getting a masters

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Tarter_trpt8, Jun 11, 2005.

  1. Tarter_trpt8

    Tarter_trpt8 Pianissimo User

    Jan 17, 2005
    St. Paul, MN
    Quick question that you can answer any way you like from any perspective but, do you think getting a Master's in performance is a necessity for a perfroming trumpet player?? Is getting a master's at any form a necessity for a musician who wants to play??


  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    Hi, Jeremy,

    No, a master is not necessary for a performing career. Neither is a bachelors nor a diploma. However, these things become a great part of the educational process and the longer you're in the system the more you get to learn about the intellectual and theoretical side of a fantastic art form.

    Talent takes you so far and you need to know what this art is about insofar as the composers you will play. A masters may give you an opportunity to study with another great teacher in a structured setting or play in an ensemble of a quality that would really do you some good. It may give you the opportunity to travel to a foreign country and work what you already know in a unique setting. Nobody likes a stupid musician. Nobody likes an intellectual who talks a good act but can't play a musical phrase to save his life. Balance is important and is up to the individual.

    I got where I am with a bachelor's and could have done it with a diploma. I have some friends with whom I've had fascinating musical history discussions that have shed great light about a composer and helped me appreciate him better. That makes me play with a little different feeling than I might have without that knowledge.

    Short answer? I think not.

  3. Umyoguy

    Umyoguy New Friend

    Feb 1, 2005
    While technically unnecessary, school IMO is desireable, so long as you don't hit the jackpot early and leave school for some sort of employment that can teach you much, much more than school ever will.

    I, for one, didn't learn how to teach myself until my first or second year of my masters. I still have a lot to learn and still see my undergrad teacher from time to time, but I feel much more confident that I won't "get off the rails" when left to my own devices. I'm not sure that would have happend if I hadn't had an extra two years to incubate, as it were.

    That being said, you'd have to hold a gun to my head to consider going back for a DMA :D


  4. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    School's great and all but don't be a "pooh head" :x like me and do the 5 yr plan in 7 yrs, lol. "But a lot of people are in school for 7 yrs." "Yeah, they're called DOCTORS!!" Ha. :noob:
  5. Calliope

    Calliope New Friend

    Jun 17, 2005
    Actually, you'd be lucky to get a doctorate in 7 years. That takes at least 8-9, assuming there are no hangups along the way.
  6. trumpet blower88

    trumpet blower88 Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 15, 2005
    Flagstaff, AZ
    What movie is that line from? I think it was an old Chris Farley movie, but I can't remember... Anyways, if its the movie I'm thinking of with the car dealership and what not, and "fat guy in a litle boat"... Hahaha, that was a great movie. Anyone know what I'm talking about and know what movie that was?

    Anyways, I was thinking of double majoring in Music Education and Performance, but the more I read about Performance degrees, they seem pretty useless, like it's just an easier way to get an audition. But someone with enough talent should be able to get and make any audition they want, the degree just makes them look better...
  7. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    Most people who persue Performance degrees are doing so for the extra recitals, and more private lesson time (Generally, the performance majors are given more lesson time and made to perform more in colleges). The main reason players do this is to get more performing time, to get ready for their masters. A lot of Performance majors work towards a great Graduate school scholarship, or a professional gig somewhere.

    A lot of people (*cough* The Music Ed. majors *cough*) look at the performance degree as a piece of paper. And it is, if you expect to teach with it. The performance degree is aimed for competitive musicians who want to enter into the competitive musical field.

    Van (Who is a Music Ed Major, but is considering a Performance double major).
  8. trumpjosh

    trumpjosh Pianissimo User

    Dec 13, 2003
    Huh. I was a trumpet professor at a university with a M.M. in performance. Every degree is a piece of paper. It's what else you bring to the table that counts.

    - Josh

    P.S. - I'm working on my DMA "piece of paper", to be done in December. I expect to have a pretty good shot at teaching with it if I want to.
  9. trumpjosh

    trumpjosh Pianissimo User

    Dec 13, 2003
    One more thing: This "get an ed degree if you want a job" argument is an old one and is not really always the best way to think about things. For me, I knew I never wanted to be a band director or teach in the public schools. There's nothing wrong with a job like that, but I knew it wasn't for me. Everyone tried to convince me to get an ed degree or double major so I'd "have a job" when I got done with my bachelors. Well, I wanted to play. Would it have been right to get an ed degree and take a band director position when it's not what I wanted to do? Nope. I certainly wasn't ready for an orchestral job straight out of my B.M. degree, so I went after a masters. It was the right decision.

    For me, the performance degree path has worked out pretty well so far. I am back in school now for my DMA (after teaching college for six years), so sometimes I wonder about my decisions (mostly due to $$$... generally a short term problem), but I've always believed it comes down to this: pursue the career path you believe will give you the most joy, not the most safety. If I can be comfortable financially playing my horn and/or teaching trumpet at the college level, I will be happy. Pragmatism is great when you're buying a car, but a less so when making career decisions. If you don't love what you're doing, you'll be miserable 40+ hours a week. No thanks...

    Sorry for the rant.

    - Josh
  10. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    Plain and simple:

    Ed degrees are for those wishing to teach and are more subjective to generalities and pyscolisis of music, children, socioeconomics, etc.

    Performance degreesare for those wishing to lead a gigging life. They are more detailed about a particular pedagogy and go WAY more in depth of theory, styles, etc.

    I'm tryin' to get an undergrad in ed and then maybe a Master's/Doc's in either higher ed or performance. Prolly ed cause I suck at my axe.

    No, you don't need a Performance degree to audition. Does it help? Depends on the people you are playin' for I guess... I don't think a piece of paper nessecarily makes you better than someone else. Just my 2 cents.

Share This Page