#1
Alright... 17 going on 18 in a few days...

need tons of advice for college... I just got into music about a year ago.. little more... I didn't know anything about it before that and had never really played an instrument at all...

i started messing around with a piano, and then borrowed an electric guitar (no amp) from a lady at church and got hoooooked.

since then i have quit video games, and devoted a lot of my time to learning guitar.

Lo and behold, tho i started out playing electric, all them easy power chords and junk, i bought a chord chart and an acoustic guitar for 50$ and got HOOKED on acoustic... naturally when i became a christian i got HOOKED and all the acoustic style christian stuff, and eventually came around to listening to some antoine dufour, andy mckee, phill keaggy and other such amazing guitar composers...

in the last few months i have devoted most of my time to learning music theory and developing absolute pitch, after which i will develop relative pitch...

i understand music better than any guitarist at my high school, even though i can't play sweeps and many "hot licks" and know many more chords...

The problem is i don't know any scales, besides the pentatonic.

I need to go to college, I need to get OUT of this terrible rural community in which i leave and head somewhere with a wider variety of individuals...

I was planning on going to a JC for the first 2 years, thinking of sacramento, since it seams more like home when compared to san francisco, LA, or san jose. going for a major in music.

thing is, should i? after only maybe a year and a half of serious playing?

I was planning on taking out some student loans, since I don't want a terrible demoralizing minimum wage job sucking the life out of me, and want all the time possible to devote to practicing/ homework.

I'm going for an Associates in general music, then pursue a bachelor's, after that who knows; i'll have to pay off my loans, but how?

I was thinking perhaps i can minor in some kind of tech since i am good with computers and am already building and fixing several for several peoples, that would give me something to fall back on?

and what kind of jobs could i get as a musician whether piano or guitar/ vocalist, with an AA or bachelor's? what good would it do me besides teach me WHAT i am doing and HOW to do it / make me much much better...

Usually you go to college for a degree so you can use it to get a job, but what kinda job does a music degree get you besides music teacher?

there's so many questions i have, i think they need to have a College basics class at all public highschools for 12th grade, i mean damn, should i just know all this stuff?
#2
If you're to go an be a music major, beware that it is hard. To be successful and music is more about knowing the right people in addition to music skills. But best colleges for music in CA would be most of the colleges, northridge being hte best. UCLA has a nice one. As for conservatories, Boston Conservatory and Berkelee top notch. And Juliard is possibly the best school for music. Usually these require jury observation.

Given the economic turmoil, I would suggest that you pursue a more practical field. However, if you want ot continue studies in music, have a back up plan. I have hte same issue. I'm studying to be an audio engineer, but i have a back up plan.
#3
Ever hear of the Art Industry? Music is an art... lets just say that... Hard, about who you know, some get lucky, others fail miserably.
#4
Quote by greennblue10
If you're to go an be a music major, beware that it is hard. To be successful and music is more about knowing the right people in addition to music skills. But best colleges for music in CA would be most of the colleges, northridge being hte best. UCLA has a nice one. As for conservatories, Boston Conservatory and Berkelee top notch. And Juliard is possibly the best school for music. Usually these require jury observation.

Given the economic turmoil, I would suggest that you pursue a more practical field. However, if you want ot continue studies in music, have a back up plan. I have hte same issue. I'm studying to be an audio engineer, but i have a back up plan.

Possibly? It definitely is.
It also has a lower admissions rate than Harvard and MIT.
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#5
music is a funny subject to study as a major because making money as a career is really dependent on factors that are out of your control. the only thing you'd have to fall back on if you dont quite reach the level you need to start making money from music is music teaching, which is perfectly fine if your passionate about it, but some people see this as a failure to hit it big.

sure, if your good enough you can be an awesome session player or gigger, but there are alot of people out there with this kind of talent, and you REALLY have to be committed because it isnt easy and doesnt come easy either.

if you think you can do it and are passionate enough to devote your time to it, then by all means go for it. its no doubt a creative and fun career path. but if your looking for security, perhaps you should go for a course that provides more opportunities and put music off until you can devote more time to it without a risk of living on the street :P
#6
in the last few months i have devoted most of my time to learning music theory and developing absolute pitch, after which i will develop relative pitch...


Just had to say, developing absolute pitch is close to impossible. You kinda have to be born with it or develop it at a very young age. Don't worry about it though, you don't really need it. Just work on playing by ear in general.

