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My son wants to go to Eastman, Berkeley or University of North Texas.

My son is a junior in High school. He is a fairly good saxophone player ( I am biased ...please pardon...what can a father do?). He has participated in our 3x in our regional (SCSBOA Honor Band). He has won a contest open to players 14-20 years/old and he is 15y/o.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Cb1CCvIIZ8

He want to go to one of the Universities. He is now learning the piano and after a year is doing intermediate level piano. He attends summer camps and has been promised a letter of recommendation by a few well known camp instructors. He at this time is trying to learn the clarinet to double his chances of being accepted. He is crazy about jazz but, by God's design, has been accepted in more classical groups. He has fairly good academic record3.5-3.75 GPA. He is willing to give up marching band next year even if he has a good chance of being drum major in order to concentrate to being able to do what needs to be done to get accepted in one of these schools.

What else does he have to do to maximize his chances?

Thanks for your input

Peter
 

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Paumartin said:
My son wants to go to Eastman, Berkeley or University of North Texas.
Berklee or Berkeley? Does he want to do classical or jazz?

I can only go by what I observe on the video so if he were to pursue classical, I have no reason to believe he wouldn't get into any of the schools you mentioned assuming he keeps working hard on the horn. Consider U Michigan, Northwestern, Duquesne, and possibly Indiana U (again, this is for classical).
 

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What's the name of the song in the video? It's pretty cool, I'd like to learn bits of it to mess around on.
 

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Definately quit marching band if he can still do jazz band. Being drum-major will probably not make him a better player. The extra practice time would help him out immensely. Also, he should be practicing at least 6-8 hours a day in the summer and 2.5+ during the school year.

Learning Flute and Clarinet to double is a must. Any other wind instrument, or EWI would be good too, but these are the two biggies.

Learn how to sight-transpose concert key music to his instrument. Transposing other sax parts would be good too.

Learn how to play at least soprano, alto, and tenor, bari too if you can get him one.

Obviously he needs to be taking lessons from the top jazz guy in your city, preferably a sax player. Classical lessons would be good too, especially if you can get them from the same guy (or gal).

Be sure he auditions for your All-State bands, both jazz and concert. Be sure to find the audition information yourself, do not wait for his director to get around to it.

This is sort of the wish-list of things I had done in my high school career, minus the marching band, since I never did that anyway.

Good luck
 

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Martinman said:
Learning Flute and Clarinet to double is a must. Any other wind instrument, or EWI would be good too, but these are the two biggies. Learn how to play at least soprano, alto, and tenor, bari too if you can get him one.
I question that. I know there are readers on the forum going to North Texas and other schools of that stature. Is Peter's kid's time really spent best working on so many doubles, as opposed to alto/tenor sax and getting his improv chops up? We're talking audition preparation, now.
 

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As a college student, it doesn't really matter where you study. As an artist, you still have the responsibility of taking what you are given and using it creatively to strengthen your voice... something that some people have lost by going to an institution.

While awards might look good on a resume, do not let it get to his head by thinking that awards = success. I am sure he is a fine player, nothing about that... it's just that music isn't about competition, but about creating. The sooner that is understood, the better. In addition, I'd advise him to go out to clubs (given the age requirement) and network with local musicians, jam, sit in with bands, get involved. Networking is a powerful tool, because it gives you people to work with, which will potentially present you with more opportunities to perform.

Berklee has a lot of students, so chances are, he will not have the intimate one-on-one instructional atmosphere that I think makes it easier for someone to more clearly cultivate his or her own voice. I think Bill Pierce still teaches there. He is an incredible tenor player, one of the last of the masters. So if he decides to go here, look into him.

If he is looking at the East Coast, I know a great bassist who goes to New School University, which is in lower Manhattan. I applied to Manhattan School of Music last year but got turned down because I waited too late (it's a very small school), and almost applied to Berklee but changed by mind because I got the impression that it wasn't the right vibe for me, just from going to camps with prospective students. I think if it doesn't feel right, you shouldn't go there.

So my advise, keep the options open. Talk with faculty, try to meet players who are graduates from there and ask them about their time there. While they may not have the ultimate answer, it will give your son a variety of perspectives. I know Berklee puts on different summer camps every year. I went to the one in L.A. twice, which was cool. It's 4-5 days long. I would highly recommend it if he is interested in getting more involved with Berklee as a prospective student. I am glad I went to it simply because it put my own playing ability in persepective, being in an environment where I was hearing and performing with my peers from around the country.
 

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BlueNote said:
As a college student, it doesn't really matter where you study.
Um, that is bad advice.

It's not so much the teachers that are important. It's the students that surround you 24 hours/day that matters most. If you're surrounded by players who are better than you, are as enthusiastic about the music as you, are willing to help you and each other out, compete against you, then you will get better. That is the ideal school.

