College- What do i do!! :(

Benfordrum

Senior Member
Hi Drummerworld!!

I'm in a huge predicament... Basically, I want to go to school for jazz performance.

My top school, the University of Miami- Frost, offered me basically full tuition. However, I can't afford room and board and the commute is very far. I live in a single parent home, and the parent is low income. Taking out a loan to cover it will leave me in about 13 grand of debt- as a freshman. What do i do? This is my BEST offer from any school. Local, familiarized area. I really want to go to this school, it is my dream. I can't contact the school any more as well, I would feel greedy as they have bumped up from the original offer. What do i do?
 

Southpaw99

Senior Member
Find off campus housing where you can rent a room with other students. Usually these living situations cost way less than it does to live at the dorms. There are usually advertizements on campus..people rent houses and apartments where you share it with other students. You'll have to work to pay for it and live off of Ramen Noodles, but you can make it work.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Take private lessons and play out in your local scene. The thought of having a music degree is alluring, for sure, but most working musicians don't have them (in my town, at least...). A music degree is good for two things:

1. Credentials for private teaching. There's little to no questioning of your playing level or teaching abilities when you have a degree. You can put it on your business card/flyers, you can approach high schools/jr high schools with more confidence, etc. As a private instructor without a degree, there's a little more involved with having to "explain" yourself.

2. Getting a teaching job. If you want to teach in the public school system as a band/choir director, you need an undergrad in music education and a master's in teaching. If you want to teach at the university level, you need an undergrad in music performance, a master's in performance, and a phD in music, as well as some more accredidation for teaching, usually.

...if you want to freelance and teach a bit on the side, you don't need a degree. The experience is wonderful, for sure, but you need to weigh your options and your financial future. A LOT of musicians lead a bohemian lifestyle because paying gigs can often times be few and far between. You should be aware of this while deciding this current path for your future...
 

Angus Macinnes

Senior Member
If you really want this then do whatever it takes. Get a job, roomates, eat raman noodles, and all the other starving artist stuff. Oh and be greedy the school can afford it. Good Luck.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
If it is your dream then do it. If you don't, you will be kicking yourself for the rest of your life. What is more important to you, realizing your dream or staying out of debt?

You will almost always have debt. You want a car, debt. You want a house, debt. You want a credit card, debt. Do yourself a favor, go to school. It is an investment in your future.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
If it is your dream then do it. If you don't, you will be kicking yourself for the rest of your life. What is more important to you, realizing your dream or staying out of debt?

You will almost always have debt. You want a car, debt. You want a house, debt. You want a credit card, debt. Do yourself a favor, go to school. It is an investment in your future.
This is all good advice, except for the part about credit card = debt.

Use credit cards as a means of payment and clear them at the end of the month. Don't use them as a means of finance.

It's an old fart thing.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
This is all good advice, except for the part about credit card = debt.

Use credit cards as a means of payment and clear them at the end of the month. Don't use them as a means of finance.

It's an old fart thing.
Okay, perhaps credit card = potential debt. Some are not as responsible as others with a line of credit. I don't have any personally.
 

porter

Platinum Member
This is all good advice, except for the part about credit card = debt.

Use credit cards as a means of payment and clear them at the end of the month. Don't use them as a means of finance.

It's an old fart thing.
Absolutely.

What OP calls greedy, I call necessity.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
I would encourage you to tactfully and graciously contact your campus rep/advisor and your campus housing department and explain your situation. Diplomacy can go a long way here. The school obviously wants you there. See if you could either work out some sort of an arrangement to work on campus to offset some of the lodging or see if there are any special scholarships that have been overlooked to supplement your lodging expenses.

Next up would be to live off campus as cheaply as possible, go for one semester and think of taking a leave of absence at some point to work and pay off the prior semester's fees and debt. Go back to summer school. Communicate with your advisor regularly and get a game plan together. Just going for a semester and getting your foot in the door may lead to further scholarships.

I worked my way through college and a four-year graduate school by taking sporadic leave of absences and paying things off and saving up to go back again. It may take a little longer but it's doable.

When it's all said and done, don't let your classes and homework get in the way of your education.
 

FlamFlamMan

Senior Member
Okay, so my best advice is to just go if you really want to. But also consider most professional musicians don't have degrees.

If the school already came up on the offer once, you can ask but I doubt they give you any more. But that being said, I doubt asking will piss them off to the point of them lowering the offer.

I wouldn't recommend taking out loans if you can avoid it. Unless your career path is almost certainly going to be able to pay for it (Business, Engineering, Computer Science, etc).

My off campus housing was almost half the price of on campus housing especially considering my school's mandatory meal plans if you lived on campus. Most schools have work study programs which are the easiest jobs in the world. I knew people who sat at the help desk, clean the floors, and set up projectors. They made pretty good money for a few hours of work a week.

