College- What do i do!! :(

WaitForItDrummer

Senior Member
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
Of course, fair point, totally agree. I managed to pick most of those up somewhere along the way without actually learning to play the piano (years of music theory, flute, guitar lessons) before turning to drumming...
 
Last edited:

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Does your High School offer grants to successful students. Have you applied for any local, state, Federal grants. You would be surprised what you can get a grant for. Give them all a shot and do some research on student grants. Google until your fingers are sore.

START HERE:

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=federal+grant+for+music+students&gbv=2&oq=federal+grant+for+music+students&gs_l=heirloom-hp.3...1170.11014.0.11295.32.23.0.9.2.0.203.2198.18j4j1.23.0....0...1ac.1.34.heirloom-hp..8.24.2136.oQCFJhmsMRw
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Hmm, it seems like you should be able to get by for less than 13k for ~9 months of school. You should be sharing a bedroom in a house with a half dozen other people-- I don't know what that costs nowdays. I would pay a visit to the school in the spring, meet the other students, and ask if anyone knows of a house where there might be a place for you in the fall-- maybe post a flier on the bulletin board in the jazz dept. You can apply for SNAP benefits and get most of your food covered-- I don't know what other public assistance there is, but look into it. You're going to have to become a pro at surviving on very, very little, so you may as well start now.

I would avoid any and all debt like the plague-- basically for the rest of your life. They make it very easy to get into it, but it can take years or decades to pay it off-- it's a huge burden.

I would try not to work a regular job if you can help it-- you're supposed to be spending most of your time practicing and I guess studying-- maybe the aid dept can get you a low-impact work study job for ~10-15 hours a week or so. Do speak to the aid department about getting your living expenses covered without taking out loans-- they may not just gift you the money, but they can maybe get you that job, or suggest something we haven't thought of yet.

I also don't like the alternatives of getting an associate's degree, or of not going to school and just taking drum lessons. What you get out of going to school for real, and actually being a part of the program is kind of intangible, but it's real. I don't know if you even need the actual degree at the end-- but I think you do need to be in the program.
 

toddbishop

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.
For me this is a little like asking "What's more important, realizing your dream or staying off heroin?" Like, one does not necessarily follow from the other, and debt/heroin addiction itself can be a severe impediment to realizing your dreams-- for a lot of people I know, it's the one major impediment. It plagues them for decades.

And to be clear, being in debt is not a given, nor a necessity: a mortgage is not debt in anything like the same sense we're talking about here; and as a jazz studies major, he's going to be driving $<1500 cars for a long time; and he will be very wise to stay away from credit cards altogether.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
You can apply for SNAP benefits and get most of your food covered
Unfortunately SNAP is not offered to full time students unless they either have a dependent child under 6, are doing a work study program, or have a part time job of at least 20 hours. I am currently a student and looked into this. Funny how even though we (students) are trying to improve ourselves, and could really use the help, we won't get any. This is messed up in my opinion. Gotta pay rent, bills, tuition, and books, and we can't get help with food?
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
For me this is a little like asking "What's more important, realizing your dream or staying off heroin?" Like, one does not necessarily follow from the other, and debt/heroin addiction itself can be a severe impediment to realizing your dreams-- for a lot of people I know, it's the one major impediment. It plagues them for decades.

And to be clear, being in debt is not a given, nor a necessity: a mortgage is not debt in anything like the same sense we're talking about here; and as a jazz studies major, he's going to be driving $<1500 cars for a long time; and he will be very wise to stay away from credit cards altogether.
I understand that people can stay out of debt if they do it right. However, debt was brought up as a concern in the OPs decision. This is why I addressed it. As a student myself, I know that student loan debt can be expensive, but if he really wants this education, the debt should not even be a factor. How many people would not got to school if their biggest concern was being in debt?
 

