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  1. #1
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    Top Jazz Guitar Schools

    Hey Everyone

    Here's the discussion thread for the top jazz guitar schools lesson.


    Top 25 US Jazz Guitar Schools - The Jazz Guitar Blog

    Check it out, thanks!
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  3. #2
    is the tuition for the entire degree or just one year?

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    It's by year unless otherwise indicated.
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  5. #4
    Just a side note under the Berklee list of alumni. Metheny never attended Berklee, he started teaching there at the age of 19. I started school there at the same time. I believe he did attend Miami for a short period though.

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    Thanks, yeah just missing a piece of text there, all fixed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaco View Post
    Just a side note under the Berklee list of alumni. Metheny never attended Berklee, he started teaching there at the age of 19. I started school there at the same time. I believe he did attend Miami for a short period though.
    well if you were there you were there.

    but the story that i remember reading is that he indeed went there to study, but shortly after arriving (1 day, 1 week, 1 month?) was told..... eh... why don't you teach here kid?

  8. #7
    So many great schools, I always wanted to go to Berlkee! But all I could afford was City College, btw pretty good school if you are bassist, horn, or piano player. And of course Musorgsky College in St.Petersburg before, that nobody heard of here, but it was good for that place and time.


    Im surprised with such a big differences in acceptance rate between those schools... What is it based on?

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    FWIW, I heard the Metheny story the same way as fumblefingers. But I was never at Berklee either. (Berkeley, yes, and GIT, but not Berklee.) So So Jaco's probably right. I don't really know. All I know is what I think I remember I once read somewhere. Maybe in Guitar Player magazine.

    Or it could have been that shortly after Metheny got to UMiami, they said "whoa...wanna teach?"

    Same basic idea, I guess. The student quickly became the teacher. And the rest is history.
    Last edited by Flat; 11-20-2015 at 03:40 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flat View Post
    FWIW, I heard the Metheny story the same way as fumblefingers.

    But I was never at Berklee either. (Berkeley, yes, and GIT, but not Berklee.) So I don't really know. All I know is what I think I remember I once read somewhere. Maybe in Guitar Player magazine.

    Or it could have been that shortly after Metheny got to UMiami, they said "whoa...wanna teach?"

    Same basic idea, I guess. The student quickly became the teacher. And the rest is history.

    Pretty much the same story for Esperanza Spalding and she ended up being the youngest to teach at Berklee, but she didn't stay long too many work opportunities.
    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.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Flat View Post
    FWIW, I heard the Metheny story the same way as fumblefingers. But I was never at Berklee either. (Berkeley, yes, and GIT, but not Berklee.) So So Jaco's probably right. I don't really know. All I know is what I think I remember I once read somewhere. Maybe in Guitar Player magazine.

    Or it could have been that shortly after Metheny got to UMiami, they said "whoa...wanna teach?"

    Same basic idea, I guess. The student quickly became the teacher. And the rest is history.
    Yeah Flat, He went to Miami for a short period then was offered a teaching spot there. Gary Burton invited him to come up to Berklee to teach and he became part of Burton's band with Mick Goodrich. He eventually started the trio with Jaco and Bob Moses while teaching at Berklee. That was an amazing trio.

  12. #11
    Berklee: Cost of laptop - $3,140.

    What?

    The tuition numbers quoted for some of the schools are low and also do not include student fees which are mandatory and in some cases several thousand dollars.

    Example: Rutgers Mason Gross School of Music

    Estimated Charges (2015-2016)
    Item Fall
    Semester
    Spring
    Semester
    Annual
    Total
    Tuition - In State $5,677.50 $5,677.50 $11,355.00
    Campus/School Fee $1,580.00 $1,580.00 $3,160.00
    Computer Fee $155.50 $155.50 $311.00
    Freshman Orientation Fee $175.00 $175.00
    TARGUM Fee $10.75 $10.75 $21.50
    Total (2015-2016)^ $7,598.75 $7,423.75 $15,022.50


    If you are convinced a music degree is your calling and money is a factor, the best values are your state schools, unless you qualify for lots of aid, or your parents have deep pockets.


