Advice on college trumpet scholarship/admission process?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by skf, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. skf

    skf New Friend

    12
    1
    Oct 5, 2008
    Son is in 11th grade. Did 9th and 10th in the US, finishing high school in boarding school abroad. Truly excellent trumpeter, both jazz and classical. Was 1st chair Regionals in 9th grade, also made All-State that year, but didn't participate so don't know what chair, because his high school band was touring in Europe during All-State. Has continued to play while studying abroad. While in the US, very good grades in all honors courses and high standardized test scores. Uneven grades abroad due to language barrier, culture shock, and frank adolescent laziness. Can get good recommendations from his two well-known high school jazz band teachers.

    He could double major in performance music and possibly a science, but I doubt he'll wind up a professional musician.

    He can fly back to the US for a couple of weeks each time, next late September and early December, to audition. We live in CT, so of course UConn is on his list.

    Money is tight. We're looking for the best deal he can get, at an academic school with a lot of majors, since he's not sure yet what he wants to study. We're hoping that a decent university will want him for their band, and offer him a scholarship.

    How do we start? When do auditions take place? Any advice is welcome.
     
  2. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    920
    704
    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi skf,
    You asked:
    "He could double major in performance music and possibly a science, but I doubt he'll wind up a professional musician."
    ---
    YES!! We spit out thousands of performance majors every year and there are not that many steady playing jobs out there. He could double major in Performance & music education K-12 so he can teach in the public school system.
    If he has strengths in science and or math, there's bio or engineering. Unfortunately (and you know it true) getting a job once you graduate has more to do with who you know than what you know. Your kid could be the best trumpet player ever but without connections, well...
    However, if he graduates in (for example) engineering, he will be recuited by Dow, UCAR, Westinghouse, Monsanto, ect. Companies usually show up (Job Fair) on campus near the end of the senior year before graduation. With music, the student will have to find a job. With engineering or chemisty often the job will come find the student.
    Just so you know. Getting an engineering degree is not easy and not for the lazy.
    Good luck!
    Dr.Mark
     
  3. Branson

    Branson Piano User

    486
    141
    Jan 16, 2011
  4. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    3,444
    1,154
    Aug 15, 2009
    Alabama
    You are getting at a topic that most of us have some remorse when we respond honestly. It is very difficult to make a living as a performance major these days. Whether we are talking recording studio, Broadway, cruise ships, or live touring band- the demand is very very low- we are talking almost nonexistent. It really is a shame that there is not a way for individuals to make a living in music. By far, many end up in music education that lets you play on the side- band director, choir director etc. And even those positions are getting hard to come by. And, being in education myself, I need to add that not everyone is cut out to teach.

    Obviously, a few examples don't make it a law, but these are some real life situations I have noted in my own experience. One of my staff members son's was 1st chair at a leading large university, lead in their top notch Jazz band, and scream trumpet with one of the best drum and bugle corps. Upon graduation he ended up working at a music store for one year - minimum wage- and finally got a High school teaching job. Our community Jazz band (volunteer- no pay) has a fabulous sax player who played with top west coast bands 20 years ago, did recording studio work, and spent time with the Glenn Miller band. Nothing today (he pays us for our band shirt). Our former band director ($500 a year pay for the job of director ) is now driving the boat at Dizneyland. We were told he was returning next month for a visit and would conduct a concert with a number of charts written by a guy with the same name. I didn't realize it until last rehearsal - but he is the composer- has written/published music and arrangements played all over the country. To put food on the table he drives the Dizneyland ride boat. The most successful story I know is the son of the head HS director with whom I worked 30 years ago. His son was a fabulous trumpet player - now the band director for Auburn University. Talked with him last month and said though he is surrounded with music he has no time to play (perform himself).

    Guess the point of all this is be sure he double majors in something that will put food on the table. While it is not impossible to make a living from performance, it is highly unlikely. Sort of like odds of getting hit by lightning or winning the lottery. It does happen to some, but chances are that it will be you are slim.

    All that said, there is a great experience from being in the band in college. My own son is a freshman (excellent musician) and is currently going to a very good university but it doesn't have a band. We are letting him transfer to Auburn next year (going to cost us over twice the price because he can't live at home) just for the band experience. His major is accounting.
     
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    18,123
    9,291
    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    May I suggest the Indiana University. Great music school and science and technology programs. My sax player in our quintet graduated with both a music and chemistry degree (from North Texas State) and sold his partial ownership in the chemical firm he started up then sold to Violia. His share of the sale was $26 Million. He can buy a lot of saxes for $26 Million, and is well on his way as he bought Frank Foster's Tenor.
     
  6. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    920
    704
    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi SteveRicks,
    You stated:
    "You are getting at a topic that most of us have some remorse when we respond honestly. It is very difficult to make a living as a performance major these days. Whether we are talking recording studio, Broadway, cruise ships, or live touring band- the demand is very very low- we are talking almost nonexistent.
    ---
    Very true!! There's a very good reason for this. Companies are using prerecorded music. It increases their bottom line by eliminating the need for live musicians. Cost and liability goes way down.
    ---
    It really is a shame that there is not a way for individuals to make a living in music. By far, many end up in music education that lets you play on the side- band director, choir director etc. And even those positions are getting hard to come by. And, being in education myself, I need to add that not everyone is cut out to teach.
    ---
    How true. Teaching isn't for everyone and often choir, and music classes are treated as dumping grounds for problem students. Also, the band director is sometimes required to travel from school to school and if that ain't enough, overall funding for the arts in education is down. If the child wants to go into music, that's great! But if I'm footing the bill for the child's education, you'd better believe that my financing would be contingent on them double majoring. Higher education is a business and they are happy to take your money and more than happy to show you how to fill out Federal Student Loans (beware of FSL!!)
    Dr.Mark
     
  7. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    3,444
    1,154
    Aug 15, 2009
    Alabama
    Amen to Dr. Mark.

    On another line- I probably caused the topic to stray from the OP question.

    I know auditions for Auburn are this month. My kid is trying out. We understand there the procedure is 1) apply to university (I.e. Send your application fee, pay to have scores sent etc. and get accepted at the university). Then for band 2) try out and see if you can qualify to attend band camp (many don't). Then 3) go to two weeks of band camp. At the end they will then decide if you qualify or not. Last year Auburn cut 165 students at the end of band camp. That tells me it is highly competitive. They also told me with so many students trying to get in and not making it, there is little incentive on the school's part to offer scholarships. This is just one of the big universities with a good music program. Sure it will vary school to school.
     
  8. SAS

    SAS Pianissimo User

    154
    57
    Jan 7, 2015
    I agree with SteveRicks. This is why I didn't go to college for trumpet back in the late 80's, and went on a different path. I saw no future in it. Even if he decides to go to college in music, he should have a back up major that puts money in the checking account with a career that is in demand and pays well. Don't let him give up... but be realistic about it.

    Also, I just read that Stanford U is paying full tuition and board for freshman students (all the way through) with parents who make under $125k a year. They get around 50,000 applications a year and take like 14,000 students, and have a music program. I don't know if you could take advantage of that or not, just mentioning it.
     

Share This Page