Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#2167020 - 10/16/13 07:20 AM pros and cons of university
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
Dear PianoWorld,

I'm not really sure what to do with my life. If worst comes to worst i'll graft a trade but no matter what over the years i've never been able to shake this pull toward music. I love writing my own music and i do regularly although most times i never truly finish a piece, more just drafts and shadows of something that could be. i wouldn't mind becoming a session musician, but composing something, whether it be incidental music of film or whatever, or whether it be for theatre, would be something i'd enjoy greatly. so do you think i should go to university? what are the benefits? what's the worth of the debt of it?

Some background information:
I'm 24 years old and i'd plan to apply next winter when i'll be 25 and if i was successful i'd be going to music college at 26.
i applied a year or two ago to the royal college, royal academy, guild hall (all london) and royal northern (manchester).
I gained an interview at the guild hall and royal college (for composition) but they told me my theory was too far behind and my compositions were too old fashioned.
Well now, my theory's better as i study it a lot, and my compositional style has become more modern, but not in a contemporary sense, more of a jazzy/incidental style (i know that makes no sense, perhaps i'll post something).
So what do you think, should i bother? or should i go by way of another route? what can i gain from university?
_________________________
All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

Top
(ad) Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#2167202 - 10/16/13 01:21 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17666
Loc: Victoria, BC
In the past, at age 18 one often went to University to help one decide what one's future choice of career would be. Times have changed, and with the cost of a university degree exponentially beyond what it was in the '60s and '70s, one now has to be pretty sure of what career one wants to pursue before entering upon the debt-incurring ride that current university training involves. Add to that the fact that you are no longer 18 and would be almost 30 by the time the university degree is completed, this is a moment for very serious consideration and reflection.

In a situation such as this, I would seriously consider seeking outside professional career guidance. Get help from someone who doesn't necessarily share your "love [of] writing [your] own music," and who doesn't even understand it but who, rather, can more objectively weigh the pros and cons of university training, what it might (or might not lead to) and who can help you in making your choices.

Best of luck in finding the right path.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony

Top
#2167249 - 10/16/13 03:22 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 533
Loc: Leicester, UK
HM,


University training in music can be very good. It can be excellent. BUT it depends on whether or not you want to meet the model of music being taught wherever it is you study. So for example the comment to the effect of your compositions are old-fashioned - well, there's a model of a "professional composer" they're teaching in their program.Your music, right now, doesn't seem to fit that model. There's nothing wrong or right about that but there is the question of whether or not your interests will be best served by university programs that think you're "old-fashioned" from the outset.

I totally agree with BruceD about getting some outside career guidance - that's advice that 1000% on target. Questions to ask are:

What do you want to do and what are the qualifications and skills that you need to do it?
Where do you get those qualifications and skills?
Are you going to have to play catch-up as you acquire the skills and qualifications you need?

What you also need is a mentor. Someone who really knows music and music industry and music professionals. Someone who can advise you directly on the skills you have and the skills you'll need to develop - and the skills you'll need to play catch-up with.

One last comment. PW is a great source of background information. There are a lot of experienced professionals and very talented and informed non-professionals who contribute to the forum. But, end of day, PW is primarily an anonymous internet forum. It's populated with members who have interesting opinions. But theres a difference between, on the one hand, interesting and well-meaning opinion and, on the other hand, professional accountable advice.

As BruceD has suggested, you need professional guidance re: career options and how to pursue them. As I'm suggesting you need a mentor - someone who really knows the roads on which you might be travelling. Someone who can advise you on the pros and cons of "this" road "vs" that road. Someone who can tell you WHO they've seen do what you're now looking to do and WHO they've seen reach goals from the background and circumstances you know have.

If you do your research all will become clear. Bottom line: you NEED a career/educational counsellor and you need a mentor.

Hope this helps.
_________________________
Mark Polishook Studio

http://www.polishookstudio.com - The Blog of the Improvised Line
http://www.youtube.com/user/MarkPolishookStudio - Youtube Channel
http://tinyurl.com/TinyJazzPianoLessons - Tiny Jazz Piano Lessons on Twitter - #tJAZZpl

mark@polishookstudio.com

Top
#2167369 - 10/16/13 06:56 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
Thank you both for your advice. I used to know a few people i could ask, i will have to recontact them. Thanks again, i appreciate your responses. Personally i think i'll probably disregard the whole university thing, the debt just doesn't seem to balance with the benefits.
_________________________
All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

Top
#2167595 - 10/17/13 08:08 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
stalefleas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/16/13
Posts: 249
You could also see if any of the professors give private instruction in composition.

Top
#2167655 - 10/17/13 10:52 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: stalefleas]
boo1234 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 489
I think you are reaching the point where you are too old and need to seriously focus on earning money. You are entering your prime earning years and have no real job (you haven't mentioned one yet... just getting a trade). You are wasting your time and jeopardizing your future by putting all of this off. People are going to be less likely to hire you for your first job when you are in your 30s. I think, you need to start training for your trade seriously now and then break into that field and continue with music and composition on the side as a hobby.

Top
#2167656 - 10/17/13 10:52 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
rada Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 1124
Loc: pagosa springs,co
Personally, I think you should always go with what you love but that doesn't always mean you will be able to make a living from your passion. A musician's life can be 'jack of many trades' in their craft. Teaching, performing, composing, recording, accompanying....well I think the list can go on. Good luck!

rada

Top
#2167658 - 10/17/13 10:58 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: boo1234]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4491
Loc: in the past
Originally Posted By: boo1234
I think you are reaching the point where you are too old and need to seriously focus on earning money. You are entering your prime earning years and have no real job (you haven't mentioned one yet... just getting a trade). You are wasting your time and jeopardizing your future by putting all of this off. People are going to be less likely to hire you for your first job when you are in your 30s. I think, you need to start training for your trade seriously now and then break into that field and continue with music and composition on the side as a hobby.


And what do you do?
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

Top
#2167662 - 10/17/13 11:12 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: Pogorelich.]
boo1234 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 489
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Originally Posted By: boo1234
I think you are reaching the point where you are too old and need to seriously focus on earning money. You are entering your prime earning years and have no real job (you haven't mentioned one yet... just getting a trade). You are wasting your time and jeopardizing your future by putting all of this off. People are going to be less likely to hire you for your first job when you are in your 30s. I think, you need to start training for your trade seriously now and then break into that field and continue with music and composition on the side as a hobby.


And what do you do?


I am an emergency medicine physician. what does it matter in regards to the question from the OP?

Top
#2167664 - 10/17/13 11:18 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
boo1234 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 489
The reality of the situation is that he'll be close to 30 when he earns his degree and is going to be in a lot of debt while trying to find a job in a field where the job market is very scare as it is even for highly trained and talented people. I think it makes more sense to get a steady paying job and to do music composition on the side as a hobby, when you take into account that the composition people at the schools he applied to said his compositions and theory skills were lacking.

People need to stop living in fantasy land where you can be what you want to be and should do what you love to do. It doesn't pay the bills.


Edited by boo1234 (10/17/13 11:23 AM)

Top
#2167680 - 10/17/13 11:47 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Pathbreaker Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/04
Posts: 988
Loc: Massachusetts
Music is of great importance to you and it makes you happy. Fortunately you get to keep this relationship with music whether it becomes your career or not. It would be better to enjoy music at every turn as an amateur while living well in a secure career than to try and create a career out of music this late in the game. If you did go with music as a career choice now, you might find yourself not liking it so much with a great deal of undue pressure to be successful at it from an income perspective.

Starting off behind in university will also mean you have to work much harder than the average student. I think you will be much happier if you follow boo1234's advice to enter the job market sooner rather than later. What's most important is that you figure out what transferable skills you have and what skills are worth developing so that you can be competitive in the job market. Just don't let your passion for music get lost in the shuffle.

The university setting is quite unnecessary for you from what you've said. If you can afford private instruction, you will likely get everything you want provided you have the time and resources to keep up with it.

It's great that you are being so thoughtful about this and it is NOT an easy decision to make. The advice about getting a mentor, career coach or academic advisor is spot on and of great importance. Even when in school, most people don't take advantage of these kinds of resources. This is the best place to start.

Top
#2167701 - 10/17/13 01:12 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
bennevis Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4384
I agree with the consensus here.

Everyone has dreams of only doing what you love, and making a good living out of it, but that usually only works in some jobs, and only if you are super lucky or super talented, or (more likely) both. Much more realistic to keep your love as a hobby, and maybe making a bit of money on the side with it, in your spare time, but to have a day job that pays your bills.

