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Re: Advice for a Graduating Ed. Major

Postby Matt G » Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:36 pm

Also to clarify, I moved out of education altogether and moved into R&D type work. In my area, there are lots of former and current musicians to interact with. Lots of engineers stick with music as a hobby.
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Re: Advice for a Graduating Ed. Major

Postby YORK-aholic » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:01 pm

I am fairly good friends with my school district’s Assistant Superintendent for Business Services (money). For our district (Southern California), the coming year’s budget looks not great, not terrible. Sort of mediocre to slightly below that. However, she told me that the following two years look bleak.

Given that during the first two years teaching (if at all like California), you’ll be working to clear your credential and become tentured, while hoping to avoid budget based pink slips, I’d be looking to spend as little as possible. Everything is so up in the air right now.

What ever yo decide to do, I wish you the best in achieving it.
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Re: Advice for a Graduating Ed. Major

Postby anotherjtm2 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:39 pm

I'm surprised at the comments to let the school buy a tuba for you, or to set aside the school's best tuba for your own use. Is that a common perk? If not, do schools really not notice?
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Re: Advice for a Graduating Ed. Major

Postby nworbekim » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:08 pm

anotherjtm2 wrote:I'm surprised at the comments to let the school buy a tuba for you, or to set aside the school's best tuba for your own use. Is that a common perk? If not, do schools really not notice?


i was lucky enough to buy ONE tuba in 30 years with the budget i had. when i needed a tuba, i played it. my students played it too. i knew some other tuba/band directors that played the school's instruments, but i never knew anybody to set one aside for personal use. i could have, my administrators were oblivious... but i needed the horns to be played.
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Re: Advice for a Graduating Ed. Major

Postby jperry1466 » Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:10 am

anotherjtm2 wrote:I'm surprised at the comments to let the school buy a tuba for you, or to set aside the school's best tuba for your own use. Is that a common perk? If not, do schools really not notice?

It's not a common perk, sometimes schools don't notice the details. I have a friend teaching in a tiny school in Texas whose predecessor bought a silver Mack 410 CC with what school budget he had, played it himself and never let the kids touch it. Now my buddy has a CC he can't use and needs more BBb tubas but will have to wait. The predecessor was fired, and the school knows now... They chose not to pursue the matter any farther.

I was a band director for 33 years, and being a tuba player, our program always had good instruments for the students. If and when I needed a tuba I borrowed one of the students' horns. I sold my Meinl Weston 30 CC years ago (still wish I hadn't) when kids, house payments, etc. came along. After I retired, I bought my own laquer Mack 410 CC that fills my needs in community band, brass quintet, and tuba ensemble. If I had known what was going to happen with my buddy, I would have bought that horn from him, but my crystal ball was not working at the time.
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Re: Advice for a Graduating Ed. Major

Postby smileatom » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:54 am

First advice, do not buy a horn on credit unless you have a performing gig that pays you well for the next 20 years.

Second, I have played pretty much every tuba, and the wessex chicago york, is the best tuba on the market. For a CC tuba.
If you want to play quintet well buy anything it wont matter much as long as its in the 3/4 size.

If your saving money for an F (which I dont why would need 2 tubas as a teacher), then just buy the cheapest C and the cheapest F you can find.

If - and this would be a huge impossible IF, I was in your position as a teacher, I would just buy a used 186 CC and a used B&S F, and learn how to play the crap out of those and not worry about the rest of it. You could have those for probably a song and not worry about it. As a teacher your sound and your presence is not the most important thing in the world but you can still do well with those.

Not to diminish teaching in any way, but you dont *need* professional gross orchestra instruments to impress your students. Especially on a budget. And you certainly dont need to go into debt.
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Re: Advice for a Graduating Ed. Major

Postby THE TUBA » Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:13 am

The instruments that work best to pursue a MM in Tuba Performance is completely different from what you'll need as a band director.

When I was teaching HS/MS band, I had a big shiny CC tuba that almost never left the case. It was heavy, hard to play standing up or while moving around. It was in almost new condition, so I was perpetually worried about kids scratching or denting it. It hurt my brain to try to play along with trumpet/clarinet transpositions on CC.

