#1
I took this from a topic in the pit.

I'm a sophomore in highschool, and even though it's a couple years off I'm thinking about college. Right now the idea of being a session musician interests me. What would one major in to be one, and how would one go about becoming one?
#2
There have been articles done about this. Go check them out. They will give you insight.
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#3
Quote by TheGreatLSD
There have been articles done about this. Go check them out. They will give you insight.

Ok, thanks.
#4
Try looking up Tom Hess on this site.. I think he did some things like this.
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I make love to cheesecake.

#5
I searched for him, but I can't find him. Where should I look, columns?
#6
Well, I'm a junior and I also want to be a session musician. I don't know what college you plan on going to, but my goal is Berklee. A performance major is the major you're looking for, but you can honestly take quite a number of majors and still be perfectly qualified for the job. Most places won't look at your major as much as they will your professionalism, musical talent, and ability to get along with everyone. Basically, you need to have a portfolio that shows your talent well, you need to have a personality that will mesh with everyone, you need to be extremely reliable and versatile, and you need some kind of background in music, such as a degree from Berklee.

Once you got all that down, you're a prime candidate.
#8
Quote by into the moat
G.I.T is another option


Lots of schools have music majors and minors. It just depends on what you're looking for. I think berklee is undisputedly the best, but it's also ridiculously expensive. On the other hand, IMO, schools like GIT aren't worth the money you're putting in. As opposed to that, I'd go somewhere like UT at Austin (I live in Texas), and get my degree there, Majoring in some kind of business/accounting degree, and minoring in music. That way you're still aptly qualified to be a session musician, but you also have other skills that can get you around. Business/accounting is always a useful degree for anyone... When you honestly think about it, being a session musician isn't as great as it was 20 years ago. It's alot harder to find work, and you're getting paid less for it. Money shouldn't be the factor, but you gotta be able to get enough work to pay your rent. Berklee gives you a big pool of people in the industry to work with, and a much more reputable degree. GIT is aptly qualified, but you're gonna have a hell of a time afterwards.
#9
There are lots of qualified music schools other than Berklee, make no mistake. It is difficult to get into and your life will not be over if you don't. I've heard from many people that minoring in music is not an easy task, its basically like two majors and majoring in music is very time demanding, so know what you are getting into.
#10
Quote by kmbuchamushroom
There are lots of qualified music schools other than Berklee, make no mistake. It is difficult to get into and your life will not be over if you don't. I've heard from many people that minoring in music is not an easy task, its basically like two majors and majoring in music is very time demanding, so know what you are getting into.


I specifically stated that I thought GIT was qualified, and I believe the same about many other schools. But unfortunately in this age of inequality, being qualified isn't enough. Reputation and ranking are what employers care about. I'm not saying you're going to get any less of an education at another school, but with berklee you also get the connections and reputations, much like if you went to Juliard or Yale. The problem is how expensive berklee is...

And minoring in music is extremely demanding because it's a known fact that minoring in music qualifies you just as much for most positions as majoring in it is. So yes, you will be working like crazy to get your minor in music, but it's for a reason.

As far as getting into it, that's why I'd say minoring in music is a better alternative than going to a school like GIT. Without the name, you really need some kind of alternative skills to help you pay your rent while you're trying to find work. It's not that you're not as good as someone leaving berklee, it's that employers are prejudiced and we all know it. And in an industry as difficult as this, not having some kind of edge such as a berklee degree is going to make it very difficult, and you're going to need some kind of steady paycheck.

EDIT: I think I misunderstood what you meant by "Getting into". If you're talking about getting into berklee, then you're seriously mistaken. Berklee has about a 75% acceptance rate, with an average of a 2.5 GPA. Getting in is easy. Paying for it isn't.
#11
I'd think as long as you can cover most all music styles no self-respecting musician is going to judge you on your degree. If you have the ability, the personality, and the creativity, your name will be spoken with respect and the jobs will flow after people see your talent. Of course the college degree may help, but many school that are sought after are WAAAYYY overpriced. I'm personally looking into BIMM, just because one of my favorite guitarists teaches/taught there and all the other instructors are amazingly good. I'm not too sure on how steep the price is though.
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#12
Quote by NevermorePsalm
I'd think as long as you can cover most all music styles no self-respecting musician is going to judge you on your degree. If you have the ability, the personality, and the creativity, your name will be spoken with respect and the jobs will flow after people see your talent. Of course the college degree may help, but many school that are sought after are WAAAYYY overpriced. I'm personally looking into BIMM, just because one of my favorite guitarists teaches/taught there and all the other instructors are amazingly good. I'm not too sure on how steep the price is though.


If only it were self-respecting musicians and not corporate idiots that were choosing who was playing, then you'd be dead on. Unfortunately, it's people concerned with money, not music, that are in charge of these things. Brighton is a really good school, as are many. Ability, personality, and creativity are great, but you're gonna have a hell of a chance showing it without a degree to get yourself in the front door. Sure it's possible, but it's not likely enough to chance IMO. Yes they're overpriced, but essentially it's insurance on being able to get a job that you're paying from the start. It's not entirely necessary, it's just a good idea.
#13
Montclair State University (new jersey) has a pretty good music program, I have a few friends there majoring in music and they like it.
#14
Quote by josephde
If only it were self-respecting musicians and not corporate idiots that were choosing who was playing, then you'd be dead on. Unfortunately, it's people concerned with money, not music, that are in charge of these things. Brighton is a really good school, as are many. Ability, personality, and creativity are great, but you're gonna have a hell of a chance showing it without a degree to get yourself in the front door. Sure it's possible, but it's not likely enough to chance IMO. Yes they're overpriced, but essentially it's insurance on being able to get a job that you're paying from the start. It's not entirely necessary, it's just a good idea.

True, I believe I should've gone from a perspective other than my own. I was thinking of sessions with the bands/artists that have control over their musical identity. Not any of the major label bull****. But other people like that, and I have to agree, to session for those artists, you'll want the degree.
Quote by Yespleasevicar
NevermorePsalm thank you for showing me how clever and witty one person can be in just a few sentances. My God i wanna be like u so much! In fact we all do. Well done

Steven Wilson and Mikael Akerfeldt own my soul.
#15
It's all good man Doing session work is a tough life, but it's pretty much the only thing I can imagine myself doing. Also, anyone looking at going to Berklee, the one thing my friends that have gone there keep saying is to learn jazz. I quote "They're gonna pick you up, turn you upside down, and shake about 80% musical knowledge you have out. Then they're going to incinerate it, and replace it with jazz. Once you got that down, then you get to work on the other styles." So yeah, I've been working alot on that lol