I have several hobbies, and managed to make some money out of two of them (photography & mountaineering - I've sold quite a few landscape, mountaineering and portrait photos over the years) but that only just about covered the cost of the holiday/expedition I took to get those photos. As for music, I realized early on that it could never be anything other than a hobby - I had no real talent, and I started learning piano too late (aged 10) to develop a proper virtuoso technique. So, I play for fun, do the odd concert for charity, and compose for my own pleasure. (I have a pile of my own opuses which almost no one has ever seen or played other than myself). And my other dream of becoming a nuclear scientist also dissolved as part of my reality check in my late teens when I went to university...... grin

Top
#2167705 - 10/17/13 01:21 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: boo1234]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: boo1234
The reality of the situation is that he'll be close to 30 when he earns his degree and is going to be in a lot of debt while trying to find a job in a field where the job market is very scare as it is even for highly trained and talented people. I think it makes more sense to get a steady paying job and to do music composition on the side as a hobby, when you take into account that the composition people at the schools he applied to said his compositions and theory skills were lacking.

People need to stop living in fantasy land where you can be what you want to be and should do what you love to do. It doesn't pay the bills.


wow you must be a very sad, sad person.

I think some people are getting the wrong idea, i love doing lots of things, and i have worked since i left school, so let's not talk to me like a child.
I was simply asking the pros and cons of university education, as the title hints. Don't patronise me.
_________________________
All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

Top
#2167712 - 10/17/13 01:50 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
cefinow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/10
Posts: 355
If I were you, I would go back to school. If you can work and support yourself, and becoming a highly paid professional is not *the* main goal of your life, you can get by somehow.

Consider this scenario: You decide not to go back to school just now; you still love music and want to study it; you continue with your life till past age 30 and then decide to go back to school, with the same considerations you have now, but that much older. Would that be easier?

Top
#2167723 - 10/17/13 02:07 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
dire tonic Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1040
Loc: uk south
I think the main snag in choosing a formal education is that it provides no direct route into any aspect of commercial music (film/theatre/sessions). You’ll need lucky breaks and a lot of energetic networking.

Could you get involved in a band of some sort? Many session guys started off through gigging, building a reputation from there.

Top
#2167728 - 10/17/13 02:25 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: boo1234]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4491
Loc: in the past
Originally Posted By: boo1234
The reality of the situation is that he'll be close to 30 when he earns his degree and is going to be in a lot of debt while trying to find a job in a field where the job market is very scare as it is even for highly trained and talented people. I think it makes more sense to get a steady paying job and to do music composition on the side as a hobby, when you take into account that the composition people at the schools he applied to said his compositions and theory skills were lacking.

People need to stop living in fantasy land where you can be what you want to be and should do what you love to do. It doesn't pay the bills.


Okay, two things - money isn't everything in life, and there are ways to do this without going into debt.
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

Top
#2167731 - 10/17/13 02:34 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: dire tonic]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: dire tonic

Could you get involved in a band of some sort? Many session guys started off through gigging, building a reputation from there.


This is something i have also been deeply considering but i didn't need to post that on here for an answer!! grin

as you can see my biggest problem is considering more than doing.
_________________________
All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

Top
#2167733 - 10/17/13 02:37 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Louis Podesta Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 601
I went back to school when I was 28 and finished in two years. During that time, Dr. Jean Barr, now of Eastman, took me out into the hallway after sight-reading class and told me that I should change my major from music to something else.

And, for the record, when my news story hits, and it is very close to happening, I will not fail to mention that occurrence.

Hey, when Tchaikovsky showed him his 1st piano concerto, Rubinstein told him it was not good at all - so much for opinions on composition.

There isn't a major composer of record who didn't write a lot of junk before they hit their stride. Someone's age has nothing to do with it.

As far as university is concerned, I predict that, in as little as ten years, our educational system will be drastically re-vamped and won't even remotely resemble what it is now.

Berklee has over 37,000 students studying online, and they are rated one of the highest schools in the nation, when it comes to distance learning. The best ear training instructor I ever had was at Berklee online.

So, for now, find yourself someone to study composition under privately and then just write, write, and write some more. Whatever you do, continue to listen to your heart and your head, and the rest of the world can just take a flying leap!

Top
#2167735 - 10/17/13 02:39 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
boo1234 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 489
Originally Posted By: TheHappyMoron
Originally Posted By: boo1234
The reality of the situation is that he'll be close to 30 when he earns his degree and is going to be in a lot of debt while trying to find a job in a field where the job market is very scare as it is even for highly trained and talented people. I think it makes more sense to get a steady paying job and to do music composition on the side as a hobby, when you take into account that the composition people at the schools he applied to said his compositions and theory skills were lacking.

People need to stop living in fantasy land where you can be what you want to be and should do what you love to do. It doesn't pay the bills.


wow you must be a very sad, sad person.

I think some people are getting the wrong idea, i love doing lots of things, and i have worked since i left school, so let's not talk to me like a child.
I was simply asking the pros and cons of university education, as the title hints. Don't patronise me.



No one is patronizing you. You provided limited details about your situation. I still stand by my assertion that you should study music on the side as a hobby. If you want to get a degree from a university, that is great. Just make sure it is in something with practical application like STEM, accounting, or business.

I have seen many of my friends make mistakes like getting degrees in medieval art history because they "love" it and they end up unemployed, in part time jobs, or waiting tables... not that there is anything wrong with waiting tables, but they could have done that without their degree that they paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for.

Top
#2167739 - 10/17/13 02:48 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: boo1234]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
which is why i was asking the benefits of music university, i am well aware of people going to university for nothing more than "waiting tables", as you put it.

Although i don't agree with you cold cynical view of life i know what you are saying, but no more than because others have posted the same advice already. As Pogo said, money isn't everything; i come from a rather poor family and i have seen how the other half live. It's quite depressing actually.

And there's no need for me to detail my entire biography, i asked for advice on university, not advice on how to live my life. but for the record, i have been paying my own bills for quite a few years now, and even support other members of my family to some degree.

On a side note: we don't pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for education here in the UK
_________________________
All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

Top
#2167747 - 10/17/13 03:18 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13706
Loc: Iowa City, IA
My advice is that you need to be more specific - what exactly do you need? Are the schools you're looking at able to give you what you need? Do they have a good track record of helping others get the same thing? Is there a market for what you want to do? Do you know how to break into it? If you don't, can the faculty at the university help? Do they have the connections and practical experience?

And here's the trick - in music, you need to be able to figure a lot of those things out yourself. Unlike medicine or accounting or business or engineering, music programs do not offer a clear vocational path. Everybody in music is to some extent a self-made entrepreneur. A university can help you develop your skills, but a big part of making it in music is creating a market for those skills yourself.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

Top
#2167795 - 10/17/13 05:34 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5834
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: TheHappyMoron
Although i don't agree with you cold cynical view of life i know what you are saying, but no more than because others have posted the same advice already...And there's no need for me to detail my entire biography, i asked for advice on university, not advice on how to live my life.
I think you're being hard on boo1234. He was responding to things like the following in your initial post:
Originally Posted By: TheHappyMoron
I'm not really sure what to do with my life... so do you think i should go to university? ...So what do you think, should i bother? or should i go by way of another route? ...
I earn my living from music but I don't think boo's view is cold and cynical at all, and I do think he was trying to be helpful and not patronising.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

Top
#2167804 - 10/17/13 05:47 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: Pogorelich.]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19097
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Originally Posted By: boo1234
The reality of the situation is that he'll be close to 30 when he earns his degree and is going to be in a lot of debt while trying to find a job in a field where the job market is very scare as it is even for highly trained and talented people. I think it makes more sense to get a steady paying job and to do music composition on the side as a hobby, when you take into account that the composition people at the schools he applied to said his compositions and theory skills were lacking.

People need to stop living in fantasy land where you can be what you want to be and should do what you love to do. It doesn't pay the bills.


Okay, two things - money isn't everything in life, and there are ways to do this without going into debt.
I think the reason many posters have recommended doing composition as a hobby is that the OP doesn't give the impression that he has studied music that much in the past. In your case, I'd guess you had been studying piano quite seriously for quite a long time by the time you graduated from high school.In other words, you were much better prepared.

OTOH a former high school math student of mine was always very interested in music, especially composition. He studied biology in college and worked in a lab for quite a few years after college. Then he applied to Juiliard where I think(not really sure?)he may not have been accepted at first. He eventually got into Juilliard, got his PhD in composition there studying with John Corigliano, and now teaches at Juilliard. He seems to be very successful and has won numerous awards and commissions. You can read more about him here:
http://raymondlustig.com/#/about/


Edited by pianoloverus (10/17/13 05:56 PM)

Top
#2167807 - 10/17/13 05:49 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Polyphonist Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 6350
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: TheHappyMoron
...they told me my theory was too far behind and my compositions were too old fashioned.
Well now, my theory's better as i study it a lot...

