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Discussion Starter #1
Is anyone else going to be a Freshman at UNT next year? I will be a Jazz Studies major.

I know a number of people on this forum either attend or have attended UNT...any advice?!? I have lots of questions so I'll post them in a little bit. I'm excited but don't really know what to expect.

For anyone that knows the campus, I'm staying in Bruce Hall, I have heard a LOT of bad and good things about this dorm.
 

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Congratulations!

Truly great, Man. Now the work begins!
 

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Yeah man, congratulations.

My advice: When you get there you are going to hear some really amazing players. Don't let them overwhelm you. Just keep practicing and doing what your teachers suggest. Don't worry about impressing in the practice room. Soak it all in. You'll have a lifetime to master it all.
 

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Really good advice from both dudes.....

I'm finishing my second UNT degree right now. I'll be heading out as you're heading in. I hope you do well!

Some advice that a great mentor of mine gave me right before I went to UNT has stuck with me throughout my ups and downs here. Don't ever lose sight of what you really want out of this place. The competition can be productive in that it can give you short-term goals to practice for, but don't let it overwhelm you. Always try to make sure you're practicing with what you REALLY want in mind- do you want to express yourself like Coltrane? Have unlimited ability to improvise what you really want to play? Be an expert studio player?

Whatever it is, UNT can help give you the tools for surviving as a pro player, but it's still just a school, and it can never give you the passion and fire you need to really be an artist. That has to come from you and the PEOPLE in your life. Take what you want from UNT, and that means hard work with the right frame of mind.

Sorry to ramble, it's late, I just got back from a gig and I'm feeling sappy. Hope this helps, I'll still be around Denton in the fall, so look me up ramz.
 

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HeavyWeather77 said:
Really good advice from both dudes.....

I'm finishing my second UNT degree right now. I'll be heading out as you're heading in. I hope you do well!

Some advice that a great mentor of mine gave me right before I went to UNT has stuck with me throughout my ups and downs here. Don't ever lose sight of what you really want out of this place. The competition can be productive in that it can give you short-term goals to practice for, but don't let it overwhelm you. Always try to make sure you're practicing with what you REALLY want in mind- do you want to express yourself like Coltrane? Have unlimited ability to improvise what you really want to play? Be an expert studio player?

Whatever it is, UNT can help give you the tools for surviving as a pro player, but it's still just a school, and it can never give you the passion and fire you need to really be an artist. That has to come from you and the PEOPLE in your life. Take what you want from UNT, and that means hard work with the right frame of mind.

Sorry to ramble, it's late, I just got back from a gig and I'm feeling sappy. Hope this helps, I'll still be around Denton in the fall, so look me up ramz.


Amen.
 

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I'll be going to NT also!!! I'm so excited!!!

I'm still not sure if I wanna be a flute performance or comp major or another type of specific music major, so I'm going in as a music undecided major, which means hopefully I'll get to mess around with everything and find what it is that I want to settle down on.

=)
 

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blondemusicgurl said:
I'll be going to NT also!!! I'm so excited!!!

I'm still not sure if I wanna be a flute performance or comp major or another type of specific music major, so I'm going in as a music undecided major, which means hopefully I'll get to mess around with everything and find what it is that I want to settle down on.

=)
Undecided is good. I stayed undecided until a year after I finished my bachelor's. I'm still undecided on some things.
Congratulations.

<engage parent/teacher voice> Uh, be careful whilst messing around with everything;) <disengage parent/teacher voice>
 

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Undecided... Be very careful... I went in with that attitude and didn't come back out for 10 years (and three degrees later)!

Enjoy! College can be one of the best places you'll ever experience. Make the most of it.
 

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Are you kidding me??? Where the hell did that picture come from? That's unbelievably hilarious. I want to know everything you can tell me about that picture, because it's sick, bizarre, and awesome. If anyone doesn't need people bowing to him, it's Levi.

Truthfully, he's one of the least big-headed lead trumpet players out there. And one of the best, it so happens.

Still.

Seriously, was this from a one o'clock tour? I don't remember that place, wherever it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So I'm just going to make bullets below, and anyone who has had college experience can chime in too, but most questions are directly related to North Texas.

Tell me about...

-Bruce Hall
-The freshman jazz major schedule is posted to on the website, it requires you take four classes of summer school. Should I try to get one or more of those out of the way this summer?
-Piano. I'm pretty poor at piano. I am trying to teach myself right now, would you recommend I get a teacher, or just wait for classes? What do I need to know for it?
-Can you test out of any classes like…Jazz fundamentals, or Theory I?
-Any chance you get free music writing software or anything of the sort?
-How much emphasis do they put on woodwind doubles, Clarinet and Flute?
-There seems to be a lot of jazz saxophone majors? How many UNT teachers are there?
-Have/did you ever have trouble finding a practice room? or time to practice for the matter?
-What is the drug scene/drinking scene like in denton/unt. I'm not into either of those things and will not take part in it...I’m wondering what I'm up against...I heard Denton was a dry county, is that still true?
-do you take jazz lessons AND classical lessons?
-i didn't have to do the classical part of the audition...do i need to go there with basic classical knowledge? a classical mouthpiece/horn?
-what exactly is the emphasis on classical sax for a jazz sax major?
-is there a class for jazz combo(s)? or do combos take place outside of the university?


