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  #41  
Old 04-21-2015, 11:43 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: On teaching

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Abusive behavior on either the student or teachers part is bad teaching/learning theory.

Abusive behavior on either a band leader or band members part is bad business theory.

Abusive behavior is usually justified with some idiotic rational...nothing justifies it.
Quite. Also, not every musician is involved in the conservatory system. Not everyone is involved in the "Competetive" hired gun world of cut throat sessions. Lots of drummers are in bands with there mates where the blend of musicians simply fit.

In Britain, at least, most drummers have lessons, when they want or feel they need them, from a perfectly reasonable teacher. They spend more time playing and practicing for the love of it rather than trying to achieve some mythical idea of perfection being sold by the conservatory system. A perfection they seem to percieve can only be achieved by "suffering" for your art.
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  #42  
Old 04-22-2015, 12:14 AM
tcspears tcspears is offline
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In Britain, at least, most drummers have lessons, when they want or feel they need them, from a perfectly reasonable teacher. They spend more time playing and practicing for the love of it rather than trying to achieve some mythical idea of perfection being sold by the conservatory system. A perfection they seem to percieve can only be achieved by "suffering" for your art.
I think this is morphing into a job vs hobby debate. Conservatories and music schools aim to prepare students for life as a musician, not as a hobbyist. Whether I agree with their methods or not, the music business is every bit as harsh as music school was. I've played in the UK many times, and the business is the same over there.

What you're talking about is playing as a hobby, which is entirely different than playing for a living. If I play in an amateur rugby league I probably won't be exposed to the stress and competition that the professionals are. That's not to say I don't enjoy playing or that I'm not very good, just that approaching something as a hobby is MUCH different.
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  #43  
Old 04-22-2015, 09:41 AM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: On teaching

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I think this is morphing into a job vs hobby debate. Conservatories and music schools aim to prepare students for life as a musician, not as a hobbyist. Whether I agree with their methods or not, the music business is every bit as harsh as music school was. I've played in the UK many times, and the business is the same over there.

What you're talking about is playing as a hobby, which is entirely different than playing for a living. If I play in an amateur rugby league I probably won't be exposed to the stress and competition that the professionals are. That's not to say I don't enjoy playing or that I'm not very good, just that approaching something as a hobby is MUCH different.
Who said anything about a hobby? I made a living from music for years playing in bands, lots of drummers have and still do without going to conservatories or music schools. Any band that is not made up of hired guns is a band of mates. If you want to be a session drummer then it is probably esential, but not everyone wants to be a hired gun.

Its the perception, in some, that if you dont use this system, and get "beaten up a bit" you will never get on in the drumming world, cos its tough out there you know. Well, you dont say. No matter how many bits of paper you have saying what grades and what conservatory you graduated from, the fact remains, are you a fit with the band?

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  #44  
Old 04-22-2015, 01:27 PM
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Advanced students - like college-level students - must be pushed. You can't jolly them along like the 10-year-old taking lessons after school at the local music store.

I haven't taught in a while. When I *did* teach younger learners, I got them to focus with a very simple technique which wasn't adversarial in the slightest. I engaged the parents. If I noticed the student wasn't practicing or progressing, I'd take the parent(s) aside and say, "[Student] is clearly not practicing or working on the assignments I've given him. It's disappointing, because he's very talented. It makes no *practical* difference to me, because my lesson fee is the same regardless of whether or not [student] and I go over the same three exercises week in and week out. I thought you should know."

Or words to that effect. At the time, I was charging $30 an hour. Most parents don't think pissing away money is smart.

I never cracked a whip or even raised my voice. I got other people in positions of greater, firmer authority to do it for me. ;-)
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  #45  
Old 04-22-2015, 01:53 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: On teaching

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Advanced students - like college-level students - must be pushed. You can't jolly them along like the 10-year-old taking lessons after school at the local music store.

I haven't taught in a while. When I *did* teach younger learners, I got them to focus with a very simple technique which wasn't adversarial in the slightest. I engaged the parents. If I noticed the student wasn't practicing or progressing, I'd take the parent(s) aside and say, "[Student] is clearly not practicing or working on the assignments I've given him. It's disappointing, because he's very talented. It makes no *practical* difference to me, because my lesson fee is the same regardless of whether or not [student] and I go over the same three exercises week in and week out. I thought you should know."

Or words to that effect. At the time, I was charging $30 an hour. Most parents don't think pissing away money is smart.

I never cracked a whip or even raised my voice. I got other people in positions of greater, firmer authority to do it for me. ;-)
I agree with almost everything you say...... but In my experience its not the ones that "have to be pushed" that make it, Its the ones that push themselves, especialy when they get to teenage years.