Post a composition of yours and I'll tell you whether you need to work on your theory or not.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

Top
#2167816 - 10/17/13 06:10 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: Polyphonist]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: TheHappyMoron
...they told me my theory was too far behind and my compositions were too old fashioned.
Well now, my theory's better as i study it a lot...

Post a composition of yours and I'll tell you whether you need to work on your theory or not.


haha no thanks, like i'd care for the self-professed music god's opinion.
_________________________
All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

Top
#2167820 - 10/17/13 06:21 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: currawong]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: TheHappyMoron
Although i don't agree with you cold cynical view of life i know what you are saying, but no more than because others have posted the same advice already...And there's no need for me to detail my entire biography, i asked for advice on university, not advice on how to live my life.
I think you're being hard on boo1234. He was responding to things like the following in your initial post:
Originally Posted By: TheHappyMoron
I'm not really sure what to do with my life... so do you think i should go to university? ...So what do you think, should i bother? or should i go by way of another route? ...
I earn my living from music but I don't think boo's view is cold and cynical at all, and I do think he was trying to be helpful and not patronising.


Perhaps I was a bit harsh and defensive. I apologise boo1234.

Perhaps I shouldn't have asked for advice here. Just forget I ever said anything.


Edited by TheHappyMoron (10/17/13 06:23 PM)
_________________________
All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

Top
#2167840 - 10/17/13 07:14 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Polyphonist Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 6350
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: TheHappyMoron
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: TheHappyMoron
...they told me my theory was too far behind and my compositions were too old fashioned.
Well now, my theory's better as i study it a lot...

Post a composition of yours and I'll tell you whether you need to work on your theory or not.


haha no thanks, like i'd care for the self-professed music god's opinion.

(insert infinite string of question marks here)

Self-professed music god? Are you feeling all right?
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

Top
#2167856 - 10/17/13 07:53 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: Polyphonist]
boo1234 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 489
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: TheHappyMoron
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: TheHappyMoron
...they told me my theory was too far behind and my compositions were too old fashioned.
Well now, my theory's better as i study it a lot...

Post a composition of yours and I'll tell you whether you need to work on your theory or not.


haha no thanks, like i'd care for the self-professed music god's opinion.

(insert infinite string of question marks here)

Self-professed music god? Are you feeling all right?
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: TheHappyMoron
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: TheHappyMoron
...they told me my theory was too far behind and my compositions were too old fashioned.
Well now, my theory's better as i study it a lot...

Post a composition of yours and I'll tell you whether you need to work on your theory or not.


haha no thanks, like i'd care for the self-professed music god's opinion.

(insert infinite string of question marks here)

Self-professed music god? Are you feeling all right?


Clearly he has everything all figured out. help

Top
#2167899 - 10/17/13 11:03 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5834
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: TheHappyMoron
Perhaps I shouldn't have asked for advice here. Just forget I ever said anything.
I don't think there was anything wrong with asking your question. I hope you can make a satisfying choice.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

Top
#2167924 - 10/18/13 12:08 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4491
Loc: in the past
I think in a university environment you will learn things that you otherwise won't if you "do it yourself" or even just take lessons. You learn from your classes, your readings, further readings guided by self study, your profs, and especially your classmates (given that you get lucky and hang out with knowledgeable friends). The daily environment is quite different than when you're trying to learn things on your own and are not in school.

That's my experience anyway.

As for age, I think now is always the time - you will only get older, right? smile
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

Top
#2167954 - 10/18/13 01:56 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Must just quote some good advice from Whoopi Goldberg
in the movie “In the Habit 2" (an absolute treat) ...
when she says to a young student ... when you wake in the morning and the first thing you think about is “writing” ... then you are a WRITER.
If the first thing you think about is “music” ...
then you are a MUSICIAN.

The OP is clearly a musician and should plug away in spite of

Boo (hoo) saying
“I think you are reaching the point where you are too old and need to seriously focus on earning money.”
What a clown! ... life is not for making money but for having fun.

I like rada’s bit
“Personally, I think you should always go with what you love”

More boo (hoo) gloom and sackcloth
“The reality of the situation is that he'll be close to 30 when he earns his degree and is going to be in a lot of debt while trying to find a job in a field where the job market is very scare as it is even for highly trained and talented people.”

Rimsky-Korskov managed to compose masterpieces while doing
duty on the bridge of a Russian clipper Almaz. ...
Imagine a world without the dreamy blockbuster “Scheherazade”!

As someone who spent 6 years qualifying as Architect at the University of Cape Town I might add that, the competitive nature of studying with students of the same age proved hugely motivational ... but that it was only in my 3rd year that I began to cotton on to the true imaginative capacity of an architect ...
in being able to design in one’s head ... no need for a pencil and paper .

The OP mentioned that his compositions have a “jazz” flavour
(for all the lame duck reactions of the professorial gang consulted) ...
And that, perhaps the greatest song writer of them all was George Gershwin.
(What wouldn’t I do for the royalties on just one of his hits “Summertime”.)









Top
#2167959 - 10/18/13 02:10 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: btb]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17666
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: btb
[...]And that, perhaps the greatest song writer of them all was George Gershwin.
(What wouldn’t I do for the royalties on just one of his hits “Unforgettable”.)


Can you trust a man who can't get simple, verifiable facts right? George Gershwin didn't write "Unforgettable." It was written by Irving Gordon and published in 1951.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony

Top
#2167962 - 10/18/13 02:21 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
"How the heck can we believe you"

Sorry BruceD old chap, I was getting ahead of myself ...
my rot has been corrected to read "Summertime".

regards btb

Top
#2167995 - 10/18/13 06:14 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1171
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: TheHappyMoron
On a side note: we don't pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for education here in the UK



The Royal Academy is £9k a year, 4 years thats £36k + living in London for 4 years (not exactly cheap). As someone who started at the Royal Academy when I was 29 if my experience is anything to go by then you will learn a lot. Whether that is good value for money or will give you what you want are not questions anyone can help you with.If I had my time again in todays financial situation I think I would be tempted to study privately with a couple of carefully picked people.
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/davebeeboss

Top
#2168035 - 10/18/13 09:02 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: boo1234]
Alan Lai Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 309
Loc: USA/Hong Kong
Originally Posted By: boo1234
The reality of the situation is that he'll be close to 30 when he earns his degree and is going to be in a lot of debt while trying to find a job in a field where the job market is very scare as it is even for highly trained and talented people. I think it makes more sense to get a steady paying job and to do music composition on the side as a hobby, when you take into account that the composition people at the schools he applied to said his compositions and theory skills were lacking.

People need to stop living in fantasy land where you can be what you want to be and should do what you love to do. It doesn't pay the bills.

Simply the truth. However, most members here do not like these facts.

Top
#2168038 - 10/18/13 09:10 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: btb]
Alan Lai Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 309
Loc: USA/Hong Kong
Originally Posted By: btb
Must just quote some good advice from Whoopi Goldberg
in the movie “In the Habit 2" (an absolute treat) ...
when she says to a young student ... when you wake in the morning and the first thing you think about is “writing” ... then you are a WRITER.
If the first thing you think about is “music” ...
then you are a MUSICIAN.

The OP is clearly a musician and should plug away in spite of

Boo (hoo) saying
“I think you are reaching the point where you are too old and need to seriously focus on earning money.”
What a clown! ... life is not for making money but for having fun.

I like rada’s bit
“Personally, I think you should always go with what you love”

More boo (hoo) gloom and sackcloth
“The reality of the situation is that he'll be close to 30 when he earns his degree and is going to be in a lot of debt while trying to find a job in a field where the job market is very scare as it is even for highly trained and talented people.”

Rimsky-Korskov managed to compose masterpieces while doing
duty on the bridge of a Russian clipper Almaz. ...
Imagine a world without the dreamy blockbuster “Scheherazade”!

As someone who spent 6 years qualifying as Architect at the University of Cape Town I might add that, the competitive nature of studying with students of the same age proved hugely motivational ... but that it was only in my 3rd year that I began to cotton on to the true imaginative capacity of an architect ...
in being able to design in one’s head ... no need for a pencil and paper .

The OP mentioned that his compositions have a “jazz” flavour
(for all the lame duck reactions of the professorial gang consulted) ...
And that, perhaps the greatest song writer of them all was George Gershwin.
(What wouldn’t I do for the royalties on just one of his hits “Summertime”.)










It is so interesting to notice that the majority of members here (or the most vocal members) are either, I'm just taking a guess:

1. Music hobbyists with a well-paid full time job.
2. Retired or near retirement music hobbyists.
3. Well established music teachers in their 60s.

While the young professional musicians shed some light on how bad the profession actually is, and how bad the music job market is, they get either patronizing or criticizing replies.

To the OP, since one member already said the truth about music as a profession, I am going to just say you should read his reply carefully and judge yourself.