And as others have already stated:
Music Major+Loans+Bills = Sketchy

I was thinking, do the majority of successful musicians (everything from session players, audio engineers, to people that just make gig money) even have music degrees? Maybe stuff like Orchestras and big choirs require degrees, but ultimately it probably comes down to sheer ability.
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#7
you got into music a year ago and you want to base your whole life on it?
i think thats great but i still think you should take a step back and just think for awhile. i mean thats a bold step, taking it from a hobby to a career.
it might be cool to try to mix in other elements into music and it might make you more successful, like a music tech or something. or maybe just see if you can get a liberal arts education along-side so you can still do other stuff. idk just dont get caught up and limit yourself
#8
Quote by r2zou
you got into music a year ago and you want to base your whole life on it?
i think thats great but i still think you should take a step back and just think for awhile. i mean thats a bold step, taking it from a hobby to a career.
it might be cool to try to mix in other elements into music and it might make you more successful, like a music tech or something. or maybe just see if you can get a liberal arts education along-side so you can still do other stuff. idk just dont get caught up and limit yourself


this is the response i've been getting lately from peers and the such, although i was surprised by the other posts on here and thankful for the encouragement and enthusiasm....

Although I just got into music, and really, i can't sing... I have accelerated rapidly in learning, i've almost caught up to most of my friends who WERE born with perfect pitch, have been around music their entire lives, and have been playing 3 years longer than me (on guitar and piano)

being a music tech, or working at a music store would be fine, and i would love to be a music teacher... I AM passionate about music, but i also have bit of contentment about me. I AM also a christian, so being in the poor house and living life rough with not much "materialism" in life would be fine as well... and i'll always have the music, right?

I am hoping to have things to fall back in, like i was saying, minoring in computer tech... i think it would be good enough for getting a job at a computer store, or as a pc repairmen, or even opening up my own shop, i already build computers and repair them.
Quote by Chaos Nil

Ever hear of the Art Industry? Music is an art... lets just say that... Hard, about who you know, some get lucky, others fail miserably.


I'm not really interested in the art industry or having nice things in life, except maybe nice instruments (because they sound and play better) and nice people... If I could I would really love to distribute my music freely or cheaply as possible...

and If anything i'd be a christian artist, not trying to crack into the music industry, but trying to crack the idea of a christian music industry. I have a hard time with people being "christian rockstars" if they are Christians their music should be free, after all, they claim to be both in ministry and artists, and i don't believe art or God should be sold.

Quote by SubtleScream
And Juliard is possibly the best school for music.
Possibly? It definitely is.
It also has a lower admissions rate than Harvard and MIT.


Juliard is DEFINITELY out of the question, as I said, my parents are poor, as is my entire family. I am planning on going to a JC, the reason I hope to take out student loans is I plan on transferring to a good college (like the ones you mentioned) which seams like a must, and i understand music is difficult and I will need all the time I can get to practice and study. And as has been mentioned the big problem is getting money to pay off the loans AFTER GRADUATING.

__________________


and just to everyone else talking about gigging and being a great player and such, I'm a christian and if anything would strive to be a christian artist... so gigs and playing would be hopefully at churches and such, leading a "worship band" perhaps, or something of that sort, if that was the route i took...

who knows i could be the next paul baloche or rich mullens PHIL KAEGGY??? lol... but they all had catchy names, and i don't... all about knowing people.. i'd b content being a youth pastor with a small family or alone with my guitar. (and sum sorta keyboard type instrument ) just gotta pay bills and survive
#9
I feel your position.
The best option is to apply to state institutions that are fairly well known (like Ohio State, Penn State, or any of the UCs). Their tuition is cheap and if they are well known they will have better financial aid options, especially for national students.
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#10
national students? i live in California.... i plan on attending a JC or CC for 2 years, then transferring to a UC

planning on Sacramento City College
#11
Go to the University of Massachusetts and get a masters degree in audio engineering. You will be all hooked up.
Quote by ottoavist

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#12
I'm a senior at a small college in Michigan. I'm a music education major and got my AA from a community college and now I'm at a private college. To study music you have to be extremely dedicated, disciplined, and willing to take the financial step. Most importantly, you have to be a leader. I will tell you however, that if you do decide to study it, you'll know if it's for you after the first year of study. Most people are filtered out by then.

I am completely aware that in order to get a job, I'm going to have to relocate. Period. And that is fine with me. Michigan is a dying state anyways.

