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#1
So I'm starting to think about my future... I really want to major in some field of music, and I'm leaning towards "music performance", "music theory and composition", or "stringed instruments." Here is a description of each that I found:

"Music Performance"
Weekly music lessons, endless scales and arpeggios, ear training classes, nightly rehearsals, recitals for friends and family, and juries with faculty members…. If singing or playing an instrument is today a hobby, as a performance major it will be your life.

Student musicians spend more time practicing than almost any other activity. Hours of practicing will help you learn to interpret a piece of music as the composer envisioned it. You’ll also develop your own signature sound -- one that’s unique to you.


"Music Theory and Composition"
How do melody, harmony, and rhythm come together to make a piece of music pleasing to the ear? What’s the difference between a symphony and a sonata? As a student of music theory and composition, you’ll learn the language of music.

Your classes will involve a lot of ear training, which sharpens your listening skills. You’ll learn to write down chords and melodies as you hear them, analyze the structure of musical pieces, and compose your own music. The study of music theory and composition will also improve your skills as a performing musician.


And stringed instruments is pretty self-explanatory.

After college, I plan on moving to New York City, because its a great city for artists and musicians. I mainly want to be an instrumentalist, someone like Joe Satriani or Steve Vai, so tell me, which of the above should I major in, and also what colleges in the midwest area (preferably in Ohio, because this is where I live) have good music programs.

Thanks!
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#2
I'd go with theory and composition.

And Indiana University at Bloomington has a really good music program.
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#3
I say performance
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#5
i'm going to Kent State (northeast ohio) for classical guitar.
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#6
Theory and compositon are great. I can't began to explain how much those classes have helped me with my playing.
#7
Quote by yingyangthang
If you want to be a pro musician, dont go to new york. WAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY to much competition


Yea, but i mean, you look at all these professional musicians like Satch, even Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin, they moved to a big music city, and they were noticed... I mean, I'm not saying I'm as good as them, but in a city like that, you're bound to be noticed, where as if you're in a smaller city, maybe those record companies aren't that great, or there's not very many of them at all.
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#8
I wouldn't sweat it too much - it'll come clear what you want to do as the time comes closer, and seeing as you're not even 15 yet, you have a while to think.

Oh, and don't even think about Berklee in NY. They're incredibly expensive, and I've heard nothing but bad reports about them. From anything that has reached my ears, they're riding on reputation now, and the instructors are mediocre and apathetic. You're better off finding a good college/uni in your neck of the woods that has a solid music program.
no
#9
Having done a music degree, I would say if you want to be a performer, then take performance. Seems to follow, no?

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#10
Quote by bucky_2300
I wouldn't sweat it too much - it'll come clear what you want to do as the time comes closer, and seeing as you're not even 15 yet, you have a while to think.

Oh, and don't even think about Berklee in NY. They're incredibly expensive, and I've heard nothing but bad reports about them. From anything that has reached my ears, they're riding on reputation now, and the instructors are mediocre and apathetic. You're better off finding a good college/uni in your neck of the woods that has a solid music program.

You couldn't be more wrong about Berklee, I've got a friend who goes there and loves it. He says the instructors are great and the classes are great.

I, myself am working through their theory portion of their class and it's extremely helpful. Berklee might not be the greatest for metal and shred stuff but it's a great school.

Oh, and I know you have no idea what you're talking about because you said Berklee is in New York, it's in Boston.
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#11
I know a very successful producer who went to Berklee and yes it is in Boston not NYC. If you are going to go to a school for music that would be the best one even though it is expensive. In my opinion though I think going to school for just music really limits you and can be a waste of time for some. Most people would recommend that you go to school for business and get a minor in music composition etc. This way when you get out you are not one dimensional just in case there are no music jobs available.
Last edited by nashville4u at Dec 6, 2008,
#12
But if a person has their heart set on performing, and they are knowledgeable enough about the industry to recognize that going that route is a gamble more likely to fail than succeed, and that person is prepared for that and willing to accept that, then that is the route that he/she should take.

See, what happens is if you hang around and get your MBA or something like that and get a minor in music, you get out at 25 and find yourself ready to start a career in business, not music.... you know.... having spent the last five years with music on the back-burner as a hobby. You also find yourself, by many standards, too old to begin a career in music. The industry wants young players that they can fly up on MTV. Not 30-somethings.