I instead almost exclusively would use my F tuba in band. Easier to carry around the classroom. Easier to model with. It was an older horn, so I didn't care as much about picking up a ding or a scratch. The higher pitch made it more accessible to students, too.

If I ever go back in the classroom, I would likely use another F tuba or just a euph for modeling.
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Re: Advice for a Graduating Ed. Major

Postby tbonesullivan » Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:59 pm

BigMouthBass wrote:For sure, I don't even want to touch financing until I have the stability of a salaried position, this purchase is straight cash; I've been lucky enough to be getting some income for digitizing/engraving (a.k.a inputting into finale) lots of music for some local directors. More for the horn fund!
well, that's good at least, but unless you are getting a killer deal, the law of diminishing returns really comes into play once you get over 10K with tubas. I would say if you've got a nice amount saved away, put it on a fixed term CD at a bank or something, and get some interest on it, while maybe taking more time to check out horns.

Unfortunately the ability to really try out and check out horns is severely diminished in the current situation. Less people are buying, less people are selling, and more and more horns are just kinda sitting there.
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Re: Advice for a Graduating Ed. Major

Postby timothy42b » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:57 pm

This will probably show my ignorance, but maybe I'll learn something.

You're a music ed major so you are going to teach band in a high school. There might be an orchestra but there is probably very little chance.

So your bandroom will be full of Bb and BBb instruments, your students will all play wind ensemble music oriented towards flat keys, and your gigging in local bands will be the same.

But your desire is for a C and F when it seems to me a BBb and EEb is what you are likely to have a use for.

Are you secretly still trying to get that symphony position?
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Re: Advice for a Graduating Ed. Major

Postby pauvog1 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:27 am

BigMouthBass wrote:Hey all, I'm about to be finishing up my degree in Music Ed. In the next year or so, and I've explored the idea of upgrading my arsenal in some way...

I'm not sure yet, but the possibility of grad school for performance is something I think about quite a bit...

I know quite a few band directors/orchestra directors who don't really play anymore and their Willson/Meinl Weston/B&S is just sitting gathering dust except for the rare jam session or rare moment of free time to practice, and it becomes a very expensive paperweight...

I guess what I'm asking is, do any of you educators feel that you play enough to justify a X,XXX or XX,XXX price tag for a name brand horn? Or would a cheaper F and CC tuba be better for the more versatility they bring?

Thanks!


Some things you need to ponder:

What is your goal? Do you want to play or be a band director?

What is your budget? How much gigging are you currently doing? Do you have any serious playing prospects (not feelings/I want to, but actual prospect) outside of going back to school? How long would it take to pay for your instrument(s) purchase (s) using only gig money? I am not trying to be rude or overly forward, but you need to make your own pro / con list and weigh it out.

I don't recommend buying an instrument on credit/ student loans, ever. If you want an upgrade, I'd start with which ever horn you'd use the most. For most folks, that is their CC or BBb.

For the record, I think getting a nice instrument is great, but doing it the wrong way at the wrong time can make that awesome instrument feel more like a curse than a blessing down the road.
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Re: Advice for a Graduating Ed. Major

Postby Rick Denney » Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:59 pm

Music teachers do things outside of school. If those things are:

Category 1. Gigging professionally, sub in the local orchestra, A-list in the studios (as Tommy Johnson was, despite teaching band), quintet with a gig every week, getting paid to play in the Freeway Philharmonic.

Category 2. Playing in local community groups, because teaching band is too much work to pile all that other stuff on it.

For most, it might be a mix of the two. But if Category 1 dominates, then you are a pro who also teaches. Your pro gigs should bring in enough money to amortize whatever tuba you need to deliver those services most efficiently. If they don't, then you are in Category 2. (I would submit that most pros can deliver the required quality on any competent instrument, except for subbing in the orchestra, where having the right look and the right sound is part of how one gets the gig.)

If you are likely to be in Category 2 (honest is important), then you will be an amateur performer. We amateurs can buy whatever we want, as long as we have the money and can make the purchase without undermining our financial security or interfering with our other responsibilities. Hint: I did not buy a pro-quality tuba until a solid decade of a day job that pays better than teaching school. I did not spend more than $3000 for a tuba (let's say $5000 in current dollars, relative to what's available on the market) until a decade after that. And I did not have kids.