Top
#2168044 - 10/18/13 09:18 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13706
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Another truth:

Lots of people make a living doing music. You have to be good, creative, and maybe even a little lucky, but people do it every day.

The main difference between going to college for music and going to college for medicine (or any other professional track) is that at the conclusion of a professional degree, there are jobs you can apply for. In music, you have to go out and create your own job.

Looking at the title of this thread, I'd put it like this:

Pros of university: good training, make connections
Cons of university: it doesn't guarantee anything

The problem with threads like these is that the OP wants to skip to the end of his story to find out if he'll be okay. I have some friends to who went back to school late - a few have done quite well. One works as a church musician and recording engineer in NYC. Another teaches and works with an opera company and professional orchestra in Florida. I have other friends who haven't done as well - they ended up going back to school for something else entirely, or found desk jobs or work in sales, etc...

The OP needs to figure out how much he's willing to gamble. Obviously, the biases in this thread reflect people's own answers to that question. Those of us who have chosen music and have been successful or who didn't choose music and regret it a great deal think it's worth the gamble. Those who have found success and happiness doing other things think it's not worth the gamble.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

Top
#2168060 - 10/18/13 10:12 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: Kreisler]
bennevis Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4384
Everyone who's posted on this thread obviously would be giving opinions colored by their own experiences, or by that of others they know. Or maybe by what they've read.

In my own case, I have an acquaintance who won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, and won several prizes while there, including an international piano competition. After engagements dried up, he decided he didn't want to become a teacher, changed tack and went back to university to study medicine. He's now a surgeon. He regretted ever going to the RAM, because he'd be a lot more successful as a surgeon now if he'd just kept music as a hobby, and he could have just satisfied his performing cravings by taking part in amateur competitions (he'd have had a good chance of winning them), once his medical career had become established. As it is, he is still looking for a consultant job, competing against other surgeons at the same level as him, but much younger. He has no time to play piano any more.

There's a wonderful Canadian ex-concert pianist, Naida Cole, who also changed career and is now pursuing a medical career. Her recordings of French music on Decca - Ravel's Gaspard & Miroirs, Fauré, Chabrier - are still among the best around.

I also know personally of a violinist who plays in a London orchestra as first violin. She supplements her income by teaching, doing sessional work (film music, backing for pop bands, musicals etc). She doesn't regret choosing music as her profession, but tells me that it's a precarious existence. She has to play a lot of music she dislikes (pop and some musicals), teach recalcitrant students, and has to pass an audition every three years to stay in the orchestra - competing against all the young, upcoming violinists fresh from youth orchestras and conservatoires. Many of them (like herself) had failed to attain a solo career, and decided to try for an orchestral job instead.

Top
#2168075 - 10/18/13 11:13 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
cefinow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/10
Posts: 355
Originally Posted By: TheHappyMoron


I'm not really sure what to do with my life.


The first line of the initial post sums it up... Maybe it's not about "going back to school or not," at all!

I should have learned by now that in some cases, investing effort in advice is pointless, because the person lacks the sense of direction needed to act on any advice. Sure enough, OP comes back later to say to "forget the whole thing."

In my case, teacher has suggested going to school to study music (adding that there are no guarantees to employment), but obviously that would color my own answer. And as such, I am plotting to take my own advice to the OP, to go back to school.

Top
#2168077 - 10/18/13 11:25 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: Alan Lai]
cefinow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/10
Posts: 355
Originally Posted By: Alan Lai
Originally Posted By: boo1234


People need to stop living in fantasy land where you can be what you want to be and should do what you love to do. It doesn't pay the bills.

Simply the truth. However, most members here do not like these facts.


What if you become "what you want to be" and "do what you love to do," and it pays the bills? (smirk) It does happen, you know. It's not fantasy land, it's the land of blood, sweat & tears sometimes.

Top
#2168082 - 10/18/13 11:34 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: btb]
boo1234 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 489
Originally Posted By: btb


Boo (hoo) saying
“I think you are reaching the point where you are too old and need to seriously focus on earning money.”
What a clown! ... life is not for making money but for having fun.


More boo (hoo) gloom and sackcloth
“The reality of the situation is that he'll be close to 30 when he earns his degree and is going to be in a lot of debt while trying to find a job in a field where the job market is very scare as it is even for highly trained and talented people.”

Rimsky-Korskov managed to compose masterpieces while doing
duty on the bridge of a Russian clipper Almaz. ...
Imagine a world without the dreamy blockbuster “Scheherazade”!






Money may not be everything but it makes things a heck of a lot easier. The prospect of living on low wages and not having disposable income to do what I want to do that I think is fun is not appealing to me in the least. If the op is one of those people who likes to throw hazard into the wind regardless of the consequences so be it.

Let's be real. The op is 99.9999999% not a rimsky korsakov in the making.

I really am trying to be helpful and fiscally responsible. I say the same advice to anyone wanting to major in the humanities or arts. In today's job market it is just a recipe for financial disaster where the vast majority will be barely scraping by each month working part time jobs outside of their fields of study.

Top
#2168089 - 10/18/13 11:47 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: cefinow]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: cefinow
Originally Posted By: TheHappyMoron


I'm not really sure what to do with my life.


The first line of the initial post sums it up... Maybe it's not about "going back to school or not," at all!


okay, if you read the first line you will see it's a statement, not a question. it's simply the way i write, i like to make things a little light hearted. don't look into it so much. honestly.

Originally Posted By: cefinow

I should have learned by now that in some cases, investing effort in advice is pointless, because the person lacks the sense of direction needed to act on any advice. Sure enough, OP comes back later to say to "forget the whole thing."


actually, if anyone here actually took the time to read they would see this whole thread was resolved at the forth post. go on, read it.
since then it's simply been people shouting their opinions. reminds me of the old saying

"the wise speak when they have something to say
and fools speak because they have to say something."


if it makes you all feel better, i have read all your replies and considered them all thoroughly. the reason i wished i hadn't wrote anything in the first place? because it's typical of this forum for people to come in with their advice as if they and only they know the truth about things, and then start crying their eyes out how john knows jack who failed in life because he didn't go into medicine; the reason i get so defensive is when people try to use me as an excuse for them to jump up on their high horse and educate me on everything from finding middle c to cake baking. it's nothing to do with me not being able to handle the reality of the situation, it's your attitudes that irritate me.
i've got what i needed to know. so thank you. problem solved. smile
_________________________
All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

Top
#2168093 - 10/18/13 12:06 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: boo1234]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4491
Loc: in the past
Originally Posted By: boo1234


I really am trying to be helpful and fiscally responsible. I say the same advice to anyone wanting to major in the humanities or arts. In today's job market it is just a recipe for financial disaster where the vast majority will be barely scraping by each month working part time jobs outside of their fields of study.


Yeah, it happens all the time. Not just with music, but with all arts - and other field too, actually. But at least these people are trying to fight the system and they're not simply complacently accepting their supposedly ill fates - which is to live to work insipid jobs. That is the world at its ugliest.

Being poor ain't fun, but there are many ways to make ends meet in any field. You just have to be good, not lazy, and creative. That seems like too much work for some people, which is totally fine, and so they settle for other, "safe" work.

Best of luck, THM.
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

Top
#2168108 - 10/18/13 12:37 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: Pogorelich.]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Best of luck, THM.


thank you
_________________________
All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

Top
#2168224 - 10/18/13 05:35 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
cefinow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/10
Posts: 355
Originally Posted By: TheHappyMoron
Originally Posted By: cefinow
Originally Posted By: TheHappyMoron


I'm not really sure what to do with my life.


The first line of the initial post sums it up... Maybe it's not about "going back to school or not," at all!


okay, if you read the first line you will see it's a statement, not a question. it's simply the way i write, i like to make things a little light hearted. don't look into it so much. honestly.

Originally Posted By: cefinow

I should have learned by now that in some cases, investing effort in advice is pointless, because the person lacks the sense of direction needed to act on any advice. Sure enough, OP comes back later to say to "forget the whole thing."


actually, if anyone here actually took the time to read they would see this whole thread was resolved at the forth post. go on, read it.


Okay, I missed that post. Sorry about my "pointless" comment, that did strike me as unnecessarily unkind, on retrospect.

Top
#2168262 - 10/18/13 08:23 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Rebecca Piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/02/13
Posts: 48
Loc: Sydney, Australia
HappyMoron, what trade were you thinking of getting into? Everybody has given personal experiences, anecdotes and opinions. I thought I'd give you my personal experience as well, not gospel, just my two cents.

I studied music at university for two years until I decided to see the world and do a gap year. In this time, I did a trade and studied to become a chef. I worked in restaurants and then went back to university the next year to finish my degree. I never regretted doing that.