If you want to be a performer, then go be a performer. But you *really* have to find out what that might well mean. It could mean playing in five bands, three of which aren't really your bag, but it helps pay the bills. It will likely mean working crap hours. It will likely mean teaching privately to support your income. And within all that, it could well mean that you still don't make enough money to support a family. Not that that might even be an option, because as soon as you meet someone and they find that they can only spend time with you Monday-Friday during the day (you know... while they're at work), and you're unavailable evenings and weekends because your time is filled up with playing Livin' La Vida Loca one night, Nickelback another night, and a Brooks and Dunn cover band on the weekends, they're going to run for the hills anyways.

And if you get insanely lucky, it could mean playing on the G3 tour in 2012, getting your picture taken for product endorsements, getting called in to be a session guy on Chinese Democracy III, and being able to choose where and when you work. And of course.... you might also get struck by lightning three times in one week.... you know... if you're insanely UNlucky.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
Last edited by axemanchris at Dec 6, 2008,
#13
University of Cincinnati has a well renowned music program, especially for jazz. Your choices are limited if you want to study contemporary music, as most schools are either classical, or jazz and classical, but the options are out there.
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#14
Quote by srvflood
You couldn't be more wrong about Berklee, I've got a friend who goes there and loves it. He says the instructors are great and the classes are great.

I, myself am working through their theory portion of their class and it's extremely helpful. Berklee might not be the greatest for metal and shred stuff but it's a great school.

Oh, and I know you have no idea what you're talking about because you said Berklee is in New York, it's in Boston.


Mea culpa. I got the city wrong.

I would respond with the example of a friend of my old guitar teacher, who came from eastern Europe, speaking little English. He went to Berklee to study, and rather than making the extra effort needed to teach a student that wasn't fluent, they stuck him in the back of the classes and ignored him. And speaking to a couple friends that have attended there, you're able to get an equally good education elsewhere with much less cost.

Speaking of such things, reason #1 to avoid Berklee - the cost. $13,750 USD per semester for tuition alone. To contrast, my fees for a full 5-unit undergraduate courseload this semester at the University of Victoria were about $2500 CDN. Food and housing at Berklee is $7,180 USD per semester. Mine are $3140 CDN. UVic is not exactly a community college, either. Classes would have to be taught by Jesus Christ himself to merit that kind of price tag.

IMHO, Berklee is overpriced, and based upon the reviews that I've heard from attendees, one could get a musical education just as good at another university with a decent Fine Arts faculty without having to sell your house.
no
#15
Quote by Punk Poser
University of Cincinnati has a well renowned music program, especially for jazz. Your choices are limited if you want to study contemporary music, as most schools are either classical, or jazz and classical, but the options are out there.
Temple University is very well respected as well, and you get a degree with requirements other than music and could take classes that would prepare you for a "backup" career. However, it is in one of the worst areas of Philly.
#16
Quote by cj10schmelzer
Yea, but i mean, you look at all these professional musicians like Satch, even Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin, they moved to a big music city, and they were noticed... I mean, I'm not saying I'm as good as them, but in a city like that, you're bound to be noticed, where as if you're in a smaller city, maybe those record companies aren't that great, or there's not very many of them at all.

A performance major isn't prepping you for that sort of thing. It preps you to be a hired gun. Studio jobs, musicals, stuff like that.
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#17
If you're looking to be on MTV, have a big crib, groupies, cocaine, limos, a degree in performance won't get you there. Invest in good luck charms, and start networking like crazy, learn how to do business, how to shamelessly self promote and brownnose, it'll get you further than talent (although you can't get away with skipping that bit forever).

With a degree: Teaching, soul crushing gigs at weddings, bar mitzvahs, anniversaries, cruise ships, maybe some studio work, all to support living and maybe having your own projects, is what you usually get.

If your cool with that, make the choice.
#18
there are plenty of well respected music departments and schools in every area. The question is what do you want to go for... this seemed to be more of listing the music majors the college you already appear to be set on going to offers.


