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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by fumblefingers View Post
    lets stick to football at a big school, with all the trappings listed in your first extreme example.

    lets see the facts for Ohio State, Alabama, Texas, OU, LSU, USC, Florida State

    try it again.

    Athletics cost colleges, students millions
    "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing." - Socrates
    “Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.” - Alan Wilson Watts

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  3. #52

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    so i was right. just what i expected. "nearly" every school. all sports. NOT big football.

    specificity is important in life.

  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisDowning View Post

    But with no budget or tight budget - find three or four local guitar teachers and with them create your three year study plan - just plagerise a college course with your teachers. You'll need more dicipline to stay the course - but on the upside you probably won't end up with a $70,000 overdraft and you can plan all this around working part time easier than you could at college.

    Third option would be real "old school" - find a really good player who is prepared to mentor you as you do an "apprenticeship" with them - they teach and guide the student as would have happened 100 years ago. And there is quite a lot of evidence and anecdote that this route works well.
    Interestingly, I personally know someone who teaches at Berklee and when I was considering going to school for jazz performance (in my late 20s) his advice was to stay as far away as possible from any music school, and instead go to NYC, find someone I wanted to study with, study privately, and hustle to get as many gigs as possible.

    Other teachers and graduates advised me similarly when I was on the cusp of this decision.

    I did not wind up going to school for jazz (I actually never went to college at all) but instead have followed a light version of your model - studying privately with some high level teachers who teach at good schools. I'm pretty self disciplined so I could take one hr long lesson and then have months and months of stuff to work on. Looking back I think my jazz education in the past 13 years (since I was 18) has cost me well under $2K for all lessons and books.

    I feel good about where I've ended up, although a period of heavier immersion would have been great, just to satisfy my curiosity about a lot of things. But god damn am I happy to not be in debt.

    I know that if I ever want to study more seriously again I can do as you say - work with private teachers, get books. Hell you can even just hire a great drummer/pianist whatever to do a session with you, get the playing experience...you're still going to spend less than tuition.

    4 lessons a week, max $400..30 weeks a year $12K. Probably wouldn't even need that many...Hustle for gigs and sessions, buy textbooks. Probably a much better musical experience, just no degree at the end.

  5. #54

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    I guess the way I see Berklee is...you're already good, you go there, you network, you graduate with a bunch of folks and hopefully live among a pocket of them, and call each other for gigs.

    It's funny, you go to med school, and they can (over a long period of time, but nonetheless) make a doctor out of you, but if you can't already play an instrument well ain't no music school gonna make a musician out of you.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    I guess the way I see Berklee is...you're already good, you go there, you network, you graduate with a bunch of folks and hopefully live among a pocket of them, and call each other for gigs.

    It's funny, you go to med school, and they can (over a long period of time, but nonetheless) make a doctor out of you, but if you can't already play an instrument well ain't no music school gonna make a musician out of you.
    Yeah actually I was just going to go back and edit my post, because really the main thing is the networking. Being forced to be in a community, you make connections. I think that's a much harder thing to do independently. Surely possible, but maybe requiring a level of extroversion that's a little foreign to me. All the folks I know who went to music school who have some good performance stuff happening for them, it's all connection oriented.

    Crazy to look at Lake Street Dive - those guys all went to NEC as jazz majors I think, and formed this pop band that's becoming gigantic.

  7. #56

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    A little forced extroversion is not a bad thing. In order to be a true introvert and a successful musician, a lot of chips have to fall in place magically. In reality, you need to be a hustler.

    The other thing about music school that's valuable is lots of lower pressure opportunities to play with good/great players, the kind where clamming it up on your solo won't save you embarrassment, but you'll still be playing with those cats again the next day.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    A little forced extroversion is not a bad thing. In order to be a true introvert and a successful musician, a lot of chips have to fall in place magically. In reality, you need to be a hustler.
    True. Living in a big city like NYC will make a hustler out of you if you're really wanna do music. Still, if you're naturally not too good at it, finding people who are and partner with them is a good way too. You just have to win them over with your playing, and sometimes its easier than to hustle every gig yourself.