I suppose if you see trade as a fall back option, then it's going to be hard... Trades demand a lot of physical work. They can also pay poorly (depending on the trade). I wanted to be a chef, and when I finish university, I intend to start an apprenticeship in commercial cookery. I'm doing this because I have the burning desire to do it.

Even though Boo1234 has made a good point in concentrating on finding a real job NOW, there is the counter-argument that I have grown up on and that is do everything and anything you want to when you are young, when you don't have responsibilities like a mortgage or a mouth to feed - I take that you are in that situation right now?

I keep thinking, it also wouldn't hurt if you auditioned or submitted your works into a university. If you don't get in, then you can reconsider things, if you do get through then you can think about enrolling.

Anyway - what did you decide to end up doing?
_________________________
Independent Piano and Music Teacher
University Undergraduate Majoring in Music
Total Foodie
http://www.pianolessonswithrebecca.com/

Top
#2168336 - 10/19/13 02:53 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Lai from US/Hong Kong might just need to add to his guesses ... perhaps, 4,5,6 ...
“That the majority of members are either
1. Music hobbyists with a well-paid full time job.
2. Retired or near retirement music hobbyists.
3. Well established music teachers in their 60s.”
The Chinese gentleman chooses his words delicately in suggesting
“either patronizing or criticizing replies.”

How about
“experienced, well travelled and sympathetically interested.”

Kind regards, btb

Top
#2168346 - 10/19/13 03:54 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: btb]
bennevis Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4384
Originally Posted By: btb
Lai from US/Hong Kong might just need to add to his guesses ... perhaps, 4,5,6 ...
“That the majority of members are either
1. Music hobbyists with a well-paid full time job.
2. Retired or near retirement music hobbyists.
3. Well established music teachers in their 60s.”
The Chinese gentleman chooses his words delicately in suggesting
“either patronizing or criticizing replies.”

How about
“experienced, well travelled and sympathetically interested.”


I, 2 or 3 doesn't preclude 4, 5 and 6.

Or, to put it another way, they aren't mutually exclusive.......

Top
#2168349 - 10/19/13 04:27 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: cefinow]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: cefinow
Originally Posted By: TheHappyMoron
Originally Posted By: cefinow
Originally Posted By: TheHappyMoron


I'm not really sure what to do with my life.


The first line of the initial post sums it up... Maybe it's not about "going back to school or not," at all!


okay, if you read the first line you will see it's a statement, not a question. it's simply the way i write, i like to make things a little light hearted. don't look into it so much. honestly.

Originally Posted By: cefinow

I should have learned by now that in some cases, investing effort in advice is pointless, because the person lacks the sense of direction needed to act on any advice. Sure enough, OP comes back later to say to "forget the whole thing."


actually, if anyone here actually took the time to read they would see this whole thread was resolved at the forth post. go on, read it.


Okay, I missed that post. Sorry about my "pointless" comment, that did strike me as unnecessarily unkind, on retrospect.


Dear cefinow, my comment wasn't aimed at you specifically, it's simply because your post allowed me to address all the points I wished to address. smile
_________________________
All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

Top
#2168353 - 10/19/13 04:33 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: Rebecca Piano]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Rebecca Piano
HappyMoron, what trade were you thinking of getting into? Everybody has given personal experiences, anecdotes and opinions. I thought I'd give you my personal experience as well, not gospel, just my two cents.

I studied music at university for two years until I decided to see the world and do a gap year. In this time, I did a trade and studied to become a chef. I worked in restaurants and then went back to university the next year to finish my degree. I never regretted doing that.

I suppose if you see trade as a fall back option, then it's going to be hard... Trades demand a lot of physical work. They can also pay poorly (depending on the trade). I wanted to be a chef, and when I finish university, I intend to start an apprenticeship in commercial cookery. I'm doing this because I have the burning desire to do it.

Even though Boo1234 has made a good point in concentrating on finding a real job NOW, there is the counter-argument that I have grown up on and that is do everything and anything you want to when you are young, when you don't have responsibilities like a mortgage or a mouth to feed - I take that you are in that situation right now?

I keep thinking, it also wouldn't hurt if you auditioned or submitted your works into a university. If you don't get in, then you can reconsider things, if you do get through then you can think about enrolling.

Anyway - what did you decide to end up doing?


I am glad you are following your dreams, especially in a more active form than I am! I, too, love cooking!
I am fairly knowledgeable in manual labour work and have worked for landscapers, plumbers, and painter and decorators, and follow cabinet making as a hobby, but ubfortunately I have very little qualifications so I would have to go to college if I wished to make a career of it.
I have decided to leave university and follow music through other means, hopefully as some form of session musician. Fingers crossed eh!
_________________________
All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

Top
#2168368 - 10/19/13 05:58 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
peekay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/13
Posts: 184
Personally, if I wanted to become a professional musician, I'd enroll into a music school (not necessarily a university). To be a musician it takes many years of full-time dedicated study and going to a music school provides the opportunity, freedom and focus to do exactly that. It also gives you access to some of the best teachers and allows you to collaborate with fellow students and others in the music industry.

To be a session musician today, you have to be the best of the best. You must have flawless technique, be able to sight-read any style of music and play it right from the first take, know music theory inside and out, and be super reliable.

For keyboard/piano especially, the competition is intense. For some instruments, like the drums, school might be optional but I think for the keys -- well you'll be competing for the same session gigs against people who have performance degrees from Berklee, Juilliard, etc., in addition to their years of professional experience.

I watched a "behind the scenes" clip the other day about a studio session in London for a movie I've never heard of. Turned out the pianist sitting in for the session was Yuja Wang. I mean, how does one compete with someone like her?
_________________________
Working on RCM Grade 8

Top
#2168502 - 10/19/13 12:49 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: peekay]
dire tonic Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1040
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: peekay
Personally, if I wanted to become a professional musician, I'd enroll into a music school (not necessarily a university). To be a musician it takes many years of full-time dedicated study and going to a music school provides the opportunity, freedom and focus to do exactly that. It also gives you access to some of the best teachers and allows you to collaborate with fellow students and others in the music industry.

To be a session musician today, you have to be the best of the best. You must have flawless technique, be able to sight-read any style of music and play it right from the first take, know music theory inside and out, and be super reliable.

For keyboard/piano especially, the competition is intense. For some instruments, like the drums, school might be optional but I think for the keys -- well you'll be competing for the same session gigs against people who have performance degrees from Berklee, Juilliard, etc., in addition to their years of professional experience.

I watched a "behind the scenes" clip the other day about a studio session in London for a movie I've never heard of. Turned out the pianist sitting in for the session was Yuja Wang. I mean, how does one compete with someone like her?


Sure, and my feeling would be ‘you can’t compete’! Here, you’re describing just one corner of the session world where of necessity you need the kind of musicians you describe but since the advent of ‘modern’ pop music – from say the early 60s – there’s been a sizeable core of rhythm section session musicians who, from a more or less shaky, ear-playing start, cut their teeth playing in bands. I’m thinking particularly of guys playing guitar, bass and drums but also keyboards/piano many of them far more skilled in their own specialisms (C&W, Soul, R&B, Blues etc) than their classically trained counterparts.

This is also a difficult session world to penetrate but the necessary skill set is different from that required by most film and TV commercial sessions which are scored in detail. Of course, there are exceptions but generally a formal musical education is rarely going to be of much use in the former.

Top
#2168548 - 10/19/13 02:38 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
peekay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/13
Posts: 184
I think for keys, unless you're already an established session musician "from the old days" (60s-80s), more and more the field is getting dominated by people who went to school (have solid technique & theory) plus have many years of experience in various professional capacities (bands, etc.)

Part of the reason is because today we have top musicians from Jazz-oriented schools like Berklee and UNT, in addition to the glut of classically trained Curtis and Juilliard graduates, in addition to all the fine graduates from the thousands of other music colleges and university programs worldwide.

That is, wide access to high quality post-secondary music education means the bar has been lifted for musicians everywhere. All these schools are cranking out many many more musicians than there are jobs, so the competition for any job is really intense.

The guy/gal playing that simple 3-chord keyboard part in a pop recording might have a doctorate degree in piano performance. Sad but true.

For the recording industry in particular there are a couple of trends which favor musicians who went to various schools:

- Audiences today demand note-perfect performances in any genre. Everyone is expected to play with perfect technique. Minor sloppiness which might have been tolerated in the past are no longer acceptable in professional recordings.

- More than ever, time is money. Studio time in particular is expensive. The record label producer is not going to tolerate any session musician who's anything but top notch.

Musicians who started out their early careers with a diploma or degree in performance have an edge vs. everyone else. The gap between the "professional" player and the "amateur" player is always widening, and it's difficult to be a professional player these days without spending years perfecting your technique in schools.

