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Trumpet performance programs at Universities - advice?


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parentologist
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:20 pm    Post subject: Trumpet performance programs at Universities - advice? Reply with quote

Son is a high school junior, making his list of where to apply to college. He wants to major in trumpet performance (happily plays both jazz and classical, but leans classical), but wants to be able to easily take an academic class or two every semester, so wants a university program, rather than a free-standing conservatory. If it's a conservatory on a college campus, he does not want the kind of intensely high pressure, chair audition every month environment. Plays well with others, in every way. Could probably do well with many different styles of trumpet professors. Doesn't want to have to study with a grad student, instead of the trumpet professor. His audition is unlikely to keep him out of anywhere. Grades are very good, in challenging classes, at a good suburban public high school.

So far, here's the list: BU, U Mich, U Md, Indiana U (Jacobs), McGill, ASU. And because of geography/family ties, U of Utah, U Conn.

I would love to hear other suggestions from anyone who has current knowledge of programs that might be appropriate for him. Trumpet professors move around, so please, responses from people with current knowledge. Thank you.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please be aware that many (most?) conservatories also have academics.

Also, some schools don't have graduate assistants. They're all at professor level.
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kgsmith1
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If "BU" is Boston University, the classical program is strong but be aware they don't offer jazz for performance majors, just all-campus ensembles. Out of thousands of students (including CFA) there are usually some strong jazz players but he'd have to push himself outside of school to play jazz at a pro level.

Others you might look at: Rice, Yale, UCLA, USC, UNT, U Miami, Northwestern, Temple. There are more out there slipping my mind right now but if you're looking at particular regions others can probably suggest more.

Also, if there's a teacher he likes at a conservatory, I wouldn't cross that school off the list without investigating further. NEC has joint degree programs with Harvard and Tufts - I had classmates who seemed to do well in these programs. The Columbia/Juilliard degree has a more challenging reputation. There are conservatories that are pretty collegial and universities with very competitive programs - I'd try to network to current or recent students to see what the feel is.
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RussellDDixon
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Though I did not attend there, Indiana University has a very solid reputation. I'd also strongly encourage him to research just how difficult it is now actually making a living performing.

Last edited by RussellDDixon on Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't overlook Manhattan School of Music.

I don't know how current this would be, but I had a friend who had a choice of Juilliard and Manhattan. He said the students at Juilliard chewed railroad spikes for breakfast, while standards at Manhattan were also high but the environment was more hospitable.

I studies in the Jazz department and it was superb.
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MB9015
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey parentologist,

That's a great list. I would consider looking at University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin, Carnegie Mellon University, Louisiana State University, University of Georgia, and Vanderbilt as some other schools with high level music programs within universities.

Here's a couple other suggestions for the journey he's about to embark on:

If it's financially possible, try to get lessons with some of the professors he's interested in studying with. You can often find their contact info online. Most professors will charge between $50-100 but there are so outliers on either side. This is a great chance to see what the fit is like and also to ask questions about how things like orchestra auditions/seatings and lessons work.

If he goes to visit/audition at any of these schools, be sure to talk to some of the students currently there to get their input on what they like/dislike about their experience. Maybe prepare a list of a three or four questions that are the most important things for him.

Just a word of warning, the high pressure environment it sounds like your son is looking to avoid will exist to a certain extent at almost every serious music school (conservatory or not), and assuredly at all the schools you listed. That's not to say that those schools/professors/students won't also be supportive and fun. At most top programs, the different chairs and parts are often passed around. But he should that there will be at least some amount of (hopefully constructive) competition wherever he goes.

I write all this as someone with a fairly similar profile to your son who went through the college audition process twice within the last ten years (undergrad and grad). Feel free to pm me with any questions! And good luck!
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mattdalton
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should consider adding The Hartt School / University of Hartford to your list. The music, theatre and dance programs there are strong. Phil Snedecor is the trumpet professor.

