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When I read these threads I always see posts where people just put out a blanket statement to major in music education. Like it's the obvious choice. It kind of bothers me because I get the impression that when someone wants to go into performance there are all these questions and insights about why or why not to follow that path but suggesting that someone goes for music education gets no questions or thoughtful insights. Being a teacher is not a fall back position, it should be a passion and there is as much talent involved as performing in my opinion. When I see a great teacher connecting with their students and lifting them up to achieve and strive I think it is amazing. I think we need to stop suggesting that people that want to play should teach because it is the safe route. I've met a ton of teachers who took the safe path of teaching when their true passion was performing and a bunch of them sucked as teachers. One guy that taught me was a bit of an a** to be honest. Teach if it is a passion but if it isn't please go work at Starbuck's or something and do your gigs at night.........
 

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What Nefertiti said. You don't want to have a teacher who doesn't want to be teaching, and is pissed off that he is not playing. (Unless you are trying to discourage future musicians.) If you have an interest in teaching, then yes, it is more practical while still being in the music field. But don't do it if you don't want to. Life is too short to do something for a living that you don't like.
 

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What Steve said really hit home for me ... I started in Music Ed and when i got to my 3rd year of school Had to start doing observations and more Ed stuff which I really began to dislike it ... I had been many many years as a performing musician and to see what was going on out there in education really made me think this was not what I wanted to do ..I did not have the passion to put up with an orchestra of out of tune kids, or middle school kids throwing spit balls .. so i went with a major in Theory and Comp ... graduated with my Master's from a highly accredited school with a 3.75 and was hoping to land a college theory gig somewhere ... despite hundreds of applications to colleges, it never happened ...the old "who you know ' syndrome .. therefore, my working career started off first in my Uncle's construction company, made my way up to project manager for a small firm and spent 20 years of my life making damn good money in Construction management with one of the top companies in the USA .... the president of the company didn't care what my education was, my previous track record spoke for me and , as he stated it "I learned how to learn"

Only now do I realize that perhaps, if I had approached Music Education in the way my local school district, and others around me approach it, it could have been a much more rewarding career for me ... Both of the top 2 horn players in my area are currently teachers who really care for their students and who can really blow their a$$es off!! and neither went to berklee ...
 

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Agreed with Steve as well. However, I have a performance degree and have NEVER been state certified to teach anywhere I've lived, but I've been teaching at music stores, public and private schools for 26 yrs. now. You do NOT need an Ed. degree to teach. To be a band director, yes.....but to teach, no.
For what it's worth, I'll put my teaching abilities up against any music ed. person....any day of the week. I've had and have known great teachers and hideous ones as well in my life. Some of them had Ed. degrees, some didn't. There's no magical formula/piece of paper to being a good teacher or player.

John
 

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I think there is a world of good advise here on this thread. In looking at my post I would like to add something that several mentors told me , most notably, Jerry Bergonzi. If you are looking to make money, lots of it, or even a little, don't be a musician to do it.(As Jerry once told me"the business dudes get all the money and all the women...") It seems harsh, but it is generally true. There are always exceptions. Here is something I have noted in life playing and listening to music. Some of the most beautiful and talented players I have experienced were not known to the general or even Jazz specific public. And many of them had many other means for their survival. when you are young and alone, you can pursue almost anything without care. As you gain responsibilities, family, assets, possibly a day job, you may be limited in your pursuit. The day still has 24 hours and you can still hone your craft. So maybe having a second love or a second pursuit while pursuing your first is a good idea. You may become one of the great players that few know of, but you will still become a great player. If your ego is in check, you will have a nice life. I once had dinner with Eddie Harris and he told a piano player at the table something that stuck with me. The piano player was bragging that he a a singer had put out a record(LP) and that it had what he thought would be a "hit" on it. Eddie gave him the "ray" and said Look, I've had 'hits' . They don't mean s**t. Learn to play good. I never met a happy man with a hit, but the cats who play good are happy..."
 

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What Steve said really hit home for me ... I started in Music Ed and when i got to my 3rd year of school Had to start doing observations and more Ed stuff which I really began to dislike it ... I had been many many years as a performing musician and to see what was going on out there in education really made me think this was not what I wanted to do ..I did not have the passion to put up with an orchestra of out of tune kids, or middle school kids throwing spit balls .. so i went with a major in Theory and Comp ... graduated with my Master's from a highly accredited school with a 3.75 and was hoping to land a college theory gig somewhere ... despite hundreds of applications to colleges, it never happened ...the old "who you know ' syndrome .. therefore, my working career started off first in my Uncle's construction company, made my way up to project manager for a small firm and spent 20 years of my life making damn good money in Construction management with one of the top companies in the USA .... the president of the company didn't care what my education was, my previous track record spoke for me and , as he stated it "I learned how to learn"

Only now do I realize that perhaps, if I had approached Music Education in the way my local school district, and others around me approach it, it could have been a much more rewarding career for me ... Both of the top 2 horn players in my area are currently teachers who really care for their students and who can really blow their a$$es off!! and neither went to berklee ...
The problem here is you stopped at master level. University professor positions, especially in theory and comp, are doctoral level positions. People make the mistake all the time by looking at minimum qualifications and assuming that the minimum doesn't apply to them. It does--by law.

That being said, learning to be an adult and studying other disciplines, and becoming a generally educated person is not possible if you go to a narrowly focused institution. I hear all the time from young folks (being an educator myself) that they can't wait to 'get through' the general education studies so that they can concentrate on their major. I have very fond memories of some of my general ed classes--science, mathmatics, computer programming, Political science and philosophy. It's important to develop as a human being as well as a musician.
 

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Agreed with Steve as well. However, I have a performance degree and have NEVER been state certified to teach anywhere I've lived, but I've been teaching at music stores, public and private schools for 26 yrs. now. You do NOT need an Ed. degree to teach. To be a band director, yes.....but to teach, no.
For what it's worth, I'll put my teaching abilities up against any music ed. person....any day of the week. I've had and have known great teachers and hideous ones as well in my life. Some of them had Ed. degrees, some didn't. There's no magical formula/piece of paper to being a good teacher or player.

John
+1 +1 +1!!!!
 
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