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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to be a senior this year(Alto sax player) and so I'm preparing for college auditions. I have a list of colleges already but I'd like to know if you know of any other schools close to NJ, NY, or PA.

List of schools(I have 9):
William Paterson, Berklee, Eastman, SUNY Purchase, Montclair State University, Manhattan School of Music, Rutgers, and The New School
 

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In order of best to worst in that area, I'd probably say: Eastman, MSM, New England Conservatory, SUNY Purchase, William Patterson, CCNY, Berklee, Julliard, New School. There are other programs in the NYC area that I don't know about. That doesn't necessarily mean they're bad.

The reason why I put Patterson and CCNY in front of Berklee and Julliard is that you can get just as good an education at those schools for a fraction of the price. Eastman, MSM, NEC and Purchase really have the strongest programs. I'm very unimpressed with the New School as it seems to be easily possible to go there for four years and never really get any better.

If you're looking for value, Purchase is really the best. Great program at a state school tuition cost. Only problem is that the campus is incredibly unattractive.
 

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Berklee offers a LOT you can't get anywhere else, and I'd but William Paterson on a level with MSM, Eastman and NEC. Don't know much about the city college or SUNY Purchase, but I know a ton of people from the other schools who are monster players. At a school like Berklee, you kind of need to be self-motivated, because it is possible to coast through there and suck, but like I said, you learn a lot of "extra" stuff that isn't available in a traditional jazz major that is crucial to being a well-rounded musician. Classes for club dates, production/engineering, songwriting, stage performance techniques, music business, etc. all under one roof, and enough people focusing on them that you pick up an awful lot through osmosis. For a many musicians, it really is the best school in the world. I am biased, but I felt and still feel it was that for me.

Also, the network is ridiculous. I can go ANYWHERE and have friends plugged into the scene.
 

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+1 for SUNY Purchase - especially for the value. Eric Alexander & Ralph Lalama are on staff there. Not too shabby....

Plus, that way you can save money by not living in Manhattan but being close enough where you can take a train in on the weekends & its no big deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Okay I'll check out the ones not on my list. Also, what do you mean by it's easy to coast through Berklee and still suck?
 

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At least when I was there, if you paid, you generally stayed. I hear it's stricter now, but the world class jazz education was always there for those willing to do the work and take it. You could conceivably get by with only 4 semesters of private lessons, not much practice, do a "Pro Music" major where you choose what courses to take and always go for the easy ones. You might get decent grades, but you're not gonna be very good. The Professional Music major was meant for people who want to do a lot of everything, and for whom none of the other majors really fit. However, lots of slackers were abusing it while I was there. There are a ton of students, some excellent and some not, who go through for a semester or two to grab what they can and split, too. Some flunk out, others never planned to stay. There's a LOT of freedom at Berklee. I wish I could go back now... I'd get a lot more out of it now that my discipline's more together, but I got a ton out of it when I was there, too.

Now if you go in with the goal of being a badass, you take all the advanced harmony and ear training courses, Improv Techniques with Jeff Galindo, Tiger Okoshi or like the Hal Crook or Joe Lovano ensemble classes, study with Shannon LeClair, Dino Govoni, George Garzone, Andy McGee, Frank Tiberi, etc. and you practice all the stuff they have you do for your proficiency exams until you REALLY have it down, you'll be a beast when you come out. But it's up to you. You can slack and get C's and graduate with no problem, too.
 

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Have you considered schools outside of the East Coast? Is cost a consideration?
 

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~ A great question for YOU..would be what do you want to do when you grad a Jazz Studies program? Do you have goals? That would be helpful.'
 

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Discussion Starter #10
@Jazztenor
Cost may be a problem idk yet. I'd just prefer to stay closer to NY.

