My son is a pretty serious bass player. He can also play several other instruments, but bass is his main instrument and what he wants to study after HS. He is in high school and it doesn't look like he has the grades or even wants to go to a "normal" college. He is interested in pursuing a music education. One place that we might consider is MI. We have done plenty of online research and have read all the good and bad. Some of the bad makes me worry as his father and the guy footing the bill! We are also going to look at some other programs, like Berklee and colleges with music majors. But, this is the first one we want to learn more about.

If you went to MI, please tell me your thoughts about it - the good and the bad.

He is a sophmore now and I have him in a very good music studio, taking bass and piano. His teachers all have college degrees in music, so they are preparing him to be ready for whatever program he enters (ear training, theory, keyboards, composition, etc).
I don't go to MI, but I attended an accredited music school for my bachelor's, and currently master's degrees. My advice is not school-specific, but pertains to any worthwhile program.

He'll need to crack down on his school work to get in and be successful. Nobody gets by in music school just because they are proficient in an instrument. There is plenty of traditional work to do, like daily assignments for theory, and research papers to write for music history courses. If he can't change and commit to being a well-rounded academic, you might as well throw that money straight in the bin.

As he still has plenty of time to get his act together, I would make it clear to him that he needs to improve in all aspects of his education if he wants to seriously pursue music. If he doesn't, then he never wanted it bad enough.

Do not cheat him out of a worthwhile education by not properly motivating him; do not let him cheat you out of tens of thousands of dollars because he didn't think he could hack it doing anything else.

Best of luck on a difficult task
Quote by shreddymcshred
[lots of stuff]

I can vouch for this.

Just because you choose to go to a school where you can major in your number one hobby, does not mean it will be a 4-year walk in the park. There will be hard times, and there will be lots of studying 'uninteresting' stuff as well. By this I mean very basic things like music history or business-related stuff; They may seem interesting enough when you read about them in the paper, but when you're forced to sit in three-hour lectures about them and have to write big essays or do field research.... It quickly becomes 'schoolwork', and I've seen a lot of classmates drop out because of this exact reason.

Also try to get the point clear to him that majoring in your hobby, can very well end up in you starting to resent that same hobby (because it has now turned into a chore) if he's not motivated enough to work hard an always challenge himself and allows being challenged by teachers or fellow students.
A typical reaction I myself had and have heard many a times from school-mates:
High school: 'I've done my maths homework, now I can play bass for two hours';
Musical major: 'I've been playing bass for three hours today, can I please do something else now?'

In short, make him understand that 'majoring in bass' will not turn into 'sitting on my ass playing bass all day making enough money to pay the bills' - It will most likely mean that, yes, he can 'study' bass in college, but he'll also have to take up other things like teaching, studio-engineering or business, to accommodate for being able to make his hobby into a living. (For example, you may have to take up teaching to be able to afford being able to sit on your ass playing bass al day).

(Ok, that really wasn't 'in short', but it needs to be said)

Now, I would ask him what he has come to expect of a music major, and then tell him to research how many people can actually do what he's expecting to do for a living; If you guide him in this research (As I think you're doing, but you can never be sure ), I'm sure you'll be able to find him a school that works for him!

Last edited by Y00p at Jan 23, 2012,
Thanks for the replies guys. Great information.

Like any 16 year old, he has dreams of "making it." But, he at least has a music studio where he takes his lessons, where ALL of the teachers have music diplomas. They have told him much of what you both have said. He has said that he would like to teach if he gets a music diploma.

I would even be happy if he spends a year somewhere like MI or Berklee and then from that experience decides to go to "normal" college.
Quote by ColoradoMac

Like any 16 year old, he has dreams of "making it." But, he at least has a music studio where he takes his lessons, where ALL of the teachers have music diplomas. They have told him much of what you both have said. He has said that he would like to teach if he gets a music diploma..

Many "rock stars" never went to music college, if that's what he really wants to do he's gonna have to work his ass off for little to no money and commit to it fully.
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Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
A degree from MI or Berklee will keep you employed in the music industry but he seriously shouldn't expect to be the next Carol Kaye just because he has an MI degree.