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Travel Costs

PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 11:00 pm
by jonahksmith
Hi all,

I'm about to enter my freshman year of college as a music performance major at a major state school (FSU for the curious) and I wonder how much money students typically spend on travel with two tubas (F and CC). I plan on taking auditions when they come up and maybe going to a few conferences/competitions. I'd mainly be flying. Is $3k USD a year a sound expectation, or am I ridiculously high/low in my estimate? I'm trying to provide a reasonable number for a scholarship program.

Thanks,

Jonah

Re: Travel Costs

PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:38 pm
by bloke
Find a dependable mechanically-sound Toyota Corolla with 200K or less miles on it, and keep good tires on it.

Drive everywhere, and avoid airlines. You'll actually learn quite a bit from this (geography/sociology/history/architecture/culture...all sorts of things), have time to give some topics a lot of thought, avoid catching all sorts of horrible airborne diseases, and avoid some nearly-guaranteed and very disheartening damage to your instruments and to their cases. Often - I will predict - your travel time (door-to-door) will be within hours of the same, and your costs (damage costs excluded) will be far lower.

Re: Travel Costs

PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:00 pm
by iiipopes
bloke wrote:Find a dependable mechanically-sound Toyota Corolla with 200K or less miles on it, and keep good tires on it.

Drive everywhere, and avoid airlines. You'll actually learn quite a bit from this (geography/sociology/history/architecture/culture...all sorts of things), have time to give some topics a lot of thought, avoid catching all sorts of horrible airborne diseases, and avoid some nearly-guaranteed and very disheartening damage to your instruments and to their cases. Often - I will predict - your travel time (door-to-door) will be within hours of the same, and your costs (damage costs excluded) will be far lower.

This. I would only add: and keep the oil changed.

Re: Travel Costs

PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:12 am
by Big Toot
iiipopes wrote:
bloke wrote:Find a dependable mechanically-sound Toyota Corolla with 200K or less miles on it, and keep good tires on it.

Drive everywhere, and avoid airlines. You'll actually learn quite a bit from this (geography/sociology/history/architecture/culture...all sorts of things), have time to give some topics a lot of thought, avoid catching all sorts of horrible airborne diseases, and avoid some nearly-guaranteed and very disheartening damage to your instruments and to their cases. Often - I will predict - your travel time (door-to-door) will be within hours of the same, and your costs (damage costs excluded) will be far lower.

This. I would only add: and keep the oil changed.


All of this. Make sure the tunes are good. ;-)

Re: Travel Costs

PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:31 am
by thevillagetuba
iiipopes wrote:
bloke wrote:Find a dependable mechanically-sound Toyota Corolla with 200K or less miles on it, and keep good tires on it.

Drive everywhere, and avoid airlines. You'll actually learn quite a bit from this (geography/sociology/history/architecture/culture...all sorts of things), have time to give some topics a lot of thought, avoid catching all sorts of horrible airborne diseases, and avoid some nearly-guaranteed and very disheartening damage to your instruments and to their cases. Often - I will predict - your travel time (door-to-door) will be within hours of the same, and your costs (damage costs excluded) will be far lower.

This. I would only add: and keep the oil changed.


All of this is the best advice there can be on the topic. Realistically, the "experience" you will get from the far away audition is not worth the money actually spent to get there, especially if you don't know how to learn in that type of a situation. Personally, I would also never go to an audition that was far away that I couldn't afford to actually take if I won it. The ones that pay well enough are the ones that are the hardest to "win."

So, instead of wasting the time and money to travel, I'd hold a mock audition in my studio/area with the same audition day and with a time determine by someone other than the participants and only told to them a week or so in advance. I have also bought dinner for a trombone section for one of these to give some experience with section playing in auditions. This also provides a chance for you to get some immediate feedback from your teacher and/or other faculty after each round, which is far more beneficial in some ways than a few scribbled notes by some person you will never see or play for again, if you're even able to get them.

Re: Travel Costs

PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:48 am
by Big Toot
thevillagetuba wrote:
iiipopes wrote:
bloke wrote:Find a dependable mechanically-sound Toyota Corolla with 200K or less miles on it, and keep good tires on it.

Drive everywhere, and avoid airlines. You'll actually learn quite a bit from this (geography/sociology/history/architecture/culture...all sorts of things), have time to give some topics a lot of thought, avoid catching all sorts of horrible airborne diseases, and avoid some nearly-guaranteed and very disheartening damage to your instruments and to their cases. Often - I will predict - your travel time (door-to-door) will be within hours of the same, and your costs (damage costs excluded) will be far lower.

This. I would only add: and keep the oil changed.