    I recall an interview with Steve Morse, who said that he met Metheny on his first day at Miami. Metheny was also a new student. Miami was just starting their guitar program and the department head offered Metheny the position of instructor in the new program. Imagine that. Metheny didn't have a degree!
    Metheny didn't stay there long.
    Last edited by Drumbler; 11-20-2015 at 09:48 AM.
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    Thanks for the clarity, Jaco and Drumbler.

    It just ain't fair, is it? Some cats just step out of their diapers and are instant monsters. I could play for another 48 years (which would probably make me the oldest human ever) and I would still suck pretty hard compared to those guys as teenagers.

    Still, I don't know if any of them really could love the shit more than me. It's possible, but hard to imagine.

    So I got that going for me anyways...

  14. #13
    it's a good list. lots of room for arguments and nitpicking, but that's what lists are for.

    just listing jazz guitar teachers can undersell a school, since in a good jazz program, you can usually study with a variety of instrumentalists

    at Berklee, you can work with Joe Lovano, George Garzone, Danilo Perez, etc. even if you don't play their instruments

    at NEC, you can work with Jason Moran, Dave Holland, etc.

    personally, i would put NEC, Manhattan School, and Julliard higher for those reasons. NEC also has Joe Morris, who's a fantastic teacher/player and one of the few guys to focus on free jazz

    additionally, NYU has guys like John Scofield and some other big names listed as faculty, but i believe he only teaches big group labs. the main guy on campus is Bruce Arnold

  15. #14
    Just a quick edit to your NYU info. Wayne currently isn't teaching there (here), but he's coming back next semester. And Adam Rogers teaches here. Also Shepik is an alumni, but he's also on the guitar faculty. And I know Randy Johnston was there, not sure if he's still teaching or not. I thought he was, but I could be wrong.

    Also... I know it'll piss plenty of people off, but I kind of think it should be ranked first on the list.


    I know I know, I'm biased. Seriously though... Sco, Bernstein, Wayne Krantz, Adam Rogers, Brad Shepik, Randy Johnston? It's ridiculous. Not to mention all the other incredible non-guitar teachers.

    Probably going to get my head chewed off for that one. Chew away friends.
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    All I know is even at my age I'd love to go to Berklee for a year (or two), but cost of rent in Boston has skyrocketed.
    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.

  17. #16
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    "The jazz guitar schools on this list are presented in no particular order, as they all rank highly, and all offer something depending on what you’re looking for as a student."

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    Thanks, yeah with how often teachers at NY schools move around we went with the ones that are most often there, or are at least on the website listed as currently teaching. Tough to keep up with all the changes! But with all those options, it's hard to argue with the quality of the education in the city.

    And there's no number 1, to tough to rank and it's all personal, so all offer plusses and negatives for people to check out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by m78w View Post
    Thanks, yeah with how often teachers at NY schools move around we went with the ones that are most often there, or are at least on the website listed as currently teaching. Tough to keep up with all the changes! But with all those options, it's hard to argue with the quality of the education in the city.

    And there's no number 1, to tough to rank and it's all personal, so all offer plusses and negatives for people to check out.

    Also from my time working at and attending music schools some of the best teacher aren't the big names. It's about teachers with lots of experience and communicates in a way that clicks with you.
    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.

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    I actually attended an outdoor concert in Miami with Pat Metheny on the bill back I believe during Spring Break in 1973. I don't remember who else was on the bill, but I remember being impressed by Metheny even then. I drove down from Fort Lauderdale. I was still in college. I also saw him a couple of times later over the years including a concert at Tanglewood in MA with Joni Mitchell, Pat and Jaco Pastorius.