There is room in the music industry for those who didn't go to school. E.g., I know a terrific singer/songwriter here, and school is just not for her. But when she goes to record, she's surrounded and complemented by A-list musicians who all went top schools. It's just the way it is.
_________________________
Working on RCM Grade 8

Top
#2168647 - 10/19/13 07:03 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
patH Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/13
Posts: 511
Loc: Germany
Here's my two cents.

After passing Abitur (the German equivalent of A level), I started to study computer science. Because that's what I wanted to do.
One question I heard fairly often at the time, from non-musicians who heard me play the piano, was: Why are you not studying music. I guess my piano playing must have impressed them. So after 2 years, when I hit a wall in computer science theory, I guess I asked myself the same question. So I dropped out of computer science and went to find a place to study music and math with the goal to become a schoolteacher.
After two years, when I was 23 years old, I started to study music, and later graduated from university in music and math. Due to another change of university I was already 30 when I graduated.
After one year of teacher's training I decided that teaching was not the job for me. So I quit, and started a training to become a technical writer. This lasted one year, and afterwards I immediately found a job at a software company, and I've been working there ever since.

So I've come back to the roots. My job is working with computers and computer programs, and I do music as a hobby.
I fit into the category of hobby musician with a well-paying full-time job. And I was almost 33 when I got a job at that company.

So to the OP: You can go to university to study music; but don't expect to make money with it. On the other hand, it's never too late to learn a job with which you can make money. If people tell you that you should have a job by age 30: Take that advice with a grain of salt.
Another thing: Don't get into debt. I am lucky to live in Germany where there were no university fees at the time I went there. I don't know the situation today; but getting into debt is not a good idea IMO.
_________________________
Everything is possible, and nothing is sure.
XXXI

Top
#2168765 - 10/20/13 02:34 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: patH]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17666
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: patH
[...]
Another thing: Don't get into debt. I am lucky to live in Germany where there were no university fees at the time I went there. I don't know the situation today; but getting into debt is not a good idea IMO.


I don't know how so many young people just out of university (in North American, mostly) and either not yet working or in low-payings job and with mountains of debt hanging over their heads can sleep at night. More and more, however, from what I hear and read that seems to becoming the norm. These are the people, I am afraid, who will spend so much of their early earning years struggling with their low incomes to pay off huge debts, to the point that they may have little money to build for a secure future wherein they can look forward to enjoying the fruits of their labours.

It's a sad situation.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony

Top
#2168780 - 10/20/13 04:00 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: peekay]
dire tonic Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1040
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: peekay
Everyone is expected to play with perfect technique. Minor sloppiness which might have been tolerated in the past are no longer acceptable in professional recordings.

.... It's just the way it is.


Yep, Mac Rebennack got away with murder....

Top
#2168854 - 10/20/13 09:56 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: cefinow]
Alan Lai Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 309
Loc: USA/Hong Kong
Originally Posted By: cefinow
Originally Posted By: Alan Lai
Originally Posted By: boo1234


People need to stop living in fantasy land where you can be what you want to be and should do what you love to do. It doesn't pay the bills.

Simply the truth. However, most members here do not like these facts.


What if you become "what you want to be" and "do what you love to do," and it pays the bills? (smirk) It does happen, you know. It's not fantasy land, it's the land of blood, sweat & tears sometimes.

That does happen and I know some of my friends who are exactly doing what they love to do and earning a lot of money.

However, those are VERY RARE. It takes not only your own personal skill and knowledge, but also luck and sometimes, your nationality.

Top
#2168857 - 10/20/13 10:01 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: btb]
Alan Lai Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 309
Loc: USA/Hong Kong
Originally Posted By: btb
Lai from US/Hong Kong might just need to add to his guesses ... perhaps, 4,5,6 ...
“That the majority of members are either
1. Music hobbyists with a well-paid full time job.
2. Retired or near retirement music hobbyists.
3. Well established music teachers in their 60s.”
The Chinese gentleman chooses his words delicately in suggesting
“either patronizing or criticizing replies.”

How about
“experienced, well travelled and sympathetically interested.”

Kind regards, btb




Interesting reply. Let's see:

Experienced: in what way? There are numerous of different kind of experience.

Well traveled: Is it well connected or well traveled? One can travel around the world without making any career enhancing connections, or one can travel to 3 countries making career changing connections.

Sympathetically interested: As you said, just interested, maybe doesn't really care.

Top
#2168859 - 10/20/13 10:05 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: patH]
Alan Lai Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 309
Loc: USA/Hong Kong
Originally Posted By: patH
So to the OP: You can go to university to study music; but don't expect to make money with it. On the other hand, it's never too late to learn a job with which you can make money. If people tell you that you should have a job by age 30: Take that advice with a grain of salt.
Another thing: Don't get into debt. I am lucky to live in Germany where there were no university fees at the time I went there. I don't know the situation today; but getting into debt is not a good idea IMO.

Couldn't agree more.

But the good thing in learning piano is, you will never run out of students. There are a huge demand in piano lessons everywhere, compared to, say, flute or saxophone. And there are many community colleges have class piano.

So if you are into teaching piano, you can guarantee an OK income.

Top
#2168901 - 10/20/13 11:42 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: BruceD]
boo1234 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 489
Originally Posted By: BruceD

I don't know how so many young people just out of university (in North American, mostly) and either not yet working or in low-payings job and with mountains of debt hanging over their heads can sleep at night. More and more, however, from what I hear and read that seems to becoming the norm. These are the people, I am afraid, who will spend so much of their early earning years struggling with their low incomes to pay off huge debts, to the point that they may have little money to build for a secure future wherein they can look forward to enjoying the fruits of their labours.

It's a sad situation.

Regards,


The problem is that majority of them are paying $50k+ per year for degrees in things they like (languages, sociology, renaissance art, underwater basket weaving grin ...) rather than something that will get them a high paying job. Compound that with them not being able to get important internships during school because their major has no practical application and you have a lot of unexperienced/un-hireable people with a boat load of debt that they have no way of repaying.

How many of the top touring concert pianists have come out of conservatories who were not already famous before they went into one? I'd venture to say the number is quite low, making me believe that if you have not been discovered by the time you're about to go into college, it's not going to happen for you if you dream about being a touring artist, therefore you should pick something else to do.

I think it's partly the parents fault and a society that indoctrinates kids with the belief that they can do anything and will be happy if they follow their heart's desire. Well, yes you can be anything and study anything in school, but you're going to be saddled with a lot of debt on your way out if you choose poorly.

Top
#2168907 - 10/20/13 11:56 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: boo1234]
bennevis Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4384
Here in the UK, we use the terms 'Mickey Mouse degrees' for students who go to university to get degrees which don't equip them for anything resembling a career or even any meaningful job.

And unfortunately, they are the most popular ones (maybe because they're the easiest to obtain for the least work) - Media Studies and Psychology.

Top
#2168909 - 10/20/13 12:00 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: boo1234]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13706
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: boo1234

The problem is that majority of them are paying $50k+ per year for degrees in things they like (languages, sociology, renaissance art, underwater basket weaving grin ...) rather than something that will get them a high paying job.


Where are the stats on this?

My understanding is that even degrees which used to be very employable (education and law for example) are no longer a guarantee, given the large number of people pursuing those degrees.

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news...ns-glum-703430/

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/20/nyregion/20teachers.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

And the "majority paying $50k+ a year" is nonsense. That kind of figure is reserved for private colleges. The University of Michigan, which is one of the more expensive public universities, costs less than $30,000 a year (including tuition, fees, materials, housing, and estimated personal costs.)
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

Top
#2168929 - 10/20/13 01:10 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4393
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...you need professional guidance re: career options and how to pursue them... I'm suggesting you need a mentor - someone... who can advise you on the pros and cons of "this" road "vs" that road...someone who can tell you WHO they've seen do what you're now looking to do and WHO they've seen reach goals from the background and circumstances you know have.

"If you do your research all will become clear. Bottom line: you NEED a career/educational counsellor and you need a mentor..."


Dear Mo',

There is one suggestion I was given 'back when', which I think might help. I was told to write to people in the field I was considering, and to ask them to grant me an informational interview. Not everyone will be willing to give you some of their time, but some will--- maybe more than you think. It's a great way to get an inside view of that line of work, and it's less of a commitment than becoming a mentor. It's also less pressure on both of you, than your asking them for a job.

The big challenge is, identifying these people. If you are as unsure of yourself as I was, the other big challenge is in working up the self-confidence to make the requests. The result for me was that I made only a few of these requests, in a very limited area. Now, I realize what a valuable tool this is, and realize that a wider spread of my focus would have told me a lot more.

Another thing of value might be to make friends with a librarian. A great deal more is published now about careers in music, and thanks to inter-library loans, you can have these volumes in your hands. Some of them are actually fun to read, for example, Million-Dollar Mistakes. A helpful librarian can help you find your way through the maze, and get to the information which is actually useful to you. Or, you can just buy these books outright. Bookstores, big music stores, online music instrument retailers, etc.

