Re: Grad Schools

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Posted by Sean Chisham on December 08, 1998 at 16:19:10:

In Reply to: Grad Schools posted by Jason Arnold on December 08, 1998 at 15:25:02:

Lotsa great schools and teachers out there. If you are looking into performance, then a good indication of the quality of the school and the professors teaching are the positions obtained by the students who have attended, and not just tuba students either. If a good number of students from various instruments are winning jobs, then the ensembles and musical environment at that school will probably be high.

A few of the biggies are:

Indiana University - Daniel Perantoni
University of Michigan - Fritz Kaenzig
Northwestern University - Rex Martin
The Julliard School - Warren Deck
Rice University - David Kirk
Cincinatti Conservatory - Timothy Northcut

The above is a very small list and is probably missing most schools, but I am just rattling off a few names from schools where the students seem to be doing well professionally. If I took the time I could probably come up with a MUCH longer list.

You can also ask around to see who the people, who have the type of positions you are after, studied with when they were in college. A good number of the orchestral crowd are decendants of Arnold Jacobs. The military bands have a good number of Perantoni decendents.

Find people who have attended the particular schools you are looking into and send them an e-mail message asking what their opinion is of the school and the tuba instructor there. I could go on and on about the schools I have heard about, but only testimonials from those who actually attended can give you a decent idea of what to expect.

Also look for a school with an instructor who has played professionally in the same venue which you are most after. They have, at least once, found the certain something which propels one past the audition circuit and into the professional three ring circus. They will also prove to have invaluable advice for not only winning a job but ALSO surviving in the job once you are there.

I have heard people in the past commenting to stay away from large studios and look for schools with plenty of playing opportunities. For a grad student I think this is bad advice. If the studio is large and talented than you have ample opportunities to hear other opinions and listen to the ways other players approach music. You may get a chance to teach some of the younger players or non-majors. My favorite comment some people make is that in a large studio there is little chance to play because the ensembles fill up. If you are the best player in the studio than getting good ensemble time will not be as much of a problem. If you can't get into the better ensembles at your school than landing a job when facing much better students and real pro's will be near impossible. Some good ole' fashioned extended practicing will usually help with this.

You think competing in a studio of 20 other tuba players is tough? Wait till you go to an audition with 80-150 players showing up from all over the US/world.


ps. these comments are directed at no one in particular. just generalizations

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