Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Another Question on Music Colleges

Seems to be the topic as of late. You'll notice my stance doesn't vary much...choose a college based on your needs as a player and professional, not based on the schools reputation.

Hey Man,

LOVE the lessons and whatnot. It's great to see someone give up their time and effort for the benefit of others!

I have a couple of questions.

What are the 3 BEST music colleges in the US?
What are the 3 Cheapest Music colleges in the U.S (I'm only a young student haha)
Do you know of any college good for Music, in Florida, which is rather cheap?

Can you do lessons on practical skills (ie Practical music reading (with example))?

Cheers Man

Bill Hunter

What's up Billy...

Thanks so much for the email man. I'm so glad you're getting something out of the lessons...that's what they're there for!

And you ask some hard questions...mainly because I feel the "best" universities are always directly related to your needs. As far as the ones that have great reputations for putting out consistently good percussionists...

Berklee in Boston (EXPENSIVE) old drum teacher is one of the directors of percussion there.

Eastman School of Music

University of North Texas

And the cheapest...well, that I don't know. Most state universities are gonna be cheaper. Indiana University has a great music does Florida State...University of Miami (Florida)...

Here's my take on the whole thing. Sit down and be honest with yourself. Decide what you want to achieve with your music career. Is it teaching? Is it performance? Is it private instruction? Touring work? Original music? Be brutally honest. After you do that, go over the skills you feel you'll need to do those tasks. If your job is going to rely heavily on your playing skills, you need monster teachers in that area. If it's more teaching oriented, you'll need great mentors and teachers in that area. After you do those things, start your research. Look at certain teachers and players that teach at the University level. Which ones have the reputation to deliver what you want. Call some of them...ask them a few questions about their departments and their teaching styles. I would base my decision much more along the lines of my life goals than along the reputation of some school.

The BIG music schools in the U.S. are usually going to come with a huge price tag...Like 100k or more for an undergrad. I did mine for more like 25k, had a couple of scholarships, but mostly just gigged my way through and paid all of my schooling in cash. I went to the University of Southern Mississippi and had a FANTASTIC experience. I had taken a few years and played on a professional level, so when I came back to school, I was laser focused on the skills I needed for what I wanted to do in life. I knew that the professors there (Dr. John Wooton, Harrell Bosarge, Larry Panella, and some other adjunct faculty) had the skills and teaching styles that I needed. I didn't need a fancy name behind my degree. I worked my butt off, pushed myself, and looked to them for guidance when I didn't know what direction to take. Your schooling is what you make it. I've known a lot of people to go to "name" schools and then wind up working at a restaurant waiting tables. They didn't get the skills they needed...or weren't willing to put the work forth to get them.

Florida has some great schools and the cost of living isn't to bad. I hear great things about the University of Miami...and Florida State for that matter. All of that being said, don't discount the smaller states and their schools. There are some great and dedicated teachers with some really killer programs that no one knows about. Seek out the teacher first, not the school. You're playing and its growth will come directly from the influence they have on you.

Don't know if that helps, but it's my two cents. Hit me with questions anytime!

-Stephen T.


Emmett C said...

Hey Stephen, I was thinking of going to MI in LA next year. What do you think of that?

Stephen said...

I think they've got a great curriculum. You won't be disappointed!

-Stephen T.

Post a Comment