As for your 'old-fashioned' style. The pendulum swings, and it may become in demand again. Despite your screen name, I have the impression that you are not actually a moron, but are smart enough to know that your informant was trying to direct you toward a compositional style or format that is marketable today--- so you can get a paycheck sooner than 40 years in the future.

There is actually a vast market. A tiny slice is for headliners; a much bigger piece of the demand pie is for things like incidental music for TV, films (every genre--- not just the big movies for cinema release), video games, commercials. If you're good enough, and flexible enough, session work is a definite market, though the by-the-piece job security is not all that. I'm not sure you would have the temperament for a job being told what to play, when, and how. But there are many situations where that might not matter so much... and, you're smart enough to muffle your prickliness enough so that you can actually hold a paying job in the field you choose.

I can't say for sure that your formal training will definitely advance you, but I can say that lack of it can definitely hold you back, and that you may find doors closed in your face so quietly that you may never even know they exist. Your training does demonstrate a commitment and an aptitude; this is a calling card that may make a potential employer look twice.

Good luck to you.
_________________________
Clef


Top
#2168938 - 10/20/13 01:22 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: boo1234]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4491
Loc: in the past
Originally Posted By: boo1234


The problem is that majority of them are paying $50k+ per year for degrees in things they like (languages, sociology, renaissance art, underwater basket weaving grin ...) rather than something that will get them a high paying job. Compound that with them not being able to get important internships during school because their major has no practical application and you have a lot of unexperienced/un-hireable people with a boat load of debt that they have no way of repaying.

How many of the top touring concert pianists have come out of conservatories who were not already famous before they went into one? I'd venture to say the number is quite low, making me believe that if you have not been discovered by the time you're about to go into college, it's not going to happen for you if you dream about being a touring artist, therefore you should pick something else to do.

I think it's partly the parents fault and a society that indoctrinates kids with the belief that they can do anything and will be happy if they follow their heart's desire. Well, yes you can be anything and study anything in school, but you're going to be saddled with a lot of debt on your way out if you choose poorly.



Oh I truly feel bad for you that you believe this.

But you're also so, soooooooooo wrong... 50k a year?! I'm sure that there ARE people that pay that, but that's so ridiculous and doesn't happen very often at all. I've done 10 years of professional training, and my debt is not even a QUARTER of that! Jesus...

It's SOCIETY's fault that they are making you think you should be wasting your life working jobs you hate, and slaving away all your life to pay for the perfect 2 million dollar house, have the perfect car, eat gold, whatever. Sorry, but that's not the essence of life and I feel truly sorry for you if you think it is...................

Oh, and plus - you'll be "saddled" with a lot of debt on your way NO MATTER WHAT you choose, it seems.

But like I said, there are ways to avoid that.


Edited by Pogorelich. (10/20/13 05:45 PM)
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

Top
#2169043 - 10/20/13 05:27 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: Jeff Clef]
cefinow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/10
Posts: 355
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef


I can't say for sure that your formal training will definitely advance you, but I can say that lack of it can definitely hold you back...


There *is* that consideration, which I think is the crux of the matter. In some cases, education holds a young person back because of enormous debt and impracticality, but in this case (in light of the OP's stated financial self-sufficiency and low educational costs) I really can't see the drawback to furthering his musical education... unless it's a question of the curriculum being irrelevant to his own musical interests/inclinations. What sayest thou, Happy?

Top
#2169045 - 10/20/13 05:44 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: Pogorelich.]
boo1234 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 489
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Originally Posted By: boo1234


The problem is that majority of them are paying $50k+ per year for degrees in things they like (languages, sociology, renaissance art, underwater basket weaving grin ...) rather than something that will get them a high paying job. Compound that with them not being able to get important internships during school because their major has no practical application and you have a lot of unexperienced/un-hireable people with a boat load of debt that they have no way of repaying.

How many of the top touring concert pianists have come out of conservatories who were not already famous before they went into one? I'd venture to say the number is quite low, making me believe that if you have not been discovered by the time you're about to go into college, it's not going to happen for you if you dream about being a touring artist, therefore you should pick something else to do.

I think it's partly the parents fault and a society that indoctrinates kids with the belief that they can do anything and will be happy if they follow their heart's desire. Well, yes you can be anything and study anything in school, but you're going to be saddled with a lot of debt on your way out if you choose poorly.



Oh my god, you really must be a sad person who's had really bad luck in life. So, I'm sorry for that.

But you're also so, soooooooooo wrong... 50k a year?! I'm sure that there ARE people that pay that, but that's so ridiculous and doesn't happen very often at all. I've done 10 years of professional training, and my debt is not even a QUARTER of that! Jesus...

It's SOCIETY's fault that they are making you think you should be wasting your life working jobs you hate, and slaving away all your life to pay for the perfect 2 million dollar house, have the perfect car, eat gold, whatever. Sorry, but that's not the essence of life and I feel truly sorry for you if you think it is...................

Oh, and plus - you'll be "saddled" with a lot of debt on your way NO MATTER WHAT you choose, it seems.

But like I said, there are ways to avoid that.


I am very happy with my life. I am well compensated for what I do and have enough disposable income to travel and buy almost anything I want within reason. I'm also debt free.

Why do think I would be a sad and miserable person because I am giving practical life advice to someone? I didn't say to stop playing piano all together. I merely suggested to do that as a hobby and find a career path that pays well and is in high demand.

And finally, I save peoples' lives every day. What do you do that is as important?

Exactly...

Thank you for your concern.

Top
#2169049 - 10/20/13 05:52 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4491
Loc: in the past
Btw I edited that part out because I realized it was mean.

I may not save lives literally, but I do enrich them. What we do is very special. And I take my work very, very seriously. Many would argue that what we do is almost just as important as your field. Picture a life without any art at all... Yeah. Thank you.

Maybe you want to do this with all your heart - and that's great - so why advocate robbing someone of doing what THEY want? It's a big world; there's space for everybody.


Edited by Pogorelich. (10/20/13 05:54 PM)
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

Top
#2169050 - 10/20/13 05:53 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4491
Loc: in the past
Also you may find pleasure in all those wonderful things you can buy, but (and not to sound cliché) there are far greater things that your money cannot buy.
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

Top
#2169051 - 10/20/13 05:57 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: boo1234
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Originally Posted By: boo1234


The problem is that majority of them are paying $50k+ per year for degrees in things they like (languages, sociology, renaissance art, underwater basket weaving grin ...) rather than something that will get them a high paying job. Compound that with them not being able to get important internships during school because their major has no practical application and you have a lot of unexperienced/un-hireable people with a boat load of debt that they have no way of repaying.

How many of the top touring concert pianists have come out of conservatories who were not already famous before they went into one? I'd venture to say the number is quite low, making me believe that if you have not been discovered by the time you're about to go into college, it's not going to happen for you if you dream about being a touring artist, therefore you should pick something else to do.

I think it's partly the parents fault and a society that indoctrinates kids with the belief that they can do anything and will be happy if they follow their heart's desire. Well, yes you can be anything and study anything in school, but you're going to be saddled with a lot of debt on your way out if you choose poorly.



Oh my god, you really must be a sad person who's had really bad luck in life. So, I'm sorry for that.

But you're also so, soooooooooo wrong... 50k a year?! I'm sure that there ARE people that pay that, but that's so ridiculous and doesn't happen very often at all. I've done 10 years of professional training, and my debt is not even a QUARTER of that! Jesus...

It's SOCIETY's fault that they are making you think you should be wasting your life working jobs you hate, and slaving away all your life to pay for the perfect 2 million dollar house, have the perfect car, eat gold, whatever. Sorry, but that's not the essence of life and I feel truly sorry for you if you think it is...................

Oh, and plus - you'll be "saddled" with a lot of debt on your way NO MATTER WHAT you choose, it seems.

But like I said, there are ways to avoid that.


I am very happy with my life. I am well compensated for what I do and have enough disposable income to travel and buy almost anything I want within reason. I'm also debt free.

Why do think I would be a sad and miserable person because I am giving practical life advice to someone? I didn't say to stop playing piano all together. I merely suggested to do that as a hobby and find a career path that pays well and is in high demand.

And finally, I save peoples' lives every day. What do you do that is as important?

Exactly...

Thank you for your concern.


I think you're misunderstanding what pogo is saying,which is money isn't everything. The way you have worded your posts makes it seem as if we should all stop doing what we enjoy and do something we dislike purely for finacial stability. It comes across as pessimistic. Nobody said you do a worthless job, but everyone has their place in this world providing services to others in different forms.
_________________________
All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

Top
#2169053 - 10/20/13 06:04 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: Kreisler]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19097
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
[quote=boo1234]My understanding is that even degrees which used to be very employable (education and law for example) are no longer a guarantee, given the large number of people pursuing those degrees.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/20/nyregion/20teachers.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
As a former teacher I find that article on how difficult it is to land a teaching job very depressing. I don't think there was any problem like that when I taught, but the last job I took was around 30 years ago.