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    Just curious...Can a rank beginner go to the schools mentioned?
    "Ahhh - those Jazz guys are just makin' that stuff up!" - Homer Simpson

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    No mention here of G.I.T. (Now M.I,) or University of North Texas. Both are excellent schools for jazz guitar but not mentioned here?

    wiz

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    Quote Originally Posted by wizard3739 View Post
    No mention here of G.I.T. (Now M.I,) or University of North Texas. Both are excellent schools for jazz guitar but not mentioned here?

    wiz
    Hi Wiz, North Texas in on the list, it's number 7
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    Quote Originally Posted by edh View Post
    Just curious...Can a rank beginner go to the schools mentioned?
    Hey, I don't think these programs are designed for beginners. Mostly for advanced undergrad and graduate school age/level performers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wizard3739 View Post
    No mention here of G.I.T. (Now M.I,) or University of North Texas. Both are excellent schools for jazz guitar but not mentioned here?

    wiz

    GIT has pretty much morphed into a Rock and Pop school. During the 90's and especially after Pat sold the school it started changing a lot. I haven't been around there or spoke to anyone in a few years but seems like what Jazz there is, is Fusion. It's not like when HR was still there on a regular basis.
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by docbop View Post
    GIT has pretty much morphed into a Rock and Pop school. During the 90's and especially after Pat sold the school it started changing a lot. I haven't been around there or spoke to anyone in a few years but seems like what Jazz there is, is Fusion. It's not like when HR was still there on a regular basis.
    True dat. It's not even close, imho. I attended a couple of concerts at the new MI in recent years and took a look around. Got to see Jim Hall play one of his last LA dates there. Maybe a Rosenwinkel show too.

    Hey docbop and wiz, did you guys ever read this book? I read it earlier this year and really enjoyed it. I was at GIT in '83 when it was adjacent to the Hollywood Wax Museum. But I learned that I never knew even 2 percent of the drama about the start of the school, or its eventual sale to the Japanese firm.

    The book is told completely from Pat's perspective, like it would have to be. I do wish I could read the same story from Howard's perspective though, just for balance.

    It's not all happiness and light. But in any case, you guys might enjoy it.

    Trading Fours: The Golden Years of Musicians Institute: Mr. Pat C Hicks: 9781456535070: Amazon.com: Books
    Last edited by Flat; 11-21-2015 at 02:27 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flat View Post
    True dat. It's not even close, imho. I attended a couple of concerts at the new MI in recent years and took a look around. Got to see Jim Hall play one of his last LA dates there. Maybe a Rosenwinkel show too.

    Hey docbop and wiz, did you guys ever read this book? I read it earlier this year and really enjoyed it. I was at GIT in '83 when it was adjacent to the Hollywood Wax Museum. But I learned that I never knew even 2 percent of the drama about the start of the school, or its eventual sale to the Japanese firm.

    The book is told completely from Pat's perspective, like it would have to be. I do wish I could read the same story from Howard's perspective though, just for balance.

    It's not all happiness and light. But in any case, you might enjoy it.

    Trading Fours: The Golden Years of Musicians Institute: Mr. Pat C Hicks: 9781456535070: Amazon.com: Books
    I didn't even know about that book so have to get a copy and see what was going on behind the scenes. I went in 1980 and I was going thru a rough time in my life and Pat gave be a full scholarship and I went again in 1990. So I will be forever grateful to Pat for that. It was so sad in 1990 Howard came to GIT to give a seminar and then do open counseling. I went to the open counseling and was the only person there so HR and I had a great talk on all sorts of topics.

    I worked at Grove School of Music and there can be a lot of drama behind the scenes with music schools. In fact when GIT was starting they were in discussions to have Dick Grove put together and teach the harmony and theory classes, but they got hung up on one issue and it never happened.

    I haven't seen the GIT book and what happened with HR, but knowing about Grove could be similar, you have great musicians that aren't great at business side.
    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.

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    I wasn't too surprised to find out that Marcus, my local pizza delivery guy, has a performance degree from the New School. He couldn't find any music gigs that would pay his rent, utilities, car payments, insurance and student loans, and he realized his degree didn't really qualify him for much else. He is smiling and eating, though. Hasn't had a playing gig that paid over $70 in his life.....


  29. #28
    Juilliard rate of acceptance: 6.7%

    It's the ultimate paradox - to get into the Juilliard, you have to be so good that you don't need to get into the Juilliard!

  30. #29
    Jazz is like cave painting, There's not much call for it nowadays!....L...