  9. #58

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    Its good to see what a friend of mine calls Real Reality breaking out in a forum. Real Reality is how things really happen rather than you wishingbthey would happen. So here we can see the learning process happening by taking private lessons and studying hard between - lots of self dicipline needed - but hey, there will come a time when you leave college and you'll need self dicipline to go forwards.

    Secondly, the issue of networking and meeting with other players and music people. So it looks like its easy at college - but when younleave younwill have to do this stuff for yourself - that's where the mentoring / apprentice positioning can be better than college - learn from your mentor how to do it yourself - see what he or she is doing to keep things going forwards. At some point you have to do the business development for yourself and stop relying on others to do it or kidding yourself that hanging out with your college mates wil be sufficient in the future. It won't.

    Being at music school can be a dream experience - but at some point you'll wake up and have to hussle for the work. You may remember that book that starts with, "Life is difficult." (The Road Less Travelled BTW) Well being a musician is difficult and the sooner you learn how to cope with that the better. You can park that problem for three years at college - may not be preparing you well at all for harsh reality.

    I think we are seeing a whole tranche of Real Reality breaking out in this thread. And that has to be good.
    After 60 years playing, I've obviously not done my 10,000 hours of practice yet!!!

  10. #59

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    It's certainly useful and informative to hear a variety of voices and opinions, no joshing. But. It would be nice and even MORE informative to hear from those who DID as opposed to DIDN'T go through a university jazz program, and I mean all the way. And then grad school - in performance - since performance is the focus of this entire forum. There are a few such troopers who have participated here from time to time. My assessment is that they bugged out after deciding that most of the conversation was hopelessly.... uninformed. (Went out of my way to use polite terms).
    Last edited by fumblefingers; 11-24-2015 at 04:45 PM.

  11. #60

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    Fumbler - I think most people are enthusiastic about whatever route they take - afterall, that's what they chose - so I would expect someone who'd been through a music college would think it's pretty good.

    I think I started out being enthusiastic about music schools and certainly considered going as a mature student. But as I started to talk to guys I knew who taught at them I became less convinced it was for me and more convinced it was good for them. Its a regular gig during the day and they can still work at night.
    After 60 years playing, I've obviously not done my 10,000 hours of practice yet!!!

  12. #61

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    Fumble. Moving to NYC and going for my masters was the best decision I've ever made for myself regarding music.

    The notion that it's a fantasy, not worth it, or not reality only speaks to the mentality of a music student and how they view their program and what it will GIVE them. Having taken 10 years off between undergrad and grad to your with multiple bands, release a CD on my own, and hustle up a solid roster of students... I had given up on the fantasy that a school would magically give me something. If you know why you're there and what you want out of it, it's an incredible environment.

    Each of of us are like gardeners, with a little potted plant that is our creativity, our music. If you think school will take your plant and GIVE you a better one. You're going to be disappointed. But if you're prepared to get your hands dirty, you're basically walking into a giant greenhouse with other like minded gardeners, and you're able to study and play with people who've been growing their plants for 50+ years, and they have all sorts of ideas about fertilizers and humidity and things you would never think of.

    There's an essence and a living spirit to music that is VERY hard to learn from books, even from listening to recordings. But spendin a couple of years working with guys who know that stuff and have lived it is an amazing way to pick it up. It's like taking Kung fu lessons at your local, suburbia dojo vs going and living at the Shaolin temple. It's just different.

    That said... I see no line separating school and hustle. You have to hustle to get in, to get through, and to get anything out of a program. I hustled for 10 years before I went back to make something with my music. I hustled to save up money before starting, I hustled to get in, I hustled to work while I was there, I hustled to make EVERY homework assignment into a professional quality work that I can use when I graduate. Between the money I saved ahead of time, and the money I earned teaching lessons to the undergrads as an adjunct instructor, I basically paid off the tuition and then some. I will be leaving with VERY little debt, a masters, 2 years experience as an adjunct at a major university, a thesis that I could publish into a book, a nonet recording that I could release, and a bunch of mentors and relationships with incredible musicians (teachers and students) that have lead to recording sessions and performances at the Blue Note... And will continue to lead to more things in sure.