My question is, what college and are you sure you want to one of those majors? A bachelor's in music theory &/or comp doesn't get you too far without a master's in theory & comp. Music performance is a pretty tight field where the degree will teach you a lot but not necessarily help you get a job in it.
I find stringed instruments not self explanatory. Are you training to become a string composer, conductor, or performer? or what?
I'm a Music Education major not because its what I wanted (I wanted to do theory & comp), but I found Education to be the only real reliable field of employment in music.
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#19
Quote by yingyangthang
If you want to be a pro musician, dont go to new york. WAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY to much competition

Had a friend who had theory...that it is easy to achieve the average and it's only the extra mile that's difficult.
Perhaps you realise (but unclear from the original post) that you are good but perhaps not an exceptional talent, compared to some big apple pros, so here is the plan: go where the average standard is highest. With modest effort you'll achieve that standard, perhaps even better, with all the stimulus on offer in that environment. Later, if you move elsewhere, in a new environment you'll be exceptional.
Good choice, go where it's happinging.
#20
Quote by UtBDan

I'm a Music Education major not because its what I wanted (I wanted to do theory & comp), but I found Education to be the only real reliable field of employment in music.


I agree with most of your post, but I really must caution you in what you posted here that is quoted.

I did my degree in Music Education. I have been teaching in the public school system for 12 years. If I have learned one thing about teaching, I would say that, "If you don't feel *called* to do it, or if you are doing it because of a steady reliable income with lots of holidays, then teaching will eat you alive. I have seen it. For the right person, it is an awesome career choice. For the wrong person, it is going to be a hell that you will never forget. You really have to want to do it.

Even 12 years in, I still put in a 50 hour work week on average. Sure, you get good holidays, but my brother in law who works for Toyota gets similar holidays. The difference is that he gets to choose when to take his. You are expected to put up with crap from kids that you would NEVER be asked to put up with in the corporate world, because your job is to teach them not just math or music, but how to be a reasonable person who is able to function in society. They don't always get that at home. You have to be nice to parents, even when they aren't nice to you. You have to find it in yourself to care about every kid, even when he/she might not have any redeeming qualities that you can find that make them worth caring about. You find yourself having to call Children's Aid from time to time because you were made aware of some sort of abuse or neglect at home. It really sucks having to make calls like that.

Usually, your behavioral kids will have parents that won't support you either. If your principal is a schmuck, you can really find yourself screwed. My car was vandalized.... twice. There was no end to it. That happened to me for a year fairly recently. Your hands are tied. There is nothing you can do except endure as long as you can. I spent an hour, making a dozen phone calls every single day to parents due to behaviour, and still, nothing changed. We had kids in grades 7+8 being charged with weapons offenses, drug and alcohol offenses, assault, etc. The police were at the school about once a month. We had a big gang swarming on our playground where about 200 kids from the high school came over looking for a pair of grade 7 girls. Then there are the social work cases, psychological assessments for the real nutty ones. Fortunately, I knew enough that I actually enjoyed teaching and just had to switch schools to get out of it at the end of the year. These are the sorts of situations that a first-year teacher can find him/herself in, and wind up quitting before March Break.... or even Christmas. Seriously... regardless of the money and holidays.... in a situation like that, it isn't worth it. It's not a matter of 'good school/bad school' either. My first years at that school were great. It was the last year that was a real brute.

I have seen the odd person get lucky and find out, once they're in, that they actually do enjoy it. I have seen people who really thought they wanted to do it for the right reasons get obliterated in their first two years. But generally, the pattern is that the people who don't succeed, or who don't last are the ones who picked it for the wrong reasons.

I hope I'm reading more into your quote than what you intended. If not... get out while you can.

And as much as I have painted a pretty negative picture of it, there are the really fabulous things that remind you why you got into this gig in the first place. It's not the big stuff, like Johnny can finally read, but little things, like notes from parents that say, "thanks for caring" or "thanks for going the extra mile" or when they come in for interviews and tell you that, because of you, their kid has started enjoying school again. It's trips to the Museum that you take your class to, where one kid will say that they loved it, and they wished that their own parents would take them places like that. It's having the kid who is really reserved and quiet get up on stage at the talent show and completely come out of his/her shell and transform into what they might actually become later in life. It's the kid whose dad has been diagnosed with Hodgekins disease and isn't expected to make it to the end of the year, and chooses you to talk to because they need someone that they know who cares about them. So many things, but most of them little.

It can really be both the best of times, and the worst of times.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
Last edited by axemanchris at Dec 6, 2008,
#21
Quote by Punk Poser
University of Cincinnati has a well renowned music program, especially for jazz. Your choices are limited if you want to study contemporary music, as most schools are either classical, or jazz and classical, but the options are out there.


i'm not into studying contemporary music, because I pretty much know everything there is to know about the contemporary style that I use in my style (being blues and metal). I've been wanting to start using more of a classical approach to my writing.
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#22
Quote by cj10schmelzer
i'm not into studying contemporary music, because I pretty much know everything there is to know about the contemporary style that I use in my style (being blues and metal). I've been wanting to start using more of a classical approach to my writing.