Sure, you can be taught physics by a competent professor at any university in this country. But how different is it to be surrounded by smart kids in your class at say an MIT than to be surrounded by so-so intelligent kids at say the local community college? That's why it benefits kids to go to the best college they can get into.
 

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I just graduated from high school and will be starting my freshman year in college later this month. I'll be going to UCLA, as a saxophone performance major. I play classical mainly, so that's where my viewpoint is from.

I too wanted to go to a big music school when I started applying to colleges. I applied to Ithaca, Indiana, Northwestern, etc. I didn't get into all the huge schools, but I did alright. However, I kind of realized that going to a huge, competitive music school might not be what I wanted. I can see how those big schools can get a little competitive and stressful when theres such a huge number of students studying music.

I guess my main point is that although I want to pursue music, I want to have a good college experience as well. That might be something to think about. Also, I accept I may change my plans after a year or two in college- and I've ended up at a place where there are great opportunities outside of music. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with conservatories, and most of them are affiliated with great universities- but if I were to attend a big music school and change my mind about what I wanted to do, I might have a harder time pursuing that.

I can't offer too much advice if he's looking to study jazz, because I only dealt with the classical side of things.

Good luck to him! The video sounds really great!
 

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Paumartin said:
My son wants to go to Eastman, Berkeley or University of North Texas.

My son is a junior in High school. He is a fairly good saxophone player ( I am biased ...please pardon...what can a father do?). He has participated in our 3x in our regional (SCSBOA Honor Band). He has won a contest open to players 14-20 years/old and he is 15y/o.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Cb1CCvIIZ8

He want to go to one of the Universities. He is now learning the piano and after a year is doing intermediate level piano. He attends summer camps and has been promised a letter of recommendation by a few well known camp instructors. He at this time is trying to learn the clarinet to double his chances of being accepted. He is crazy about jazz but, by God's design, has been accepted in more classical groups. He has fairly good academic record3.5-3.75 GPA. He is willing to give up marching band next year even if he has a good chance of being drum major in order to concentrate to being able to do what needs to be done to get accepted in one of these schools.

What else does he have to do to maximize his chances?

Thanks for your input

Peter


Dear Paumartin- YOU....need to sit down with your son and list the schools he is thinking about going to.
NEXT, you should set up some interviews at the schools.
THEN ASK THIS QUESTION TO THE SCHOOL PERSON.
Or- write a Email -and a hard copy letter to the saxophone dept. head and approach him. And be aggressive on weather or NOT you get a responce make sure you do get these issues answered BY SOMEONE WITHIN THE SCHOOL YOU WANT TO ATTEND. That is the most realistic. ( no offence toany of the opinions here which are are very good ) But - i SUGGEST GETTING THIS INFO right from a school faculty person. WHY? Each school is different, each school has some unique deptarment goals. It's a slim chance that you'll get all the answers from anyone UNLESS they are a direct link to the school you want to attend. Like I said- there are excellent opinions here.
BUT- YOU NEED TO FIND WHICH SCHOOL YOUR SON WANTS, and which school is within your reach. Then find a person there and get a jump start on your future at THAT institution.
I teach at two universitys that are jazz based, and each one one has different aspects.

Also- saxophonistically- your son needs to make sure he's got a skill level going. There is a lesson here at SOTW I put together that is a prelude for any _SERIOUS_student of the music to grasp.
Its called- Saxophone Necessities...Basic Skills That Are A Must for all saxophonists. http://www.saxontheweb.net/Price/SaxophoneNecessities.html
I would suggest sharing this with him- and making sure if he's approaching a school that has a JAZZ focus etc that he has #1 through 15 together at the best tempo he can handle. ( I suggest for a realistic goal quarter note =120 for all of them) I would assume these are not out of his reach on the horn if he's looking to persue music. Any player worth their salt, has these aspects together. In a music school these are essential; share them with your son.

Hope this helps.
 

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gary said:
I question that. I know there are readers on the forum going to North Texas and other schools of that stature. Is Peter's kid's time really spent best working on so many doubles, as opposed to alto/tenor sax and getting his improv chops up? We're talking audition preparation, now.

Well, this is a good point. But if he is in jazz band he will be expected to double. I guess he could learn them during the summer. However, at some colleges they ask if you double at the auditions, and it would be good to have some of these down. I guess it is a matter of opinion. I wish I would have had mine down.
 

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I just started my freshman year in college. In the spring I auditioned and received scholarship offers at Florida State, Manhattan School of Music, and Duquesne University. However, I can only speak about the process in general since I auditioned for classical performance rather than jazz.

This time last year (the beginning of my senior year) I was getting to know the professors. I feel like this really helped me later on. I sent them a package of recordings, programs, concert reviews. In my case, being a classical guy, it was recordings of performances with the local youth orchestra, reviews of the concerts, etc. I think it helps to show you are comfortable with multiple saxophones (I imagine it would be the same way for jazz). I sent recordings of myself on soprano, alto, and tenor. The recordings don't have to be perfect, mine certainly weren't. Any good professor is going to be looking for potential not pinpoint accuracy.