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    Quote Originally Posted by edh View Post
    Just curious...Can a rank beginner go to the schools mentioned?
    you have to audition. You can see the requirements on most web sites. Some schools have programs for non-majors to help them get up to speed. It should take an adult about 2-3 years of that to be able to pass the freshman performance audition.

    the general pattern is a kid who has been studying since the age of 10 or even younger, has played in school ensembles, played concerts, can read, knows the fundamentals of the instrument, has a handle on basic theory, etc.

    some schools in the past have lowered the bar for electric guitarists, but standards have probably risen, especially at the top schools. Pickers and grinners have typically lagged behind their keyboard, string, and horn playing peers.

  32. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by edh View Post
    Just curious...Can a rank beginner go to the schools mentioned?
    Yes, under certain circumstances. Many applicants to the school in Boston have gotten in on what they learned from YouTube. There are quite a number of them who can't read music. (They don't do well once they're in but admissions does not exclude on the basis of musical illiteracy).
    There are rank beginners with exceptional abilities, and there are those who can do little more than love the music and play air guitar. It depends.
    Recently, a number of students opted not to enroll after registration fees were paid and positions were reserved (they did the math and saved their resources). The school was faced with empty dorm rooms and class slots. They "changed" their standards and opened up opportunities to previously rejected applicants. By the performance in the classrooms, some could have been considered rank beginners.
    That's how it's done. That's an ugly side of surviving as a music school with a business/survival priority.
    David

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    Quote Originally Posted by edh View Post
    Just curious...Can a rank beginner go to the schools mentioned?

    In the old days you have to have your fundamentals down and basic sightreading skills. People didn't pass and would have to go back and work on their skills and try again. When I went to GIT in 1980 I had to pass a basic entrance testing. These economic times if you can pay you get in and the testing is basically placement tests to group students appropriately.

    I listen to a lot of Kenny Werner's video lessons and he's now teaches at Berklee, but was at other Jazz schools before. He's said a couple times, you need to know how to play over II-V's before going to Jazz school. I've worked at and attended a couple Jazz schools and the higher level you come in the more that will be available to you in school. You're better off waiting a year or so, getting a good teacher, going to community college and start studying theory and musicianship (ear training) get that stuff down. plus it's way cheaper price. Then you can hit the ground running when you transfer to Jazz school.

    Also having solid fundamentals going in helps because there are going to be killer musicians in your class. When I went to GIT Scott Henderson came in as a student and he was already a great guitarist. Scott and others come for two reasons, first is to make contacts and put themselve in a city where they can start their careers. Second to be around the big name teachers and other teacher to start polishing their skills and start filling in any holes they might have. So you go to Jazz school as a beginner and hear someone like Scott Henderson, Pat Metheny, Mike Stern and others as students you want to throw your guitar out the window. So go in as prepared as you can.
    Last edited by docbop; 11-21-2015 at 03:36 PM.
    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. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by docbop View Post
    In the old days you have to have your fundamentals down and basic sightreading skills. People didn't pass and would have to go back and work on their skills and try again. When I went to GIT in 1980 I had to pass a basic entrance testing. These economic times if you can pay you get in and the testing is basically placement tests to group students appropriately.

    I listen to a lot of Kenny Werner's video lessons and he's now teaches at Berklee, but was at other Jazz schools before. He's said a couple times, you need to know how to play over II-V's before going to Jazz school. I've worked at and attended a couple Jazz schools and the higher level you come in the more that will be available to you in school. You're better off waiting a year or so, getting a good teacher, going to community college and start studying theory and musicianship (ear training) get that stuff down. plus it's way cheaper price. Then you can hit the ground running when you transfer to Jazz school.

