Good Universities/Colleges for Drumming?

Jayson

Well-known member
I hear a lot about the University of North Texas. What's up with that? Well, we all know about Berklee.

O.K., what sets these places above some other universities etc.?
 

force3005

Silver Member
University of Indiana and Florida State University Collage of Music are very good also. It's about teacher name recantation IMO.
 
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Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
University of Indiana and Florida State University Collage of Music are very good also. It's about teacher name recantation IMO.
I will second the Indiana testimony. IU school of Music produces tons and tons of great musicians. I wish I studied music when I was at IU.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
What do you want to do with a music degree?

1. Be a bitter, failed drumset player?

2. Be a bitter, failed orchestral percussionist? (Me lol)

3. Be a struggling mix of the two who mixes those two with teaching lessons and working at a Guitar Center? (And still lives at Mom’s house at age 44)

Because your answer makes a big difference in which institution of future poverty (certain) and bitterness (likely) that you choose.

*shrug*
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I would agree with North Texas and Indiana U, and also add Michigan State, Morehead State (KY), UMass Amherst, George Mason, Northwestern, Eastman,

What do you want to do with a music degree?

1. Be a bitter, failed drumset player?

2. Be a bitter, failed orchestral percussionist? (Me lol)

3. Be a struggling mix of the two who mixes those two with teaching lessons and working at a Guitar Center? (And still lives at Mom’s house at age 44)

Because your answer makes a big difference in which institution of future poverty (certain) and bitterness (likely) that you choose.

*shrug*
...or be a decent drumset and orchestral player who gets to play everyday, and teach/expose kids to the world of percussion and watch them grow and gain their own successes. Who gets to write, and arrange music, and get payed for that.

sometimes, money is not the root of happiness. I would rather be poor and happy being immersed in music everyday, then rich and anything else. I was living away from mom's house at 19; touring with a band for a while. Then got done with that, and went back to college to get my Music Ed degree. Have never worked at GC - always have worked at my high school and middle schools. I worked for a major Big 10 band in Central Ohio for 6 years doing the tenor line and auditions. Have owned my own house since 2001.

Where you land after college depends on what you do during and before college....not just the degree itself...you have to actively market yourself, build credibility, schmooze, work for free sometimes...

in the end, I have realized that it is more important to be happy with what you do, not what you make....

just my .02 cents
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
What do you want to do with a music degree?
The answer to this question really does matter in terms of defining options. Schools excel in different things. I have spent many years at Eastman (community music school with access to the same faculty) since it's in my backyard. However it does certain things very well and doesn't even touch out other things you may have interest in pursuing.

Eastman has world class faculty and turns out world renowned artists. Won't find many rock / pop artists however. If you want to study orchestral, jazz, music theory and many other historical aspects of music, it's one of the very best in the world.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
The answer to this question really does matter in terms of defining options. Schools excel in different things. I have spent many years at Eastman (community music school with access to the same faculty) since it's in my backyard. However it does certain things very well and doesn't even touch out other things you may have interest in pursuing.

Eastman has world class faculty and turns out world renowned artists. Won't find many rock / pop artists however. If you want to study orchestral, jazz, music theory and many other historical aspects of music, it's one of the very best in the world.
Steve Gadd. But you’re right. Berklee and UNT are the big jazz schools. Manhattan and Cleveland and Juilliard are the big orchestral schools. And Eastman is probably the best all-around percussion school.

But this is all immaterial. Only an idiot studies music performance these days. Music Ed or maybe music therapy is the way to go.
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
You are spot on... Steve became a major contributor but techincally didn't study Rock/Pop at ESM.