That’s enough for now...
answer what you feel like...haha

thanks!
 

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ramZsax said:
So I'm just going to make bullets below, and anyone who has had college experience can chime in too, but most questions are directly related to North Texas.

Tell me about...

-Bruce Hall
-The freshman jazz major schedule is posted to on the website, it requires you take four classes of summer school. Should I try to get one or more of those out of the way this summer?
-Piano. I'm pretty poor at piano. I am trying to teach myself right now, would you recommend I get a teacher, or just wait for classes? What do I need to know for it?
-Can you test out of any classes like…Jazz fundamentals, or Theory I?
-Any chance you get free music writing software or anything of the sort?
-How much emphasis do they put on woodwind doubles, Clarinet and Flute?
-There seems to be a lot of jazz saxophone majors? How many UNT teachers are there?
-Have/did you ever have trouble finding a practice room? or time to practice for the matter?
-What is the drug scene/drinking scene like in denton/unt. I'm not into either of those things and will not take part in it...I’m wondering what I'm up against...I heard Denton was a dry county, is that still true?
-do you take jazz lessons AND classical lessons?
-i didn't have to do the classical part of the audition...do i need to go there with basic classical knowledge? a classical mouthpiece/horn?
-what exactly is the emphasis on classical sax for a jazz sax major?
-is there a class for jazz combo(s)? or do combos take place outside of the university?


That’s enough for now...
answer what you feel like...haha

thanks!

Hahahh, Ramsey, you're funny. Which is why I like you.
 

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Each one of those points could take a page to answer, so I'll break my answer down into just two...

School: Shed some piano but don't stress about it. Practice sightreading for your lab band audition. You'll take two years of classical lessons before jazz lessons technically start, but hopefully you'll get a jazz teacher who will divide it between the two (my friends Chris Bullock and Isaac Lamar will still be teaching, if you get either of them you're in good shape). You'll get a grad student for a teacher for your first couple years, but you'll learn a LOT from whoever you get, trust me.

Life: It's good to treat your first few years kind of monastically. Denton's not a dry county; there are lots of bars and there's as much drug and alcohol use as you'd expect from a big university town. Living in Bruce Hall, though, it's easy to isolate yourself from that. There are practice rooms in the basement and more across the street, so you'll have plenty of room and time to practice-- and as soon as you get here you'll want to, trust me. Again, I'll be out of school but I'll still be in town, so if you email me sometime I'd be glad to show you some stuff to work on to get ready for everything. Good luck, both of you!
 

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I'll try to go a little more in depth for you ...


ramZsax said:
So I'm just going to make bullets below, and anyone who has had college experience can chime in too, but most questions are directly related to North Texas.

Tell me about...

-Bruce Hall
*I never lived in Bruce Hall, but I "lived" in Bruce Hall. I practiced there every night from like 1AM - 4 AM (Brian ... with Clay and Hiro ... hehe). It is the "music" dorm, but I preferred to have some place to stay away from all the music. I needed an outlet (you may not need one). My roommate in Kerr Hall is one of my best friends now...

-The freshman jazz major schedule is posted to on the website, it requires you take four classes of summer school. Should I try to get one or more of those out of the way this summer?
*Trust me...there is NO rush to get through school in 4 years. I came here wanting to learn how to play the saxophone well...if that took me more than 4 years so be it (and it's still going...).

-Piano. I'm pretty poor at piano. I am trying to teach myself right now, would you recommend I get a teacher, or just wait for classes? What do I need to know for it?
*All the Piano classes here will teach you exactly what you need to know. It is nice to know some basics before you get here just to get through some of the classes quicker.

-Can you test out of any classes like…Jazz fundamentals, or Theory I?
*You can test out of pretty much any Jazz class there is, but you only get 1 chance at the test. If you don't pass it the first time, you have to take the class. You take a Theory placement test that either puts you in Theory I or in the remedial theory class.

-Any chance you get free music writing software or anything of the sort?
*Come find me when you get here ;)

-How much emphasis do they put on woodwind doubles, Clarinet and Flute?
*Right when you get here, you'll start playing charts with Clarinet/Flute in it and you're just expected to know how to do it. It's a pretty big emphasis. It makes it harder for you to move up and stay up in the higher lab bands if you don't have your doubles down.

-There seems to be a lot of jazz saxophone majors? How many UNT teachers are there?
*Like Brian said, you'll go through grad students your first couple of years studying classical saxophone. Classical saxophone is stressed pretty highly here just to make sure that everyone gets all of their fundamentals of the saxophone down. There are normally like 8-12 saxophone teaching fellows. There are two main saxophone professors. Jim Riggs (Jazz) and Dr. Eric Nestler (Classical).

-Have/did you ever have trouble finding a practice room? or time to practice for the matter?
*Never had trouble finding a practice room. There's hundreds. Time to practice...I made time to practice. I.E. 1 AM - 4 AM Bruce Hall practice sessions.