    Also having solid fundamentals going in helps because there are going to be killer musicians in your class. When I went to GIT Scott Henderson came in as a student and he was already a great guitarist. Scott and others come for two reasons, first is to make contacts and put themselve in a city where they can start their careers. Second to be around the big name teachers and other teacher to start polishing their skills and start filling in any holes they might have. So you go to Jazz school as a beginner and hear someone like Scott Henderson, Pat Metheny, Mike Stern and others as students you want to throw your guitar out the window. So go in as prepared as you can.
    Hiya Docbop, I just noticed Matt Had listed The University of North Texas as one of the 25 schools. Also, you are absolutely right about M.I., It is primarily a rock and fusion school now and not even similar to the G.I.T. school we attended. I graduated from the very first class at G.I.T. and most of my memories from that time are excellent in terms of learning about jazz guitar and jazz music theory. The school at that time was a 24/7 approach to the concepts being taught by some of the best guitarists available. Howard Roberts, Joe Diorio, Ron Eschete, Les Wise, Don Mock, Mundelle Lowe and a few others were our teachers and the learning curve went out of sight for many of us. Some of us were involved with Howard Roberts in a weekly group teaching session for about a year before the start of G.i.T. I've read Pats' book and for the most part it is very accurate. For me, Howard Roberts changed the way I look at music forever. BTW, Howard Alden, a good friend, was in our graduating class along with a few other very successful guitar players. I am on my way to a dance band gig, got to go now, I am very happy to know other members of the the old G.I.T.

    best wishes,
    wiz (Howie)

  35. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by larry graves View Post
    Jazz is like cave painting, There's not much call for it nowadays!....L...
    Listening to 'The Caves of Altamira' right now. One of my Steely Dan favs.

    I do love all things obsolete.

  36. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxTwang View Post
    Listening to 'The Caves of Altamira' right now. One of my Steely Dan favs.

    I do love all things obsolete.
    .....With you Max....Just not enough caves to go around!....L...

  37. #36
    I'd like to see someone do the analysis on who went where and who did what afterwards as a direct result of what they learnt. I.e. a cost benefit analysis. I observe that many of the teachers seem to be guys who didn't quite make it playing and now teach or use teaching as a way of subsidising playing gigs. And before you say it - yes I taught professionally whilst I played evening gigs for ten years until a couple of years ago - but I wasn't charging students $10,000 a year. More like $600 a year. And as I know other teachers who do teach in 'academies' , but charge their private students something similar to $50 an hour, one has to ask the question - where's the rest of the money going? The academic year lasts about 38 weeks so at say $20 per half hour - ok lets say a really good teacher at $30 per 30 mins and $50 an hour- then our $10000 translates into 200 hours of lessons - 6 hours of face to face (1 on 1)lessons per week over 38 weeks! The reality is players get put into groups so the costs are contained and the apparent teaching time goes up whilst you sit with 6-10 other players. I don't know of any college that would offer that level of personal teaching so what am I getting wrong guys

    If you want to spend $30,000 on a three year guitar holiday hanging out with like minded souls then that's great and you'll have memories for a life time. But if you want the college to drive you through the practice because you can't do it alone, I think you have another problem about self dicipline. And you want the course to ensure you spend your working life as a successful musician like getting some sort of musical MBA, again I think when you leave you will find the music business doesn't work like the Ford Motor Company or J P Morgan.

    Am I being too cynical? Am I out of touch with some new realities? Flame away !!!
    Last edited by ChrisDowning; 11-23-2015 at 10:42 AM.

  38. #37
    The three-year guitar holiday sounds fantastic!

  39. #38

    Me toooooo!

    +1 srlank !!

    I love going to a guitar workshop in the mountains in Italy every year - a whole 38 weeks would be heaven! Or 38 weeks of Steve Kaufman's Kamp! Tennessee is also great. In fact the Italian tutor Roberto Dalla Vecchia, of the mountain workshop, teaches there as well!

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    Wiz, nice to see you posting! Not to deviate from the thread, but could you tell a little about working with Mundell Lowe? He just fascinates me. And of course he played with Bill Evans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisDowning View Post
    Am I being too cynical? Am I out of touch with some new realities? Flame away !!!
    I'll just say yes. I worked both for a private music school, and later a computer programmer at UCLA administration department. So there's a lot of expenses you're not factoring in for a school.
    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.