    I did see students in my program who didn't hustle. They still learned things and got the degree, but it's a different experience. The judgment shouldn't be on the school. The school is just a tool. A means to an end. The judgment should be on what does the music student do with that tool. If they're serious about music, about becoming the best musician they can be, about working their tail off for every inch of improvement, and about planning their finances correctly... It can be one of the greatest learning experiences of their life. I learned more in the last few years than I would have figured out in the next 40-50 on my own. And some of the things I learned, I don't think I would have ever even considered that they were learnable had it not been pointed out to me.

  13. #62

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    Wow. Very nice. Thank you, and I hope others appreciate your insights and point of view as well.

  14. #63

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    I've told this story before, but I'll tell it again in this context--

    There is a kid who studied classical guitar with my teacher for 10 years, from age 8 to 18. He was exceptionally good, in fact, one of the best. He was featured on WFMT, the local classical radio station here. When Oscar Ghiglia came to visit, he got to play before him.

    He applied at one of the best music programs in the country and got a full ride scholarship for all four years. After his audition, the guitar professor there called my teacher up and said that this kid was "the best guitar player he is ever seen come through the school in the 20 years he's been there".

    There you go: got to play for Segovia's greatest student; so good, he was featured on the local radio station as a teenager; got a full ride scholarship to one of the best music schools in the nation; was recognized as "the best guitar player that's come through that school in 20 years".

    But even then, after 10 years of private instruction, he got the following parting advice
    -- don't look down on anyone, don't bad mouth or trash anyone; you need allies, not enemies.
    -- network as much as possible, hustle and get as many connections as you can find.
    -- do not be complacent, it will be really hard to make a living as a professional musician.

    I tend to believe that the kid took the final advice to heart. In fact, he's apparently even double majoring , doing music and some sort of STEM degree.
    Navdeep Singh.

  15. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by jordanklemons View Post
    Fumble. Moving to NYC and going for my masters was the best decision I've ever made for myself regarding music.

    The notion that it's a fantasy, not worth it, or not reality only speaks to the mentality of a music student and how they view their program and what it will GIVE them. Having taken 10 years off between undergrad and grad to your with multiple bands, release a CD on my own, and hustle up a solid roster of students... I had given up on the fantasy that a school would magically give me something. If you know why you're there and what you want out of it, it's an incredible environment.

    Each of of us are like gardeners, with a little potted plant that is our creativity, our music. If you think school will take your plant and GIVE you a better one. You're going to be disappointed. But if you're prepared to get your hands dirty, you're basically walking into a giant greenhouse with other like minded gardeners, and you're able to study and play with people who've been growing their plants for 50+ years, and they have all sorts of ideas about fertilizers and humidity and things you would never think of.

    There's an essence and a living spirit to music that is VERY hard to learn from books, even from listening to recordings. But spendin a couple of years working with guys who know that stuff and have lived it is an amazing way to pick it up. It's like taking Kung fu lessons at your local, suburbia dojo vs going and living at the Shaolin temple. It's just different.

    That said... I see no line separating school and hustle. You have to hustle to get in, to get through, and to get anything out of a program. I hustled for 10 years before I went back to make something with my music. I hustled to save up money before starting, I hustled to get in, I hustled to work while I was there, I hustled to make EVERY homework assignment into a professional quality work that I can use when I graduate. Between the money I saved ahead of time, and the money I earned teaching lessons to the undergrads as an adjunct instructor, I basically paid off the tuition and then some. I will be leaving with VERY little debt, a masters, 2 years experience as an adjunct at a major university, a thesis that I could publish into a book, a nonet recording that I could release, and a bunch of mentors and relationships with incredible musicians (teachers and students) that have lead to recording sessions and performances at the Blue Note... And will continue to lead to more things in sure.

