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  #1  
Old 02-01-2009, 01:15 PM
Mystic
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Default Musicians Institue

http://www.mi.edu/
So I am pretty sold on what this school offers, I am about to travel from Utah to go here and I was wondering if anyone on here has heard of this place or if any one of you has attended it. There was a lot of cool stuff according to the administrator my lead guitarist talked to and for how cheap it is, I thought it was an amazing opportunity. I also have some other questions. I have an idea, should I sell my kit to help me get set up in Cali and just use the gear that they offer at the school, or should I just save up about 6k how I originally had it planned as a cushion for any financial problems and still have my set, but possibly a later start at the school. Any questions about the school you have I can answer them to the best of my knowledge if you are interested in it, it is a great opportunity in my opinion to anyone who is serious about a musical career.
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:32 PM
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Default Re: Musicians Institue

While I don't know anything about Music schools in the US, there's a couple of questions you should toss up regarding your kit.

Are you going to be spending substantial amounts of time at home (christmas/summer breaks) and will you be looking to be putting lots of practice on during these down times?

Would you consider taking your kit to school with you? (assuming you're driving, if not don't worry, i know nothing about the layouts of the states)

Would having to earn $6 K put you back a year in starting your studies? Would you consider just taking a gap year to work and practice?
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  #3  
Old 02-01-2009, 05:23 PM
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Default Re: Musicians Institue

I stopped into this place a few weeks ago and watch some studnets jamming.

I have read from more than one person that this is the school to go to if you want to be a musician. They also have a really good career placement program, I see audition notices all the time that are held there for studnets only. Blue Man Group being one of them.

If nothing else is an expensive school to get your chops up to speed and provide you with some oportunities.
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Old 02-01-2009, 06:18 PM
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2009, 06:27 PM
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Default Re: Musicians Institue

I went there in 1991.

At the time is was a great experience, although the school has different ownership and many different teachers now, and numerous different programs now, so I can't really say how things are going now. They only had a summer and a one year program when I was there, and now I understand they offer up to 4 year program(?) with multiple in-between choices.

As for your kit, you will have no use for it at school, there are plenty of drum kits there.
You will need cymbals, pedals, and it helps to have an extra cymbals stand or two.

But keep in mind, you'll want your set as soon as you're done with school, and if by any chance you join a band that plays outside of school, you'll need a set. Also keep in mind the re-sale value of your drum set vs buying a new drum set in a year (or how ever long you'll be there).

You might not want to bring it to LA when you 1st move (i.e. store it at a parents house, etc until you settle in, have a few months school under your belt) but selling it off seems a bit extreme to me. What's the point of going to school if you don't have a drum set? But if you need the money, you can certainly get through school without a drum set.
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Old 02-01-2009, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: Musicians Institue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post
http://www.mi.edu/
I have an idea, should I sell my kit to help me get set up in Cali and just use the gear that they offer at the school, or should I just save up about 6k how I originally had it planned as a cushion for any financial problems and still have my set, but possibly a later start at the school. Any questions about the school you have I can answer them to the best of my knowledge if you are interested in it, it is a great opportunity in my opinion to anyone who is serious about a musical career.
So - I'll give you the perspective not of an MI graduate (I didn't go to MI) but someone who moved in his early 20s to Hollywood and the bumps and bruises suffered.

First - save as much money as you can. Ideally even more than 6K. You're in for a real shock; LA is expensive and getting moreso by the year. MI is in Hollywood and Hollywood is undergoing a pretty substantial revitalization/gentrification. Even five or six years ago it was still a bit sketchy and that was reflected in rent (my wife and I shared a studio apartment there and when we moved in it was $770/mo; when we left it was close to $900 and that was two and a half years ago). Now there's a W hotel and a bunch of other stuff going in, and most new apartments were going for north of $1200/mo - not outrageous by LA standards but a real shock to Hollywood. So if you can't afford Hollywood you'll like somewhere like K-town or the Valley, which means use of a car - and insurance isn't cheap either... don't be surprised to pay over $1000/yr and $2000/yr is not unheard of if your car is new and you're a newer driver.