Do you wanna write popsongs for artists? Or do you wanna do studio work?

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#23
Quote by xxdarrenxx
Do you wanna write popsongs for artists? Or do you wanna do studio work?


I want to do studio work and play shows at clubs and stuff, up until I can get bigger gigs (if i ever will get bigger gigs), just how most rock musicians start out. Whether it be as a band or myself with 3 or 4 other people to play with me.
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#24
Quote by cj10schmelzer
I want to do studio work and play shows at clubs and stuff, up until I can get bigger gigs (if i ever will get bigger gigs), just how most rock musicians start out. Whether it be as a band or myself with 3 or 4 other people to play with me.


Rock musicians usually have rich parents with connections. It has nothing to do with getting music degrees. There are more then enough people educated well enough to do the studiowork, so education won't help you much.

The reason why people go to Berklee is not because of the super good education(although it's quite good), but because of the connections and their alumni.

Pat Metheny, Norah Jones, Steve Vai, John Mayer, John Petrucci, Mike Portnoy, John Myung, Joe Kramer (guitarist Aerosmith), Gavin Degraw, Howard shore (filmcomposer), Al Di Meola, John Scofield, Al pitrelli (TSO), Trey Parker (co producer of south park), Stuart Hamm, Bill Frisell and many more.

These people all went to Berklee, so if u can say u went to Berklee, then producers will see potential because of the succesfull muscians that went there in so many musical genre's.

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#25
Quote by xxdarrenxx
Rock musicians usually have rich parents with connections. It has nothing to do with getting music degrees. There are more then enough people educated well enough to do the studiowork, so education won't help you much.

The reason why people go to Berklee is not because of the super good education(although it's quite good), but because of the connections and their alumni.

Pat Metheny, Norah Jones, Steve Vai, John Mayer, John Petrucci, Mike Portnoy, John Myung, Joe Kramer (guitarist Aerosmith), Gavin Degraw, Howard shore (filmcomposer), Al Di Meola, John Scofield, Al pitrelli (TSO), Trey Parker (co producer of south park), Stuart Hamm, Bill Frisell and many more.

These people all went to Berklee, so if u can say u went to Berklee, then producers will see potential because of the succesfull muscians that went there in so many musical genre's.


sounds like a damn good idea to go there, then. A lot of those guitarists you named are ones I like to listen to, also.
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#26
Quote by cj10schmelzer
sounds like a damn good idea to go there, then. A lot of those guitarists you named are ones I like to listen to, also.



You must have a ****load of money though. I believe 40.000 dollar per 2 semesters for full education. For 3/4 year program like 140k

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#27
Quote by xxdarrenxx
You must have a ****load of money though. I believe 40.000 dollar per 2 semesters for full education. For 3/4 year program like 140k


geez.

I saw on their site it said there is a live audition for scholarships. So do you have to do this for them to even accept you, or could you just apply?
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Last edited by cj10schmelzer at Dec 8, 2008,
#28
nevermind. it says its required.
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#29
Quote by bucky_2300
I wouldn't sweat it too much - it'll come clear what you want to do as the time comes closer, and seeing as you're not even 15 yet, you have a while to think.

Oh, and don't even think about Berklee in NY. They're incredibly expensive, and I've heard nothing but bad reports about them. From anything that has reached my ears, they're riding on reputation now, and the instructors are mediocre and apathetic. You're better off finding a good college/uni in your neck of the woods that has a solid music program.



yes i know it was once i guess you could say a great school? i havent been there but from what i was told that

most of the student body is Rich kids....im not flaming any one who is rich or any thing but from what i was told by many drop outs ive ran into

is that their are to many people there with alot of money and they just got out of high school and dont want to find "Real" jobs yet so they tell their parents they want to be a musician or player just because their able to play an instrument pretty good

most of the time no one pays attention to much goofing off and the teachers i guess have gotten fed up with it that they dont even care anymore

when i first hear these things, i always like to keep an opened mind about stuff so i thought to myself was "well that was YOUR experience" the teachers dont completely make the students into pros you can just show up to a school or anywhere like that and expect to become a professional over 2 years with out puting in any kind of drive or passion

but then i ran into a M.I. Grad who attended Berklee saying the same very thing
hardly any musicians willing to do anything

fellow Music Teacher said that they weed out all the people are NOT serious
thus explains the High Drop out rates from them


i my self am saving up to go to either M.I. or A.I.M
there was another school i was told about not to long ago but i haven't done enough research on it


choosing a school is hard

and make sure you apply for a field that you will be successful in
my two back up plan's in case all fails is

Teaching and Guitar Tech(so i could open my own shop and such)
#30
Quote by Phrygian_12

my two back up plan's in case all fails is

Teaching ...