    I did see students in my program who didn't hustle. They still learned things and got the degree, but it's a different experience. The judgment shouldn't be on the school. The school is just a tool. A means to an end. The judgment should be on what does the music student do with that tool. If they're serious about music, about becoming the best musician they can be, about working their tail off for every inch of improvement, and about planning their finances correctly... It can be one of the greatest learning experiences of their life. I learned more in the last few years than I would have figured out in the next 40-50 on my own. And some of the things I learned, I don't think I would have ever even considered that they were learnable had it not been pointed out to me.
    Great post Jordan, just like i see it too. Unfortunately for me the first time i went to music school it was frustrating experience exactly because i wasnt ready for it. The second time i decided im not going to be a performer after all and went for Music ed program. No regrets though, im greatful for what both schools gave me. I miss being a college student, i think at this point i would be in a perfect form to actually seriously study jazz. Too late.

  16. #65

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    I graduated from Berklee '94 guitar performance, spent 6 more years in Boston, gigging, teaching and day jobbing. Never had fewer than three roommates, drove a toyota corrola with hundreds of thousands of miles on it. Moved to New Orleans in '00...graduated from UNO MM in Jazz Studies in '02. Gig 250-300 times year, full time music teaching gig pre k3-8th grade, private school. I've played in Bulgaria, I've played NOLA Jazz Fest, I've made CD's my own and others. Thing is I don't really hustle... I'm more like a Draft Horse a Clydesdale, I know how to work without stopping. I don't have very many connections but....I have many many true friends. I am blessed in so many ways it is almost embarrassing, I got married in '03 my wife is amazing, my inspiration. I am the sole money earner for our family. Music school isn't for everyone. Some don't need to jump through hoops for pieces of paper that are subjective in value at best. Advanced degrees aren't for everyone, seldom are they a factor in determining a person's musical ability and worth. For me this is/was my path. I love my path. I hope all enjoy and love their path. It all leads to the same place, right? I admire the person who knowingly embraces their path with gusto, regardless of what that path is. Cheers to diversity of experience, hip hip hooray for institutions devoted to systematic teaching of music of any genre, what an amazing world we are living in!!!!
    edbarrettjazzguitar.com

  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive View Post
    Great post Jordan, just like i see it too. Unfortunately for me the first time i went to music school it was frustrating experience exactly because i wasnt ready for it. The second time i decided im not going to be a performer after all and went for Music ed program. No regrets though, im greatful for what both schools gave me. I miss being a college student, i think at this point i would be in a perfect form to actually seriously study jazz. Too late.
    Everyone's on a different trajectory Hep. But I will say there were some older guys in my program. A couple in the 40s and 50s. But each of us has to navigate what feels right and what works for us. For me, it all felt right.

  18. #67

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    I think these are great stories - nobody could ask for better information straight from those who have been there and done it. Its a great thread to help students make decisions on their future paths.

    Jordan Klemons biography on his website is a great story leading up to going to college. And certainly very different to Rich Seversens stories of players turning up at GIT (I think) who didn't know the basics and ended up being taught the stuff they should have known before they arrived.
    Last edited by ChrisDowning; 11-25-2015 at 12:31 AM.
    After 60 years playing, I've obviously not done my 10,000 hours of practice yet!!!

  19. #68

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    Jordan, thanks so much for sharing this, it is definitely interesting and useful to hear from the "other side."

    I'm going to play devil's advocate a bit for discussion's sake but please don't interpret me as trying to diminish your experience or insight, but rather in helping as all (myself included) get a clearer picture of the variables present.

    Quote Originally Posted by jordanklemons View Post

    There's an essence and a living spirit to music that is VERY hard to learn from books, even from listening to recordings. But spendin a couple of years working with guys who know that stuff and have lived it is an amazing way to pick it up. It's like taking Kung fu lessons at your local, suburbia dojo vs going and living at the Shaolin temple. It's just different.
    I think this is fair except that you can study with the same caliber teachers - if not the same teachers in many cases, without enrolling. I hear you on the concept of full immersion, really having an communal educational lifestyle rather than it just being something you visit. I'd still wager that between private teachers, and efforts to set up one's own network, they could get a pretty temple-like experience. But again, it's totally fair to say that it is likely not the same.