Wonder how many contibutors who are involved in Rock/Pop today who came from ESM. I don't know the answer to that, though I'm sure it's not hard to find out.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
I hear a lot about the University of North Texas. What's up with that?
North Texas offers one of the largest comprehensive music programs in the country, if not in the world. UNT was the first music program to offer a degree in jazz performance. It's One O'Clock Lab Band is legendary. A number of Big Band leaders and Jazz Ensembles consider UNT a first stop to draft new players.
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
Squat U in Zimbabwe is known for it's exceptional rhythm producers. These drum bangers start learning at an early age. It's a life long process and the different patterns and stick usage changes over the years. Best part of all this is there's no books, paperwork, tests, or exchange of money. The basis for drumming is the love of making music straight from the heart rather than from the printed page as written by someone else. Individualism is encouraged. Listening to the elders drumming is how the art is passed down from generation to generation. No need for some fancy named university that charges an arm and leg to "teach" you how to drum. You either love it and learn by listening or become a human metronome through college download.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Music used to be a way to make a good living for lots and lots of people. In my lifetime, it seems to have gone from that to being a really hard way to make a living for a very select few. I ditched the idea of owning a house by making money from music in September of 1984. Making enough to own a home solely from playing music....I'm guessing that maybe 5% of people who are good enough to be pro musicians can boast that.

Does anybody reading this make enough money from music to cover their monthly housing expenses and everything associated with that? I make tops 5000 a year from music before my expenses, which eat up most of that. Granted that's only once a week, but the math will tell you it's nowhere near enough. It's a joke for the majority of people who want to make a living from it, music is. I'd go as far as to say that it could be THE worst way to try and make money today. To give some school a pile of money with the idea of making 6 figures a year is absolutely insane to me. I mean what's the point of going to school if you can't look forward to at least 6 figures a year.

Wanting to do it for personal growth is one thing, but trying to make a living these days from music performance...just look around. It's a terrible choice.
 
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Vintage Old School

Gold Member
I think the question is "Will obtaining a college or graduate level degree open the doors for you that you want to open?" That applies to not only music degrees but all other degrees in this day and age. If not, it's time to formulate another goal and game plan. But if you want to teach any aspect of music at a college or graduate level, credentials matter. What are you willing to pay to obtain those credentials, and--as Larry has pointed out--can you make a living with that degree?

But for a career in music performance my take is that those who are already "successful" before enrolling in an academic program will likely be the same ones who come out "successful." But being successful may not equate to being financially solvent.

Some of the best educational moments I've had have been at drum clinics when an artist would share about the business end of being a professional musician. Most of those gems started with something to the effect, "When I was younger I wish someone had told me . . . . . "
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Does anybody reading this make enough money from music to cover their monthly housing expenses and everything associated with that?
Nope. When I was making money from music I still needed a full time job to survive.

If not, it's time to formulate another goal and game plan.
This is exactly where I'm at right now. The house and cars are paid for. The only expenses I have are between $450 and $500 a month. I'm seriously considering getting a part time job of about 25 hours a week so I can spend more time at home with my family. Stress will be practically eliminated, I can get more done around the house, and spend more quality time with my wife and kid. To me, that far outweighs any amount of money I could ever make.

And oh yeah, I have a college degree I've never used. What a waste of time and money.
 

Jayson

Well-known member
Squat U in Zimbabwe is known for it's exceptional rhythm producers. These drum bangers start learning at an early age. It's a life long process and the different patterns and stick usage changes over the years. Best part of all this is there's no books, paperwork, tests, or exchange of money. The basis for drumming is the love of making music straight from the heart rather than from the printed page as written by someone else. Individualism is encouraged. Listening to the elders drumming is how the art is passed down from generation to generation. No need for some fancy named university that charges an arm and leg to "teach" you how to drum. You either love it and learn by listening or become a human metronome through college download.
Well, I'm aware of that (the anti-elitist thing) - but it's always fun to jam with jazz drummers back home. Wouldn't UNT be the best spot?

And oh yeah, I have a college degree I've never used. What a waste of time and money.
It's never a waste of time and money - but I wouldn't depend on it for a job.
 