  42. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisDowning View Post
    I'd like to see someone do the analysis on who went where and who did what afterwards as a direct result of what they learnt. I.e. a cost benefit analysis. I observe that many of the teachers seem to be guys who didn't quite make it playing and now teach or use teaching as a way of subsidising playing gigs. And before you say it - yes I taught professionally whilst I played evening gigs for ten years until a couple of years ago - but I wasn't charging students $10,000 a year. More like $600 a year. And as I know other teachers who do teach in 'academies' , but charge their private students something similar to $50 an hour, one has to ask the question - where's the rest of the money going? The academic year lasts about 38 weeks so at say $20 per half hour - ok lets say a really good teacher at $30 per 30 mins and $50 an hour- then our $10000 translates into 200 hours of lessons - 6 hours of face to face (1 on 1)lessons per week over 38 weeks! The reality is players get put into groups so the costs are contained and the apparent teaching time goes up whilst you sit with 6-10 other players. I don't know of any college that would offer that level of personal teaching so what am I getting wrong guys

    If you want to spend $30,000 on a three year guitar holiday hanging out with like minded souls then that's great and you'll have memories for a life time. But if you want the college to drive you through the practice because you can't do it alone, I think you have another problem about self dicipline. And you want the course to ensure you spend your working life as a successful musician like getting some sort of musical MBA, again I think when you leave you will find the music business doesn't work like the Ford Motor Company or J P Morgan.

    Am I being too cynical? Am I out of touch with some new realities? Flame away !!!
    You make sense to me.

    But any college education is way overpriced. You can get books/videos on practically any subject and if motivated, learn the subject.

    Nowadays you can access online education at a fraction of the cost of traditional brick and mortar and get a degree from an accredited college.

    To expect a degree in music from any place to give you a lucrative career performing is nonsense, especially in jazz, which is no longer popular. Most of those who are successful at it didn't go to these places. It's a naiive dream of youth much like becoming a professional athlete.

    A reasonable expectation is to become a music teacher at a school district. Nothing wrong with that. Or perhaps get into the production end of music.

    If you want to go to Berklee and spend $200k getting a jazz performance degree then they will be glad to take your money.

    Anybody watch the AMA Music Awards last night? That is the reality of the music business. Very sad.
    "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

  43. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by docbop View Post
    I'll just say yes. I worked both for a private music school, and later a computer programmer at UCLA administration department. So there's a lot of expenses you're not factoring in for a school.
    Oh definitely. Like the athletic teams budgets, new luxury dormitories, state of the art workout facilities, President's and football coach's million dollar compensation, etc.
    "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

  44. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbler View Post
    Oh definitely. Like the athletic teams budgets, new luxury dormitories, state of the art workout facilities, President's and football coach's million dollar compensation, etc.
    many of those pay for themselves, and then some. they bring in BIG bucks to the universities through television, tickets, team apparel... big football and basketball also help with school pride, which in turn makes alumni feel better about making large donations/endowments to the schools.

    and women's sports? eh, not so much. but we must have equality!!

  45. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbler View Post
    You make sense to me.

    But any college education is way overpriced. You can get books/videos on practically any subject and if motivated, learn the subject.

    Nowadays you can access online education at a fraction of the cost of traditional brick and mortar and get a degree from an accredited college.

    To expect a degree in music from any place to give you a lucrative career performing is nonsense, especially in jazz, which is no longer popular. Most of those who are successful at it didn't go to these places. It's a naiive dream of youth much like becoming a professional athlete.

    A reasonable expectation is to become a music teacher at a school district. Nothing wrong with that. Or perhaps get into the production end of music. the professors and classes were top notch.

    If you want to go to Berklee and spend $200k getting a jazz performance degree then they will be glad to take your money.

    Anybody watch the AMA Music Awards last night? That is the reality of the music business. Very sad.
    i have been an online graduate distance student - but at a prestigious university, not a diploma mill. the prices were actually slightly higher.

  46. #45
    Does Berklee have its football or basketball team? No way, really?

  47. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisDowning View Post
    I'd like to see someone do the analysis on who went where and who did what afterwards as a direct result of what they learnt. I.e. a cost benefit analysis. I observe that many of the teachers seem to be guys who didn't quite make it playing and now teach or use teaching as a way of subsidising playing gigs. And before you say it - yes I taught professionally whilst I played evening gigs for ten years until a couple of years ago - but I wasn't charging students $10,000 a year. More like $600 a year. And as I know other teachers who do teach in 'academies' , but charge their private students something similar to $50 an hour, one has to ask the question - where's the rest of the money going? The academic year lasts about 38 weeks so at say $20 per half hour - ok lets say a really good teacher at $30 per 30 mins and $50 an hour- then our $10000 translates into 200 hours of lessons - 6 hours of face to face (1 on 1)lessons per week over 38 weeks! The reality is players get put into groups so the costs are contained and the apparent teaching time goes up whilst you sit with 6-10 other players. I don't know of any college that would offer that level of personal teaching so what am I getting wrong guys