Could it be that its fairly easy to turn out a drumming tradesman or woman, given the resources and practice time, but its not so easy to turn out an artist.
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  #46  
Old 04-22-2015, 02:26 PM
tcspears tcspears is offline
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lots of drummers have and still do without going to conservatories or music schools.
I agree 100%, I do not think schools are necessary to be successful, I was just saying that schools aim to teach you how to be successful in the field. The same way that any degree aims to teach you how to be succesful in the world. I had been working professionally as a drummer for years before I could afford putting myself through school.

For me, music school was about adding credentials, networking, foundational learning, and a little bit just to prove to myself that I could. Again, I don't think that makes me better, and I certainly don't think it's something that is required.

In my experience, and most other musicians I meet when traveling, there are two main ways to make a living playing music full time:

1. You play in a band with friends/mates, and that group becomes so successful that you needn't do anything else. There's only a small chance this will ever happen, but if it does, the payout is huge.

2. You become a "hired gun" and take all the gigs you can. This is more easily achieved than number 1, but the reward is usually not as great.

(Obviously there are other ways to make a living from music, but let's just focus on live performance)

Unless you are lucky enough to be in the first category, and most aren't, you end up in the second category. In the second category, you get to have a huge amount of fun playing with all kinds of people, but it is very competitive and harsh. I feel that the way I was taught, whether good or bad, accurately reflects the industry.
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  #47  
Old 04-22-2015, 02:42 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: On teaching

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I agree 100%, I do not think schools are necessary to be successful, I was just saying that schools aim to teach you how to be successful in the field. The same way that any degree aims to teach you how to be succesful in the world. I had been working professionally as a drummer for years before I could afford putting myself through school.

For me, music school was about adding credentials, networking, foundational learning, and a little bit just to prove to myself that I could. Again, I don't think that makes me better, and I certainly don't think it's something that is required.

In my experience, and most other musicians I meet when traveling, there are two main ways to make a living playing music full time:

1. You play in a band with friends/mates, and that group becomes so successful that you needn't do anything else. There's only a small chance this will ever happen, but if it does, the payout is huge.

2. You become a "hired gun" and take all the gigs you can. This is more easily achieved than number 1, but the reward is usually not as great.

(Obviously there are other ways to make a living from music, but let's just focus on live performance)

Unless you are lucky enough to be in the first category, and most aren't, you end up in the second category. In the second category, you get to have a huge amount of fun playing with all kinds of people, but it is very competitive and harsh. I feel that the way I was taught, whether good or bad, accurately reflects the industry.
I would argue most strongly with that statement. A degree is an academic qualification, nothing more. I have a friend with a doctorate, he spent 20 years in full time education and he is academicaly very clever, but he is short on common sense and little in the way of social skills. After 35 years employment he curently earns 30k per year, his best salary ever.
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  #48  
Old 04-22-2015, 03:21 PM
tcspears tcspears is offline
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I would argue most strongly with that statement. A degree is an academic qualification, nothing more. I have a friend with a doctorate, he spent 20 years in full time education and he is academicaly very clever, but he is short on common sense and little in the way of social skills. After 35 years employment he curently earns 30k per year, his best salary ever.
No arguments here! I went to a conservatory, and my sister has a PHD in Victorian English Literature... neither of these degrees are on those "best degrees to get if..." lists.

That's why I said "For me, music school was about adding credentials, networking, foundational learning, and a little bit just to prove to myself that I could. Again, I don't think that makes me better, and I certainly don't think it's something that is required. "

A degree is an acedemic qualification, a piece of paper saying that you completed a specific curriculum. For me the top two reasons for pursuing were adding the credentials to my CV, and the networking ability that comes with it.

Professors are in the same boat as us, they have to hustle to become successful. Many of the professors I've met say it's "publish or perish", becasue they don't make enough to stay afloat. 30k is very low, I think that's about $50k; jesus I thought musicians were underpaid!
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  #49  
Old 04-22-2015, 04:42 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: On teaching

True, I was a salesman for a building products manufacturer and I earned more than that last year. Its the old saying though, "You dont get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate".

On another note. The youngest daughters boyfriend started a graduate fast track scheme with a major supermarket chain, straight from University. They are being fast tracked into management positions, his degree was in......Politics.!!!!! Now what preparation is that for a career selling groceries?

He started on 26k. Now If I had worked for the supermarket in question, straight from school, and had experience of every department and had training in retail, working my way up, I would be less than pleased that these people were being brought in over my head simply cos they had a degree in Media Studies, or indeed politics.
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  #50  
Old 04-23-2015, 03:40 AM
Matt Bo Eder
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With part of this discussion leaning into the "college vs real life" territory - this reveals another question I have to ask: If you spend so many thousands of dollars on a post-high school education, shouldn't you be getting something out of it?

