#1
Not sure if this is the right forum, but this was the closest to actually kind of fitting a little bit of the question, except for The Pit, which is funny, but unhelpful generally, so I figured this'd be the better option.

Anyway, lately I've been looking into colleges. I've been planning to just minor in music and get a major in a more reliable field, but my counselor, to my surprise, terror, and delight, who's generally the one who my understanding from friends encourages study of academic fields and helps with this kind of stuff, suggested looking into Berklee.

I'm aware success with music is very unlikely, which is why I'm hesitant about adding Berklee to the colleges I want to take a look at. At the same time though, there's few if any things I enjoy more than music, so if getting a degree in the arts isn't suicide for my career, I'll more than happily do it.

So, basically, anyone who either A. Graduated from somewhere like Berklee or Peabody and has had good success outside of music or B. Who's job revolves around scouting and/or interviewing potential employees for jobs(Nothing huge, I know my limits, but at the same time, not the kind of thing I can get now as a kid getting a summerjob), how useful is a music degree in non-musical fields?(Note that "music degree" may well include Music Business/Management, since that's the only one they offer I can see being widely useful, and I was considering a business major before, not just an instrument-oriented degree.)

As always, greatly appreciated to anyone who reads through my ramblings and bothers to reply.
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#2
There are actually more jobs in music then you would think. Just because you want to do music doesn't mean you have to become Eric Clapton. If music is something that you want to do consider going into education. Or yes into business would be a good choice. However, from the circles, I am in Berklee has more programs with composition, song writing, and performance.
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#3
A degree in music is looked upon favourably when looking into applying to law school, and I think I even heard med school. Reason being that it shows a commitment to something which requires concentration, discipline, and requires a development of the same parts of the brain that also govern spatial intelligence, problem solving, and analytical/logical reasoning.

This is a response I gave in another thread about teaching....


Quote by axemanchris
EEEK!

For the love of God, and for the sake of the sanity of your family, your friends, your students, me, and even yourself, if you do not feel "called" to teach..... DON'T DO IT!!

I am a teacher. I love my job. I felt "called" to do this, and I consider myself lucky.

I have an honours degree in music (education), a Bachelor of Education, and my Honours Specialist in Music. I am certified to teach basically all subjects from grades 4-10, and music from grades 4-12. So, yes, I am a real teacher. I have taught some high school music, some elementary and middle-school music, but have chosen to teach elementary classroom. (grade 5). As I say, I love it.

I enjoyed high school music. I just didn't land there, and I expect I would be happy there if that's where I did land. I hated teaching elementary/middle-school music, because it really sucks feeling like the only person in the room who cares.

However, it is NOT an easy path. Yes, it is a secure one, and one that relies much more on hard work and skill than it does luck, but it is not easy. If you are in it as a fall-back, or for the money, or for the holidays, or anything else other than a genuine feeling of "this is what I should be doing," you will fail. It will eat you alive and you will be miserable.

It is a hugely demanding job. With huge government pressure to increase standardized test scores, dwindling budgets, and all sorts of other blah, blah, blah, it can really wear on you - unless you are sure it is something you really want to do.

Money is good, but it doesn't start off that great. Given that your first years are the hardest (you have to find your rhythm, if you will), and you are making not any more money than your friends who work on a no-name assembly line, where you take home hours of work and they don't, where you are accountable to a whole host of interested parties and they mostly don't have to give a crap about anything so long as they show up and insert widget A into widget B, it can be disheartening.

Holidays are good, but I know people who work in media or who work on assembly lines or whatever who still get 8-10 weeks holidays. Difference is, they get to choose when they take theirs and I don't. People forget that.

You want a *very* real perspective on all that free time you will have to do your own music in the evenings and in the summer time, while you "just work during the day to support doing your own thing" for the rest of the time? Watch Mr. Holland's Opus. VERY real. Life happens, and teaching becomes a HUGE part of your life, for the person who cares enough about it to do a good job. If you haven't seen it, Mr. Holland has a family and teaches and tries to work on this symphony that he wants to finish. He finally finishes it around the time he retires.

Yeah, I play in a band and I have a small number of private students and spend a bit of time recording other bands, so I'm pretty involved musically, but I rehearse once a week, gig about once a month, and have written and recorded three songs in the last four years.