There is some truth to what some of these members are spitting, but from a music major to you, I'm telling you to go with your gut. I made up my mind at 17 and I'm 21 now and still trying. I'm completely aware that in the school system, the music program is usually one of the first things to get cut, but I really don't give a ****. It's what I want to do and no one is going to tell me otherwise. What I'm trying to say is, don't let the economy or these doom and gloom people dictate your decision, the decision is up to you.

Oh and another warning, about this "fall back on" stuff. It's a great idea at heart, but for music majors it's rather rough. At most colleges, a music education degree is 140 or more credit hours to complete a bachelors degree. You're looking at about 5 years in college. Other bachelors degrees are close to 120 or 130 credit hours (4 years). So you see, it's very difficult to have a minor or study something else when you're time is already very expelled. You just have to make up your mind and decide this is what you want to do, if it's for you that is. I made the decision that I don't want a minor, because I don't want to teach anything else. If I'm not teaching music, I don't want to teach. Period.

One of my instructors told us "To study music, you can't just like music, you have to love it. It has to be this natural activity that you must do. If you can see yourself studying something other than music, then go study that, because this place isn't for you".
#13
Quote by acoustic_guy7


One of my instructors told us "To study music, you can't just like music, you have to love it. It has to be this natural activity that you must do. If you can see yourself studying something other than music, then go study that, because this place isn't for you".



That's a beautiful way to put it. I'd love to have his name so I can attribute it to him personally whenever I say it later ^_^.
#14
Here are a few factors that I thought about when I was trying to decide what to do in college (and where to go to do it).

- As non-materialistic as I am, unemployment or poverty was not an option, so having jobs available after graduation was a must.

-I wanted to learn things that I could apply to (at least a few of) my passions (motorcycles, guitar building, dancing, etc...)

-I had to choose a realistic goal (based on high school grades, SAT scores, and so on...)

-I wanted to be challenged by my education (meaning no wishy-washy degree programs)

-I needed to be able to learn something useful to improve the world in some way


I ended up choosing mechanical engineering at UConn.


To me, it seems like a career in music might be a stretch starting this late in life. My recommendation would be to go to school for something you're interested in and study music informally on the side. For me, while I've dedicated quite a few years to learning music, I wouldn't necessarily want others to teach it to me like a science. As with the other arts, I find that an unfortunate amount of the curriculum deals with objectively teaching a subjective practice. I'd rather only play for fun.

That said, if you truly want to make it your life, you don't need any advice from this forum.
Last edited by GC Shred Off at Dec 22, 2008,
#15
I think you should go for it..I started playing guitar about 1 to 2 years before college, and then started a major in community college in music. Im going to be going to a christian college to continue the major to get a bachelors...and like you, idk what else I could do. I am probably going to end up teaching or performing after that...
Quote by RetroGunslinger
this is like comparing a flushing toilet to a hole in the ground
#16
Quote by fifer
I think you should go for it..I started playing guitar about 1 to 2 years before college, and then started a major in community college in music. Im going to be going to a christian college to continue the major to get a bachelors...and like you, idk what else I could do. I am probably going to end up teaching or performing after that...


and a quote from collegeboard.com "Government economists expect that jobs for musicians and singers will grow as fast as the average for all careers through 2016. On the other hand, slower-than-average growth is expected for those who want to work for themselves and pursue gigs in nightclubs. Religious organizations should provide the most paying jobs for musicians."

so i guess being a christian is a plus when it comes to this.. Even though i don't really like big churches, lol.

edit: to everyone else, sorry, i don't have time to reply right now!
and thanks, i read your posts, great advice! If i gotta go with my gut, i'm thinkin' music!
#17
Possibly? It definitely is.
It also has a lower admissions rate than Harvard and MIT.



But not as low as the Manhattan Conservatory.


Just gonna say that it's not all as pretty and easy as we like to think TS. Get yourself a nice back up plan.
#19
Thread Starter. AKA OP or Original Poster if you know what I mean... which you probably dont...
#20
I understand OP and ITT ect. just never head TS before...

heh, thanks Chaos, i've taken in the advice, now i'm just digging up scholarships, trying to pass highschool, and learn as much about music as possible before being tossed into the unknown.
#21
here are sum good sites u might like, im a music major

http://www.musictheory.net/
http://www.all-guitar-chords.com/guitar_scales.php
http://www.guitarpress.com/sheet.html

if your having problems with scales you should learn the "segovia scales" book, its a book with all the major and melodic minor scales and they are 2 octaves, if u dont know how to build scales this will help

http://www.bandnotes.info/tidbits/tidbits-jan.htm

and you should probably go to the city library and chek out all the different music books they have, especially theory
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#23
I think a good idea would be a major in music engineering or something of that sort.
That way you can learn music theory and recording technology, etc.

