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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Those who teach at the college level, obviously there is a requirement for a Master's degree. I am deciding on whether or not to get this credential which would take about 2 yrs. Those who have experience looking for teaching gigs at the college level,-are there jobs and what are your experience trying to find and apply? I heard they were few and far in between and do not want to waste the time if it's a longshot.
 

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If you want a professorship, these days you'll need a DMA or equivalent. Those with Masters degrees may get jobs as adjunct instructors.
 

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+ 1 on the PhD or equivalent.
 

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The DMA is only about 50 yrs old, so in academia it's a relatively new beast. Most all places will accept an MFA for a tenure track job. This is not to contradict Jazzaferri. The MFA is still widely considered PhD or equivalent.
 

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The DMA is only about 50 yrs old, so in academia it's a relatively new beast. Most all places will accept an MFA for a tenure track job. This is not to contradict Jazzaferri. The MFA is still widely considered PhD or equivalent.
True, but if you're offered a tenure track position (good luck on that!), it's likely that tenure (and you will have a year to find another job after tenure is not awarded--they won't keep you around) will not be granted if you haven't completed a doctoral program by the time your probationary period ends.
 

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True, but if you're offered a tenure track position (good luck on that!), it's likely that tenure (and you will have a year to find another job after tenure is not awarded--they won't keep you around) will not be granted if you haven't completed a doctoral program by the time your probationary period ends.
I stand (partially) corrected. I was right in that if you to get a tenure track job with an MFA, they typically don't expect you to get another degree. With that said, a quick check on my colleagues in the music department showed that almost all of the tenured or tenure track faculty had some sort of Doctoral degree. However, in looking the OP's post it's not clear that Tenortones is really after a "tenure track" job. Lots of adjunct teaching jobs available for those with an MFA or even less.
 

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In Oregon you don't "need" a college degree to teach, even for tenure track. UO hired a full time trumpet professor without a bachelors. He was principal of a national symphony and a amazing teacher. Most faculty academic councils in Oregon make their own rules, because tenure is a right of passage into a very insular club with all the benefits that University life has to offer. The University I taught at looked at what they called terminal degrees, and if you taught in a field that had used a masters degree as a terminal ( theater stage craft comes to mind ) then thats what they would hire. As a saxophonist, you need advance degrees for credibility in the department and to be promoted up the ladder to be a full professor, but you also need to be able to play. And teach. And probably teach theory, history and music appreciation. Or some Jazz Studies. Go out and look online at the qualities of the new folks being hired, and gain those skills.
 

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For most other college-level tenure track positions, the terminal degree more and more is at the Doctorate level. For these folks in other disciplines to get tenure, they have to do university service, and publish in refereed journals. Oregon has always gone there own way, but I suspect that if you look at the minimum qualifications and desirable qualifications for any position you will find that a terminal degree of some sort is under the minimums. In the case of your trumpet teacher, I would think (perhaps cynically), that when they wrote the application they wrote something like 'or equal professional qualifications'. That way, you have some leeway, because they CANNOT hire a candidate if that candidate does not meet their stated minimum qualifications, unless of course their EEO officer is not doing his/her job. This is true for any university position, even classified employees (admin. assistants and other support staff).
 

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I'm sure they did. They may have even written the position for him. I would guess that USC did the same for Bob Mintzer.
 

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Rules are meant for the guidance of wise men and the obeisance of fools

If one is gifted enough all you need is the doing of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
And how likely in terms of availability are adjunct positions-I'm wondering if they are temporary - and also about the relative pay...
 

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FWIW, a couple of years ago I applied for eleven different teaching positions at colleges in the US. Mind you, these were good schools but none were in the "Ivy Leagues" of music instruction. Just solid colleges with reputable departments looking to fill positions that - IMHO - fit my skill set very nicely with room to grow. Now I have a pretty decent resume, I've done a lot of gigs and have earned my stripes as a player, and I have a boatload of teaching experience in music and in technology. I also have a Master's Degree in Jazz Performance and the list of people I have done serious study with is a who's who of NY professionals.