All of this is the best advice there can be on the topic. Realistically, the "experience" you will get from the far away audition is not worth the money actually spent to get there, especially if you don't know how to learn in that type of a situation. Personally, I would also never go to an audition that was far away that I couldn't afford to actually take if I won it. The ones that pay well enough are the ones that are the hardest to "win."

So, instead of wasting the time and money to travel, I'd hold a mock audition in my studio/area with the same audition day and with a time determine by someone other than the participants and only told to them a week or so in advance. I have also bought dinner for a trombone section for one of these to give some experience with section playing in auditions. This also provides a chance for you to get some immediate feedback from your teacher and/or other faculty after each round, which is far more beneficial in some ways than a few scribbled notes by some person you will never see or play for again, if you're even able to get them.


Back in the day, I would contact different professors in universities close to where I lived (one of which was quite prestigious) and asked if I could "audition" for them to get feedback on my playing. Most were very receptive to the idea. And don't limit yourself to just people who play your instrument, as Mr. Village-Tuba mentioned. Fresh ears can yield some of the best advice. It was invaluable. I managed to get to know some amazing players that way, in addition to insights on the audition process itself.
Oh, and hello to a fellow Raider, Mr. Village-Tuba! :tuba:

Re: Travel Costs

PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:24 am
by windshieldbug
These people have given you excellent advice.
Far above what one might expect from a random group of strangers on the net. :shock:

Re: Travel Costs

PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:06 pm
by iiipopes
windshieldbug wrote:These people have given you excellent advice.
Far above what one might expect from a random group of strangers on the net. :shock:

On behalf of all the TNFJ, thank you.

Re: Travel Costs

PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:24 pm
by russiantuba
I can also vouch that a 2011 Corolla can fit my Miraphone 1291 CC and Gronitz PF 125 (while in gig bags) in my trunk without letting the back seats down, plus a music bag between them. However, a 6/4 lap sousaphone will need to be put elsewhere.

Re: Travel Costs

PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:12 am
by Stryk
jonahksmith wrote:Hi all,

I'm about to enter my freshman year of college as a music performance major at a major state school (FSU for the curious) and I wonder how much money students typically spend on travel with two tubas (F and CC). I plan on taking auditions when they come up and maybe going to a few conferences/competitions. I'd mainly be flying. Is $3k USD a year a sound expectation, or am I ridiculously high/low in my estimate? I'm trying to provide a reasonable number for a scholarship program.

Thanks,

Jonah


As a donor to scholarship funds at my Alma mater (FSU), I see it this way..... If you can afford to fly when traveling within the state, you either don't need money for a scholarship, or you are very spoiled! Bloke's advice is spot on. As a freshman, you certainly won't be doing auditions, and likely won't be in competitions. Going to conferences is usually out of your pocket, and so is going home for visits during break and on weekends. Just my opinion.

Re: Travel Costs

PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:26 pm
by THE TUBA
While we're doling out advice: find yourself a tuba player buddy that you can carpool with to split gas and hotel fees.

Re: Travel Costs

PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:58 pm
by Stryk
THE TUBA wrote:While we're doling out advice: find yourself a tuba player buddy that you can carpool with to split gas and hotel fees.

Not feasible in the world now, but back in the day 6 of us piled in my pickup (3 in the cab and 3 in the bed) and took off for Indiana or wherever the master class was. We bought lunch meat and loaves of bread, asked local students who had a room we could crash and shower in, and somehow came home alive. We did those accommodation for classes from Winston Morris, Harvey Phillips, and Dan Perantoni. Those were the days!

Re: Travel Costs

PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:23 pm
by windshieldbug
Stryk wrote:
THE TUBA wrote:While we're doling out advice: find yourself a tuba player buddy that you can carpool with to split gas and hotel fees.

Not feasible in the world now, but back in the day 6 of us piled in my pickup (3 in the cab and 3 in the bed) and took off for Indiana or wherever the master class was. We bought lunch meat and loaves of bread, asked local students who had a room we could crash and shower in, and somehow came home alive. We did those accommodation for classes from Winston Morris, Harvey Phillips, and Dan Perantoni. Those were the days!


These days your parents can be jailed for neglect... 8)

Re: Travel Costs

PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:06 pm
by jhickmott
Incredible advice in this thread, thanks everyone!

Be sure to also look into whether your Local/State/Federal government may have bursaries or grants to travel for auditions. In Canada we can apply for travel grants through the Canada Council for the Arts, and the US may have similar programs.

Some local governments would love to promote/directly support local artists, especially when they may have a shot at representing the community on a larger scale. Never a bad thing to scope out! At the minimum, you may increase word of mouth/local awareness of your musical pursuits and get some cool opportunities that way. You never know!

Also, buy travel insurance.

Good luck!