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dmacc_2

Well-known member
Music used to be a way to make a good living for lots and lots of people. In my lifetime, it seems to have gone from that to being a really hard way to make a living for a very select few. I ditched the idea of owning a house by making money from music in September of 1984. Making enough to own a home solely from playing music....I'm guessing that maybe 5% of people who are good enough to be pro musicians can boast that.

Does anybody reading this make enough money from music to cover their monthly housing expenses and everything associated with that? I make tops 5000 a year from music before my expenses, which eat up most of that. Granted that's only once a week, but the math will tell you it's nowhere near enough. It's a joke for the majority of people who want to make a living from it, music is. I'd go as far as to say that it could be THE worst way to try and make money today. To give some school a pile of money with the idea of making 6 figures a year is absolutely insane to me. I mean what's the point of going to school if you can't look forward to at least 6 figures a year.

Wanting to do it for personal growth is one thing, but trying to make a living these days from music performance...just look around. It's a terrible choice.
I used to make a 'living' by teaching and playing (approx 1984 - 1989). Wasn't enough though. I also wasn't good enough, dedicated enough nor hungry enough to sustain it. Then I went to college and got a degree on a totally different track. Zero regrets and I've never once looked back wondering about how things might have been.

I'm not embarrassed at all to make the claim that I am nothing more than a hobbyist (at best).
 

Jayson

Well-known member
What do you want to do with a music degree?

1. Be a bitter, failed drumset player?

2. Be a bitter, failed orchestral percussionist? (Me lol)

3. Be a struggling mix of the two who mixes those two with teaching lessons and working at a Guitar Center? (And still lives at Mom’s house at age 44)

Because your answer makes a big difference in which institution of future poverty (certain) and bitterness (likely) that you choose.

*shrug*
Well, a person can be more creative with finances. I mean, the Guitar Center thing etc.. isn't necessarily going to be poverty.

Also, fame isn't going strike everyone - even they're good. Have people looked into having different interests - rather than just one? Perhaps they could get fame in something else.
 

nolibos

Active member
I would consider the playing/performing options near the college. Colleges near the greater Los Angeles area may have better performing options. I studied at UCSB, Jon Nathan is in charge of the percussions dept., he is a very accomplished drummer and a great teacher. In the SF bay area SJSU is highly regarded, Tony Cirone used to teach there.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Wouldn't UNT be the best spot?
Education is very rarely a complete waste. But, at a certain point, you have to own your education.

If you love big band and jazz, and want to become an excellent reader, then UNT is the spot. The competition will be staggering. Best get those skills as together as possible before going there. Start taking piano lessons and reading music ASAP. After attending, even if you never play another big band gig, you'll be better prepared for any gig that requires reading, and become able to digest other styles more quickly, if desired. Ear training and piano classes will sharpen your ears, and possibly help you to compose or arrange. These days, it's usually not enough to just play drums. Can you run a rehearsal? Record a jingle? Engineer a record? Write horn or string parts? Those things may seem secondary to you now, but you may come to enjoy the creative aspects of those roles, and yes, they will help you to become a better drummer.

Practically speaking, in any local scene, the players who studied at university tend to hire each other, for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it's just a friendship thing, or a shared love of certain music, or a history of playing together -- and sometimes it's the knowledge that an educated player has the necessary experience for the gig. You don't have to attend UNT or Berklee or Eastman to get a good music education. Schools that were once terrible for jazz are now great (U of M, for example). Many are overpriced. But if you plan to relocate after graduating, having a recognizable credential helps others to be more willing to take a chance on you.

Once you're in the door, no one cares what university you went to. They just care that you can do the gig well. But you need to get through the door first. I've had a few students go on to study music on the university level. None went to Berklee, after visiting it and seeing the price.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Does anybody reading this make enough money from music to cover their monthly housing expenses and everything associated with that?
I do...for almost 25 years I have owned my own house, car, furniture etc...and do music full time. I have been a band director/percussion instructor for 30 years now. Also studio work, gigs, repair work...
 
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