@Tim Price
I'd like to graduate and be a professional musician (gigging and stuff) while also being a part of music business or recording and(idk which yet) able to play on the bandstand and have someone impressed not bc I have great technique or try to do too much, but bc I have a great sound and really move that person with my story. I'd also like to gig for a living, but that's not reality, that's a dream lol. The music business or recording will supply most of my income
 

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I don't want to discourage you or anything, but you really should look at the money you are going to spend going to college for a Jazz Studies degree and the kind of money you will make when you get out of college to pay that debt off.
Last I checked, jazz gigs ain't paying very much and the "music business" is a very funky business.
I mean I think it is great to immerse yourself into the music, and there is no better time to do that while you're young, but I'm guessing that what you pay to get that college degree, you could pay any of the cats that you want to study with top dollar, for years on end, and still come out with WAY less in debt.
I think, unless you want to study something very specific like orchestration or something like that, you should really give it some serious thought.
this topic has been debated for years so....
I think if you want to be a gigging musician.. you need to go hang out in any of those towns that have those schools that you are talking about (that sounded pretty country) and play your horn... play it any, and every chance you get.. that will give you a story to tell....
Tim asked a very serious question.....
 

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Just as a reference point, I am 63, and spent 40 years in the music business. When I was your age all the great jazz musicians I knew never had a degree in jazz performance, or even a degree in most cases. They learned their craft in jazz clubs, touring with name big bands, and wood shedding. I don't think Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Buddy Rich, or Kenton ever went to college.

I hate to break it to you, but all colleges are a business to support the teachers, administration, and owners. I know guys who have $200,000 out in student loans, went to some "name school", and only play some dinner music now and then. They have to pay back the loan, and they have no idea how. The recording studios as we knew them are virtually gone, the touring big bands are gone, the jazz clubs are gone with only a few exceptions, and jazz simply does not pay much money.

If you are a great doubler on everything you might find work on Broadway, but 10,000 other guys want that chair too. Berklee is a private business. They have always had some great teachers, but if a guy is a great player he would rather be playing his horn and not teaching. The teaching gig gives them a steady paycheck, health insurance, and other benefits.

Do yourself a favor, and realize that after 4 years, and spending a lot of money, all you get is a piece of paper that is of no value. I spent enough time contracting for a 2,500 seat theater, and it never mattered if a guy had a degree or not. It came down to if he could play great, if others respected his playing, and if he could get along with others in the section and leave his ego at home. My advice: get a degree in something that you can make a living at with benefits like health insurance. You can always play jazz on the side and study with a private teacher. Music is a business. I wish you well.

Wisco
 

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I don't want to discourage you or anything, but you really should look at the money you are going to spend going to college for a Jazz Studies degree and the kind of money you will make when you get out of college to pay that debt off.
Last I checked, jazz gigs ain't paying very much and the "music business" is a very funky business.
I mean I think it is great to immerse yourself into the music, and there is no better time to do that while you're young, but I'm guessing that what you pay to get that college degree, you could pay any of the cats that you want to study with top dollar, for years on end, and still come out with WAY less in debt.
I think, unless you want to study something very specific like orchestration or something like that, you should really give it some serious thought.
this topic has been debated for years so....
I think if you want to be a gigging musician.. you need to go hang out in any of those towns that have those schools that you are talking about (that sounded pretty country) and play your horn... play it any, and every chance you get.. that will give you a story to tell....
Tim asked a very serious question.....


Thanks for hearing me...thank you.

LOOK...My deal is reality. I am not raining on parades but by the time some of these guys hit my age, I am afraid to see what could be left. NYC is a great place- play all the jazz you want- just don't ask for any money! Somebody needs to help these kids see the light at the end of the tunnel.

30 comes fast. And 40 comes faster...and look out 50!!
I love jazz, and I love to teach but I get all my guys & gals reality. You need health insurance, you need credit and you need a steady INCOME to live your dream...playing a pool hall in the Village, where a bunch of NYU kids come to try to be hip, and they_happen_to have jazz, where the sound system sounds like it was drug up from the Titanic might be cool until you realize that the chump change you got, IF YOU GET PAID, don't come close to paying your car insurance...or a dentist bill. You dig? NOW...I'm not saying jump ship...but I am saying...invest in YOU NOW. ~ As Bird Said ~ NOW'S THE TIME!!!

TALK TO SOME PEOPLE...IN THE PROFESSION...THAT ARE WORKING.
GET A BASE OF IDEAS, Some dudes are going to say some wacked stuff- But START to look at this with a clear head and REALITY. Take the rose colored glasses off, and treat it as a profession now...it will only help YOU.
 

