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GoForth Journal

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Replies to: GoForth Journal

  • momsingsmomsings 804 replies3 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited January 2016
    Yes. Academic admissions are rolling at UNT. Music admissions are not. You can be accepted to the school prior to the music audition process, which is one step to being accepted to the music school. If they haven't changed the Bass audition it is in 2 parts...a recorded audition (this is NOT a prescreen) and a live audition. My son sent in the recorded audition in early December and ended up not doing the later live audition because he was accepted Early Decision elsewhere.
    edited January 2016
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  • musicprntmusicprnt 6216 replies37 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    FWIW, my son has had two doctors who were music students in college/conservatory, then went to med school, one was relatively young, the other older:)
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  • GoForthGoForth 801 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
    I am debating (with self) - it would be possible to haul S and his bass down to UNT by appointment for a sample lesson. It would be a mighty hike with after effects of lost income and lost school days. In fact, I am switching over to another client in a few weeks, and taking off during S' spring break (Mar 28 - Apr 1) would be 2 weeks into my new project (uncool), but it would spare S the loss of school days. Maybe it is possible to find a way to do this. Is it worth it? I want to think it would be very valuable to get some early analysis from outside of our zone, especially "early" on when correction can be applied over a longer time period before auditions. S will be there anyway in June, but as more of a group/camp experience. What to do?
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  • MomofadultMomofadult 1095 replies28 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You are a very generous Dad!

    When your S is at UNT in June, will this program be with the regular faculty? If yes, I think that will be sufficient for a getting-to-know-you experience, both from your S and the instructors' perspective. If a correction takes longer to implement than the months between June and pre-screen and/or audition, I suspect that the program was not ever going to be a match for your S. If not included in the camp experience already, perhaps S could make arrangements to have a private lesson or two when he is there in June.

    Do you have the appointment set-up already, or were you hoping to schedule something? It may be that the prof isn't available on your ideal dates in any case.

    I'm not checking all your old posts, but I think I recall you've been meeting with instructors in "your zone". If this is the case, it is unlikely that someone outside "your current zone" will identify anything not already noted.




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  • momsingsmomsings 804 replies3 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited February 2016
    He can do lessons with the both the jazz and orchestral bass profs at the camp @GoForth. That is what my son did. You can arrange the lessons ahead of time by email.
    edited February 2016
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  • GoForthGoForth 801 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited February 2016
    @Momofadult - 51 weeks ago, I sent a letter to the professor at UNT and received a reply about what S might work on. I followed up to describe that S had implemented the advice and would be coming in June. I asked if an analysis could be arranged before or during the camp. The answer says that the camp is not the place for a private lesson, although some detailed notes would arise from the camp for all the participants. However, an open invitation to visit campus (by appointment) at any time was given. No appointment has been made at this time.

    I think you are right about corrections that can't be captured in the months between June and auditions may just be too far out of the ballpark. Yet the camp may not offer as detailed a look as a scheduled visit. The faculty at the camp will be the actual faculty. I might suffer from a fear that instructors we have met in our zone are somehow not be representative of the world class instruction that I imagine to exist elsewhere - probably unlikely, but I feel like "double-checking". It would just be a costly double-checking in terms of time away from the home base, given that another such costly visit to the same place is already booked.

    Overall, I would like to not schedule a pre-camp visit because of the cost. But I would hate to ignore the opportunity to visit if any key revelations would have been made regarding S' basic direction or skill zone.
    edited February 2016
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  • GoForthGoForth 801 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
    @momsings - I did not know that. Now, S' orchestral chops on the upright bass definitely have room to grow. He is currently working on the Eccles Sonata, if that is anything that indicates where a person is in a normal progression. He can still have bow squeaks. Interestingly, S' classical bass instructor was a student of the UNT classical bass instructor back when both were at Interlochen in the early 1980's.
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  • ScreenName48105ScreenName48105 495 replies22 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited February 2016
    I know UNT is at the top of your S's list but has your son met Rodney Whitaker (Michigan State) or Robert Hurst (University of Michigan) yet? Honestly, you're not going to find a better pair of jazz bass instructors than those two, even at UNT. My S has played for them both, as well as Jeremy Allen at Jacobs (IU). Great educators, all. Not trying to dissuade you from UNT at all, but if it's feedback you're looking for, you don't have to drive to UNT.

    In case you're not aware, Rodney Whitaker was the bassist for the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and Wynton Marsalis for years. Toured with all the greats, taught at Juilliard. He came home to Michigan (he was born in Detroit) but you don't get much more "world class" than him... well, except maybe Robert Hurst, who also played with Lincoln Center Jazz. He was also in The Tonight Show house band. He has more than a dozen Grammy nominations/awards. I've heard he's also won an Oscar though, for what, I don't know. He was also born in Detroit and eventually came home to Michigan, as well.

    I would schedule sample lessons in June. And if UNT is the school at the top of your S's list, it will be worth being prepared even for a sample lesson. FWIW, my S's first sample lesson was not his best.
    edited February 2016
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  • momsingsmomsings 804 replies3 threadsRegistered User Member
    We know someone studying with Rodney Whitaker and they are thrilled. He's fantastic.
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  • momsingsmomsings 804 replies3 threadsRegistered User Member
    @GoForth after just talking to my son, the sample lessons just happened at the camp for him, so there was no pre-arranged contact or scheduling. What do I know?
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  • musicfamilymusicfamily 64 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Could you look into scheduling a lesson at UNT in the days just before or after the camp? That would just extend the trip you already have planned and would be more cost effective than a second trip.
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  • GoForthGoForth 801 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited February 2016
    I think the Michigan assessment is a great idea. It really addresses my main concern in that we somehow accidentally only visited a closed pool of instructors so far. It will give another place to possibly apply as well, subject to if it is somewhat possible to be a financial candidate overall.
    edited February 2016
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  • ScreenName48105ScreenName48105 495 replies22 threadsRegistered User Member
    Merit money for jazz is a funny thing; none of the usual rules seem to apply (for instrumental, anyway.) Small world with lots of rebels. I think it's unpredictable enough to disregard the cost estimator tools and apply to where you want to go, understanding that there may be both surprises and disappointments. That's the life of a musician, anyway.