    I'm just drawn to thinking of trying to quantify the difference between "sort of temple" vs "full temple" when a place like Berklee undergrad tuition is $40K/year.

    Between the money I saved ahead of time, and the money I earned teaching lessons to the undergrads as an adjunct instructor, I basically paid off the tuition and then some. I will be leaving with VERY little debt, a masters, 2 years experience as an adjunct at a major university, a thesis that I could publish into a book, a nonet recording that I could release, and a bunch of mentors and relationships with incredible musicians (teachers and students) that have lead to recording sessions and performances at the Blue Note... And will continue to lead to more things in sure.
    This is fantastic, really, but for most undergrads they are definitely going to be facing a lot of debt, as opposed to already-skilled folks getting their masters.

    From the outside (well, I guess in my case, I've been somewhat on the porch of the whole thing) I can't help but feel resigned to the financial realities of the whole thing. What is the financial future of the average good guitarist who goes to a jazz studies program for undergrad? It seems extremely tenuous and what you say here doesn't seem to indicate that things would be that much brighter with the temple/degree vs the best hustling one can do outside of a degree program.

    I'm really not talking about living some upper middle class dream life, but rather just getting by, covering essentials, insurance, emergency funds, being able to live to an old age...maybe have a family even if you don't buy your kids fancy toys or anything.

    I'm not talking about whether it's realistic to make this kind of living (or better) being a musician, more specifically comparing two potential (undergrad) scenarios - extreme hustle but not enrolling vs extreme hustle inside a school system, then whether the difference will pay off the hundreds of thousands of dollars over one's lifetime.

    I mean, if you can go through a program and not come out with debt then it seems like a no brainer to me, to go. My personal choice when I applied to some schools maybe five years ago was that I would attend if I got scholarship past a certain % of tuition. I am proud that I did get scholarships to both places I applied...but not close to the % that was my threshold, so I just couldn't stomach going into such debt for the whole thing when I already had connections and was being encouraged to just hustle for gigs and get out there.

    For whatever it's worth, part of it was that I just realized that I don't care about jazz enough...I like it and think it's really interesting, but I wasn't going to devote my financial future to it. So I know that's a huge variable too...how bad do we want it, what is jazz mastery worth to us, etc.

  20. #69

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    The thing that pros have told me is that the most important thing is to go to a college where there is a local music scene. Get a practical degree while gigging as much as you can.

    There are some colleges in CA that have really good reputations, among "people who know", for their music departments that you wouldn't expect. Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State, Palomar College, and Riverside City College are some that I have heard named, and they all have access to big metro music scenes. Tom Hynes is a great jazz guitarist and composer, and teaches at Azusa Pacific. In Nevada, Reno has a great jazz department with a member of Kneebody on staff, and plenty of live music in town.

    My thinking on the expensive music schools is that if they give you a full ride, you are one of the people who has a shot at being great. Otherwise, you are there to subsidize the people who have a shot.
    Last edited by Jonzo; 11-26-2015 at 01:49 PM.

  21. #70

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    Seem appropriate John Cage notes for students.

    Top Jazz Guitar Schools-johncageadvice-jpg
    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  22. #71

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    I have a son who is probably in the top 1% among jazz double bassists for his age. (I think there are 7 or 8 of them.) He is thinking about some of the schools on this list, and might be a scholarship candidate. I would rather see him go to a state school near LA or San Diego for a practical degree, and gig. I would be happy to pay for 5 years of school if he wanted to double major. But if some music school wants to throw money at him, it will be his choice.