Well, to cut to the chase, of 11 schools - two of which I had inside track connections with the search committee - I got exactly ZERO requests for interviews. Of those 11 positions, six went to full PHd's, four to DMA's, and one remained unfilled because "no suitable candidates were found in the initial round." ***!? And BTW, 7 of those positions went to PHd/DMA candidates fresh out of school with relatively little experience in the "real" world as professionals. (I researched the winning candidates to see if my suspicions about the PHd/DMA vs Master's argument was correct. It was.) I'll also point out that I was looking at, and applied for positions across the entire US, not just in select markets.

I have a very close friend who is an associate professor of music at a small liberal arts college. His respons to this was, "College level teaching is a club. These days, the membership card is the PHd." I would have to agree.

So in my experience, unless you are a world class performer with the resume to show for it, are best friends with the chair of the search committee, or have a PHd/DMA, you can pretty much forget about a teaching gig at the college level. Additionally most of the adjunct positions in my area (NYC) are being filled by PHd, DMA, or ABD candidates who can't get a full professorship.

I have come to accept that if I wish to teach, I will have to get a doctorate. Period. Until then, it's a circle of diminishing return. The people I see getting the best long term gigs are the guys with terminal degrees at the doctoral level, AND who have excellent performance and teaching experience.
 

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At Berklee, which is different for a couple of reasons, but at Berklee, I know two people who got teaching gigs right after graduation with a Bachelor's. Both of them are very highly qualified (hell, one just won "Best New Artist"), but being that Berklee has always had the reputation of being kind of a "trade school" while still offering a world-class college education, it's not entirely surprising. I WOULD be surprised to find that ANY of the general ed faculty has less than a PhD from a top school in their field, but that's a different story.

Also, my friend was the vocal jazz director at Towson University for a couple years with just a Bachelor's. Also a special case as I consider him one of the best scatting improvisers and singers in the world.
 

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It used to be where you only needed a Master's, but it's gotten to where you really need a Doctorate. It's not impossible to get a faculty position with just a Master's but it's becoming increasingly difficult.

Two of my old teachers from different colleges both got their gigs with only a Master's but neither have tenure and have been pressured to get Doctorates. Both ended up pursuing their Doctorates at Columbia which has a program that allows them to work on it primarily in the summers. One just finished and the other one isn't far behind.

When I was in school, the jazz faculty wanted to bring in Butch Miles. Butch was The Count Basie Orchestra's drummer for 30 years and the last drummer when Basie was still alive. He left the band and retired to Austin and was interested in teaching applied drum set. Seems like I no brainer to add a guy with credentials like that to your faculty, but Butch had no college degree of any kind and it was a real hassle to convince the School of Music and College of Fine Arts to go along with it. The only sticking point was that he was educated on the road and not in a classroom. He eventually got the gig but it took a lot of lobbying.
 

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I'm going to riff off of John's post, the similarity being just how narrow-minded the academic world can be. And I'm convinced that some of the job requirements are made by people who will do anything they can to limit the competition.

When I came to Austin, I decided to look for a middle school band director's gig. Middle school, mind you. I won't bog this down with a detailed resume, but I have a doctorate in music, have directed professional and community bands for over 40 years, had been a Mus Ed student, am a Certified Yamaha Wind Instrument and Band Teacher, founded and taught my city's middle school band, had a thriving private music studio with mainly school-aged kids, and can teach most instruments.

But like John, I was not even interviewed for one of the vacancies that I applied for. The reason? I was missing one piece of paper, the Texas teaching certificate. Fine. But that takes one year to complete and not one school offered to hire me provisionally, and allow me to take the Texas certification concurrent with my first provisional year. Are you kidding me!!?

So Tenortones, this is the kind of bureaucratic bull****e you'll be confronted with as you look for employment in the academic world. Personally, I think academia can be a great situation. But there are rules of the game you have to be aware of and that starts right with applying for a position.
 

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The thing to remember about professorships is that you are not just a a teacher, but a 'professor', that is, you profess your expertise. That means that in addition to teaching you do university service (serving on committees, recruitment, etc.), but you are expected to do scholarly research, and to contribute to your field with publications and research. Also, you are expected to attend conferences in your field, and maybe even take some students.

The PhD is merely the beginning of an academic career.
 

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don't forget that universities are designed for the good of the professors, not the students. you don't want it easy for anyone to get in.
 
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