#1
Anyone who is currently enrolled in a school or has been to one that could touch on this subject, it would be greatly appreciated.

So, here's where I stand currently: I've been playing music for about 6 years, have taken lessons for a year, and am comfortable with all basic aspects of theory. Last year I traveled to Boston to audition for Berklee College of Music (which I failed to get into, obviously). This spring I'm going to try to enter Columbia College (in Chicago).

Questions:

1. With all the different types of musicians at different skill levels, what are the classes like?

2. What is the learning environment like? Stressful? Easy-going? Fast/slow paced?

3. How does it compare to a "normal" college/university? Are there lots of papers, note-taking, and tests? Or is it more hands-on?

4. What tips/advice would you give me? What is the overall atmosphere like that I'm going to be entering? Are other students usually nice and laid back, or more competitive?


Any first-hand experiences that you would like to share would be greatly appreciated.
#2
I can't say for the US, but I'm at the Bristol Institute of Modern Music.

The classes have people worse than me and people a lot better than me, but no one is a prick about it.

It started out slow to get everyone on the same page, then got more technical.

It's a great environment - everyone just wants to play gigs and form bands.

It's been way more hands-on. There are essays and some notes to take if you don't already know what you're being taught, but compared to the grammar school I went to, it's practically paper-free apart from the massive textbook.

People are generally laid-back at BIMM. More important than the actual course is just living in close proximity with other musicians for however many years. Bands form pretty organically.
#3
Good, that eases my worries a little bit. Hopefully the US isn't too different.
#4
People are going to be friendly. If you're a complete dick then no one will want you in their band.

The music scene in Bristol is awesome though. That's probably actually more important than the college itself. Choose your city wisely!
#5
I'm going to go to school for music too.. What do they start teaching? I heard it's as basic as triads? Is that true? If so I'm leagues ahead already lol.
#6
We started from the very basics, but by January we were onto melodic minor modes and how to use them.
#7
It seems you can get the same training just by paying for weekly lessons, although you don't get the experience or diploma of college for music.
#8
The problem that I had with music college was the crazy wide range of abilities all in the same class, so there were people talking about using melodic minor modes in the same class as people trying to learn the major scale.

I went to the ACM guildford. The atmosphere was great, and the teachers were awesome apart from that though.
#9
im attending loyola new orleans for jazz next year, (also got into berklee--off the waitlist, but got neither housing nor financial aid and it just wasnt worth it). I was told to brush up on drop 2 seventh chord voicings and the major scale and minor scales, dorian and myxolydian modes for my private lessons. For theory, they start with 'this is a note' and you go into pretty advanced analysis before graduation (whether you take classical or jazz you take 2 semesters of classical theory) and my improvisation class seems to start very basic and will get more complex gradually. I think it is important to realize that it is a music SCHOOL, and everyone is there to learn and teachers know that and wont throw you into the water without teaching you how to swim. That being said, I don't know how it works at the better conservatories (NEC, MSM, Juliard etc) but i think its fair to assume that if you were accepted into a music program you will be able to succeed if you work at it.
#10
Well, I go to a conservatory, which really is no different than any other music program, at least Shenandoah's not, except for the fact that I have less core curriculum classes than everyone else I know. So I have to take one math, science, philosophy, etc, but only one, and the rest is all devoted to my major.

There's a lot of different personalities in music schools. You've got the people who go to music school because they're really not sure what they want to do, but they know they like music. They don't want the financial insecurity of being professional musicians, but they also don't wanna teach or whatever. These people usually don't make it all four years, and you probably won't see them in many classes, cause they usually don't go.

Then you've got the people who have been taking lessons since they were 6 and just missed getting into one of the big-name schools. These people are either awesomely talented and modest about it, or still bitter about the fact that they were rejected at Eastman and have a chip on their shoulder all four years. The nice ones will make you better musicians, the bitter ones will constantly try to create conflict and competition.

There are the people who never took lessons, were either self-taught or learned via public schools, and these guys are usually pretty mellow. There's a wide range of them, some of them really practice hard because they feel like they're inherently behind the people who have taken lessons before, and some don't practice at all, because they never needed to in high school. And there's everyone in between. The really annoying ones will continue to talk about high school marching band... all the time, or district band, or all-state chorus, or things that don't even freakin' matter anymore cause once you get your diploma all those accolades are USELESS, but I digress.