I have a friend that is studying that at Belmont in Nashville, TN, and enjoying it.

Or, if you are interested in being in a Christian band, you could go to a college like Liberty, which has majors available in things like Worship Ministry, etc, where you can get an education in music theory, theology, and leading worship.

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#24
Quote by HenHouse
here are sum good sites u might like, im a music major

http://www.musictheory.net/
http://www.all-guitar-chords.com/guitar_scales.php
http://www.guitarpress.com/sheet.html

if your having problems with scales you should learn the "segovia scales" book, its a book with all the major and melodic minor scales and they are 2 octaves, if u dont know how to build scales this will help

http://www.bandnotes.info/tidbits/tidbits-jan.htm

and you should probably go to the city library and chek out all the different music books they have, especially theory


http://www.all-guitar-chords.com/guitar_scales.php
I dont get how to read these


edit: oh i think i got it, any recommendations and which i should learn first.. and should i learn all the notes i am playing? i know most people just learn the root of the scale and go from there
#25
yea u should know all the notes on the fretboard, its awsome stuff
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#26
Quote by redking14ca


The problem is i don't know any scales, besides the pentatonic.


i have the same plan as you, going to study to be a music teacher. i guess i can tell you that its somewhat risky, considering that i find myself worrying if im good enough, and i know my scales/modes/key signatures etc. do you know any of the most basic theory like, chord construction, different kinds of triads, **** like that?
#27
Quote by thegloaming
i have the same plan as you, going to study to be a music teacher. i guess i can tell you that its somewhat risky, considering that i find myself worrying if im good enough, and i know my scales/modes/key signatures etc. do you know any of the most basic theory like, chord construction, different kinds of triads, **** like that?


i'm learning "**** like that" lol.. i am just now learning chord construction.

can't remember what a triad is, but i know i know
#28
Quote by redking14ca
i'm learning "**** like that" lol.. i am just now learning chord construction.

can't remember what a triad is, but i know i know


well i guess my best advice would be, learn the major scale first, and the key signatures for it in all different positions. then learn all the modes of the major scale. if you wanna be adventurous, learn whole-tone and diminished, but those probably arent entirely necessary where your at right now. hope this is helpful, maybe?

ps. can you read sheets yet or just tab?
#29
Sheets? i cannot read sheet music, i know FACE in the spaces, and EGBDF on the lines

i can figure stuff out from sheet music.. but not songs i dont know....

know what i mean?

i can read tabs, can't sight read.... I usually look up the chords to songs... unless its really complicated... i generally try to figure stuff out by ear first.

i know the major scale... minor pentatonic... ummm.... major pentatonic... blues pentatonic.. think thats it...
#30
well one of the eventual requirements is being able to sight read with out ever hearing the song for reference. although im not even too great at that yet, so i guess dont worry about it for now. my best advice is spend more time with sheet music, and all those scales i gave you
#31
thanks bro, i'll open up my jazz ensemle method book and start playing stuff out of there to get used to sight reading...

for now i'll learn the melodic minor
#32
and what kind of jobs could i get as a musician whether piano or guitar/ vocalist, with an AA or bachelor's? what good would it do me besides teach me WHAT i am doing and HOW to do it / make me much much better...

Usually you go to college for a degree so you can use it to get a job, but what kinda job does a music degree get you besides music teacher?


I'm an Entertainment Attorney who is also a practicing (amateur) musician, and who is the son of a music teacher.

Here is what I know:

1) The previous posters are right to warn you that a career in music is tough. The size of the job pool is smaller and the amount of time and hard work it takes to be good enough to be a pro is substantial.

2) Besides playing in a band or being a music educator, there are other jobs. It is quite possible to make a good living as a studio or union musician. As a "hired gun," those guys almost never play their own stuff. However, they play on albums, they play parties, they play at hotels, they play special events.

Some even work in the computer game or marketing industries to provide soundtracks to various productions.

My Church's music ministry- St. Ann's in Coppell, Tx- is largely a volunteer program. However, the music minister himself is a performing Christian Rocker (Curtis Stephen) who has brought in his friend and long time collaborator as a pianist. That pianist isn't Catholic or a volunteer, he is a hired pro- he gets paid to play.

3) There is growing interest in music therapy for a variety of conditions, such as autism or Alzheimer's.