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@Tim Price
I'd like to graduate and be a professional musician (gigging and stuff) while also being a part of music business or recording and(idk which yet) able to play on the bandstand and have someone impressed not bc I have great technique or try to do too much, but bc I have a great sound and really move that person with my story. I'd also like to gig for a living, but that's not reality, that's a dream lol. The music business or recording will supply most of my income[/QUOTE]

#1,, Send me some MP3's to [email protected] and I'll help

#2,, If your serious...Look at this in realistic terms. Otherwise you'll get discouraged. You need a way to survive where YOU can depend on YOU. By making a living.
Not expecting something to fall into your lap. When the business goes down- MUSIC is the LAST damn thing considered.

Make sure YOU can become independent enough to survive, and ENJOY what you do at 35 as much as you are now ok? That ALL I'm saying! LOOK...I'm having a ball...ya know why? Because I don't have to take a big band gig, playing 4th tenor, in Dobbs Ferry NY backing some mid-life crisis female singer that never sang in her life till!!! LOL!!! OR- Having to beg some yo-ho club owner in Philly to play a Tuesday nite, in his jazz club, which is a toilet really, for the door after 22 phone calls. That drains ya...and don't ADD to your INCOME.
But- you need to know where you can draw a line...and get a focus. As Charles Lloyd told me..." Stand tall and don't bend over to pick up the soap. "

If you get the right education..YOU can make a difference in jazz for the guys too. There's some important stuff needs to be done yet! It ain't over till it's over as Yogi said!!
BUT- YOU GOT TO REALIZE...talk to people at schools with those goals you just spoke to me about. OK? THAT IS WHERE YOU SHOULD START. HTH.
 

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Yes, I totally agree with Tim. I am a high school music professor over here in Puerto Rico and I also play full time hotel, wedding and a lot of latin band gigs from thurs. To saturday. I have two bachelor's degrees one in music education in both elementary and high school levels. And an applied music degree in classical sax. I know a lot of guys who play at a level a thousand times beyond me and I highly respect them. But, playing full time and being able to pay and sustain an income for one's self and family is very difficult. Most guys who play pro live fron gig to gig. My advice would be to choose another major also just in case, you never know. I know you have great interest in playing at a higher level, studying, and gigging all over. I'm sure your a great musician especially with your goals at studying. But, it is always good to plan ahead and good luck. Ok. I encourage all my students to study as much as possible of everything. Good luck and best wishes.

sent from Mikey's Super Inspire 4G
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'll definitely take what u guys said into much consideration. Accounting and jazz on the side was my original choice but, then I decided to go all music.
 

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I'm going to be a senior this year(Alto sax player) and so I'm preparing for college auditions. I have a list of colleges already but I'd like to know if you know of any other schools close to NJ, NY, or PA.

List of schools(I have 9):
William Paterson, Berklee, Eastman, SUNY Purchase, Montclair State University, Manhattan School of Music, Rutgers, and The New School
Well if you're willing to do south just one more state, there's Towson State University, which has an excellent program. Then there's Morgan State University who has Tim Green as a member of their faculty,... and as an Alto Player, I'm sure you can appreciate the draw in that. Then of course, there's 'The Body',... 'The Peabody Conservatory' that is! Good luck in your selection and with prepping for those auditions.

What,... don't know who Tim Green is? Well then take 5 or so to check this out. He's the one not wearing glasses. The one who is wearing glasses is Antonio Hart.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkY365gi2g8

Jr.
 

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[/SIZE]playing a pool hall in the Village, where a bunch of NYU kids come to try to be hip, and they_happen_to have jazz, where the sound system sounds like it was drug up from the Titanic might be cool until you realize that the chump change you got, IF YOU GET PAID, don't come close to paying your car insurance...or a dentist bill. You dig?
Tim ain't blowing smoke. Some of the BADDEST jazz players in New York do this gig regularly. That's not to say there's no living in playing IF you're motivated, very good with people, open minded to work and keep your options open. Let me clarify what I mean.