My daughter is currently in her senior year at Hartt (BFA in musical theatre) so I am familiar with the school. When visiting I've had a chance to talk with and take a lesson from Phil, and to hear some of his students play. The music school is strong on both the classical and jazz sides.

You can read Phil's bio to get the long list of professional experience and who he has studied with, of course, but I will add that he's a great guy, and that if your son is interested in arranging or composing, Phil is very skilled in those areas too.

Best of luck to your son on finding the school that is best for him!
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no knowledge of the inner workings of any particular university or college trumpet program. I can formulate opinions only on the basis of what I hear in the finished product.

On that basis, something amazing must be going on at Oklahoma State University. Just watch/listen to this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNLv2exFwqc

There are many other videos of Oklahoma State trumpet ensembles on youtube.

Mind boggling.
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LakeTahoeTrpt
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indiana was good when I went there (almost 50 years ago). They have two really good jazz guys now, and recently hired a new legit guy, taking them back to two classical professors. They had been down one since Ed Cord retired. Any college your son goes to in order to get a music degree will require a full load of "academic" courses. That's just what happens in college. Any of the schools you mentioned, Indiana included, are highly competitive. I'm not sure if you don't think your son will thrive in that kind of environment or what, but good schools are competitive. It is possible to take that stress down a notch, though, if he is willing to enroll as a music education major. If he does well, he could consider a master's degree in performance.
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parentologist
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forgive me if I wasn't clear. Kid "leans" classical, means he is ever so slightly more inclined towards classical. He is not afraid of competition to get in - he can hold his own anywhere. The issue is that he doesn't want a place with constant very frequent chair auditions in preparation for the holy grail of a symphony spot - although that's not off his list, he wants to learn, play, and enjoy working together with other players in college, rather than a laser focus on a spot in a major orchestra. That's why Rice isn't on his list - is he wrong? Should he add it? And he wants to be able to easily take an academic class or two a semester in a general college environment, without a lot of travel time, rather than a non-music class in a conservatory with all the same people he's in conservatory with.

I really appreciate the input. We're not a musical family; we just believed in an hour a day of practicing rather than constant video games, and look where it got us....
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parentologist
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's not interested in music ed, even though he loves teaching, and greatly admires many of the people who have taught him. If he doesn't wind up in music, he has another field of interest that he will do just fine in. But he wants to give music a shot - it's what he truly loves. If all the schools would be so competitive once he's there, then I guess Rice goes back on the list.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LakeTahoeTrpt wrote:
Indiana was good when I went there (almost 50 years ago). They have two really good jazz guys now, and recently hired a new legit guy, taking them back to two classical professors. They had been down one since Ed Cord retired...


IU has three "classical" professors, John Rommel, Joey Tartell, and (starting in fall of 2020) Kevin Cobb. John Raymond teaches the jazz majors and I am always around as a resource, although I only teach jazz classes (and some semesters I do jazz combos). Unlike many peer schools, ALL MUSIC MAJORS STUDY WITH FACULTY. Grad teaching assistants only teach elective lessons to non-majors.
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mafields627
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LakeTahoeTrpt wrote:
It is possible to take that stress down a notch, though, if he is willing to enroll as a music education major.


Just a thought, but music ed majors have a lot of stress too. My program was 148 credit hours with no minor. You still have ensemble and lesson requirements (sometimes less, but sometimes the expectations are the same), general ed classes, education classes, clinical observations starting sophomore year, etc. Oftentimes you are prepping and performing your senior recital during your most stressful academic semester (fall of senior year) when you are taking your final music ed classes (often with lots of projects). My alma mater will let you tack on an additional BM in Performance for 30-50 credit hours, however.
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adagiotrumpet
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MB9015 wrote:
Hey parentologist,

That's a great list. I would consider looking at University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin, Carnegie Mellon University, Louisiana State University, University of Georgia, and Vanderbilt as some other schools with high level music programs within universities.