There are the hippies, who will tell you to play like the colors of hope, or to visualize a bunny hopping through the meadows, or not even to think about playing in time, just visualize each beat as a large, immovable, boulder. While their frequent interruptions are hilarious at rehearsals, don't listen to what they tell you, because if they had wanted somebody to "play like a bunny," they probably would have just gotten the bunny.

There's a lot of stoners, at least at Shenandoah. Some have a controllable habit that still allows them to interact with the world around them, and then some are blasted 24/7 and aren't worth talking to, cause they won't answer back.

There are probably more ways I could typecast my peers :p, but I won't. A lot of people don't fit into any of those categories, and some do multiple. Most of the people I've met have been pretty nice, and the ones who aren't are obvious about it, so you don't have to associate with them.

My classes for the most part were quite manageable. There were papers, and written homework assignments, and research projects, and all the stuff you'd expect from college level classes, so don't think you're missing out on that. The one thing I've noticed from the music school is that the class times usually aren't ridiculous-early, because most of us are up late practicing or rehearsing.

The environment can be whatever you want it to be. You definitely need to keep up with your work and your practicing, but you don't have to make it a competition. It helps to see it as a marathon, not a sprint. I don't need to outplay everybody in my studio tomorrow, but I definitely want to practice so that someday that might be a reality. Some people will try to come at you with all this psycho-neurotic competitive bulls**t, but its best just to ignore them, cause they're missing the point lol.

As for your classes, if you're really far ahead, most schools will give you the option to test out of the class, so you don't have to sit there and waste your time. That way you'll be in the class you belong in.

Hope that helps.
"I love music, it's not like math. In music, 2+2 can equal 5, if it's a pretty enough 5." -Samuel R. Hazo

"Alle menschen werden bruder- all men become brothers"
-Ludwig Van Beethoven, from his 9th Symphony.

-John
#13
Do any of you guys have experience with Musician's Institute? I'm thinking over whether to attend or not, as i'm pretty far away from California. I play guitar if that helps, their programs look pretty cool just dont know what to expect.
#14
Quote by jtfletch11
Anyone who is currently enrolled in a school or has been to one that could touch on this subject, it would be greatly appreciated.

So, here's where I stand currently: I've been playing music for about 6 years, have taken lessons for a year, and am comfortable with all basic aspects of theory. Last year I traveled to Boston to audition for Berklee College of Music (which I failed to get into, obviously). This spring I'm going to try to enter Columbia College (in Chicago).

Questions:

1. With all the different types of musicians at different skill levels, what are the classes like?

2. What is the learning environment like? Stressful? Easy-going? Fast/slow paced?

3. How does it compare to a "normal" college/university? Are there lots of papers, note-taking, and tests? Or is it more hands-on?

4. What tips/advice would you give me? What is the overall atmosphere like that I'm going to be entering? Are other students usually nice and laid back, or more competitive?


Any first-hand experiences that you would like to share would be greatly appreciated.


1) great. Its always good to be around other people that share your interest.

2) depends where you go, and on you as a person. Alot of it, is what you make of it / what you bring to it.

3) Well GIT compared to a university ( I went to both) = cheezy gimmick (GIT) VS the real deal (university)

- a university degree can help you get a job.


4) who knows? People are people. There are cool people as well as assholes everywhere. it's something to deal with at the time, not something to worry about now.

I will say that overall I found the university to have more serious musicians from a wider variety of backgrounds compared to GIT. The difference between the 2 in terms of what I learned was night and day. shallow & sensationalistic VS deep & meaningful.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 12, 2009,
#15
so MI was really that bad? i guess the big name graduates were just good cases then? which university did you go to guitarmunky?
#16
Quote by leadphoenix
so MI was really that bad? i guess the big name graduates were just good cases then? which university did you go to guitarmunky?



Well, that was my perspective on it. From my experience, it seemed like anyone that came out of there sounding good, were good to start with. I can't really think of any significant big name acts that went there, or anyone that had any kind of notable success due to MI. I mean Jennifer Batten played with MJ and Jeff Beck, but she's really not all much of a big name.

I graduated from WSU in detroit. And actually I went to a community college 1st, (right after GIT), and learned MUCH more than I did at GIT.

On a positive note. If your into crack, you can buy it on the corner right next to the GIT parking lot. (I'm being sarcastic, but it's actually true). Alot of other nasty **** around there to.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 12, 2009,