    A lot of kids from his arts high school get scholarships to the schools on the list. Some come from wealthy families, and price is not an issue. Among the guitarists I know who graduated: 1 Juliard, 1 NEC, and 2 Berklee. I don't know what type of scholarships they got. I think the one who went to Juliard has dropped out, but I don't know why. The one who went to NEC dropped out almost immediately. But he was almost like a savant. He had great musical talent--he became a proficient jazz drummer in 6 months--but always struggled academically. The Berklee kids are hanging in there. The pro and con of Berklee seems to be that it is huge. You can get totally lost or get totally networked up.

    I know a pianist at USC. He is double majoring in the entrepreneurship program. He likes the school, and loves the jazz department, and there are opportunities to gig, though he is too busy at the moment. I also know a jazz violinist who graduated from USC, having transferred from one of the NY schools. She loved USC and thought the music scene in LA was better than in NY. I know singers going to Berklee and NEC who seem happy.

    Like I said, some of these kids come from money, so I don't know if crushing debt is an issue. It would be a critical factor in any choice I made.
    Last edited by Jonzo; 11-26-2015 at 02:36 PM.

  23. #72

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    One of my good musician friends was an advanced high school musician and scholar in the 80's, and could have gotten into any music program in the US with plenty of financial incentives, but he was smart enough to see the limits of a music performance education and opted to study law in Boston and spend every spare second hanging around Berklee jamming at every opportunity. He had his Alembic bass and most people thought he was another Berklee student because he could hang with them musically.

    Four years later he had his law degree and all the same muscal connections as the Berklee grads. However, he went right to making money in a law career....plus gigs as often as most of the local pros back home.

  24. #73

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    Crappy thing is that lawyers are facing a lot of the same problems that musicians are, especially now.

  25. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeAcci View Post
    Crappy thing is that lawyers are facing a lot of the same problems that musicians are, especially now.

    My last day gig before leaving computer world the woman at the desk next to me was in that boat. Finish law school, passed the bar, and got entry level job. But so many lawyers now the pay isn't what it used to be and law firms taking advantage of it paying poorly or offering promotions in position but not pay. So woman I worked with ended up leaving law and going into computer world writing content and writing/reviewing legal documents on the side.

    I say no matter what field you go into today you're going to have to be flexible to make a living in long run. The thing that keep me going was being a fast learner so I could go different directions and on the job adapt to changing times.
    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  26. #75

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    Yeah, I guess we all need to remember that job stability in many fields is shaky now. Unless you're a programmer, but I think there will eventually be a supply and demand problem there as well.

  27. #76

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    I think you could develop a career going to college and working as much as possible to pay for it, studying at home and doing a job as well, or just do lessons over a lengthier period and then start working on the guitar full time. I am sure working full time at college for three ears would be a lifelong great memory - but as pointed out going to A top school could cost you something like $150,000+ so you will need a plan to pay that back eventually. As most current top players in their 40s, 50s, and 60s mostly didn't take that college route, there is no ready template for how all that debt works its way through in your lifetime as a musician. Looks a bit of a millstone around your neck unless you have wealthy parents - at 68, mine are both long gone so no rescue for me then.

    I would go back to a point I made earlier - where there is a route with an end game that is well trodden - i.e. study to be a doctor and then when qualified, take up a job as a doctor. Or study to be a chemist and then become one - ditto lawyer, accountant, architect, etc.. Becoming a musician, brick layer, plasterer, carpenter, shop keeper, hair dresser, doesn't really follow the academic model - but you know what - someone has worked out ways to make it look like it does work like that and you can pay them lots of money to join their course. But at the other end of their course there aren't the jobs that demand before you can do them you need a musical qualification - 5 years at med school - you can now be a doctor. 3 years at music school - get in line with the guys who have qualifications and also those who have no qualifications (actually no qualification of absolutely any sort- including (metaphorically) the guys who left school after the 7th Grade! )

    I would love to go to university to study music - but I would be under no illusion that it would automatically lead to music work. I would do it because I love music. If I'd wanted money I could study for a law degree, become a lawyer ( pay for lots of guitar lessons and play part time ?)
    After 60 years playing, I've obviously not done my 10,000 hours of practice yet!!!

