What are you guys doing for college? (DB forum thread)

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by AMUNC, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. AMUNC


    Jan 22, 2012
    Raleigh, NC
    I'm a junior in highschool, so I'm getting chest deep into the college stuff. I used I do all sorts of things, but I quit them all to play bass, an I know I want to continue that in college. My parents are going to help fund my college tuition, but they don't find music to be a useful major, and so they won't help me if I major only in that.

    I hope to get a bass scholarship if possible to help with paying, and maybe double major in college, in music and something else that is still undecided.

    What are you guys doing for your college situations? Or what did you do? As in what you majored in, or Minored in, how you used scholarships, how you used your degrees, ect.
    Thanks for any input, I hope this can help others that are in a boat similar to mine.
  2. AMUNC


    Jan 22, 2012
    Raleigh, NC
    Also, feel free to move this, I was not sure where it went. I play jazz and classical just about equally, so I just went with this forum.
  3. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    If you get a music ed degree, you can teach music in school. If that appeals to you, tell your parents and they may come around.
  4. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    If you really want to study music, I'd suggest getting up on your keyboard knowledge, sight singing, reading music etc, right away. Figure out what the program is about for sure. In other words, I'd suggest piano lessons. Don't just practice bass and think that will prepare you for a college degree in music.

    You can always be an Ed. major and go the music route.
  5. JohnDavisNYC


    Jan 11, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar, D'Addario
    The most important thing is your location and who you study with. I would (did):

    Go to school in NYC

    Hook up with good players

    Practice a lot

    Gig as much as possible

    Drop out of school ASAP

  6. AMUNC


    Jan 22, 2012
    Raleigh, NC
    Well I'm also planning on auditioning on vocals, I do a lot of solo and choir work as a tenor, and I've already completed the AP theory exam with a 5 so I can skip the first couple theory classes. I've thought about teaching, but every school music teacher I've had has had an incredibly difficult time to find a job that barely pays. I'm not trying to hit it big playing music, I'm more just trying to support my life comfortably and keep music a part of it. If my main living can have something involving music, that'd be fantastic, but I don't want it to be my only option.
  7. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    This is a lame excuse not to be a teacher if you really want it. You may have to relocate if there is nothing in your area but there are jobs if you are qualified and excel. If there is a music school nearby, ask to see the national job postings for music teaching positions.
  8. You have a valid concern. No guarantees of money in music. Take your folks' advice and do it for a hobby.
  9. AMUNC


    Jan 22, 2012
    Raleigh, NC
    It's not an excuse, it's just one reason I don't want to be a teacher. I know great bassists, who are just not good teachers ... And I feel as though I'm not set to be a teacher. And music doesn't have to be secluded to only being a hobby, it should stay a decent part of my life for a long time. I'm also curious as to if any of you used music to help pay for school, but still worked on other degrees, and how you did so.
  10. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    I double majored in business and minored in English. I play in several bands right now, but the band in my link is my main love. My drummer did the jazz program and plays in a lot of bands himself. My guitarist did the jazz program for awhile but switched to a different degree once he realized the school couldn't teach him anything he couldn't already teach himself on his own time.
  11. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I've been in higher ed for 32 years. I agree with your parents - get into a major which provides a foundation for your survival and income. You have plenty of options to take additional classes, including a minor in other fields...like music.

    Every profession needs business sense. Major in Business and Minor in Music - you'll have a solid professional start which can be applied to all types of enterprise, including music.

    Recognize that music is like professional sports - thousands pursue it, but only a small fraction ever make money at it. You have to make a living while doing things which you enjoy. Don't count on music as a profession, plan for it to be a lifelong interest...which you can afford to pursue because you have a solid day job.
  12. kreider204


    Nov 29, 2008
    WI, USA
    He's concerned with getting a job - which, you know, you need for, like, food, clothing, and shelter and stuff - and that's a lame excuse?! Geesh ...
  13. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    There are full time public, private and university teaching jobs out there. It is very possible to get one if you have the qualifications. My point is, if this is something the OP would like to do, he should go for it. If not, then don't. The music field is tough and if he doesn't have the passion, it's not worth it. But keep in mind, there are plenty of people in various fields having a tough time in the job market. No guarantees...