    Also, FWIW, since it seems you're interested in the big band schools, definitely check out Thornton (USC). My son really liked the vibe. Great facilities. He especially liked Bob Mintzer. Worth looking into if your son is interested in doing any cross-over into contemporary/pop. Similar feel to Berklee but, frankly, more "grown up".
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  • GoForthGoForth 801 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
    Is there "potential" money at USC Thorton? I know it has a nice program, and I like watching Edwin Livingston on YouTube, but I had the feeling that costs might not come down, so I thought it might be a far travel for something not meant to be financially. Otherwise, the program and the LA nearness would be excellent.
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  • SpiritManagerSpiritManager 2819 replies66 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    USC is very good about financial aid, and academic merit scholarships. Music merit money tends to be smaller - but the entire package usually makes USC affordable, particularly to those with demonstrated financial need.

    Something mentioned in @ScreenName48105's post struck me - that you're focused on Big Band programs. Is that because of the experience your son has with jazz in high school, as opposed to more free form combos, or is it something he genuinely loves and wants to focus on? That would certainly be a way to sort through the various jazz programs. Also traditional versus more 'free jazz.'
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  • GoForthGoForth 801 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
    @SpiritManager and @ScreenName48105 - mentioning the focus on Big Bands is a good feedback. Right now, I am doing a lot of the scouting for schools and summarizing to S. S should be a bigger part of it once junior year is over. I believe the New York scene is more about smaller combos, and New York for jazz would be spectacular - I have been scared off again by perceived prices, except possible SUNY Purchase. I have this idea that 1) the teacher should be good, 2) the peers should be helpful contacts for future work, and/or 3) the city should be a good place to make connections for work. This may explain the big-school bias that could be present in preliminary startings of The List. Are UIC and DePaul "big band" schools?

    In the meantime, I probably oscillate between 1) believing that S should try all the "top" schools and roll the dice for a huge scholarship at one of them and 2) try to find slightly-less-known but good enough schools where scholarship is more certain, such as with Temple's auto-ACT-full-tuition. This is all part of the not knowing how S 'ranks' on a national level, and not knowing the probability curve for the financial outcomes. Is a Trustee full-ride award at UMKC far more likely for S than the Stamps at UMiami, both out of reach, both in reach, worth the difference..... you know.

    I expect a lot of zig-zagging for several more months, trying to figure out, soon with S' greater attention, which places could be best.
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  • SpiritManagerSpiritManager 2819 replies66 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My feeling is your son should apply to all the schools where he likes the program - top or not, and worry about the money in April after all the offers are in. But, yes, having a financial safety is a good thing, as well.
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  • GoForthGoForth 801 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
    @SpiritManager - Apologies if I re-hash, but it would be safe to say do not apply to NYU due to the offers that won't roll in(?), or can that not even be said? The financial safety is even a tough idea - say UNT is a financial safety (which it is), but S doesn't make the cut from an audition point of view. Maybe there should be many financial safeties(?).

    You know, there are the parents who never think about money and then are shocked when they don't get lots of scholarships - I would hate to be a parent who was aware of the risks but actually performed the same actions and had the same hopes with the same disappointment - a lack of admission options. I would like to know more about your feeling, however. I can listen.
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  • ScreenName48105ScreenName48105 495 replies22 threadsRegistered User Member
    My impression is that USC's academic merit scholarships are better (more generous and more of them) than Thornton's music merit scholarships. I thought it might be a good choice for your son because he sounded really strong academically.

    Thornton says up front that they don't give merit for most of the popular music programs (music industry, popular music, etc.) I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that the music scholarships top out at $10K. The jazz program is small, something like 75 students in all. Historically, there is only one day for jazz applicant auditions and it's always the late-January date (I only know because, every year, there's invariably someone who backs out of the Michigan All-State jazz band because it's the same weekend as Thornton's jazz auditions.)

    Thornton's application deadline is Dec 1st, which is also the deadline for USC's merit scholarship consideration. So, anyone applying to Thornton automatically gets considered for academic merit. My son actually got a rejection letter from USC for academic merit (which we weren't thinking he'd be considered for anyway). It said that they got 30K Dec 1st applications from which 1,200 were "accepted" and would continue on in the academic merit process. We're not expecting an answer from Thornton until end of March.
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  • GoForthGoForth 801 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
    S just took his first ACT with writing last Saturday, anticipating from high 20's to low 30's. S just signed up for Senior classes, taking the go-for-music gambit of a light load (Humanities, ApCalcAB, Spanish4, Civics, Economics(pass/Fail), PE, teacher aid, and study hall). This opens a 'slight' risk to his #1 ranking, and the GC said total rigor would still be top rated. But, it opens up time for not only music, but possibly doing ACT prep in study hall. I assume ACT(or SAT) is the only other component of "Academic Merit" besides Rank, Rigor, and GPA.
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