Be sure to read my post here https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showpost.php?p=17506737&postcount=20 in this thread about teaching. Though a bit lengthy, it contains a critically important perspective. It's a fantastic career, but the words 'backup plan' are waving a big red flag. You *have* to *want* to do it.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
Last edited by axemanchris at Dec 9, 2008,
#31
Quote by Phrygian_12

i my self am saving up to go to either M.I. or A.I.M
there was another school i was told about not to long ago but i haven't done enough research on it


i probably know the answer to my question but don't realize it, but what is M.I. and A.I.M.?
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#32
i'm not into studying contemporary music, because I pretty much know everything there is to know about the contemporary style that I use in my style (being blues and metal). I've been wanting to start using more of a classical approach to my writing.
Er, so you're going to walk in with absolutely no experience?
John Petrucci, Mike Portnoy, John Myung

...all dropped out of Berklee.
Call me Batman.
#33
I attend Western Michigan University which is not far from Ohio and it has a really good School of Music. It has the programs you are looking into right now. I'm a music minor here and they have a vast amount of courses to learn new instruments or to continue to development on guitar.

Just throwing my 2 cents in
is too young to be versed in such grown up ways...

please listen to my band at www.drawntofury.com
#34
Quote by J.A.M
Er, so you're going to walk in with absolutely no experience?

...all dropped out of Berklee.


Lol, Without Berklee they'd never met. And then we had no Dream Theater, and John Petrucci probably wasn't as famous in the muscian's world as he is, or any of them.

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#35
Quote by axemanchris
Be sure to read my post here https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showpost.php?p=17506737&postcount=20 in this thread about teaching. Though a bit lengthy, it contains a critically important perspective. It's a fantastic career, but the words 'backup plan' are waving a big red flag. You *have* to *want* to do it.

CT



oh it is somthing i want but i mainly want to be i guess you could say a stuido musician i just want to make music

right now im a Guitar Teacher

im still learning theory i know enough to teach the basics
but im mainly a guitar teacher

i want to teach Theory a little more then guitar to the "I want to play like Paul Gilbert" guys

so this "back up plan" would suit me if all els fails

Trust me i wouldn't want my back up plan or any other options that i wouldn't be happy with
#37
Quote by fierce1289
I attend Western Michigan University which is not far from Ohio and it has a really good School of Music. It has the programs you are looking into right now. I'm a music minor here and they have a vast amount of courses to learn new instruments or to continue to development on guitar.

Just throwing my 2 cents in


I think I've heard of Western Michigan before. I assume it's a small school? How much is it per semester?
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#38
Quote by cj10schmelzer
I think I've heard of Western Michigan before. I assume it's a small school? How much is it per semester?


Not really a "small school" but a mid sized one, not as big as Michigan or Ohio State though. You can go to http://www.wmich.edu/music/ to find out more. It's in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Since I'm in state it costs me between 8000-9000 a semester, not including books. The price is not that bad compared to some schools, especially ones like Michigan or Ohio State (naming close big schools).
is too young to be versed in such grown up ways...

please listen to my band at www.drawntofury.com
#39
Quote by fierce1289
Not really a "small school" but a mid sized one, not as big as Michigan or Ohio State though. You can go to http://www.wmich.edu/music/ to find out more. It's in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Since I'm in state it costs me between 8000-9000 a semester, not including books. The price is not that bad compared to some schools, especially ones like Michigan or Ohio State (naming close big schools).


That's not very much, compared to some division 3 schools my sister was looking at.
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#40
Quote by gwitersnamps
I'd go with theory and composition.

And Indiana University at Bloomington has a really good music program.

Yes, the IU Jacobs School of Music is one of the best in the country. I'm looking into studying either piano, music education, or music and recording technologies there.
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