I would be pissed to spend some 50K on a music education knowing the whole time it did not guarantee me anything, let alone make my money back, as what I went to school for. I think of all those jazz studies folks out there becoming just monster players, spending their money on the education, looking forward to teaching music? That's not what I paid for man, I want that career as a jazz artist - that's why I gave you all that money in the first place!

I know, I shouldn't rant about that too loudly, there are enough people here happily going to college for music. But if there ever was an example of going into a McDonalds, buying a Big Mac and then throwing it away on your way out of the restaurant, this could be it, eh?
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  #51  
Old 04-23-2015, 11:30 AM
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Default Re: On teaching

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Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
With part of this discussion leaning into the "college vs real life" territory - this reveals another question I have to ask: If you spend so many thousands of dollars on a post-high school education, shouldn't you be getting something out of it?

I would be pissed to spend some 50K on a music education knowing the whole time it did not guarantee me anything, let alone make my money back, as what I went to school for. I think of all those jazz studies folks out there becoming just monster players, spending their money on the education, looking forward to teaching music? That's not what I paid for man, I want that career as a jazz artist - that's why I gave you all that money in the first place!

I know, I shouldn't rant about that too loudly, there are enough people here happily going to college for music. But if there ever was an example of going into a McDonalds, buying a Big Mac and then throwing it away on your way out of the restaurant, this could be it, eh?
I think your expectations are out of whack because you bought a sham foisted on America by a combination of politicians telling Baby Boomers what they want(ed) to hear and an "education" industry keen to cash in on that misinformation.

A degree is a guarantee of nothing, except that you've met an institution's criteria for getting that piece of paper. THAT is what you've paid for. It is NOT an investment in your future. Your future after school is up to YOU.

The only thing a proper education guarantees is curiosity about the world around you. It is not a training program. Yeah, getting a music performance degree, you should come out a better player than you went in. You should have gained some experience through teachers challenging you. You should have made some industry contacts.

But to expect that $50k to have bought your way into making a living playing jazz is bullshit, pure and simple.
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  #52  
Old 04-23-2015, 04:02 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: On teaching

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I think your expectations are out of whack because you bought a sham foisted on America by a combination of politicians telling Baby Boomers what they want(ed) to hear and an "education" industry keen to cash in on that misinformation.

A degree is a guarantee of nothing, except that you've met an institution's criteria for getting that piece of paper. THAT is what you've paid for. It is NOT an investment in your future. Your future after school is up to YOU.

The only thing a proper education guarantees is curiosity about the world around you. It is not a training program. Yeah, getting a music performance degree, you should come out a better player than you went in. You should have gained some experience through teachers challenging you. You should have made some industry contacts.

But to expect that $50k to have bought your way into making a living playing jazz is bullshit, pure and simple.
I agree and its the same vision being foisted on British kids for the last 15 years. Originaly, I believe, It was just a way of keeping kids in full time education longer and keeping them off the unemployed lists. Get a degree, get at least 27k in debt and you are guaranteed a great career at the end of it. What tosh, all that is doing is giving kids unrealistic expectations.

The majority of kids in Britain now go to Uni and its not possible for them all to have a great job when they graduate. Lots of jobs would be much better served by an apprenticeship as you are learning the actual job you are going to do, and being paid rather than geting into debt.

With regard to a guaranteed job in the music industry cos you spent a fortune on a music degree course? Not in the real world.

The old saying still stands "If you get into music to make money, you will be disappointed. If you get into music to make music you will be happy, and might just make some money along the way".
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Old 04-23-2015, 04:16 PM
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  #53  
Old 04-23-2015, 04:38 PM
tcspears tcspears is offline
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my education absolutely prepared me for what came after
This is exactly my experience; schools aim to teach you how to be a succesful musician in the real world. The constant hustle, negotiations, making connections, and finding your unique voice. Not to mention the networking opportunities you have.

I felt I was constantly out of my comfort zone and being challenged.

I'm not saying it's necessary, or any different than a good private teacher, but I don't know if I'd be where I am today (making a living playing music) without the experience.
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Old 04-23-2015, 05:35 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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This is exactly my experience; schools aim to teach you how to be a succesful musician in the real world. The constant hustle, negotiations, making connections, and finding your unique voice. Not to mention the networking opportunities you have.

I felt I was constantly out of my comfort zone and being challenged.

I'm not saying it's necessary, or any different than a good private teacher, but I don't know if I'd be where I am today (making a living playing music) without the experience.
I agree entirely, Its the "I have spent 50k going to a top music colege to learn the drums therefore I am guaranteed a job" that is wrong. Hard, hard work and a lot of luck are the factors that get even the best educated and prepared work. I will almost guarantee there were, percieved, better drummers on both of you guys courses that have not made it in music cos the desire and determination to work hard after coledge was not there.
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