  28. #77

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    One thing is for sure, if you want to make a living as a musician, you have to be a smart busnessman first, and competent musician is a distant second.

  29. #78

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    You are absolutely right!

    Coming from a business background back into full time music was surprising in so mnay ways. One of the big surprises was 1. Few musicians have management or and agent or anyone looking out for them. 2. Even though they have nobody managing their interests very very few have a business attitude or have learnt business skills to a) find the work, b) at the right time, c) the right margins (what you get paid and what it costs to do the job), d) the right material that fits their abilities, e) and in the right career direction.

    I went back to full time music after being in a band full time when I was 16-17 years old and then doing sales jobs until I was 55. That sal and marketing background meant I could find the work I wanted. I was shocked to find that getting work was considered such a hard task and that rather than help musicians, agents seemed to be content to organisee stuff for thise with an already big to huge following and take a margin. ( i couldn't even get an agent to take on Russ Barenberg in the UK because they said he wasn't naturally already popular here and he would take too much hard work!) It is a major challenge to musicians. Bi am sure many give up that could have been successful because they can't get oast the business hurdle.

    Musicians, I would find, are some of the hardest students to teach when it comes to learning the business side - they seems to have spent their lives trying to get better and better and truly believe that's what its all about. That, and having the luck to meet up with some influential person that will open all the doors for them. If someone could tell me the key to teaching musicians the business side of life, I'd at least write the book. Perhaps that's why there are so few musician's business books?
    After 60 years playing, I've obviously not done my 10,000 hours of practice yet!!!

  30. #79

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    Coincidentally, I ran into the NEC dropout last night, and he echoed a lot of the reasons stated in the thread for why he made his choice--basically that it seemed like a bad investment. He was mostly self taught, and it just didn't make sense to fork out that kind of money to have someone else teach him. He is now planning to go to University of Alaska.
    Last edited by Jonzo; 11-30-2015 at 12:17 AM.

  31. #80

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    I contribute to a music school in India and its a simple formula they use - teach young children to play - practice all the time - leave school eventually and start earning a living playing all the time - continue practicing and playing all day.

    In India there is no money to go to a music school at $10,000 a year let along crazy money like $40,000 a year. So they just get taught lots of basics and play all day long for years. In the process they get to learn about what people like to hear and pay for - they get good at that stuff.

    Duh!? - oh yes, that's the way we used to do it 50 years ago - you know, how all those guys we think are great, learnt!

    BTW - Brian May, Queen - PhD in physics and mathematics
    Brian Cox, D:Ream - PhD particle Physics.
    Chris Martin, Will Champion, and Jonny Buckland, of Coldplay - Bachelor’s degree in ancient history, anthropology and mathematics

    The list is endless for those who did a degree but not in music. If going to music college was a no-brainer for getting on in the music business, then I think we would all be hearing exactly that presented by the colleges.
    Last edited by ChrisDowning; 11-29-2015 at 01:58 PM.
    After 60 years playing, I've obviously not done my 10,000 hours of practice yet!!!

  32. #81
    destinytot Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by docbop View Post
    Seem appropriate John Cage notes for students.

    Top Jazz Guitar Schools-johncageadvice-jpg
    Magnificent post - thank you!

  33. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisDowning View Post

    Duh!? - oh yes, that's the way we used to do it 50 years ago - you know, how all those guys we think are great, learnt!

    Read up on the history of the Jazz legends and that is not how they learned it was all woodshedding and playing. They didn't even teach each other much it was all keep trying till we smile back at you. Also checkout interviews with name players and how things changed when Jazz schools start appearing they could hear the difference. But then there was a lot more opportunies to jam both in lofts and in clubs, also a lot of live music from corner bars to big clubs and tours. So the whole mentor and apprentice scene was alive.

    Today unless in a city like NYC or the few others that big jam and playing scene going on music school become more about a place to get together hang and play. Today with or without school its become about crews of musicians forming and helping each other jamming and pulling other crew members into gigs. Crews of musicians have always been a part of Jazz, but more so today than in the past.


