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Roger Bobo's blog today....

Postby bisontuba » Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:19 pm


Roger Bobo's blog


If Money didn’t Matter
Universities, Conservatories and
Brass Instrments

The advantages of education, particuly music education, are incresingly becomng more elusive. Tuition for American universities, conservatories and music schools is just out of reach for many, if not most, students. Lones are available for some but the the burden of paying the lones is heavy and long.

The situation is exacerbated for those who are studying advanced music performance and require high quality instruments, which are expensive, very expensive, but are necessary to benefit the optimum of what higher music education offers. All these costly realities combined can create economic situations that are extremely difficult if not impossible to live with.

There are alternatives that should be examined.

There are alternatives to the prestigious music schools in the USA that many students espier toward. Tuition of these alternatives may be as low as 10% of what the famous American schools require. There are Music schools in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and France where the teachers are great and show excellent results. Even with the living expenses and the required “Beer money”, the costs are far less than the prestigious schools in the USA.

There is a much deeper reason for turning to study abroad than just tuition costs and shopping for the best deal. Studying abroad will open your view to the world, which means much more than just a high quality music education; it is an education of life, learning another culture, another mentality, another language and other broadening aspects.

In our search for high quality music schools and instruments we are all, in fact, shoppers, shoppers who insist on excellence. For example, excellence in leather goods with the prestige of famous labels such Gucci or Yves Saint Laurent, which certainly are of the highest quality but also carry a very expensive price tag. However, on the Piazza San Lorenzo in Firenze (Florence), Italy, one can buy leather goods of equal or higher quality at a much lower price than the high-end labels. The same situation exists with universities, conservatries and brass instruments.

Welcome China, to the brass instrument market. There are now Chinese instruments available for those who are looking for new instruments but simply don’t have the funds to buy the popular “high-end” brands. As Japan did many years ago, the Chinese brass instrument makers have very successfully copied many of the most popular brass instruments in the world market with excellent results. Some of these copies are now being modified with improvements that are superb. These instruments are available now at about 25% of the price required today form the bigger and established world makers.

There are countries in the world where musical talent is huge but economics make it impossible even to dream of purchasing a high-end famous brand instrument. Even at 25% of the high-end prices it’s very expensive in the poorer countries but the dream can be possible.

This is not an add for Chinese brass instrument makers; rather it’s an alert for students who do not have the funds to consider buying an instrument with a major brand name. There are options available that cost less that are also high quality.

Roger Bobo, August 12, 2917, Oaxaca, Mexico
Posted by Roger Bobo at 11:54
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Re: Roger Bobo's blog today....

Postby swillafew » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:06 pm

I have admired Mr. Bobo for a long time. His blog is good, too. What really makes school costly is the investment of a person's time. You can earn back money but the time is precious.
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Re: Roger Bobo's blog today....

Postby bort » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:05 pm

But he posted from the year 2917, not 2017. Apparently its going to take another 900 years for the quality to catch up enough for his recommendations to be followed. :P
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Re: Roger Bobo's blog today....

Postby Alex C » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:42 am

The problem with US students studying overseas is that tuition and "board" expenses for US universities can be met by grants and other aid. Living expenses for studying overseas is an out-of-pocket expense for most parents.

While I agree that Chinese manufactured instruments have improved, some of the Chinese brands being sold in the US are still, simply not good quality.

A company like Conn-King has quality control that forces a certain level of performance and expectation from the Chinese manufacturer. Yet, they (so far) only use foreign sources for beginner and "step-up" models, the top of the line instrument requires skill not yet common in Chinese countries. In the future? Things may change.

My observation is that when a manufacturer has an importer in the US demanding quality, the product is good, sometime spectacular. But the novice tuba purchaser should not think that he can order an instrument from Ali-Baba and progress at the same rate as he would on a better quality instrument.

I am not a naysayer here but spending money should be done with full disclosure. College and instrument purchases are serious choices.
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