-What is the drug scene/drinking scene like in denton/unt. I'm not into either of those things and will not take part in it...I’m wondering what I'm up against...I heard Denton was a dry county, is that still true?
*Denton is a "dry" county in the sense that you cannot purchase liquor in the county...only beer/wine. Although, you can purchase liquor in the next county over (about 5 min down the road). There are tons of parties...all...the...time.

-do you take jazz lessons AND classical lessons?
*You must pass your Classical Saxophone Proficiency exam before you are admitted to taking jazz lessons (your 4th semester is when you take the exam). Now, that doesn't mean that you won't be taking jazz lessons...my first teacher here was a guy who played in the One O'Clock (Oscar Garza) and he taught me jazz lessons b/c I asked him to. He just told me to make sure I learned my classical stuff on my own (which I mostly did lol)

-i didn't have to do the classical part of the audition...do i need to go there with basic classical knowledge? a classical mouthpiece/horn?
*Yes. You'll need all that stuff.

-what exactly is the emphasis on classical sax for a jazz sax major?
*Like I said, two years (4 semesters) at least. If you don't pass your classical barrier, you have to keep taking classical lessons until you pass the barrier.

-is there a class for jazz combo(s)? or do combos take place outside of the university?
*Yes there is a class for Jazz Small Groups; however, you must have passed a bunch of proficiency classes before you are admitted into the class. There are like 3 Jazz Fundamental Classes and two improvisation classes before you can get into the class. To lead a group, you must pass an improvisation test after your 2nd improvisation class. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to play outside of school though. Make a lot of friends, and you'll land a combo pretty easily.


That’s enough for now...
answer what you feel like...haha

thanks!

Let us know if you've got anything else! Looking forward to seeing you here!
 

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It says on the website that 10-15 mins of classical music, is that the classical audition part you got to skip and how'd you skip it?? :S

(I plan to go to UNT after next year (I'm only a Jr. right now...))
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks Brian and Andrew, that really helps a lot. I wasn't expecting all of those to be answered within a day!

Count - I'm not sure how i got to skip the classical audition. I live in California, and couldn't make it out on any of the live audition dates, so i sent in a CD (the same music is up on my myspace if you are interested). On that CD there was no classical, so i was planning on sending in the classical portion to them in the next couple days, but i got the acceptance letter from the school, and the school of music before i sent them the classical stuff. I didn't get a scholarship though.:(

looking foward to seeing you all there!!

*one more question... so i understand you first get lessons from grad students...but can you request a specific student to take lessons from? If not, is there a chance you will get a classical sax major as a teacher?

*one more question again...Will a Tenor Mark VI and Keilwerth Shadow pass as a classical horn?

*and another....*SORRY!!*....you can try out for scholarships each year, right? or semester?? I have to pay out of state tuition right now so i'm trying to make sure i won't for my sophomore year...i want to get one of those out of state tuition wavers.

THANKS!:D
 

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ramZsax said:
Thanks Brian and Andrew, that really helps a lot. I wasn't expecting all of those to be answered within a day!

Count - I'm not sure how i got to skip the classical audition. I live in California, and couldn't make it out on any of the live audition dates, so i sent in a CD (the same music is up on my myspace if you are interested). On that CD there was no classical, so i was planning on sending in the classical portion to them in the next couple days, but i got the acceptance letter from the school, and the school of music before i sent them the classical stuff. I didn't get a scholarship though.:(

looking foward to seeing you all there!!

*one more question... so i understand you first get lessons from grad students...but can you request a specific student to take lessons from? If not, is there a chance you will get a classical sax major as a teacher?

*one more question again...Will a Tenor Mark VI and Keilwerth Shadow pass as a classical horn?

*and another....*SORRY!!*....you can try out for scholarships each year, right? or semester?? I have to pay out of state tuition right now so i'm trying to make sure i won't for my sophomore year...i want to get one of those out of state tuition wavers.

THANKS!:D
I'm not so sure that you'd be able to request a certain teacher, although what's the harm in asking right? There is always that chance that you will get a classical saxophone major as a teacher, but that's not a bad thing at all. They'll teach you things that a jazz player wouldn't be able to (of course it goes both ways). I learned a lot from my 2nd year teacher (Jimmy Lee...he is the professor of saxophone at the University of Taiwan I believe).

Any horn can pass for anything just as long as you can make it sound good. Talk to Brian about him playing a Yamaha Intermediate alto in the One O'Clock LOL! It didn't matter though b/c he made it sound great. There have been other guys that have come in with worse and make the top ensembles. It's all about what you can do with the horn you've got.

You can try out for scholarships only once per year. They will make you submit a video tape of your jazz playing (I think it's a requirement that you do it w/a rhythm section too). It's submitted before the Spring semester is over, and if you're selected, they tell you sometime before the Spring semester is over. You'd then be on scholarship for the next Fall. After that, just keep your grades up and you don't have to re-try out for the scholarship. Just fill out a renewal form (that's what I'm doing).
 
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