The mistake is justifying an expensive, pro-grade CC tuba using Category 1 justifications, when most music educators will end up in Category 2, without the gig income to pay for the instrument, or the resources to pay it off from their day-job income.

It's easier to buy a nice, preowned Bb tuba with summer earnings, and later sell it and get that pro tuba if needed with income from gigs, or upgrade to whatever you want with money you have saved.

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Re: Advice for a Graduating Ed. Major

Postby Doc » Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:09 pm

Rick Denney wrote:Music teachers do things outside of school. et al...

It's easier to buy a nice, preowned Bb tuba with summer earnings, and later sell it and get that pro tuba if needed with income from gigs, or upgrade to whatever you want with money you have saved.



This is wisdom that, when heeded, never fails.
Most people are blind, willfully ignorant, unthinking sheep,
and the wolf is having mutton for supper.
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Re: Advice for a Graduating Ed. Major

Postby Matt G » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:01 pm

timothy42b wrote:This will probably show my ignorance, but maybe I'll learn something.

You're a music ed major so you are going to teach band in a high school. There might be an orchestra but there is probably very little chance.

So your bandroom will be full of Bb and BBb instruments, your students will all play wind ensemble music oriented towards flat keys, and your gigging in local bands will be the same.

But your desire is for a C and F when it seems to me a BBb and EEb is what you are likely to have a use for.

Are you secretly still trying to get that symphony position?


It's weird out in academia. Where I went for undergrad, we had a low brass professor. He told the education majors to buy BBb tubas if they wanted their own. I was the only ed major that was playing CC and F. I was one of the "fallback" morons. To this day, I'm kinda jealous of the dude that got a 5J. It was a sweet tuba.

I used to do lessons with kids on BBb tubas while I was on CC (or F or Eb) and got pretty proficient at on-the-fly transposition tricks. Took a good bit of effort.
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Re: Advice for a Graduating Ed. Major

Postby dopey » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:07 pm

When I was in college (10-12 years ago? man i'm getting old), I was a music ed major. Ultimately I went another path career wise.

I can't explain why exactly, but I remember having this impression that I *needed* to *advance* to using a CC tuba. As if, BBb tubas were meant for 'non-serious' tuba players and music majors move on to CC!!

I have no idea why I had that thought. Oddly I didn't want to do CC, but still felt I needed to. Even remember my band directors discouraging buying any horn, and to stick with BBb (Think my CC expectation started my senior year of highschool in anticipation for college).

Not sure if other music ed majors ever felt that internal 'expectation'.

After 10 year hiatus I went with an EEb(childhood dream). While I do really like my horn.. I do wonder sometimes if i'd play better staying on BBb.

What I play today, a CC tuba be the oddball/make-it-harder-than-it-needs-to-be.
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Re: Advice for a Graduating Ed. Major

Postby The Big Ben » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:18 pm

A comment based on my experience:

If you are going to teach a school band, ease of playing kid's parts for them is a really good idea. A used pro trumpet on a peg at the base of your music stand might be really helpful. "Just pick it up and play it and put it back. Might not even have to move from the conductor's position. Used pro" because it just might get kicked over because, well, it's a school band. A decent trumpet is fun to play but an Olds Ambassador might do the trick, too. I recall having the director show me a section of the music to be most helpful.
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Re: Advice for a Graduating Ed. Major

Postby smileatom » Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:09 am

dopey wrote: Oddly I didn't want to do CC, but still felt I needed to.
Not sure if other music ed majors ever felt that internal 'expectation'.


I have been employed playing both C in orchestra and Bflat in the military. I can say I felt this same need, part of it was related to the fact that I wanted to be an orchestra player,
the next part was that I like the sound of ONE tuba, versus a chorus of tubas (band playing). Lastly I like the sound a little better (although I think BFlat tubas can sound great),
and it simplifies (in some way) playing in sharp keys its slightly more straight forward.

So I guess overall, it was a social thing to want to play C tuba, for the groups I wanted to play in. When I played in the military band though, with all those flat keyed arrangements,
I still wished I was the only tuba player in the band. It felt a little too much like tuba christmas to play with multiple tubas for a living.
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