Motivated: not just to practice, but to go out every night, hang out and meet new people, sit in all the time, walk into unknown places alone, and play with badass musicians you don't know regularly. This is actually really hard, especially if you're not right there in the city. It's amazing how much "hanging out" and "having fun" starts to feel like work when you're forcing yourself to be out there 4 nights a week and you've got practice, work, etc. to keep up with.

Good with people: this is key. After you achieve professional competence on your instrument, this is the most important thing. Much more important than being the greatest player. To me, it means showing up early, knowing when and HOW to tell the truth, having something unique but useful to contribute while knowing when your job is to be bland or predictable, knowing how to read people... the right kind of sense of humor is important.

Open minded to work: if you only want to play serious jazz, find something else you like to do for money, because you will kill yourself after a few years of top 40 gigs to pay the bills. Me, on the other hand, I am very open minded... I actively enjoy playing many kinds of music including top 40, r&b, hip hop, funk, classical, jazz, nu jazz, etc. I also like teaching (lessons and school), writing, copy work, arranging, making tracks, self-recording for online contract work, designing sounds, etc. I try to be good enough at everything I do that I can work at anything I do and get paid. That doesn't mean I'm the best: I am NOT a specialist, and I know several people who can do any single thing that I can do MUCH better than I can. However, you'd be amazed how many times I'm perfect for a gig because I can fill in several roles adequately. It's cheaper to hire one guy...

Keep your options open: this is where the degree earns its weight. If you want a steady teaching job, you can do it. If you want a better day job, this helps immensely... you won't feel that it does when you're searching because you'll still get rejected constantly, but the fact is you're able to look for a high caliber job than you can with just a HS diploma. Also, don't burn bridges. If you work with someone and they suck, they are an *******, they lied about the pay, they did you dirty, etc., (MY OPINION, I know professionals who disagree), don't curse them out, call them on their ********, tell them they stink like a trash dump in August, etc. Just be "busy" when they call you for more work. You never know who will recommend you to whom.
 

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My advice: listen to Tim Price! Tim has been around, is very talented, paid his dues, toured when there were places to tour, spent time in a bus, has played with some of the best musicians around, taught, and he has my highest respect. Word has it he is also a good chef. Tim is a straight shooter, and I can't think of anyone esle who will give you a more honest answer after he spent a lifetime making a living in music.

When I was in college, my sax teacher spent the first lesson just talking to me about the music business. First thing was don't get into drugs...he had seen too many great talents crash because of it. Then we discussed all the different jobs in music. I listened to the guy. He was an Eastman graduate and went to school with Lew Soloff, and many other great musicians. I spent time as a sideman, was music director for a 28 piece orchestra at a PBS station, toured with name big bands and shows, did touring Broadway shows and name acts in my hometown, worked for the world's biggest music print publisher, a music software publisher, was a contractor for a 2,500 seat theater for a decade, and had a jazz trio at a hotel for 8 years, plus two quintets doing upscale weddings. I finally walked away when things got too stupid and the business had changed. What was there is now history. My point is there are many avenues to take in music, and you can still play jazz. Bunky Green was from my hometown and moved to Chicago where he made a name playing jazz and recording. He ended up teaching, and was a great player.

What woke me up was ending up in a hospital unexpectedly with no health insurance, and had some doctors go to a party and get drunk before they would operate on me. We all have dreams, and that is good. We need to follow them. I encourage you to find a great teacher, practice at least 4 hours a day on your main horn, plus learn all the other woodwinds. It comes down to talent, and mostly hard work. But please look ahead and relalize there are no jazz gigs with a steady income and benefits. Even the great tenor player Lockjaw Davis had to leave the Count Basie Orchestra for a time to become a booking agent in New York in order to take care of his family. And that was during a time when there were actually gigs.

There was a classical alto player in Chicago named Robert Black. He graduated from Northwestern, studied with Hemke, did a recording, subbed with the CSO, and was GREAT! There are not many gigs for classical sax so he opened The Saxophone Shop in Evanston which is where Northwestern is located. I did business with him, and he ran a great shop for many years. He finally sold it, went to law school, and is now a lawyer. He still plays saxophone, but he has a steady gig at a law firm, benefits, respect, and still plays sax. That to me makes sense.

Wisco
 
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