4) Music education is an important but generally poorly compensated field. My mom's professional career as a music teacher was spent in a ghetto school where her class was largely populated by the delinquents whom the other teachers didn't want to deal with.

I'm not saying that that would be your fate wherever you go, but it is an indication of how bad it could be.

5) A lot will depend upon luck. I know one of the best bass players in Dallas- his degree is from vaunted North Texas State program, one of the best. He got as close to being signed as he could be- bands his bands opened for got signed, not his. Bands that opened for his bands got signed, not his.

Ultimately, he dropped out of the biz. He's a computer programmer now.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jan 3, 2009,
#33
not to be a downer but I'm a realist. I think it would be very easy to get burned out on a hobby you love have it become a job you despise. also I just don't think its the smartest career choice especially for anyone in our generation (thinking of retirement and benefits, your future FAMILY). I haven't read the rest of the responses, but I'm sure just about everything that can be said has been said so I'll keep this short.

ALTHOUGH i'm a pretty big believer in "follow your dreams" so I say go for it, but do NOT depend on it. Make sure you have a backup, at the very least while your in college get a job at a company you can work your way up through and do well in case music doesnt work out.

Hell.... I'm trying to become and astronaut. I'm dead serious.


EDIT if it were me I would go to a tech school and pick up a trade like plumbing, electrician, welder, and once you get that certification/job then start working on your music thing. if you don't mind manual labor, which is in high demand now b/c lots of people in (im gonna say it again) our generation have been pushed to get degrees, get office jobs, work on "real careers" that the blue collar jobs are at a major shortage and in high demand right now. So 1- you arent gonna have trouble finding work which is great in our economy right now and 2- you are going to get PAID which would help with your college loans.
Last edited by Wiggly at Jan 3, 2009,
#34
yeah i'm definitely thinking of getting some kinda certificate in computer repair, or minoring in such... since i already repair computers for all my friends and family...
#35
^^^ Totally right. Listen to everything said.
^^ Hard to get Blue Collar jobs down here in the SF Bay Area. They are vastly taken by Mexicans, illegal or legal. The cities around here will NOT contribute to the stopping of Illegals and are now called "Sanctuary Cities", which are more appropriately going against the federal government. I mean even Berkeley told an army recruitment station/building/office to get out of their city. There is also a lot of "Reverse Racism" in the hireing process too. My dad was fired from his job for "Being Late" by a minute. Yes, a minute. He commutes across the bay and traffic can be really bad at times. He would leave super early just to get there before he had to so it would happen. He was fired because of the racism against him because he is white. Almost everyone was mexican and did lots of racist things against him.
Even the McDonalds near here is exclusively latino in their workers. Last time i checked stores got in trouble for hiring one nationality.

Just check what the actual jobs available are to you in your area. I dont say that there arent a need for blue collar jobs where you are, just that there are none here.
#36
BTW, I'm 100% behind you learning to play an instrument- ANY instrument- well. It does a lot for you as a social human being, and it looks good on a resume. If you wind up in any music related field, knowledge of how to play an instrument- the technical and linguistic skills you'll pick up- will let you communicate more effectively than those who only know the non-music side of the job.

If you're interested in computers as well, consider that a knowledge of music combined with actual training and hands-on experience with computer repair/construction could lead you into a job with one of the many instrument, amp or pedal companies. Or you could wind up working in repairs, or even being sombody's equipment tech. You could wind up being in the sound engineering team for an auditorium, concert hall or even a stadium.

Like I said, I'm an entertainment attorney. Many of the things I do are exactly the same as corporate attorneys do- analyze and draft contracts, etc. But my clients are a LOT more interesting. And they appreciate that I can talk to them in their own language.

Similarly, a job at an instrument, amp or pedal company might be quite similar in job description to someone working in an auto plant...but you're around beautiful instruments all day. There are many worse fates in the world.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jan 3, 2009,
#37
Im going to major in classical guitar performance at UNO this upcoming fall, and from what i have gathered after studying under the professor and talking to students is: its extremely time consuming, music is definately not cheap, but if its what you love and want to do then nothing is a better choice.
I wouldnt worry too much about getting perfect pitch. The main thing is to make sure your basics are extremely solid. I had to start over at square one when i decided to play classical guitar, I had been playing electric for 4 years before that. But I can now see how well worth it it was to start over. I also took (and am now teaching) a music theory class. Now i dont have to worry about getting left behind in the college level music theory classes.

Money will always disappear fast, and life doenst last long either. I dont want to spend my life doing something that isnt my passion just because I'll make more money. That's not worth it, in my opinion.