Here's a couple other suggestions for the journey he's about to embark on:

If it's financially possible, try to get lessons with some of the professors he's interested in studying with. You can often find their contact info online. Most professors will charge between $50-100 but there are so outliers on either side. This is a great chance to see what the fit is like and also to ask questions about how things like orchestra auditions/seatings and lessons work.

If he goes to visit/audition at any of these schools, be sure to talk to some of the students currently there to get their input on what they like/dislike about their experience. Maybe prepare a list of a three or four questions that are the most important things for him.

Just a word of warning, the high pressure environment it sounds like your son is looking to avoid will exist to a certain extent at almost every serious music school (conservatory or not), and assuredly at all the schools you listed. That's not to say that those schools/professors/students won't also be supportive and fun. At most top programs, the different chairs and parts are often passed around. But he should that there will be at least some amount of (hopefully constructive) competition wherever he goes.

I write all this as someone with a fairly similar profile to your son who went through the college audition process twice within the last ten years (undergrad and grad). Feel free to pm me with any questions! And good luck!


Great advise. Taking a few lessons with a prospective university trumpet instructor is a good idea, if possible. I chose the university I graduated from based on the private teacher's reputation and the jazz program. The teacher was an extremely well regarded studio player and teacher , but we just didn't click. By Christmas of my initial year, (I entered as a junior), health problems forced the trumpet instructor to retire and his replacement for me was terrific. In fact, forty two years later, we are still in contact.
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dfcoleman
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:48 am    Post subject: I.U. Reply with quote

IU is a great choice. In the 40 years since I was there, it has continued to grow and develop as a world-class music school.

A couple of thoughts:

1) Attend a school with more than one full time trpt teacher. Choice within the institution is vital.

2) Get an excellent education in general academics as well as music coursework.

3) Gain a skill other than performance that will make you employable in the field of music. Music technology, arts administration, audio production, music licensing, etc. None of us knows where life will take us.

4) Don’t borrow money to go to college.

That’s my 2.5 cents.

Dave
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got a question about the competitiveness in college.

Is there a 'performance achievement level' that must to reached in order to be accepted as a 'major degree student' from semester to semester, or year to year? And is it required that a student be allowed to participate in various ensembles?

I understand student to student competition for playing slots in various groups, just wonder whether (or how) it applies to the graduation / degree process.

Jay
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

….
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Last edited by kehaulani on Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:03 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Raya2
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would recommend for him to see what he is looking for and find a professor who will inspire him on a weekly basis on his lessons.

I would say University of Colorado with Ryan Gardner, he is an excellent mentor and very thorough instructor, his students seem to be doing great things and he creates great opportunities for his studio such as trumpet ensembles and other chamber ensembles.

Also Ithaca College with Chris Coletti, he is such an amazing player and a super nice guy, very knowledgeable on different styles and the modern music industry, something that gets overlooked.

Florida State is also a great option with Chris Moore, he is doing great things down in FL with the studio. Plenty of his students are getting jobs and building their careers as performers.

I would also second the advice of getting lessons with some of the professors he may be interested in studying with and see what the chemistry is like and if that person may be able to help him accomplish what he wants.

Good luck!
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

parentologist wrote:
He's not interested in music ed, even though he loves teaching, and greatly admires many of the people who have taught him. If he doesn't wind up in music, he has another field of interest that he will do just fine in. But he wants to give music a shot - it's what he truly loves. If all the schools would be so competitive once he's there, then I guess Rice goes back on the list.


What is his ultimate goal? Specifically.
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think that getting an actual lesson from a college Prof is necessary - it might be interesting, but your goal should be to LEARN ABOUT THE SCHOOL, not a lesson about how to play.

I think that most Profs realize that part of their job is to recruit new students, and if a prospective student contacts them and wants to discuss the "goings-on" in the Prof's department, the Prof would be very willing to have a phone conversation or a personal visit.
And have a list of questions and topics ready beforehand.
If a Prof seems reluctant to answer questions, or to talk about certain topics, that's a bad sign.

Jay
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