    To the OP, you can make music any part of your life you want. If you are a good enough player, you can work music jobs while in school and after you get out. I know many people who play professionally but also have full time day jobs (some as Junior High, High School and College teachers).
  14. jdwinva

    jdwinva Supporting Member

    Aug 3, 2005
    Leesburg, VA
    I went to Berklee very briefly and did the math. Berklee cost as much as a good medical school. With an M.D. You will never starve. You might starve as an honors graduate from Berkelee and have no capacity to repay your loans. I also was exposed to musicians at Berklee that had WAY more talent than me. I left got an economics degree and later went back and got a master degree in management from a top business school. Never regretted it and have played lots of music professionally along the way. You don't need a music degree to play and enjoy music.
  15. chicagodoubler


    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz

    Apparently none of your course load involved grammar. :)

    Sorry. I'm pissy because the Vikings pushed the Bears out of the wild card.

    But seriously, if this is ever an economic issue, you weren't meant to be a professional musician.

    College does not provide a clear path to career. Miles, Monk, and Michael Brecker all dropped out, and did just fine for themselves...
  16. Da Bears over the course of the last eight weeks pushed themselves out of the playoffs.
  17. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    In my experience, there are two kinds of music majors: those who want to study music for the sake of the art regardless of the economic ramifications/consequences, and; those who want to learn more about it, but also want their education to provide them with a more sure fire way to make a living. Neither is right are wrong, and there are degrees of both each tending toward the other.

    I was one of the former, which simplified things for me while in school but complicated them after I got out. Now, as a university professor in a music school, I try to have this discussion with all incoming students when they come to audition so that I can try to advise them better. Both paths make perfect sense depending on what your primary motivations are. Know thyself, and act accordingly! If you define what "success" means for you, you'll have a much easier time pursuing it.
  18. Jason Sypher

    Jason Sypher Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2001
    Brooklyn, NY
    We're lucky to have Chris here. This perspective is invaluable.
  19. I've been playing in bands and studying music since I was a teenager, practically nonstop. I'm now in my early 30s with multiple scientific degrees, including a PhD.

    I played in the jazz ensemble throughout my undergraduate years, and when I was in graduate school I took private lessons from the university's bass professor (and local bass bad@$$). Though I didn't major in music, the study of music is something that I've never stopped.
  20. harryd714

    harryd714 Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    New Paltz, New York
    I am currently a Junior at SUNY New Paltz in Jazz performance, and I can share a bit of the ups and downs of that decision. During the audition process back in high school I got into one or two conservatory programs that offered me no money and were far away from where I grew up (NYC). Since tuition was an issue and I didn't want to have any loans to worry about from a music undergrad (I feel very lucky that I didn't need loans for state tuition even nowadays), I knew I wanted to go to a State School. I chose New Paltz in part because it was a reasonable distance away from home (in one of the most beautiful regions of New York State), and because I wanted to study with the teacher here (John Menegon). I can tell you the ups and downs of this specific program but I think it will generalize the case for a lot of liberal arts schools with music majors.

    1.We have really excellent faculty, and since its a relatively small department you can get a lot of attention and time to work with them if you go after it.

    2.We don't have a lot of resources, there's a tremendous abundance of guitarists and bassists and a limited number of good and disciplined pianists, drummers, and horn players.

    3.A music degree is a piece of paper, if you don't practice and actively make the most out of it, its an easy way to waste 4 years and 50 grand (though I actually once got a job in a factory making the case that practicing music made me a disciplined person).

    4.What's made the whole experience worth it for me is that there's A LOT of work to be had in the Hudson valley in particular. When I got here I practiced a lot, found the best people to play with, and started getting a lot of calls for gigs. I've learned a tremendous amount about professionalism and reputation and how important they are (plus I've kept up a pretty sizable repertoire). Most of the people I've gigged with have graduated but I still get a lot of calls and I've been able to get better at networking and booking gigs around the area. Plus a lot of great players around NYC live up here and play here often as well, and I'm not too far for a weekend trip to the city.

    that's my two cents