Also, many people I know managed to work 20-40 hrs a week during college to pay for it. Some programs are obviously too intense for this, but I suspect jazz performance isn't too credit intensive. Of course, finding a good job is important, so I would start looking now. Learning how to bartend can be great in a college town.

Good luck
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Does the school have a housing department that can put you contact with other students looking for housing together? I realize you have full tuition taken care of, but you're gonna have to pony up something. Otherwise, it wouldn't be worth it if it was all free, right?

You may have to get a job to help pay rent, or for on-campus housing. If you didn't go to this school, you'd be paying much more in total to go somewhere else since you'd have to pay tuition on top of that. Dig deep. If you want it, you'll find it.
 

Drummer Frank

Junior Member
Music school is a socially acceptable way of locking yourself in a room and practicing for 4 years. You don't need a dorm room to do that.

Contact some of the professors there. A lot of the time, the professors you'd be paying $40,000 a year to take lessons with do private lessons in their living rooms for $100 an hour. It's the same thing. Unless you want to teach high school, music school is a scam.
 

bigd

Silver Member
As a Freshman he'll most likely be required to stay on campus unless he lives within the pre decided mileage for commuter status. I'd take the government loan and go. Frost is a good school take a chance on yourself. As for those that say studying privately is the same are wrong. It's not just the drumset education you're getting. It's all the other stuff too. It's the ensemble instruction under the guidance of a professional that you can't get otherwise. As for most professional musicians don't have a degreee, that's nonsense. Most musicians who play in popular music bands don't have degrees. You won't get a chance at a professional orchestra, Broadway, cruise ships, theme parks, or teaching without one. Its a tough choice. I know. My son is at a major conservatory getting ready for juries as I type. As I told him, you're young take a chance on yourself.
 

denisri

Silver Member
Another option is work, study locally(both piano and drums)and get an Assocate Degree in music and then consider transferring to a B.A. Program! Minor in Business or Computer Science. Denis
 

JimFiore

Silver Member
As others have said, see if you can do off campus housing to cut costs. 13k per year is not a good setup, winding up 50k in debt upon graduating. Granted, you can take an awful lot of private lessons for 50k but you won't have a credential and, right or wrong, that credential is what often gets you a job. And you'll need a job to pay back the 50k, right?

I want to be quick to add here that a good college education is not just about job training and a credential. Education is to training what knowledge is to information.

And this may not be a popular thing to voice but I've been a college professor for over 30 years and I've seen it too many times: you may discover after a semester or two that this route is really not for you, it's not what you thought it would be. Do you want to go into the hole for that?
 

larryz

Platinum Member
If it is your dream then do it. If you don't, you will be kicking yourself for the rest of your life. What is more important to you, realizing your dream or staying out of debt?

You will almost always have debt. You want a car, debt. You want a house, debt. You want a credit card, debt. Do yourself a favor, go to school. It is an investment in your future.
Yes to the above response. Also inquire as to whether there are any other students in your town commuting to the school. perhaps you can carpool or just pay someone gas money. Or get a cheap used car with the help of someone who knows them. Good luck. Follow your heart.
 

WaitForItDrummer

Senior Member
Another option is work, study locally(both piano and drums)and get an Assocate Degree in music and then consider transferring to a B.A. Program! Minor in Business or Computer Science. Denis
Can I ask why the piano? Are drummers expected to play the piano?
Or is it the case that musicians in general are?

My drum instructor asked a few times if I can play the piano bacause I can read/write music... Just find it interesting drums and piano keep coming up...
 

WaitForItDrummer

Senior Member
I want to be quick to add here that a good college education is not just about job training and a credential. Education is to training what knowledge is to information.
This. I think a college degree is very much worth having -
You never know what direction it might take you or what you can build on it.
Try the working+studying+being broke at college thing to minimise debt.
 

Huckleberry

Junior Member
How long would your commute be if you stayed at home? I had a buddy that was in a situation similar to yours and he was facing a two hour commute (more in traffic). He ended up getting a class schedule that only had him driving to campus twice a week. Granted, those two days were long, exhausting days for him but it worked out. It also gave him a lot of free time to work his tail off and save up so he could be in a better situation later in his college life.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
Can I ask why the piano? Are drummers expected to play the piano?
Or is it the case that musicians in general are?

My drum instructor asked a few times if I can play the piano bacause I can read/write music... Just find it interesting drums and piano keep coming up...
as a percussion student .... or just drummer/ percussionist in general you are expected to have at least a basic understanding of scales,keys, pitches, intervals , modes, common progressions, some sight reading skills, some compositional skills , and just some basic musical instincts beyond meter and rhythm

many mallet percussion instruments are closely related to the piano
 
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