory. I'd suggest any of these except the conservatory for bass. I'm not sure if you play strictly electric or upright as well like me but All of the above have pretty solid music programs it's just that the conservatory was the only one who looked down on the fact that I play both. I also play a Kydd upright and they were not pleased about that either. So there's my ten cents
     
  4. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    As Chris mentioned, your options depend on what kind of music you'd like to study. There are many good conservatories all over the world, but they usually don't offer instruction in electric bass. Since you mentioned MI, I'm guessing that's the kind of place you're interested in. Fortunately, there are a lot of schools now that do have electric bass programs. To the ones mentioned, I'd add AIM in Atlanta, Bass Collective in NYC, Music Tech in Minneapolis and I believe North Texas State offers a degree in electric bass performance, too. This is not a complete list however, and there are many more schools outside of the US. All of these differ in size, educational style and environment so you have some options. I've actually had the good fortune to give clinics at most of these places and I'd be happy to offer my two cents on any of them if you're interested.
     
  5. Thanks for all of the wonderful input guys! I want a school that is versatile in music styles, but I would also like to play upright. If I could find a happy median, I would be very happy! My attendance at any school depends on how much money I am getting to go there, and overall fees. It doesn't really matter where the school is. Berklee seems like a good option, but is it really as ridiculous as people say it is? Hmm, well, any additional input is appreciated! Thanks!
     
  6. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I know EKU has a good program, believe it or not. Like any music school, what you put into it directly relates to what you get out.
     
  7. chris griffiths

    chris griffiths

    Aug 20, 2002
    nashville tn
    Endorsing artist: Gallien Krueger
    As pac man says schools are what you make them. I know if your a student of music all the resources are here it's tapping them that is the issue for most people. you know the bass instructors are top of the line I've had some very good learning experiences here Bruce Gertz, Rich Appleman Danny Morris, Joe Santerre are my personal favorites and I study both upright and electric here (70% electric :) So you know as with most schools that have been mentioned the resources are here. I think Between Berklee and MI and maybe New School those are the most versatile of the three schools where you can study many different things. I spent yesterday morning Playing latin and Last night recording death metal for my roommates production project just to give you a scale. Let me know if you want any more insight on berklee or on being a high school student looking for a school believe me I went through that.

    email: cgriffiths@berklee.net AOL IM: thebigpill1
     
  8. That is true Pac. I contemplated going to a school that was close and then moving to somewhere to make music a career. It seems that Musician's Institute would be the same as a standard state university music program, but I think they offer some experience that cannot be taught in other places. Berklee also seems like a good school to attend, but I was reluctant to find out more. I still have 9 or so months to decide, but I want to make one that I won't later regret. Any further input is appreciated!
     
  9. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Berklee and MI are not even on the same page. However, Berklee is one of the most expensive schools in the country.

    I wasn't impressed when I toured MI, tho that was years and years ago. I'd go to a college with a reputable jazz program (Eastman, UNT, etc) if I had it to do over again.... since most modern music uses the same concepts learned in jazz, that's where I'd concentrate. But that's just me...
     
  10. IronBass

    IronBass

    Jan 31, 2002
    Dallas, Texas
    North Texas State
     
  11. Michael,
    I considered MI due to it's location and reputation. I figured LA would be the place to make music a career. I am looking for a degree(certificates seem worthless) in electric bass at a school that offers versatility, experience, and can set me up with work as soon as I can. MI is said to have all of these qualities, but I want to make a well-researched decision. Also, I would want to attend a school offering good financial aid and financial programs, because I need all the help I can get.
    Thanks in advance.

    Corey
     
  12. Chip

    Chip

    May 2, 2000
    is tertary education funded in america?
    here for uni, you dont have to pay a cent up front here, and for TAFE its $1 for every contact hour up to a max of $500 a year
     
  13. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Corey,

    LA is certainly a good town in which to pursue a music career, but I'm sorry to say that neither a degree nor a certificate in electric bass is really worth much in the real world. Almost all potential employers will be much more interested in recommendations from other musicians than a degree. That is, unless you're looking for a teaching position – in that case having a degree can be quite helpful. I do think that MI has some programs to help students find gigs, but maybe someone on Talkbass who has studied there could offer advice. Anybody out there have first hand experience?
     
  14. Chip

    Chip

    May 2, 2000
    you get more than a piece of paper when you goto college/uni
    true most people dont care if you have a degree or not, but when you are doing a music course you will learn alot and meet other musicians improving your skill alot which will make you more skilled and more known
     
  15. **** MI, I went there, played my ass off, learned a ton, and the place gets worse all the time, the teachers are great, but you could pay less and deal with less metal head guitar players in the real world. the head of BIT just quit a few days ago and I wonder why he didn't do it sooner. if your looking to blow 7000 bucks and live in hollywood, jerk off with a bunch of slackers that just want to learn avenged seven fold songs, yeah be my guest. there are many teachers there that will help you learn what ever, and maybe 7 kids really take advantage of this. get a BA not an AA and then get the hell out of hollywood. don't tell anyone thats where you went to school. and as for helping you get a job or gig after you grad, na that's a lie, I'm good friends with the people that work in the department and they have told me that its just craigslist and some students looking for bass players, they just exploit the success of grads, they had nothing to do with how they got there success. most people that get gigs, are the people that can already play. hey I learned to play Jazz at MI and it's ruined my life.