    Oh and that bit about musicians with degrees in other fields that's pretty much the norm these days for all fields it means nothing. These days it normal to talk to someone doing a job and their degree is in a totally different area. I worked in computers for decade and it was a common complaint from people with CS degrees that most the people working either their degrees were in another field or they had no degree at all. Going to college has always been about one thing learning how to learn. You have all sorts of required classes in general areas you need to pass to graduate, not because you're going to do those thing, no so you can learn to study research a topic enough to get a job done. I remember when I was going to school (long time ago) it was said the average person changes careers at least five times in their life. I would say that's still true and maybe be more now with world changing so fast.

    To me the bottom line for a student it to understand the purpose of college, in music to create an environment that is isn't there (much) anymore. Also that schools are businesses first and to make money they take popular career paths and create formulas that they can teach and charge money for. Example Jazz schools or majors before the 70's there was only a couple. Music got big in the 70's and schools started to appear in the late 80's college started seeing schools like MI and Berklee making a lot of money and jumped on the bandwagon and started Jazz programs. Students need to understand all that to make wise decisions on a music career path and the potential debt vs ability to make a living.
    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  34. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by docbop View Post
    Also that schools are businesses first and to make money they take popular career paths and create formulas that they can teach and charge money for. Example Jazz schools or majors before the 70's there was only a couple. Music got big in the 70's and schools started to appear in the late 80's college started seeing schools like MI and Berklee making a lot of money and jumped on the bandwagon and started Jazz programs. Students need to understand all that to make wise decisions on a music career path and the potential debt vs ability to make a living.
    I stayed up late last night to watch the "The 70's" series of hr. long documentaries on CNN, about various aspects of US life. These are pretty well done and feature a slightly different emphasis for each hr. (woman's movement; end of Vietnam, etc.)

    One segment was on music, and acc'd to it, there was about $2 billion per annum, being spent on music in the 1970's, in the U.S. This was greater than the amount spent on all sporting events. The figures back in the early to mid-60's were roughly $300 million per annum range. (I'm assuming these are constant dollars, i.e. inflation-adjusted.)

    Baby boomers were in HS, or college, or young adults, with the back end eyeing their older sibling's record collections with envy, and longing. (I remember an older brother who traded in a car to spend $1400, I think it was, on a new stereo system....lots of jokes about this as in "you couldn't just keep the car, and listen to the radio", etc.) This was about 1975 or so.

  35. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenwave77 View Post
    I stayed up late last night to watch the "The 70's" series of hr. long documentaries on CNN, about various aspects of US life. These are pretty well done and feature a slightly different emphasis for each hr. (woman's movement; end of Vietnam, etc.)

    One segment was on music, and acc'd to it, there was about $2 billion per annum, being spent on music in the 1970's, in the U.S. This was greater than the amount spent on all sporting events. The figures back in the early to mid-60's were roughly $300 million per annum range. (I'm assuming these are constant dollars, i.e. inflation-adjusted.)

    Baby boomers were in HS, or college, or young adults, with the back end eyeing their older sibling's record collections with envy, and longing. (I remember an older brother who traded in a car to spend $1400, I think it was, on a new stereo system....lots of jokes about this as in "you couldn't just keep the car, and listen to the radio", etc.) This was about 1975 or so.
    Seemed so much less expensive then. I worked in a record store for a few years and albums were $2.83 and later $5.69. I remember one Christmas I got a $100 and in three days spent it all on records. GIT started in the late 70's and I believe it was around $2200 for the year I wanted to go but expensive. When I went to GIT in 1980 it was $3000. The Grove school I worked for was around $3100 for one of the one year programs then, it was a lot of money then, but not to point of years and years of debt. Plus there was enough work for bands in bars and etc you could go to school and play every night building chops.
    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  36. #85

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    Does any one have any information or opinions on the jazz guitar instruction at either Capital University (Columbus) or Duquesne University (Pittsburgh)? I may be late to this forum and discussion topic, but I'm trying to find out all of the information I can about these two schools. Thanks!