how to pick a music school?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by momma_horn, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. momma_horn

    momma_horn Pianissimo User

    May 8, 2010

    'Da Kid is planning on majoring in music in college in the all-too-soon future.

    I'm wondering if any of you can offer suggestions on what we should be looking for in a music school......

    I know this much (today, anyway! it could change tomorrow I suppose as such is the way of teenagers!)

    1. Marching band is high on the priority list.
    2. Jazz is not.
    3. She prefers "OLD" band music to "newer".
    4. it's obviously gotta be a school w/a great trumpet staff :)
    5. She wants to double major in music education and Performance. Her long term goals are to be a pit-player in big time theater and to have a teaching degree in her back pocket as a back up...but teaching is definetly not the end goal.
    SO...those of you went to do you do decide?

    Thank you , as always, for sharing your wisdom w/me.

    Momma <3
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I can't help you choose, just my experience. A major University, far enough away from home so that my parents couldn't just "pop in," but not too far away that they couldn't come to my concerts or that I couldn't get some home cooking. It was a liberal arts college, and gave all sorts of choices to learn not only a wide variety of things, but meet a wide variety of fellow students and share a wide variety of thoughts and philosophies.

    Fun courses to take: learning the history of art and architecture helped understand the style of period music. Literature helped understand the mindset of the times, etc.

    In music I had a great trumpet professor, a wonderfully tough team that taught music theory, and a music history professor that struck fear into us. One student described a typical test: "define the universe and give three examples."

    I didn't know much about the education department as a whole, but it did have former students placed all over the state.

    Did I graduate as a complete musician? No. I didn't even graduate as a complete person! I think of myself then as an incomplete jigsaw puzzle, with a huge number of pieces, but not too many missing.

    Good hunting!
  3. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    I don't know where you live. You will have to apply this to your situation.

    If it were my kid:
    I would make (I'll use him for this) him audition for a few schools.
    For a performance degree I would go to Juilliard and Eastman. Then for Education I would go to a couple of state schools like Ucon and West-con, (Ct.)

    Now you have two really good schools for music combined with two also good more affordable schools. The choice might be made for him with the audition. Find out what is required for the auditions and that might decide, just seeing what's needed to get in, positive or negative.

    These are just some random thoughts. I'm sure there are performers coming from the state schools and teachers coming from the top music schools.
  4. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2010
    Jazz Town, USA
    When it comes to music schools, look no further than the University of North Texas. Not only is this the largest music school in the USA, but it is the best. Let me repeat that...UNT is the best music school in the USA!!!
    The trumpet staff is out of this world, with pros from all genres. Students come from all over the world...Japan, Australia, Europe, Canada and of course, Texas!
    They have bands that are multiple grammy nominees. I am more familiar with the jazz side, but the legit school is every bit as good. Want a degree in Trumpet with a teaching certificate? Go to UNT.

    This school churns out pro level players year in and year out. The level of the musicianship in the students that graduate from here is nothing short of world class.

    A number of professional musicians after finishing their touring career, simply chose to attend UNT. A good example is Steve Wiest who was the lead trombone with Maynard Ferguson, and now directs the world famous 1 O'Clock Lab Band.
    Another example is Jay Saunders, former lead trumpet with Stan Kenton, now primary trumpet instructor and director of the award winning 2 O'Clock Lab Band.

    And while attending school here, you have a huge opportunity to make many contacts in the pro world that can (and will) help you down the road.

    If your daughter is serious about music, you owe it to her to investigate what UNT has to offer.

    Yes, I am biased, and for a good reason. UNT School of Music is the best, bar none. Period. End of statement.

    Why don't you ask me how I really feel?
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
  5. momma_horn

    momma_horn Pianissimo User

    May 8, 2010
    hey, you know...she'd love to go to Julliard. But she says she'd forever feel pressure to keep up with the did she word it....phenoms. She's not a phenom; she's just a really good, hard working, talented kid who loves her instrument. But she said she'd love to know if she could get in so she may just end up auditioning there.

    What do you guys think the possibilities of double majoring in both performance AND education are? Is it doable?
  6. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    I believe doing the double major in music education and performance is doable. However, if not then get your education degree and take as many performance electives as possible.
  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Before putting the cart in front of the horse you guys need to fully assess whether or not she's the caliber of musician who will make it into a conservatory music program. I'm not saying she can't, but ultimately no matter where she says she wants to go, it's not up to her.

    My 16 year old son is a fantastic electric guitar player - mostly progressive rock. The kid just shreds and is loaded with talent and as much as I'd like to see him go someplace really cool - say, Berklee - competition is pretty fierce at those kinds of schools and I'm not sure he's well rounded enough for it. Do I think he could make it into the music program at Towson, MD though? Yep - you bet, and Towson is a pretty solid school for music, although it's much stronger for music education than performance.

    Just be realistic. If money is no object, shoot the moon and try for any number of conservatories. If money is an option, (and especially if she likes to march) then a State University wouldn't be a terrible option. They tend to have strong enough music programs, good marching bands, and higher acceptance rates. :-)
    momma_horn likes this.
  8. ColinWhite

    ColinWhite Pianissimo User

    Oct 16, 2010
    East Lansing, MI
    Yeah, I have friends here at Michigan State who're double majors in education and performance. Education majors take more classes, performance majors are more dedicated to their particular instrument, and double majors have to do both, but yeah it's definitely possible, at MSU anyways
  9. ColinWhite

    ColinWhite Pianissimo User

    Oct 16, 2010
    East Lansing, MI
    I'd say the main thing is the teacher. Have her take a private lesson with each of the teachers for the schools she's interested in. That way, she can gauge who is a good teacher and who she doesn't like. Remember, her trumpet teacher will be the most important teacher she will ever have and she'll be with him/her for the whole 4 or 5 years. Also, if you end up having a lesson with them at the campus, you'll get to see the campus and specifically the music building.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  10. amzi

    amzi Forte User

    Feb 18, 2010
    Northern California
    The following is based on my very limited experience with teaching in the public school system.

    You should also be aware that you don't need a degree in education to teach on a secondary level in all states--all you need are the requirements for certification. It has been my experience that those requirements are certain "Education" classes and a state certification test. So, even if the school she chooses for music doesn't offer the education classes she may be able to pick them up at another school during summer and intersession classes (just clear it through her primary college).

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