Eventually, you should arrange to meet the professors in person and take a lesson from them. I think this helps twofold. First, you get to hear their take on the pieces you will be auditioning on, and second, it is really nice to have a familiar face in the audition room.

After that all you gotta do is practice.

Just a side note on marching band, its not a complete deal breaker. I did marching band my senior year, reluctantly, but as a favor to my mom (she wanted my brothers and I to all do it together before I graduated). I feel like I would have done better to have practiced harder than I did after the marching season ended in early November than to have just practiced through it. But that may just be me. I tend to procrastinate, so in all likelihood I would have slacked off through the season anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Great advise and thank you so much very kindly everyone. I am sure I am not the only one benefitted by your contributions but any high school student in the forum that is serious about his music education... Once again thank you

The piece in the youtube is Diversion by Bernard Heiden. My favorite recording of it is from Eugene Rousseau's Saxophone Vocalise.
 

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Peter,

Are you filipino? I was just looking through some of the videos w/that username on youtube, and saw a lot of filipino people (your son looked filipino, too). Anyway, back to the topic, I tell you anything you need to know about UNT. I used to go to UNT as a Jazz Saxophone major ... I can tell you exactly how it was like from the student's perspective. Send me an email (or private message me here) if you want with all the questions you've got, as I don't check the forum boards as much as I do my email.

andrewfranciscomusic at gmail dot com

I'd be happy to help you with anything else as well. North Texas was a great experience for me. The school really helped me get to where I'm at now.
 

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The most important step is to set up interviews w/ sax/jazz faculty & learn about that specific school's program & what they have to offer your son.

Most professors are also usually willing to offer a lesson if you come to the school for an interview - take advantage of it!
 

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Honestly, from what you've said, it sounds like your boy is doing everything right at the moment. Don't fix it if it ain't broke... I assume he has a good teacher? Don't stress him out about practicing too much. If he cares, he'll find the balance on his own. It's a very good idea to start early on the doubles... I wish I'd started sooner. Just remember he doesn't have to be a pro doubler by the time he gets to college. He's got plenty of time to work on that stuff as long as he does some every day.

To address a point someone else made, I had a great experience at Berklee. The classes were smallish (except the intro courses) and private instruction is private instruction any way you cut it: personalized attention.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thank you once again for your wonderful suggestions
~~~
http://www.saxontheweb.net/Price/Sax...cessities.html
All major scales
All minor scales (natural, harmonic, ascending melodic)
All (2) whole-tone scales
Pentatonic scales
Blues scales
All diminished scales
Chromatic scales
Bebop scales (ionian add #5; mixolydian add Maj.7; melodic minor add #5; mixolydian b2 b6 add Maj.7; dorian add Maj.7; locrian add Maj.7)
All of the above scales in 15 keys (7 sharp keys, 7 flat keys and the key of C)
All dom 7th, min 7th, maj 7th, half dim 7th, dim 7th (and in versions)
Dominant 7th arpeggios chromatically
ii-V progression arpeggiated from the root
ii-V pattern chromatically
ii-V pattern moving up in minor thirds
Flat 5 substitutes in all keys
Scale fragments (i.e. 1231/1235/1b761/1b765) - play in cycles of 5ths, chromatically, minor 3rds, etc.
Repertoire for performance goals
Play "basic blues" in all keys (i.e. Bags Groove, Blues In The Closet, Buzzy, Bluebird, Now's The Time, Cool Blues, Straight No Chaser, and other melodies)
Play "rhythm changes" at least three keys
Memorize three jazz standards, other than the blues, which are of a complex nature, i.e. "Donna Lee", "Confirmation", etc.
Be able to play with other musicians, keeping consistent time, keeping track of song form, and interacting.

above taken from
Saxophone Necessities
Basic Skills That Are A Must for all saxophonists
by Tim Price

Great advice Mr. Price. We will work on those. Can you suggest any book or set of books that has most if not all these exercises. If there is none then May I humbly request that you write one? You will be doing high school and college student a really great service. May I also suggest a Cd sample so that it would be easier to learn and know that it is done right?

He's a junior and he's 15? Did he skip a grade?

He did not skip a grade but if he were born 3 weeks later he would not have been accepted in kindergarten that year. I understand age rules changed a year after he started kindergarten.

Are you filipino? Yes we are.

Don't fix it if it ain't broke... I assume he has a good teacher? Don't stress him out about practicing too much. If he cares, he'll find the balance on his own. It's a very good idea to start early on the doubles...

Excellent advice but very hard to do. I am working on not being a smother father. He had a good saxophone teacher not anymore. I am looking for one. He has a good piano teacher and I am waiting for a great clarinet teacher to have some time
 
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