MJD

Silver 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...
One piano is a hybrid instrument, string, keyboard, and percussion all in the same instrument. 2 for your basic theory it is the easiest instrument to demonstrate things on as everything is laid out in front of you. 3, mallet percussion instruments have the same "keyboard" as a piano or organ etc. And yes it's a general musician thing, the moment you say that you are a musician most people assume that you can play the piano at least a little.
I went to a Suny school and tuition was about 5 grand a semester and i commuted so i manage to get a BFA/BM in Classical Composition without any student debt or getting any scholarships. I graduated 4 years ago so it cant be that much more now.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
Hi Drummerworld!!

What do i do?
Uhhhhh....Get a job?


You have at least 40 hours Monday thru Friday when you are not going to school or sleeping and another 20 hours available on weekends.

Even a crap job will net you $1000 a month. That's enough to rent a room and feast on Top Ramen.


And, if I ran the government, there is no way in hell I'd loan an 18-19 year old tens of thousands of dollars :)
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Unfortunately SNAP is not offered to full time students unless they either have a dependent child under 6, are doing a work study program, or have a part time job of at least 20 hours. I am currently a student and looked into this. Funny how even though we (students) are trying to improve ourselves, and could really use the help, we won't get any. This is messed up in my opinion. Gotta pay rent, bills, tuition, and books, and we can't get help with food?
I didn't know that-- that's too bad. I don't know if work study means what I think it means for this purpose-- for me it meant the school gave me a job of sitting behind the desk at the practice annex 10-15 hours/week. I don't know if that kind of thing fills the requirement...

I understand that people can stay out of debt if they do it right. However, debt was brought up as a concern in the OPs decision. This is why I addressed it. As a student myself, I know that student loan debt can be expensive, but if he really wants this education, the debt should not even be a factor. How many people would not got to school if their biggest concern was being in debt?
And the way things are set up now, it may be unavoidable for a lot of people. But I think Ben here should treat it absolutely as a last resort. It would suck for him to be still paying off a Chinese dinner he had in college when he's in his 40s-- it sounds ridiculous, but that could literally be the case if he's taking out $52k+ in loans for living expenses.
 

Huckleberry

Junior Member
Unfortunately SNAP is not offered to full time students unless they either have a dependent child under 6, are doing a work study program, or have a part time job of at least 20 hours. I am currently a student and looked into this. Funny how even though we (students) are trying to improve ourselves, and could really use the help, we won't get any. This is messed up in my opinion. Gotta pay rent, bills, tuition, and books, and we can't get help with food?
Working (at least) a part time job would help with food....

I understand what you're saying but I don't think it's asking too much for students to work at least 20 hrs/week to help themselves before looking for help from others.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I didn't know that-- that's too bad. I don't know if work study means what I think it means for this purpose-- for me it meant the school gave me a job of sitting behind the desk at the practice annex 10-15 hours/week. I don't know if that kind of thing fills the requirement...

And the way things are set up now, it may be unavoidable for a lot of people. But I think Ben here should treat it absolutely as a last resort. It would suck for him to be still paying off a Chinese dinner he had in college when he's in his 40s-- it sounds ridiculous, but that could literally be the case if he's taking out $52k+ in loans for living expenses.
I agree it is definitely better to try to pay as you go with school. I didn't have that option, so I bit the bullet. Fortunately my loans aren't nearly as high as what his would be, and the field I will be working in will allow me to pay them back fairly quickly. Plus I am a bit older and now have responsibility on my side! I don't think I would have been able to handle the expense if I was 18-24.

Working (at least) a part time job would help with food....
This is true, and if he worked at a food establishment he may be able to feed himself fairly well for next to nothing. I worked at a pizza place while I was playing in a band and pretty much survived on pizza. I got sick of it, but I was never hungry.
 

Popcorn Mogul

Senior Member
Buy a tent; salvage some old bricks for a fireplace; get a job; live off bacon, noodles and Weetbix.

you can set up camp on campus. it's not called that for nothing...
 

Otto

Platinum Member
Get in and speak with a financial aid counselor at UofM - they can help ID monies you might not be aware of to help cover living expenses...and do it RIGHT AWAY...those monies can get distributed fast.

oh...and consider a minor along with your degree if not a double major...and select something that can contribute to your employability after graduation...I.T. is pretty good...and in lean times might help you make enough $ to get by while establishing yourself in the music community.

my greatest advice to you at the point you are at: dont get intimidated...GO FOR IT!
 

Benfordrum

Senior Member
My mom thinks that we can narrow it down to this...

12,000 freshman year
6,000 the next 3 years

total would be about 30,000 in debt. This is so tough!
 

JimFiore

Silver Member
You have at least 40 hours Monday thru Friday when you are not going to school or sleeping and another 20 hours available on weekends.
Not if he's a full time student who's doing what he's supposed to. The rule of thumb is at least 2 hours of outside work per credit hour. Going to school full time is literally a full time job. He will not have 60 free hours to work if he's serious about it.

And, if I ran the government, there is no way in hell I'd loan an 18-19 year old tens of thousands of dollars :)
If I ran the government he wouldn't need a loan. Anyone who took their studies seriously and maintained decent grades would be going to school for free. We say we value education as a society, so if we do we should invest in it and our people.

I will say this, being a poor young college student for a few years, while not pleasant, is probably the one time you can get away with it. You don't want to be chasing after a degree when you're 35 or 45. Just try to avoid debt like the plague while you're enrolled.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
My mom thinks that we can narrow it down to this...

12,000 freshman year
6,000 the next 3 years

total would be about 30,000 in debt. This is so tough!
Why not $6k every year? I would get started on a fresh budget-- get on Craigslist right now, and look at shared housing (like a room, or a shared room in a house or apartment) in the neighborhood around the U and see what you can expect to spend on that, go to the grocery store and see what it costs for a month's worth of bulk oatmeal, macaroni and cheese, ramen, alphabet soup, coffee, iceberg lettuce, and PB&J.

Whatever happens, I would not pass on going to school. I think you can do it on less than 30k-- you'll just have to be ruthlessly committed to spending less.

And contrary to what others have said, you will not be unemployable. You can go basically across the street and get a gig on a cruise ship-- there are enough of them leaving out of Miami. I don't know what the pay is like these days, but you should be able to pay $500-1000/month on your loans. 30 months on a boat = six pretty punishing 5-month rotations. It would be brutal, but doable-- that's a reasonable avenue for getting your loans paid off while you're still in your 20s.
 

mymarkers

Senior Member
You really only have three choices.

1. Give up.
2. Find a way to afford it.
3. Find a way that you can afford.

Talk with your mom. Talk with teachers and counselors at the high school. Talk with the admissions and financial aid departments at the university. Talk with music faculty or students at the university. There is a solution. Those people will help you find it.

I know plenty of people of modest means who graduated from college with little to no debt. There's no real secret. You just work your butt off. When they're playing frisbee on the quad, you're practicing. When they're partying, you're working. When they're sleeping off the hangover, you're studying.

It's a big decision. There are people who can help you understand it. Talk to them. And remember, the one asset you do have is your youth.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Well then outside of having any interest in applying for any grants, what would happen if you worked for a year, took lessons and then re-applied the next year. You would have a lot more cash
 

Benfordrum

Senior Member
Well then outside of having any interest in applying for any grants, what would happen if you worked for a year, took lessons and then re-applied the next year. You would have a lot more cash
I'm not really sure if i would receive another scholarship offer like the one currently standing. I might make the commute and live at home. I would basically be going to school for free, I think it might be the smartest choice. Maybe not the funnest but i'm bound to have some fun in college regardless of where I live haha! Any thoughts?
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Not if he's a full time student who's doing what he's supposed to. The rule of thumb is at least 2 hours of outside work per credit hour. Going to school full time is literally a full time job. He will not have 60 free hours to work if he's serious about it.
Totally agreed. I cant even begin to tell how much time I spend on homework. Between papers, research, reading, studying for tests, and designing stuff for my REVIT class, I feel like sometimes I am neglecting my family. I actually had a free day today, got all my work done last night. It was nice to actually be able to relax for once.
 
Top