    If you want to spend $30,000 on a three year guitar holiday hanging out with like minded souls then that's great and you'll have memories for a life time. But if you want the college to drive you through the practice because you can't do it alone, I think you have another problem about self dicipline. And you want the course to ensure you spend your working life as a successful musician like getting some sort of musical MBA, again I think when you leave you will find the music business doesn't work like the Ford Motor Company or J P Morgan.

    Am I being too cynical? Am I out of touch with some new realities? Flame away !!!
    you'd like to see a cost benefit analysis? where ya been?

    business publications (US News and World Report for one example) do this sort of thing fairly frequently.

    what they show is that there are many degrees with long payback periods and smaller lifetime earnings, relative to other degrees. i don't believe that most kids and parents actually believe that a music major will be as well positioned as a white collar professional (STEM graduate, CPA, lawyer, medical doctor, etc).

    and yes, there are good music schools, believe it or not. state schools cost less than private. (as with anything - only buy what you can afford!) teachers aren't necessarily "losers". some schools have top player pros. some guys don't like the hassle of traveling anymore, like a steady gig, benefits, and the rewards of teaching promising new talent.

    and finally, as you point out, music ain't what it used to be.
    Last edited by fumblefingers; 11-23-2015 at 10:38 PM.

  48. #47

    The Route to Professional $100k a year Playing?

    If you ask most 18/16 year olds what they want to be doing in their twenties as a musician (apart from winning X Factor or becoming a star somehow) a rational answer for a musician who wants a lifetime career would be something like; playing what I love and playing for enough money to be comfotable - say €100k pa.

    If we were talking about acting, or fine art, the route obviously, because almost everyone takes it, is through a specialist college. Dtto the route into opera and classical music - go to a specialist college. For non classical guitar playing the route is so diverse it is baffling for students looking forward and trying to plan the right moves.

    For a parent, if I had the money, I'd recommend a public or specialist music college - keeps you on the path for three years, structure, syllabus, like minded peers, meet great players and learn from them.

    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. Personally I think guitar playing may have more in common with stone masonary and brick work than a classic university subject like litrature, maths, or physics. More artisan than intellectual? So perhaps the mentor and apprentice is an excellent model?

    Don't want to stop anyone studying seriously - I guess my debate is about schools sharpening their act. Pity you can't just buy a course that turns you into Jimmy Bruno or Martin Taylor in three years time - now that would be an easy course to buy because you know what you get at the end.
    Last edited by ChrisDowning; 11-24-2015 at 03:35 AM.

  49. #48
    I think you have to be realistic about being a professional musician, you're not going to find enough gigs to live on and the ones you do find aren't always going to be playing good music, paying good money or playing with great players. so teaching is a good way to sustain yourself whilst still playing music for a living.

    Another thing someone mentioned was how standards have changed. I agree, music degrees are becoming grounds for getting your fundamentals together, and that just lowers the quality of musician being produced. it makes the guys that do have their shit together stand out, and that's like the first thing about professionalism:you gotta know your shit. but then again, if guys are coming out better than when they came in, then they're doing something right.

  50. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by fumblefingers View Post
    many of those pay for themselves, and then some. they bring in BIG bucks to the universities through television, tickets, team apparel... big football and basketball also help with school pride, which in turn makes alumni feel better about making large donations/endowments to the schools.

    and women's sports? eh, not so much. but we must have equality!!
    No, actually the sports programs at most major universities do not pay for themselves. They are heavily subsidized by students tuition and fees. It's a myth that athletic programs provide excess revenue for the universities.
    "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

  51. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbler View Post
    No, actually the sports programs at most major universities do not pay for themselves. They are heavily subsidized by students tuition and fees. It's a myth that athletic programs provide excess revenue for the universities.

    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.
    Last edited by fumblefingers; 11-24-2015 at 10:03 AM.

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