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So, I'm looking to turn this into a living...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Dirty G.I.T, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. Dirty G.I.T

    Dirty G.I.T

    Sep 19, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    But before that, I want to go to school. I'm currently a high school senior, looking for colleges where I can study music. The problem is, I only recently began playing music (a little over a year, and 8 months or more of that was spent without ever looking at so much as a beginner's bass book). With my limited knowledge of theory and my inablity to sight read, I feel as if I'm S.O.L for the mandatory audition most(if not all) schools require to become a music major. My question to you all is, should I try to cram as much musical knowledge into my head and go for the audition, or should I wait another year to learn more and then transfer/apply to become a music major my sophomore year of college. :help:
  2. Dirty G.I.T

    Dirty G.I.T

    Sep 19, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Also, I hope I put this in the right section. Didn't seem to fit anywhere else so I went with Miscellaneous to be sure >_>
  3. mpm32


    Jan 23, 2009
    I'll give you a short version of my story.

    All through high school, I played in bands. Also all through high school I took drafting and architecture classes. Up until junior year I was going to go to school for architecture. But I really liked playing in bands.

    Beginning of senior year I get it into my head that I would go to school for Sound Recording and Engineering. But I knew that I never wanted to work on that side of the glass. I wanted to play in a band and take it as far as I could. My parents let me choose the music thing - even though I was getting awards and noticed for the architecture stuff.

    I was in lots of bands and I did get into a band and we got a contract and played some pretty cool shows and venues.

    My BA in Sound Recording and Engineering is not helping me much now in the Corporate environment that I'm in now.

    I wish that my parents made me go to school for architecture, although it was my own choice not to, if only I knew then what I know now.

    I could've totally been in bands while in architecture school, if I made it with music there that would've been cool but if I didn't I would've had a better degree to fall back on.

    Don't get me wrong, I have a pretty good job now and I still play in a band but I think I would've been better off with a different degree.
  4. ByF


    May 19, 2009
    I would suggest you talk to your high school guidance couselor. They get paid to know all about what it takes to get into different schools, and what happens if you change majors. Many people don't finish school with the same major they started; that's what college is for, to explore different fields.

    But I would suggest that you start at the school of your choice in something more general like a business or engineering (if you have any aptitude for those things). Your first couple of years in school, you'll mostly be taking mandatory general ed classes anyhow. Take a few music theory classes as electives, and take music lessons when you can. That will put you on better footing if you decide to change majors.

  5. Dirty G.I.T

    Dirty G.I.T

    Sep 19, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Well, even if I don't make it as a professional musician, my fall back plan is teaching. I do like children and I like to teach others, so I'm not running blind through the forest. So, I'm thinking I could major in music education or just secondary education while I figure out if music is viable for me as a career. Like they say, those that can't do, teach >_>

    My real question mostly pertains to the application/audition process. I know every school is different, but I was hoping I could get an idea of what I should know going in and asses my own skills so that I can make a decision.
  6. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Not really. I know how *I* would feel if my kid's teacher was trying to teach something they'd only been doing for 4 years. Most music ed majors have been playing and instrument since 5th grade or so - around 7 years. Add 4 years of college and you're talking about a decade or more of music experience.

    What does your teacher say?
  7. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    Presuming this hasn't changed since I was there a million years ago (and based on conversations w/ recent students I'm pretty sure it's still like this), the Berklee College Of Music runs their auditions differently than most conservatories: Rather than being the metric for acceptance to the college, Berklee accepts you first, and then uses the audition to determine what level of skill you possess so that they can assign you to appropriate classes and ensembles.

    iow, you can suck and still get into Berklee. Just show them the money.
  8. Etingi


    Nov 3, 2007
    I don't mean to sidetrack your thread, but I have a quick related question.
    Do most conservatories have you study on a double bass, or is electric more common nowadays? A teacher I used to take lessons from said he studied jazz almost exclusively on a double bass, but that was probably 35 years ago.
  9. Dirty G.I.T

    Dirty G.I.T

    Sep 19, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I guess I hadn't thought about that aspect of teaching. I suppose with my late start I just wouldn't have to experience to teach anyone...that's a bit of a downer. I'm even more unsure as to what I should do now.
  10. mpm32


    Jan 23, 2009
    A music teacher in a Elementary School might be a good choice. The only thing is, a lot of schools are eliminating music programs due to budgets. That might change in 5 years, no way to know for sure. I sure didn't ask how long my daughter's music teacher in Elem. school was playing for prior to getting his teaching job.

    Oh I got accepted to Berklee also, didn't go there though. My friend, a guitarist did go and got his degree, not sure what in though. Now he's a cop.

    Take a look at this, any of these interesting?



    The thing is, if you just wanted to play it doesn't matter that your degree isn't in music. Look at REM, they all met at school and I think that none of them were music majors. Weezer too, a college band I think. Point being, you'll have tons of time to play at college.
  11. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    all the cats i know that make their entire living from playing make the bulk of their steady money from lessons. They also take a lot of gigs and recording sessions at some odd times.

    Outside of teaching, the other common thing about them is that they are all exceptionally nice, professional, and diplomatic. Almost to an unreal level.
  12. Question So, I'm looking to turn this into a living...

  13. ugly_bassplayer

    ugly_bassplayer Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2009
  14. Dirty G.I.T

    Dirty G.I.T

    Sep 19, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Well this is all a bit discouraging as music is the only area I've found so far in which I can happily dedicate myself and have any measure of talent in at all. I was hoping there was someway I could find a way to use my passion to support myself later on in life. If You all discourage playing for a living and some do not recommend becoming a teacher due to my inexperience, what other careers within music would you suggest I explore, if any at all?
  15. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    What do you want to do with music? If you want to teach you may need a degree. But no one asks Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, or Angus Young where they got their music degrees.
  16. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    This alone tells me you aren`t ready for doing music in college. Most kids doing this major have been playing since childhood, already have a decent knowledge of theory, and can sight read flawlessly. Also, this major requires more hours than it says on paper. You`ll have mandatory rehearsals, shows to go to, and many other things that add up really quick. When I was looking at the major two years ago it showed up to be 17 hours a semester on paper - cool. But after talking to the head of the music department and finding out what else we had to do, the 17 turned into 23... the only difference was that I wasn`t getting credits for all the hours I was really working. You may also find that you have to do both electric AND upright bass. Although I understood the reasoning behind this, it felt like a waste of time to me.

    My advice, pick a major in a subject you`ve always enjoyed and excelled in. It doesn`t matter if it`s english and writing, biology, geometry and architecture... just do something that makes you happy AND that you know can help get you work in the future. Music, unfortunately, isn`t that kind of major.
  17. Jimmy Bones

    Jimmy Bones

    Feb 24, 2009
    Baxley, GA
    If you absolutely have to, go to MIT in Hollywood.

    I plan on using my GI Bill in their Guitar Craft course and build basses for a living if we get transferred to San Diego.
  18. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    If you want to make a small fortune in music, start with a large fortune.
  19. I'm going to college now for a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Last semester I decided to add a minor in music so I can learn almost as much as a muic major without having an obligation to fulfill the class requirement if the workload gets too hard and without having to pay any extra money. My plan is to graduate as an engineer, work to pay off debts, and continue playing in the band. If (when) the band gets to a point where it could potentially start taking off, I'll leave my day job and play music for as long as I can.

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