I'd advise against bringing the drums with you, but do definitely bring cymbals and pedals and sticks. Why shouldn't you bring the kit? If you can't get some sort of lockout at MI, you've got to keep it in your apartment. Without a lot of money you could be in a sketchy part of town and people will see you bringing a nice set of drums into the building... you can see where I'm going. Better to be safe than sorry. (Also - you pretty much won't be able to play your drums in your apartment and you don't even want to know how ridiculously expensive practice space can be.. ugh)

I know this all seems like a lot of downer info, but I've seen the other side of the MI universe. The building I lived in had TONS of MI students and a substantial percentage of them had moved out before completing a year. If you're not prepared or aware of costs, LA is a great way to burn several thousand dollars and not have much to show for it. If you take this stuff into account you can be ahead of the curve on that side of things.

That being said: though it's difficult, it's worthwhile, and you can make friends and connections out here that you couldn't make anywhere else. However, MI is not the only ticket... if you're motivated and have a knack for (classy, non-cheeseball) self-promotion as well as some professionalism, doors willl open.
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  #6  
Old 02-01-2009, 10:03 PM
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Default Re: Musicians Institue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chonson View Post
So - I'll give you the perspective not of an MI graduate (I didn't go to MI) but someone who moved in his early 20s to Hollywood and the bumps and bruises suffered.

First - save as much money as you can. Ideally even more than 6K. You're in for a real shock; LA is expensive and getting moreso by the year. MI is in Hollywood and Hollywood is undergoing a pretty substantial revitalization/gentrification. Even five or six years ago it was still a bit sketchy and that was reflected in rent (my wife and I shared a studio apartment there and when we moved in it was $770/mo; when we left it was close to $900 and that was two and a half years ago). Now there's a W hotel and a bunch of other stuff going in, and most new apartments were going for north of $1200/mo - not outrageous by LA standards but a real shock to Hollywood. So if you can't afford Hollywood you'll like somewhere like K-town or the Valley, which means use of a car - and insurance isn't cheap either... don't be surprised to pay over $1000/yr and $2000/yr is not unheard of if your car is new and you're a newer driver.

I'd advise against bringing the drums with you, but do definitely bring cymbals and pedals and sticks. Why shouldn't you bring the kit? If you can't get some sort of lockout at MI, you've got to keep it in your apartment. Without a lot of money you could be in a sketchy part of town and people will see you bringing a nice set of drums into the building... you can see where I'm going. Better to be safe than sorry. (Also - you pretty much won't be able to play your drums in your apartment and you don't even want to know how ridiculously expensive practice space can be.. ugh)

I know this all seems like a lot of downer info, but I've seen the other side of the MI universe. The building I lived in had TONS of MI students and a substantial percentage of them had moved out before completing a year. If you're not prepared or aware of costs, LA is a great way to burn several thousand dollars and not have much to show for it. If you take this stuff into account you can be ahead of the curve on that side of things.

That being said: though it's difficult, it's worthwhile, and you can make friends and connections out here that you couldn't make anywhere else. However, MI is not the only ticket... if you're motivated and have a knack for (classy, non-cheeseball) self-promotion as well as some professionalism, doors willl open.
All good points. Los Angeles is a very expensive place to live, and can be a shock to people who aren't prepared.
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  #7  
Old 02-01-2009, 11:50 PM
Mystic
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Default Re: Musicians Institue

alright what about this scenario, I plan on moving there with my lead guitarist who is also saving 6k and possibly my bassist who is saving 6k as well, oh and maybe even my keyboard player with 6k, is that enough and we would all be renting 1 place with split rent.
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Old 02-02-2009, 05:18 AM
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Default Re: Musicians Institue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post
alright what about this scenario, I plan on moving there with my lead guitarist who is also saving 6k and possibly my bassist who is saving 6k as well, oh and maybe even my keyboard player with 6k, is that enough and we would all be renting 1 place with split rent.
Depends on your expenses (cars, food, entertainment, habits, etc) but certainly much better than trying to go it alone on 6 grand.

Just avoid Amoeba Music. :)
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  #9  
Old 02-02-2009, 05:51 AM
Mystic
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Default Re: Musicians Institue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chonson View Post
Depends on your expenses (cars, food, entertainment, habits, etc) but certainly much better than trying to go it alone on 6 grand.

Just avoid Amoeba Music. :)
Amoeba Music? Anyway we plan on saving all of that money specifically as a cushion no one is to spend any of their share, in case something went wrong financially, and we would be using it when we first got there just to get us on our feet, we would have to work in order to afford any form of entertainment? Is our plan too strict?
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:22 AM
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Default Re: Musicians Institue

Amoeba Music is a large CD store, with an extensive used inventory, which makes it easy to part with large sums of money.

