Jazz Studies

KlarkKent

Senior Member
Where does one go to make money playing jazz?
In the U.S., the top locales are New York City and Chicago, perhaps Kansas City and Boston. You can find venues in some other large cities like Seattle, L.A., Berkeley, Atlanta, etc.

Others on the forum will have better knowledge on the main cities.
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
"If there is value in competition, it would be as a motivational tool for students. I am, however, strongly opposed to encouraging students to compete against each other. It's unhealthy, it destroys egos, it encourages the flawed concept of the arts as being objective - that one can have a "best" trumpet player. It is not a part of the professional jazz world."
Wow, just when you're backing out of the thread another very interesting door opens.

Right on with whatever you wish to believe man, but I seriously doubt anyone will be able to locate a jazz school for you in the known world that thinks in any way like you do...not a one. Then if you do get into a door try that It is not a part of the professional jazz world statement on your private teacher. They just love hearing about the professional jazz world from people who are not a part of it. You'll be out of his studio in five minutes.

Sometime I'd also like to share with you my experiences at the Northsea Festival when one of the most famous jazz musicians of his time demonstrated his sincere encouragement by screaming in my face in front of 10,000 people for over 10 minutes while I was still playing. It was so uplifting lol. Bottom line was that after the show he says Great job kid. When he said that I didn't debate his right to use qualatative judgements on other musicians. I just said thanks and took his money, which was an ample wad of cash. I lived on that money for almost a month. An hour later I also recalled what he was upset about, agreed with it, and never did it again...especially on the next gig I played with him which was for even more money. It's about getting through the gig, doing your best for the music then getting paid. It's not about your self esteem.

Geez, I spent most of last summer playing with one of Dave Brubeck's sons...one of the nicest guy on earth, and still even he was intensely competitive.

You of course realize that your larger return post was a highly competitive gesture.

Good.

Mission accomplished.
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
I suppose what I say is controversial because I'm really calling jazz education and music education out on the floor. It has become such an institution in and of itself, and society has bought in to it, that to suggest there's another way would mean I'm tearing away at the system. And I am, in a way. All those great players who became educators - they like working the 9-to-5 and being able to stay home to raise families. Age sets in and going out on the road or slugging it out in clubs is really a game for the young, unless your Buddy Rich (or insert still working jazz musician here).

(Wow, if that doesn't anger some of you, eh?)

But getting back to the statement above: how can there not be an objective measure of musician-artists when, as we all start out, we start out imitating and emulating the greats. Hell, in school you're taught to emulate the greats, because they are the greats. You only get noticed when you play something familiar that potential employers can use. I know we're all about being individuals and such, but how many of you have gone to play with a band and someone says, play it like so-and-so? I'm sure jazz great Jimmy Haslip paid alot of dues playing the bass part to Marvin Gaye's What's Goin' On more than he can remember. We are all encouraged in school to play like demons and to make those tunes in the Real Book our own, but until you've really played them to death by paying your dues, do you think people want to hear you experimenting with them too soon? I say no.

So this, in turn, kinda' turns John Clayton statement upside-down. We go to school to learn how to be great by emulating the greats, but you're not considered on the path to greatness until you can show you can do what has come before you. And this is expected of everybody going to music school? So Mr. Clayton disagrees with competitiveness in school, but the system itself negates that attitude, doesn't it? And how do you gauge when somebody has earned their degree then? There has to be an objective standard applied in order to earn the degree: you put in the hours, you've taken the lab courses, you played in the requisite amount of college bands, you gave blood at the nurses office....if there is no objective standard, how do you figure it's time? Do they make you walk on rice paper without breaking it? Do you snatch the pebble out of the masters' hand? Who then can be the master? The very act of offering a degree in any art form means somebody came up with an objective standard. And if you ask me, somebody's making an awful lot of money. And it ain't the students, eh?

I think first and foremost one need to say that although you are going to school to study jazz, this does not necessarily mean you are going to come out and be a professional jazz musician. Jazz is a learning tool to develop ones musical talents. And yes, if you are going to be a jazz drummer today you better known the tradition. You need top know the difference between Art Blakey and Jack Dejohnette. There are so many people doing jazz now as well. The average pay for club dates in the major cities is very small, and unless you can break into the upper echelon of players, you're not going to make any money. So yes, it is highly competitive. And yes, reality does sink in.

But over-competitiveness can stand in the way of a good education. It can take the focus off of what is important. One needs to acquire a wide range of skills to have a successful undergraduate curriculum. These skills are not limited to how well one can play through the changes or how well on can harmonize a standard or how well one can groove. Some great players come out of music schools and go on to other professions within the music industry because they've gotten the training. A lot of great musicians have fall back degrees in bio-chem and computer science, as well. Vijay Iyer has multiple science degrees.

Undergraduate education should be about getting the support you need to acquire the broad range of skills you need to be successful in the business world, and I think a big part of that is picking the right school. But you also have to be honest with yourself, are you really that brilliant. I think a lot of students pick schools based upon trying to get into the best rated school or program rather than really knowing how in a broader picture why a particular school might be better for their individual needs. Many people have friends that they meet a uni and become lifetime friends and also lifetime contacts in the business world, and a lot of that is picking the right school.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Where does one go to make money playing jazz?
They go to a talent agent who is connected with many local event coordinators and all of the local hotels and upper-scale restaurants. That way, they can actually get good-paying gigs for their clients.

I'd like to see statistics on how many jazz majors, and also music majors, actually earn back the money they spent on their music degree through playing out. I know that music educators and people that build their teaching practice by teaching private lessons, coaching drumlines, etc. can do it. But, I wonder about the poor saps who don't teach, and put all of their effort into playing for a living--how do THEY end up doing?

Oh, and the comment about classical musicians filling the house with 1000s of people: that's becoming less and less true as the older generations start to die off. There are fewer subscribers to the Oregon Symphony season every year in Portland, I've been told. With the future of classical music looking bleak, and school music programs being dropped from the budget left and right, Portland at least is definitely NOT the place to come as a classical musician if you're hoping to eek out a living.

But, yeah, at least for now the paying gigs out there for freelancers who know how to find them.
 
T

TFITTING942

Guest
I think first and foremost one need to say that although you are going to school to study jazz, this does not necessarily mean you are going to come out and be a professional jazz musician. Jazz is a learning tool to develop ones musical talents.

Totally agree. Try not to be short sighted when it comes to other music genres.


And yes, if you are going to be a jazz drummer today you better known the tradition. You need top know the difference between Art Blakey and Jack Dejohnette.
Why exactly? What do you mean tradition?
 
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Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
Jazz is part of a long tradition of innovations and reactions. People say "well, this is a jazz ride pattern, spang a lang and you comp to it." But how one plays that pattern, how one comps, how one phrases are all elements of interpretation. Different drummers play jazz differently and their are different styles of jazz drumming that have been developed by guys like Art Blakey, Jack DeJohnette, or Tony Williams. Understanding and assimilating those players is the key towards developing as a jazz player.

If you are at a gig and someone says to you we're going to play this a la Sonny Rollins or better yet you recognize the styles that the other players are playing you can better support the band and the soloists. A more seasoned pro could better explain what I am talking about; but the idea is that playing is not a one dimensional process. It is multi-faceted.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Where does one go to make money playing jazz?
That's the big question everyone's working on. Or rather how does one go about making money playing jazz. I was talking to my brother about this (he runs a record label and has a broader perspective than I do), and what he sees is a lot of people putting together a living with whatever is at hand. There's a lot of creative supplementing going on.

This is why I think the competitive angle is misleading, even on the business end (as opposed to the creative end, which is what the OP was talking about). The true big motivator is simple survival, and it's forcing people to think about business and be creative about finding the money and exploiting their own non/quasi/para/whatever-musical talents. Musicians are actually having to operate like other small businesses, going into un-served areas, satisfying niche needs. A lot of times the answer is to go where other people are not, which is almost the opposite of competition. Some are also thinking more like artists, doing overtly creative projects and seeking grant money.

When my group was touring Europe in November, my trumpet player, who lives in New York, was telling me about a guy who called a moderate-prestige club there every single day for many months before finally getting a single un/low-paid mid-week happy hour set. He also told me of trying to set up his own gigs in Europe, and getting pissed and giving up after receiving 8-10 non-responses and a couple of rejections. Those are two examples of precisely how not to survive in jazz- either beating your brains out in a wildly over-saturated market or just being a plain old wuss about doing things of moderate difficulty.

To answer your question of where, though, the answer seems to be Chicago. Everyone I talk to is really excited about the scene there- it sounds like it's the healthiest one in the country.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Why exactly? What do you mean tradition?
As Delta explained below and how I stated in my response: when somebody tells you to play it like so-and-so, that's what he's talking about. If you don't know how so-and-so played it, then your homework's not done. Think of it this way: you get a gig and the band wants you to play Madonna's Material Girl, but rather than play it straight like the original recording, they decide to alter the style and funk it up a bit like Tower of Power. Now, if you don't know how David Garibaldi plays with Tower of Power, then you're not the guy for the gig.

And this gets back to that objective standard the OP was sort-of railing against. There shouldn't be competitiveness because we're all different and we celebrate the individual, yes? Well, you only get to be an individual after you've proven you can do what's already out there. You can't create a new language until you've mastered the given one, right? Otherwise, you're just spouting off words you don't understand because you didn't take the time to learn the ones that were already there.

Hell, another example is that wildly original guitarist Jimi Hendrix. The man changed how guitarists all over the world play the instrument. Does anyone remember that he was just a sideman for the Isley Brothers? Sure, he was beginning to break out then with his own vocabulary, but you think he woulda' got that gig if he couldn't play the parts to Shout! ? Again, he had to meet the objective standard of the requirements of the Isley Brothers, then he could become who he was afterwards.

So you can talk about going to school to be original, and that there can't be the best ever, but thanks to music schools and rating festivals, and marching band competitions, even show choir festivals, etc.,..., society has taken an artform and attempted to put an objective standard on it to help define the best ever.

Sorry. Now I'm starting to get riled up. I suppose if you really wanted to fix music education, then there shouldn't be music education. It gets in the way of just making music.
 
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TFITTING942

Guest
Jazz is part of a long tradition of innovations and reactions. People say "well, this is a jazz ride pattern, spang a lang and you comp to it." But how one plays that pattern, how one comps, how one phrases are all elements of interpretation. Different drummers play jazz differently and their are different styles of jazz drumming that have been developed by guys like Art Blakey, Jack DeJohnette, or Tony Williams. Understanding and assimilating those players is the key towards developing as a jazz player.

If you are at a gig and someone says to you we're going to play this a la Sonny Rollins or better yet you recognize the styles that the other players are playing you can better support the band and the soloists. A more seasoned pro could better explain what I am talking about; but the idea is that playing is not a one dimensional process. It is multi-faceted.
Cool got it, thanks.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
"If there is value in competition, it would be as a motivational tool for students. I am, however, strongly opposed to encouraging students to compete against each other. It's unhealthy, it destroys egos, it encourages the flawed concept of the arts as being objective - that one can have a "best" trumpet player. It is not a part of the professional jazz world."
That's a great quote- similar to what I was trying to say earlier, less eloquently. Both John and Jay are great- sort of the west coast anti-Marsalises. Here's another one: Dick Berk once told me point blank "music is not a competition" when I used the word in conversation. I don't know if you know about Dick yet, by the way, but he's a piece of living history, and you should try to get up here to see him every chance you can. He was Billie Holliday's last drummer, played with Mingus, knew everybody back in the day. Used to get in fights with Mel Lewis- ask him about that. He has an approach to the ride cymbal you don't often see any more. I think he usually makes Ron Steen's sessions at Clyde's Prime Rib on Sandy.
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
And this gets back to that objective standard the OP was sort-of railing against. There shouldn't be competitiveness because we're all different and we celebrate the individual, yes? Well, you only get to be an individual after you've proven you can do what's already out there. You can't create a new language until you've mastered the given one, right? Otherwise, you're just spouting off words you don't understand because you didn't take the time to learn the ones that were already there.
Exactly Bo, this is the only thing on the table right now. The contrary view here is talking about about steps 2-10 when we're still talking about step 1.

Rant--- (never played this card, but will now)

You have to prove yourself first as a YOUNG player with nothing to show but your good intentions. The reason I'm rolling my eyes is because I am the one in this thread actually going through this process right now, at the OP's relative age, and at this particular time in history, while actually moving forward with hard earned mid level name rec. If anyone thinks getting through at ages 17-25 is possible in this changing business climate without the willingness to compete, then sure give it a try. But /and I will say it again/ if you persist with your contrary notion, I and those other 200 arrogant/elitist bad competitive guys will still continue to play the gigs you think you deserve based on your good intentions, and you will always have an excuse for why that is other than the one you look at in the mirror every day.

Besides, you want to seriously talk about arrogant? Can you think of anything more arrogant than a kid bringing his self esteem issues into a place trying to create music? Yapping like I do on a drum forum is one thing, but to think an overly sensitised me attitude belongs in a creative enviornment is another matter entirely. In fact young guys who see it this way embarass the rest who are trying to do it right. Truth be known that level of silliness becomes a youth related stereotype and gets in everyone's way, because mentors and employers start believing we're all that clueless.

This isn't the 60s, 70s or 80s. If you older guys thought it was hard then, well it was a piece of cake compared to how things are put together now. Try even for a moment to imagine your starting out at this particular period of history. You can't, because in five years we're looking at an entirely different way to do business. Your laid back way might have worked just fine in a nostalgic coke on the LP cover, no responsibilities, three TV stations, get me a record label era. But this isn't how it's done now. And yeah some 40-60 year old musician may be able to hang on for a while based on connections and practices formulated when times were easier, but if you're young and just starting out and you're listening to these it's all cool guys for your advice, then all I can say is have a great life.

You want to play right now and actually be heard by human beings, you have to be tough and be willing to hold your ground and even take a little when you don't think it's right. If you take an attitude other than this one you are a fool.

I just have to say this because it needs to be said, and quite frankly I'm at a stage in this computer dialogue process where I no longer care what some think. There are just too many editorializers on the Internet who think art is about them and them alone. They think you just arrive at something and soar without doing any legwork, while skipping as many steps as you desire, while at the same time condemming the process because they're too ignorant to even know what the process is. Then when someone contradicts these people they judge your perspective a personality flaw and insult you with passive aggressive nonsense because in their ongoing confusion, they become insulting and condescending because they simply don't know any better.

As for what guys like John Clayton and Dick Berk say in the present, again they're not coming up right now, and they're pulling your chain anyway. I think Clayton is great but Rashied Ali once told me that he was intensely ambitious as a young guy, and that was because he had to get in the door first before he could provide vaunted perspectives on Down Beat interviews. Of course he doesn't believe music is a competition. He makes art with guys who are already in the door. Good grief, he's not talking about people first starting out and neither is Berk. He played for Mingus for crying out loud, one of the most competitive musicians who ever lived. How arrogant for a high school guy to even create the mindset to believe that John Clayton is speaking directly to him. Is the OP Tony Williams?

Give me a break.

rant over---
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
Ironic Addendum...

As many know to be the case--- quite often a vocal Internet persona will talk a big game then be discovered as someone with no skills at all. We see it here all the time. Well, about an hour ago I looked into one of the more vocal posters on this thread and was pleased to discover what a wonderful player he was. His MySpace was brimming with interesting music, much of which he composed himself, and he exhibits a fine groove. He also keeps up a professional website for business with many interesting links. In fact for a moment I was so impressed by my findings as to feel shame for my brusque demeanor. In fact I was all set to apologize publicly until I discovered this one absolutely phenomenal contradiction.

This same person decrying all aspects of music competition marched corps with the frickin Santa Clara Vanguard during the most famous era in drum corps history. For those unclear what this means let me clarify. Santa Clara is a multiple world champion corps. They're not just a corps. For most--- alongside the Cadets and the Blue Devils--- they are the most successful and intensely competitive drum corps in the history of the world.

In other words to have marched in that corps between the ages of 18-22---and during that particular era--- you didn't just have to be competitive, you had to be Blackbeard cutthroat competitive on a level never seen before or since.

I just wonder how this same person reconciles his hard core opinions about the intense negativity of youthful competition, when at that same age he was a high profile practitioner poster boy of the very behavior he condemns now. He may have a different opinion now but when he was in his formative times he certainly adopted a very different strategy to get a leg up.

I became extra intense on this thread because the issue was supremely important. Moreover, I could not rationalize this contrary pov because it appeared to defy all logical means for success. Amazing how this same person thought the exact same way when it was his turn at bat.

Remarkable actually.
 

?uesto

Silver Member
For instance, if I said, "I want to be part of the percussion section for the Boston Symphony Orchestra", and knowing there are only four or five guys who do that full-time, my first thought is not to enroll in a music school setting myself on some meandering path to a music degree. My first thought would be, "How do I talk to the guys in the BSO so I can pick their brains on how they got there?". This is the same advice I give kids interested in business - if you want to run a nice money-making gas station, don't go out and get an MBA, talk to a guy who owns and runs a successful gas station. Once you get the information from the people who are doing what you want to do, then you go about devising a plan to achieve that goal.
Sorry to go back to this, but this is especially true for musicians. Plenty of careers have bios and college paths and whatnot online where you can see this stuff, but being a successful musician definitely requires the word of others, which is why I am constantly talking to my uncles, (all three drummers), about what paths they chose and what they've done as musicians in their life to get them where they are now. Maybe college isn't the best option for you based on your methods of learning. Especially learning music. Maybe it's the only option. It's all relative, but if you don't think a very highly competitive school setting is the place for you, don't take it.

To back up Bo, I'm always up for a challenge and would usually recommend someone to take the more challenging and competitive route myself, but in a situation like this when a lot of money, and potentially four years of time is on the line, you want to be perfectly comfortable in your atmosphere and with your educators.

To back up the OP, I will be looking for schools with not-very-competitive music programs myself, as I'm just getting my foot in the door as a musician and a drummer, and know without a doubt that I would be overwhelmed by any half-decent music program, let alone, one with some competition.
 

brittc89

Pioneer Member
Maybe I can shed some light. You mentioned the school I just left, that place being William Paterson. I guess as I read earlier I went in to buy a big mac and ended up with a happy meal or some BS like that, but I just really want to be a history teacher and Willy P wasnt the place to make that happen. I loved studying with Kevin Norton, I loved talking to him and playing with him, it was a truly unique and special experience to me and I can never fully explain to anyone how much that meant to me as both a musician and human. I never felt like I needed to compete with anyone when I was playing with Kevin, because I was just Britt and I could just be Britt and it was a beautiful feeling. It can be competitive if you want it to be. It doesnt have to be. I came in and I didnt wanna "cut" anybody, I just wanted to make music at the highest level that I could, so if there was a great player there I didnt view them as a target but as just another utility for learning, ask questions, shed, all that kind of stuff. I saw people get competitive, take stuff to the extreme, things can get nasty, but that happens anywhere youre at. Most of the really cut-throat people had a problem, people didnt like them. Youre at school meeting new people and youre making connections, if youre a dick, no one is gonna wanna be around you. You can shed 23 hours a day, but dont expect people to like you if you treat them like stepping stones or barriers. And the people I liked to be around were STUDENTS of music, who realized that these 4 years are some of the only in your life where you can truly devote 100% of your energy to the pursuit of bettering yourself as a musician, not the people who were in some race to the top of some imaginary ladder of success.

Honestly, I met some incredible musicians there that I had the chance to play with and Im honored that I know those guys, that I have recordings with them, but Im in Colorado now and Im happy, I feel like I can breathe and Im still creating music, good music in my opinion, and I know music will always be a huge part of my life. So no, I dont plan on being one of the catz. But even if Im a history teacher at a high school and I can still make music on a high level, I will be successful. And believe me, I know what a high level is, I dont need some music degree or some idiot who thinks they have some idea what it means to be "great" to tell me what that means, because Im a student of music. I always will be. And the only person that can truly judge your art is you. Imagine if Maurice Ravel had listened to the idiotic criticisms of his GORGEOUS string quartet and tossed it in the trash because he was tryin to make it on some scene. There is something in art that cant be explained, its why we as humans are compelled to create it, its huge and expansive and its inexplainable. Thats why I love it at least. I dont want money for art, I just truly want to feel something. And thats why I plan on doing something I enjoy (Ive been a history buff for as long as I can remember), but also making my music because I love making music, because I have to, its constantly trying to surface in me and I feel the urge to create almost constantly. And I think its a good decision for me. Im not criticizing anyone who wants to just play and make a living, go for it, do what you feel you should be doing. You make your own success, its just a matter of what it means to you. I personally just wanna be a happy person and thats what I strive for everyday, and it can be a challenge for a multitude of reasons, but you have to make your own decisions and create your own success.

Thats just my 2 cents. I dont wanna sound like a know it all or preachy and argumentative or anything, this is just something Ive been ruminating about for some time. I dont wanna be a part of the music business, I just wanna be a part of music. And Im cool with what that means. I understand not wanting the competition, Im telling you right now, it doesnt have to be that way, just run your own race. If that means being brutal and ruthless and an a**hole, and youre ok with that, then its your choice. Thats the beauty of life, its all up to you. Theres no one route, no one pace, its all whatever you make it.

If you do end up at Willy P, Kevin Norton is someone you gotta spend at least a little time with. A really inspirational dude.
 
Wow, just when you're backing out of the thread another very interesting door opens.

Right on with whatever you wish to believe man, but I seriously doubt anyone will be able to locate a jazz school for you in the known world that thinks in any way like you do...not a one. Then if you do get into a door try that It is not a part of the professional jazz world statement on your private teacher. They just love hearing about the professional jazz world from people who are not a part of it. You'll be out of his studio in five minutes.

Sometime I'd also like to share with you my experiences at the Northsea Festival when one of the most famous jazz musicians of his time demonstrated his sincere encouragement by screaming in my face in front of 10,000 people for over 10 minutes while I was still playing. It was so uplifting lol. Bottom line was that after the show he says Great job kid. When he said that I didn't debate his right to use qualatative judgements on other musicians. I just said thanks and took his money, which was an ample wad of cash. I lived on that money for almost a month. An hour later I also recalled what he was upset about, agreed with it, and never did it again...especially on the next gig I played with him which was for even more money. It's about getting through the gig, doing your best for the music then getting paid. It's not about your self esteem.

Geez, I spent most of last summer playing with one of Dave Brubeck's sons...one of the nicest guy on earth, and still even he was intensely competitive.

You of course realize that your larger return post was a highly competitive gesture.

Good.

Mission accomplished.
And this gets back to that objective standard the OP was sort-of railing against. There shouldn't be competitiveness because we're all different and we celebrate the individual, yes? Well, you only get to be an individual after you've proven you can do what's already out there. You can't create a new language until you've mastered the given one, right? Otherwise, you're just spouting off words you don't understand because you didn't take the time to learn the ones that were already there.

Hell, another example is that wildly original guitarist Jimi Hendrix. The man changed how guitarists all over the world play the instrument. Does anyone remember that he was just a sideman for the Isley Brothers? Sure, he was beginning to break out then with his own vocabulary, but you think he woulda' got that gig if he couldn't play the parts to Shout! ? Again, he had to meet the objective standard of the requirements of the Isley Brothers, then he could become who he was afterwards.

So you can talk about going to school to be original, and that there can't be the best ever, but thanks to music schools and rating festivals, and marching band competitions, even show choir festivals, etc.,..., society has taken an artform and attempted to put an objective standard on it to help define the best ever.
It seems to me that you guys may be misinterpreting the OP about 'cutthroat competition' and 'objectivity'. Maybe you're right and I'm wrong, but let me explain.

The first semester of my senior year of college, I took four extremely difficult and time-consuming physics and math classes, studied for and took the Physics and General GREs, applied to eight graduate schools and two fellowships, and played in four bands. I worked pretty hard that semester; sixteen hour days were quite common. However, there was no competitive spirit between me and my classmates. In fact, we helped each other all the time (I'm not sure any of us would have survived Topology otherwise), and we barely ever talked about grades. I have certainly found that cutthroat competition is not needed for someone to work hard and find success. You guys seem to think that the OP is looking for a school where he doesn't have to work and everyone will tell him he's great, no matter what, but I don't think that's what he meant (and I don't think he mentioned self-esteem).

Maybe all jazz schools have a cutthroat, competitive atmosphere. However, that would be at odds with the nature of schools in practically every other academic discipline. In my experience, there are always great schools where people work hard but aren't jerks to each other. Certainly, your professors need to point out your flaws, whether or not they scream at you in front of thousands of people, but I think that's also different from having an overly competitive atmosphere. Do you guys really think that a stab-everyone-in-the-back attitude is really necessary, or just the motivation to work hard? If it's the former, could you explain why?

As far as objectivity in music, I don't think the OP meant that all objectivity about anything related to music should be thrown out the window so we can hold hands and talk about our feelings. He just quoted someone who was pointing out a potential pitfall of too much direct competition.

Unfortunately, I'm not really qualified to speak to specific jazz schools or the value of a performance jazz education, so I hope the OP has gotten some good input about those topics.
 

brittc89

Pioneer Member
Unfortunately, I'm not really qualified to speak to specific jazz schools or the value of a performance jazz education, so I hope the OP has gotten some good input about those topics.
Whats kind of bugging me about this thread is that Ive been in this environment for a while, literally in a school he is applying to, but I doubt a lot of these people posting could even tell the OP how they put together ensemble rosters at Wm Paterson. Im talking to the people talking about cut-throat stuff. Can any of those dudes tell me? I could tell you, but I think its interesting how these places are viewed, like some brutal killing field. This OP is like 16, a lot of freshman are 18, just kids. Just tryin to figure stuff out. Lots of negative energy, I get tired of that.
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
Whats kind of bugging me about this thread is that Ive been in this environment for a while, literally in a school he is applying to, but I doubt a lot of these people posting could even tell the OP how they put together ensemble rosters at Wm Paterson. Im talking to the people talking about cut-throat stuff. Can any of those dudes tell me? I could tell you, but I think its interesting how these places are viewed, like some brutal killing field. This OP is like 16, a lot of freshman are 18, just kids. Just tryin to figure stuff out. Lots of negative energy, I get tired of that.
Yeah actually I can.

This is from your own catalog. You may recall Britt that I once considered WP as well.

Ensemble assignments are made by the Director and Coordinator of Jazz Studies in the week prior to the start of each semester. Students may also request to form a Concept Group, which is an ensemble dedicated to the study and performance of one artist, composer, or genre; these requests are granted based upon the merit of the project and schedule availability of the students and requested faculty.

Of all these American places I've always been partial to WP because once you get in it does seem more tolerant than others. However although you get in an ensemble regardless of level via these concept groups, the marquee ensembles are still the same old dog eat dog, which I think is totally cool.

However, here's the part about William Patterson that reveals the other side some of the rest of us are currently discussing.

How difficult is it to get admitted to the Jazz Studies Program? I've heard it's a very small program.

We are a purposely small program, with about 65 undergraduates and approximately 20 graduate students. There are approximately 10 students on each instrument or voice. The small size of the Program allows for a great deal of personal interaction between faculty and students; our typical classroom size is 12 students. We admit students only when a vacancy is created by the graduation of one of our current students. Consequently, we usually have about 3-4 openings in each instrument studio every fall. We accept about one in six or seven applicants. Some instruments such as saxophone, drums and guitar have more applicants, while others have fewer.

Your placement ratio for that department in every known evaluating journal is listed as most competitive meaning only the toughest gotta have it guys get in. In the case of WP the placement ratio is a little over 12%.

Yep, 12%

You and I have been on this forum for a really long time and I remember how you were in high school. You were very tough and intensely competitive. You became the top high school jazz drummer in Colorado by clawing like mad when you were unjustly rejected for the top all state band your junior year. You even started a thread about it. Then you went back into the shed, figured the thing out and killed the following year. The year before that you wrote a thread about how a high school jazz competition judge didn't understand your playing. You were supremely competitive and I loved it, because every time something happened you got better and better. I have always respected that about you.

You may have different thoughts now, but it was the hard core guy who got into that most competitive school in the first place.

Does the OP sound anything like you when you were his age?
 

brittc89

Pioneer Member
Yeah actually I can.

This is from your own catalog. You may recall Britt that I once considered WP as well.

Ensemble assignments are made by the Director and Coordinator of Jazz Studies in the week prior to the start of each semester. Students may also request to form a Concept Group, which is an ensemble dedicated to the study and performance of one artist, composer, or genre; these requests are granted based upon the merit of the project and schedule availability of the students and requested faculty.

Of all these American places I've always been partial to WP because once you get in it does seem more tolerant than others. However although you get in an ensemble regardless of level via these concept groups, the marquee ensembles are still the same old dog eat dog, which I think is totally cool.

However, here's the part about William Patterson that reveals the other side some of the rest of us are currently discussing.

How difficult is it to get admitted to the Jazz Studies Program? I've heard it's a very small program.

We are a purposely small program, with about 65 undergraduates and approximately 20 graduate students. There are approximately 10 students on each instrument or voice. The small size of the Program allows for a great deal of personal interaction between faculty and students; our typical classroom size is 12 students. We admit students only when a vacancy is created by the graduation of one of our current students. Consequently, we usually have about 3-4 openings in each instrument studio every fall. We accept about one in six or seven applicants. Some instruments such as saxophone, drums and guitar have more applicants, while others have fewer.

Your placement ratio for that department in every known evaluating journal is listed as most competitive meaning only the toughest gotta have it guys get in. In the case of WP the placement ratio is a little over 12%.

12%

You and I have been on this forum for a really long time and I remember how you were in high school. You were very tough and intensely competitive. You became the top high school jazz drummer in Colorado by clawing like mad when you were unjustly rejected for the top all state band your junior year. You even started a thread about it. Then you went back into the shed, figured the thing out and killed the following year. The year before that you wrote a thread about how a high school jazz competition judge didn't understand your playing. You were supremely competitive and I loved it, because every time something happened you got better and better. I have always respected that about you.

You may have different thoughts now, but it was the hard core guy who got into that most competitive school in the first place.

Does the OP sound anything like you when you were his age?
Websites dont tell you everything and everybody wants to sound like the best. Its almost completely random who gets in ensembles that are not concept groups. You might end up in a group with 2 masters students who are "killin" and a freshman who can barely read the changes. Its luck of the draw most times. Just whos class schedules work together. No auditions really except for the big band, which can get competitive.

I used to be strongly compeititive, youre right about that man, but I feel as though Ive learned a lot and Ive also changed a lot as a person. I was experiencing a lot of negativity and frustration, things were getting pretty dark, I was losing sight of why I loved music. And now I feel like Im seeing things clearer, or at least in a more positive light, and I dont really feel like Im having to compete with anybody. I can be happy just being who I am and doing my own thing. I dunno. And seriously, Im not trying to argue with you or start some fight, you know Ive got respect for you and what youre doing and what youre gonna be doing in the future, were just headed down different paths. All the best to you man.
 
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