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My dillema


 Kyle
(@kyle)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 186
Topic starter  

I'm in High school. I'm 15 and I am 99.99% sure that music is my calling. It is the only thing I can see myself doing for a living, day in and day out, that I would actually enjoy. I have been playing the oboe since i was 10, and guitar since I was 13. I am fairly good at oboe, much better at guitar, and I would also consider my theory to be exceptionally strong for my experience level. I want to pursue a career in music, but I want to be able to support a family as well. I have several questions for all of you who have "made it" in music as a career. Just so you know, my personal best case scenario is to attend Berklee College of Music, attain a performance degree, attain a PHD in music theory, and then become a moderatley popular guitarist as a part of a progressive metal/rock band. Then, I'll retire from my rock star lifestyle and teach privateley. Of course it probably will not happen, but that gives you a sense of what my deepest desires are as a guitarist.

1. The music program at my school is exeptionally weak. I try to take classes elsewhere and take advantage of what little they do offer here, but I am worried that the lack of oppurtunities is hurting my aspirations. I am strongly considering a school switch. In your experience, will it matter if my school has a terrible music program or not?

2:Like I said, I want to have a career in music, but I need to be able to support a spouse and possibly children. What kind of positions will provide enough income to do this? I realize teaching and studio musicians are 2 that privide a somewhat steady income, but are there others?

3: Any other good music schools that I dont know about that I should look into? Berklee, New England Conservatory, Ithaca (NY) college, GIT, and UMASS Lowell are my top 5, but what are some others?

4: If you have graduated from berklee, how difficult was it to get in? What should I be focusing on? Am I setting the bar too high for myself?

I'll do anything it takes to achieve my goals, but I need some advice on if these are realistic ones. Please help me.

Thank you.

Kyle

2:What kind of positions

The meaning of life? I've never heard a simpler question! Music.


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(@evilspudboy)
Trusted Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 57
 

I'm just surprised that no one responded to your post, it's was a very well thought out question. So I'm hoping to bump it back up to the top.

Regarding your first question. It might be a good idea to contact an advisor at Berklee now to find out what things are considered for admission.

Looking at their admission requirements, http://www.berklee.edu/admissions/requirements.html It looks like You will need to have letters of reccomendation from music professionals who know your abilities. So you'll want to get letters of reccomendation from anyone who can vouch for your musical abilities.

Music instructors in your school system: Even if the program at your school is weak, make sure they know your abilities and make them aware of what things you do outside of school to further your musical abilities including self learning and outside classes. The better they know you, the stronger the reccomendation they will be able to write. For example:

Private Instructors: Especially if you've been with a private instructor for a long time. Also I think the better their credentials are, the more weight their reccomendation will carry. And be sure to also solicit recomendations from private instructors you've had in the past even if you aren't with them now, assuming you left them on good terms and you value their opinion.

Anywhere else you take classes: For example if you take a class at a community college, talk to the instructor about your goals. He or she might be able to reccomend additional opportunities for performance or education.

Community and church leaders. If you do any performing in a community band or with your church, there are people there who can provide recommendations.

So basically I'm saying you want to establish a network of people who can vouch for you music ability and performance credentials and also strengthen that network so that when the time comes to apply you can draw from it.

Hopefully others will see your question and provide additional advice.

Now look at them yo-yo's that's the way you do it you play the guitar on the MTV


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(@garytalley)
Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 54
 

You need to be willing to move to a city that has a very active music scene.Preferably one that has busy recording studios, record label offices, and publishing companies. The big three are New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville.

creator of #1 video"Guitar Playing for Songwriters"


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(@kingpatzer)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2198
 

I'm in High school. I'm 15 and I am 99.99% sure that music is my calling.

Hey Kyle, great questions!
1. The music program at my school is exeptionally weak. I try to take classes elsewhere and take advantage of what little they do offer here, but I am worried that the lack of oppurtunities is hurting my aspirations. I am strongly considering a school switch. In your experience, will it matter if my school has a terrible music program or not?

Not as much as you might think, but like all artistic skills, the earlier in life you learn things, the better you'll be later on. Taking private instruction is a very good idea. The most important thing is to take as much advantage of what ever opportunities you do have and practice hard and correctly. A student from a school with a lousy music program who loves their instrument and has put in 4 or 5 hours of practice a day is going to be head and shoulders above a student from a school with a good program who really could care less.
2:Like I said, I want to have a career in music, but I need to be able to support a spouse and possibly children. What kind of positions will provide enough income to do this? I realize teaching and studio musicians are 2 that privide a somewhat steady income, but are there others?

Sure, the music industry is large and complex. There's everything from CEO's and tax attorneys and lawyers to engineers, studio musicians and rock stars. Most all of them make good money at it. Of course the laywers and CEO's don't play gigs, but that doesn't mean they aren't very involved in music on a daily basis.
I'll do anything it takes to achieve my goals, but I need some advice on if these are realistic ones. Please help me.

Don't fail to consider the military.

Seriously.

Every branch of the armed service has service bands. Jazz bands, rock bands, show band, marching bands . . . And they gig constantly. If you don't get into your choosen music school right out of high school, talk to the recruiters. I'm not sure of the process for getting selected, but I know my cousin (a horn player) got into the Air Force jazz band and stayed there for 20 years. He played for presidents and heads of state, gig'ed with all kinds of musicians, and had a very good living doing what he loves. Now he's retired and gets a full pension (at 45!) and got a job right away as a band director in a small school.

Even if the service life isn't for you, a few years in a service band could be the road to making the contacts you need to get into the school you want, or at least prepare you for it if you don't feel prepared out of high school.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


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(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 8306
 

I know if your credentials are not quite enough for your chosen major college there is another way to get there.
A year or two in junior college (community college) is a stepping stone and can lead to scholorships that will take care of your schooling.
(my daughter is going through this right now and will finish her degree at Saginaw bay)
Best of luck.


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 Kyle
(@kyle)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 186
Topic starter  

Thanks guys, especially for the advice on the military. I'll look into that.

The meaning of life? I've never heard a simpler question! Music.


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