Your plans sounds good. People make it on less.

Best thing to do if you can is go down early and scout where to live. I've seen too many people just show up a few days before school starts and end up renting something they regretted because it was it was the only thing that move in ready that day.
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Old 02-04-2009, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: Musicians Institue

I've heard a lot of mixed things from previously and currently enrolled students at MI..

I hear a lot of good things about making connections and meeting some interesting and helpful people, but I also hear that it's overpriced and that the individual focus you get as a student is compromised for large class sizes. I've had conversations with a successful producer about music schools in LA, and he's very much against paying THAT much money for the small amount of education that they seem to provide.

I think it really depends on what you are planning to study. Said producer suggested to me, when I asked him what recording schools are worthwhile, to sell myself to recording studios as an assistant and learn from hands-on experiences. But that might not be the case if you want to be involved with artist management or something of the sort.

Chonson made some really good points. MI is not the only ticket. I personally have never been to MI, and that being said, you should probably take what I've written with a grain of salt. But I just wanted to put it out there.
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Old 02-04-2009, 05:33 PM
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  #12  
Old 02-04-2009, 07:09 PM
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Default Re: Musicians Institue

Quote:
Originally Posted by anth_ony View Post
I've heard a lot of mixed things from previously and currently enrolled students at MI..

I hear a lot of good things about making connections and meeting some interesting and helpful people, but I also hear that it's overpriced and that the individual focus you get as a student is compromised for large class sizes. I've had conversations with a successful producer about music schools in LA, and he's very much against paying THAT much money for the small amount of education that they seem to provide.

I think it really depends on what you are planning to study. Said producer suggested to me, when I asked him what recording schools are worthwhile, to sell myself to recording studios as an assistant and learn from hands-on experiences. But that might not be the case if you want to be involved with artist management or something of the sort.

Chonson made some really good points. MI is not the only ticket. I personally have never been to MI, and that being said, you should probably take what I've written with a grain of salt. But I just wanted to put it out there.
I'm not sure if you can compare the recording school aspect to the playing side aspect. A drummer can't just get a job at a studio and learn hands on how to play drums better.

Before I went there 18 years ago (!) I was told all sorts of stories as to why not to go.

People would say "every drummer comes out there sounding exactly the same." Which is not true. If you're a fusion fiend or a metal head, you're still going to come out the other side as a fusion fiend or a metal head. And the school offered me 101 different electives to take, all of which is going to shape different drummers into different ways, depending on which electives one chooses. There is no way to come out everyone sounding the same.

Some people told me they" teach you how to just be mechanically correct, and graduates have no feel." But I wouldn't say that is true in the least. Feel comes up a lot in the workshops. And again, that is something different individuals will have different takes on.

Some people just say "oh, no one needs that, just practice" but that is fairly subjective. Different people learn in different ways. And it's not just the lessons, as the lessons are only a small part of the experience. The live playing workshops is where it's really at. Getting to sit in with a top notch jazz band, a big band, RB band, a metal band, whatever just by showing up. No auditions, no booking agents, no schlepping your drum set to the gig, no begging for a chance to play, no pressure to be perfect on your first try, and instant feedback to how to improve and in some classes, a video to review yourself. That is something private lessons can not offer. And the ability to sit around with professional drummers who've played all over the world and just ask questions is something you can't get outside of a school.

As for price, that is a different story. When I went there, I broke down how much I paid my private instructor per hour for one lesson per week, and then multiplied that out by how many hours of assorted classes I would have, and the school was a bargain at a per hour rate. But I'm not so sure how that breaks down these days, as tuition as skyrocketed.

On the flip side, I'd certainly want to check out the LA Music academy. It was started by former MI teachers who were unhappy with the change of ownership that occurred some years back, and offers much of the same time of instruction. Several the bigger name teachers are there now rather than at MI.

And the real downside is, all this school doesn't add up to a guaranteed music career. Success stories are still few and far between. Of all the people I met there, I only know of very few who have solid playing careers. My mother was certainly under the impression is was like any other vocational school, that you'd go, and then get placed in a entry level paying job. Oye, that certainly doesn't happen.
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: Musicians Institue

I'm starting classes there in April.

Should be a blast.
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