Don't count on having a lot of free time - especially once you find yourself with a family. One of the hazards of having two university degrees and a secure professional career is that girls tend to find you more attractive than the person who sleeps till noon, farts around much of the rest of the day, and hammers out a few tunes at the pub on Friday night. Families often come as part of the package.

And right now (as it was when I finished teachers' college) there are no jobs. At least not around here. People with teaching degrees are working at Wal Mart or going up into the Arctic Circle to teach on a native reserve, or teaching English in Japan or whatever. They're generally not walking into full-time jobs. Mind you, if you feel called to do it, you will tough it out and eventually, you will make it happen.

If you don't love teaching, it will eat you alive. You'll be happier at a desk somewhere selling insurance policies over the phone. The people who get into it for the wrong reasons often don't last long. Those that do are just eternally miserable.

It is a ridiculously demanding job. Demanding enough that if you don't *really* want to do it... you're screwed. Most days, I don't have time to eat lunch. That's the truth. Sit down at my desk?! Yeah, right. Dreamland!! The people who have no idea and look at it only for the $$ and holidays are often in for an awful surprise. Thirteen years in, I still put in roughly a 50 hour work week.

"Hey, where's my 15 minute morning break?"

"You're kidding, right?"

"Uh.... oh.... okay, then."

To become a college/university music professor, it is, in a lot of ways, an equally tough road. You should expect to get at LEAST your masters, but most likely, your doctorate in music. Then there is the aspect of networking yourself (sounds like the music industry!) such that you are positioned to be selected for one of the VERY few jobs that ever actually even comes up. Remember, with tightening economies, even at universities, the first things to get cut are often arts programs! So, some of the jobs that exist today might not exist when you are ready to be in line. Oh, and you will usually start part-time, filling in the holes that nobody else wants, until you work your way up.


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.
#4
I used to work as a recruiter for a company that hired musicians for cruise ship work. When we got a potential musician who graduated from Berklee, we knew that there was a 90% chance he'd pass the audition.
The nice thing about Berklee is that when you get out of there, you can handle pretty much any gig. Now, will a degree make you more likely to be a rock star. No, not at all (though I do know a graduate who plays drums for a prominent Canadian rock star). But you will graduate with a) some pretty decent contacts, if you're a sociable person and b) the skills necessary to be a working musician. Sessions, lounge gigs, big band gigs, and as Chris mentioned, teaching. Now, you have to figure out if that's what you want to do.
Also, their audition process is pretty rigorous. You'll be expected to have decent reading skills heading in, which most guitarists might not realize.
#5
Thanks for the replies guys, I really appreciate it(Especially Chris; Informative wall-of-text!). And Koslack, that being the case, if you know how, do you have any suggestions to begin learning to read music?
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#7
Quote by koslack
Do it every day. Get yourself a good teacher, because from my understanding, the audition also consists of some jazz improv and comping, which can be pretty tough to teach yourself.


I've actually been taught by a former Jazz session musician all six years I've been playing, so I think I have the latter two covered. Part of why I actually have the nerve to consider going to Berklee in a serious manner.

The main reason I've never actually managed to learn how to read music from him was because I started when I was ten, and the last thing a ten-year old wants to do is try to learn something, so I'd look up whatever he told me to learn, figure it out by ear(That's one of my biggest strengths as a musician I've found; I have very good ears), then do it by memory instead of reading. In retrospect though, like a lot of stuff you do when younger, that probably wasn't too wise. Suppose next week when I see him again though I'll ask if he can help me learn to read it.

Just as well, how much work should I put into the song for the audition? I was planning to write some sort of weird Jazz-Fusiony thing(I figure if I spend the two years between now and when I'm 18 writing, refining and practicing it all incessantly, I'll be able to get something comparable to Allan Holdsworth on a bad day. Plus the fact I intend to run over every manner of scalar, modal and chordal theory they offer online as well as whatever I can get from the nearby Peabody Conservatory as to sure myself up before trying to get into somewhere that some of the best musicians alive learned at, so by then I should hopefully be much moreso up to par with what they're looking for in a guitarist), would that work, or should I do a cover of something instead?
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Last edited by necrosis1193 at Jul 29, 2010,
#8
I've had similar considerations for quite some time to be honest. Though, I've wanted to be a school teacher for quite some time, and my dilemma is whether I should major in music education. I suppose, the biggest issue for me has been getting past the idea that music is a hobby and 'never a career'. It becomes hard to disassociate yourself with those guys who "want to be rockstars"; but if you put in the research time, the rehersal time, and have plans as to exactly what you want to get out of studying music at a high level, it becomes a completely different ballpark. This is how I've started to think about it at least, and I'm really changing my perspective on the idea.

I wish you luck with your decisions man. Hope you keep giving it a lot of serious thought. It'll become clearer no doubt.
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#9
Thanks, mate, and best of luck to you as well.

Also, something recently came to mind; Berklee is about eight hours away up in Boston. Meanwhile, the Peabody Conservatory, which is also fairly prestigious, is about a half hour away. How much better-served do you guys think I would be at Berklee over Peabody? Naturally I plan to apply to both, but I wanted to hear what you guys thought as well.
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#10
I was accepted into Peabody last year when I auditioned for their jazz department on guitar. I had some jazz chops and good reading skills which I think helped me a lot because they had me sight read a pretty difficult chart which I played pretty well at the audition. If you're interested in jazz, Peabody does have a good jazz program with a great faculty. The reason I didn't go there was because it's very expensive and I felt like jazz takes a back seat to classical at Peabody, but when I talked to students they said it wasn't an issue.

To get accepted into Peabody with a classical audition is very difficult considering that some of the best young classical musicians apply there so if you don't have years of experience with that then it's a very long shot. The jazz guitar studio is competitive as well. When I auditioned there was probably 20 guitar players trying out for 2 or 3 spots in the studio. You need to be a fairly confident jazz player, but if you're up the challenge, you should get some tunes ready for an audition.
12 fret fury
#11
Comparing Berklee and Peabody is like comparing a martini and an eggwhite smoothie. There similar in that their both schools of music, but different in almost any other way. One is a small, classically-based (though they do have a jazz program) conservatory in a university and the other is a HUGE (by music school standards) school for training jazz and contemporary musicians. There both great, Berklee is probably easier to get into (just numbers, several hundred studio spaces instead of 2 or 3) but it is by no means inferior (in fact for what you want, its probably better, though peabody is definatly more prestigious in some circles).
#12
Peabody's mainly a classical center? Good to know that then, makes things a bit easier to decide. Suppose that's another point for Berklee then.

Also, how loud of an amp would I want max? I was looking into a bunch of modeling amps like Roland Cubes and Vypyrs, but I want to know if there's a wattage cap I should try to use?
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#13
Maybe 25 years ago... I work at a major university (with the police department) and there's often various kinds of entertainment on campus. One night I saw that one of the music-school sponsored jazz combos was going to be playing, so I decided to listen in.

The leader, a horn player, proudly pointed out that their new guitar player had just graduated from Berklee.
They started playing, and the guitar guy dutifully played some sort of little arpeggio for every chord change.
Now, they were all on the money as far as being correct for the chord, but about as musical as someone playing exercises to warm up with. His "solo" was the same thing......

The late Barney Kessell said of such folks once... "They are having some sort of a musical experience, but it's not a jazz experience."
Hopefully, things have improved since.
#14
Yes, theres definitely people like that at every music school in the country. Berklee used to have some terrible students and graduates before they began auditioning. They also graduated (or trained, at least) people like Gary Burton, George Garzone, John Mayer, Steve Vai, John Scofield and tons of others. Part of going to school for music (or just studying music, or anything) is mastering everything you learn in class, but making sure you sound like more then the some of your parts. As far as amps (for your audition/studies i presume?) theres no limit on wattage. Think of something that will get you a good clean tone first, and then worry about distortion (a mesa boogie express would be perfect if you can afford it, otherwise a small fender tube amp will be fine) also consider size and your car and dorm situation; don't get a marshall stack or roland jazz chorus and be suprised when your roomate hates you for taking up too much space and you can't get it anywhere for gigs/rehersals . For your audition and classes, I'd be suprised if your school didn't provide an amp (I know for a fact berklee does).