I do know that in NYC there is incredible competition among those who want to tutor. There are many very expensive private schools in NYC, and a huge percent of the students in those schools get private tutoring in at least one subject. For one tutoring job I got, the parent said there were 250 replies to their Craigslist ad.

I think most readers will find this article about tutoring in NYC almost unbelievable. Can you imagine paying six figures for your child's tutoring?
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/08/education/08tutors.html?pagewanted=all


Edited by pianoloverus (10/20/13 06:09 PM)

Top
#2169054 - 10/20/13 06:07 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: Jeff Clef]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef
"...you need professional guidance re: career options and how to pursue them... I'm suggesting you need a mentor - someone... who can advise you on the pros and cons of "this" road "vs" that road...someone who can tell you WHO they've seen do what you're now looking to do and WHO they've seen reach goals from the background and circumstances you know have.

"If you do your research all will become clear. Bottom line: you NEED a career/educational counsellor and you need a mentor..."


Dear Mo',

There is one suggestion I was given 'back when', which I think might help. I was told to write to people in the field I was considering, and to ask them to grant me an informational interview. Not everyone will be willing to give you some of their time, but some will--- maybe more than you think. It's a great way to get an inside view of that line of work, and it's less of a commitment than becoming a mentor. It's also less pressure on both of you, than your asking them for a job.

The big challenge is, identifying these people. If you are as unsure of yourself as I was, the other big challenge is in working up the self-confidence to make the requests. The result for me was that I made only a few of these requests, in a very limited area. Now, I realize what a valuable tool this is, and realize that a wider spread of my focus would have told me a lot more.

Another thing of value might be to make friends with a librarian. A great deal more is published now about careers in music, and thanks to inter-library loans, you can have these volumes in your hands. Some of them are actually fun to read, for example, Million-Dollar Mistakes. A helpful librarian can help you find your way through the maze, and get to the information which is actually useful to you. Or, you can just buy these books outright. Bookstores, big music stores, online music instrument retailers, etc.

As for your 'old-fashioned' style. The pendulum swings, and it may become in demand again. Despite your screen name, I have the impression that you are not actually a moron, but are smart enough to know that your informant was trying to direct you toward a compositional style or format that is marketable today--- so you can get a paycheck sooner than 40 years in the future.

There is actually a vast market. A tiny slice is for headliners; a much bigger piece of the demand pie is for things like incidental music for TV, films (every genre--- not just the big movies for cinema release), video games, commercials. If you're good enough, and flexible enough, session work is a definite market, though the by-the-piece job security is not all that. I'm not sure you would have the temperament for a job being told what to play, when, and how. But there are many situations where that might not matter so much... and, you're smart enough to muffle your prickliness enough so that you can actually hold a paying job in the field you choose.

I can't say for sure that your formal training will definitely advance you, but I can say that lack of it can definitely hold you back, and that you may find doors closed in your face so quietly that you may never even know they exist. Your training does demonstrate a commitment and an aptitude; this is a calling card that may make a potential employer look twice.

Good luck to you.


A very insightful post jeff clef, thank you.
Fortunately, I have little interest in being a headlining act and am far more interested in the other aspects of the music industry you have listed. Finding someone to contact is going to be the hardest part, as you say. I may know someone who I can ask, which I will get round to doing this week.
As for my screen name, whether I am a moron or not I do not know, although I have definitely done some moronic things in my life (as I've no doubt others have aswell!) But it actually comes from a poem which I think describes life quite well! grin
_________________________
All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

Top
#2169058 - 10/20/13 06:16 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: cefinow]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: cefinow
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef


I can't say for sure that your formal training will definitely advance you, but I can say that lack of it can definitely hold you back...


There *is* that consideration, which I think is the crux of the matter. In some cases, education holds a young person back because of enormous debt and impracticality, but in this case (in light of the OP's stated financial self-sufficiency and low educational costs) I really can't see the drawback to furthering his musical education... unless it's a question of the curriculum being irrelevant to his own musical interests/inclinations. What sayest thou, Happy?


I believe last time I checked the fee was 9000 a year which is more than enough debt to make me think twice. Which is why I was curious as to what a higher education can offer me in terms of career. I personally feel, now especially, that university would be a mistake for me. I have all my grades so I think I'll aim for some sort of work as a session musician (probably not in classical) and see if anything turns up for composing in the years to come.
_________________________
All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

Top
#2170914 - 10/23/13 11:22 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1459
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
To The Happy Moron,
I think if you have something you want to say with music, and you already can express it in some form or another, you should study composition. How you study is the question.

I have not often been impressed with the formal study of composition at a university. Too much worrying about what other composers think goes on there.

If you have a unique "voice" that comes out in your writing I would not let others formalistic musical thinking interfere with that. If you have a talent for "saying things" with musical phrases and form, that is an indication you are meant for the business. If other listeners, (especially people who don't really know you and are just reacting to what they hear), like to hear your music, then you have an audience.

Music history is full of forgotten compositions. Most of it for a good reason-mediocrity of message. If you have something to say with music-I say bring it on. Good luck!
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

Top
#2170942 - 10/24/13 12:14 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4149
Pros: get education

Cons: pay $200,000

Top
#2170947 - 10/24/13 12:28 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Kuanpiano Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 2048
Loc: Canada
Being a university student is not just about what is taught in class.

The entire experience shapes you, whether it's the challenge you face on tests, meeting new people who come from all walks of life, being surrounded by a culture which doesn't exist once you get into the workforce.

There are ways to be very involved in music without being a music student. Myself, I'm in one of the more demanding engineering programs in North America, but I'm also a director of an amateur music club. My repertoire has expanded a lot since I stopped taking lessons, and I've participated in what looks like over 20 performances in the past two years, working up almost 4 hours of repertoire just last year alone.

So if you are determined to stay in music, you can do it. But unlike people like Pogorelich., I can't really see myself doing a career in music - that's why I'm studying engineering.

Your entire university experience is shaped by what you want to get out of it - I can easily just spend all of my time studying in libraries, and walk out with a degree, a lot of money spent, and not having grown at all after 4 years. But I want to keep music in my life (as well as other pursuits), so I partake in these activities. There is only a short window in life where doing stuff like going to university, launching a career, starting a family, etc. can really take place. What you choose to do has a real impact on how the rest of your life will play out - so pick your priorities, and go for that. But remember, even if you decide on pursuing one thing, you can always keep music in your life if you put in the time and effort.
_________________________
Working on:
Ravel - Ondine
Debussy - Suite Bergamasque
Schubert - Drei Klavierstcke D. 946
Rachmaninoff - Piano Sonata op.28

Top
#2171080 - 10/24/13 07:58 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
I read the original post and I am jumping to the back of the line and posting my comment. Time is of the essence this morning.

Heck yes, go to University. Don't let anyone detract you from this important opportunity. College/University does one thing that you will find hard to find elsewhere, it teaches you how to think. My college days are 30 years in my past and even though they were at times very difficult I look back on them now with a sense of peace and happiness and certainly a sense of accomplishment.

Best.
_________________________
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon

Top
#2171101 - 10/24/13 08:39 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Praeludium Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/19/11
Posts: 90
Loc: Besançon, France
You could always go to university but neither in Great Britain nor in North America. I can't believe it's so expensive.
For god's sake, studying in a Musikhochschule in Swiss is a bargain compared to what happens in the english-speaking world !!
But of course you'd have to move out of England and live in a foreign country for a few years.
Now, if you study in a good school there are very high level entrance examinations ^^
But in Germany (for instance) there are a lot of schools, some very hard to get into, some less famous and thus more accessible.

And I still don't get if you want to study piano or composition or both. Because studying both properly at a high level is something completely different than studying one of the two.


Edited by Praeludium (10/24/13 08:40 AM)

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >

Moderator:  Brendan, Kreisler 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Download & Print Sheet Music Instantly
sheet music search
sheet music search

sheet music search
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
154 registered (accordeur, Akshay, 36251, acappello, 51 invisible), 1739 Guests and 26 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
74217 Members
42 Forums
153529 Topics
2249942 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Why 88 keys?
by gsmonks
04/17/14 03:01 PM
Casio AP range advice please
by thamajor7
04/17/14 01:38 PM
Installing plain wire: no twists involved
by A443
04/17/14 01:12 PM
Disney - Mulan - Reflection (arr. by K. Landry)
by Gi Dy
04/17/14 12:32 PM
A good introduction to history of French classical music?
by BWV 846
04/17/14 10:50 AM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission