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Best Masters Programs for Tuba

Postby nic.merle@tuba » Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:52 pm

I know that it is highly up to personal taste, in the school or professor or studio, but I want to get a wider knowledge of what schools are "worthy" of looking at. Which ones are you wanting to go to and why, or which ones do you wish you went to instead and why, or why was the one you went to good for what you wanted?
I realize how broad this is, and it has probably been talked about before (anyone know what happened to the search bar?), But I just want to see what all the opinions are out there.

I am a current tuba performance student at a State school in Washington state (I know I know, I'm not going to be hireable...) And I want to pursue a masters degree so that I am a little more hireable and have a better chance at getting a teaching gig as well as trying for a pro job.

A little list I have so far of ones I have been told are rather good
-Carnegie Mellon
-Curtis
-Colburn
-Frost
-Northwestern
-UNT


Again, I am just looking for opinions, so feel free to respond :)
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Re: Best Masters Programs for Tuba

Postby nic.merle@tuba » Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:55 pm

Also, maybe some pointers in what to look for? Like what should be a red flag?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Best Masters Programs for Tuba

Postby tubacorbin » Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:24 pm

You should add the University of Michigan and the University of Georgia to your list. Two of the very best IMHO. Good luck!!
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Re: Best Masters Programs for Tuba

Postby Casca Grossa » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:41 am

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Re: Best Masters Programs for Tuba

Postby tubamarc8891 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:29 pm

Study with someone who has had success outside of an institution (i.e. orchestra, military bands or academia). There is no delineation between musician and business person and the 21st century classically trained American musician needs to embody that.
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Re: Best Masters Programs for Tuba

Postby happyroman » Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:58 pm

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Re: Best Masters Programs for Tuba

Postby Douglas » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:59 pm

nic.merle@tuba wrote: And I want to pursue a masters degree so that I am a little more hireable and have a better chance at getting a teaching gig as well as trying for a pro job.


Your list is a great start. I think you may want to take some time and prioritize your goals so you can look at the program most geared to what you want to end up doing. I don't mean this a criticism but, it's better to focus than to overextend.

A great starting point can be to look at the bios of performers you like and look at where they teach, where they went to school, and who they studied with. You'll start to observe trends pretty quickly.

If you're looking for full-time teaching gigs, you either need teaching certification (k-12) or a DMA or equivalent terminal degree (higher ed) just throwing that in to appropriately temper expectations. Some place will look at less than a terminal degree for full-time positions with a substantial amount of performing experience which you are unlikely to have fresh out of a MM. Another note on higher ed, you may want to consider diversification. There aren't many full-time tuba/euphonium full-time gigs where you're only doing tuba/euphonium. You should look at higheredjobs.com to start getting ideas of areas for diversification (theory/history are always winners). Indiana U would be good to add to the list.

I assume you aren't looking at K-12 teaching but, if you are look into a MAT program.

U of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and Rice would be good additions to the list. Particularly if orchestral performance is your end game.

If you're looking at bands, U of Georgia or Illinois State U would be good picks.

Also, Cirtus doesn't have a MM in anything except opera performance according to their website. They have a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma which is good but, not a MM (just for clarity).

I hope it helps!
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Re: Best Masters Programs for Tuba

Postby pauvog1 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:02 pm

Douglas wrote:
nic.merle@tuba wrote: And I want to pursue a masters degree so that I am a little more hireable and have a better chance at getting a teaching gig as well as trying for a pro job.


Your list is a great start. I think you may want to take some time and prioritize your goals so you can look at the program most geared to what you want to end up doing. I don't mean this a criticism but, it's better to focus than to overextend.

A great starting point can be to look at the bios of performers you like and look at where they teach, where they went to school, and who they studied with. You'll start to observe trends pretty quickly.

If you're looking for full-time teaching gigs, you either need teaching certification (k-12) or a DMA or equivalent terminal degree (higher ed) just throwing that in to appropriately temper expectations. Some place will look at less than a terminal degree for full-time positions with a substantial amount of performing experience which you are unlikely to have fresh out of a MM. Another note on higher ed, you may want to consider diversification. There aren't many full-time tuba/euphonium full-time gigs where you're only doing tuba/euphonium. You should look at higheredjobs.com to start getting ideas of areas for diversification (theory/history are always winners). Indiana U would be good to add to the list.

I assume you aren't looking at K-12 teaching but, if you are look into a MAT program.

U of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and Rice would be good additions to the list. Particularly if orchestral performance is your end game.

If you're looking at bands, U of Georgia or Illinois State U would be good picks.

Also, Cirtus doesn't have a MM in anything except opera performance according to their website. They have a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma which is good but, not a MM (just for clarity).

I hope it helps!



This

I'd also recommend taking a lesson with some of the teachers your looking to study with. Look at their bios and decide what you really want to get out of the degree. Do you want to study with someone who has a lot of chamber experience? Someone who does more band or orchestra experience? Lots of great options out there.
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Re: Best Masters Programs for Tuba

Postby bloke » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:06 am

When such wide-open inquiries are placed here, these are some considerations:

> How scholarship-worthy is the person (factors including academic achievement, performance prowess, minority status, personal funding strength) ?

> In what region of the country would that person like to be living (as most connections will be made not particularly far from the school attended) ?

There are quite a few really good teachers these days. (Without mentioning any names, I truly believe the overall quality is "up".)

I was trying to not mention anyone in particular, but (only to throw them into the mix) tuba-and-euphonium virtuoso/teacher, Ben Pierce, often seems to be left off of lists, here.

These bullet-points having been posted, the university-level academic tuba teaching market is quite saturated (as - other than high school band-directing - this about that only thing for which music masters-and-beyond music degrees qualify someone), with the vast majority of occasional openings being "adjunct". Moving close to a university with a really fine tubaist/teacher on board, enrolling in (rather than the university) a nearby fine trade school, acquiring marketable skills, and paying the university tuba teacher directly (no enrollment) for instruction might be a strategy worthy of consideration.
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Re: Best Masters Programs for Tuba

Postby BBruce107 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:17 am

As much as everyone wants to go to a great school you also should consider where there are graduate assistanceships to pay for schooling. I just went through this myself auditioning for Masters degree programs and that was a huge factor. I just saw an assitanceship become available in the "opportunities" section that may be an option. If money is not a concern I would suggest a lesson with Phil Sinder at Michigan State, he is very knowledgeable and his studio has produced very successful tuba players. Good luck!
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Re: Best Masters Programs for Tuba

Postby Tom » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:12 am

Douglas wrote:If you're looking for full-time teaching gigs, you either need teaching certification (k-12) or a DMA or equivalent terminal degree (higher ed) just throwing that in to appropriately temper expectations. Some place will look at less than a terminal degree for full-time positions with a substantial amount of performing experience which you are unlikely to have fresh out of a MM. Another note on higher ed, you may want to consider diversification. There aren't many full-time tuba/euphonium full-time gigs where you're only doing tuba/euphonium. You should look at higheredjobs.com to start getting ideas of areas for diversification (theory/history are always winners).


This...plus a couple of things that I would add to this is based on my own observations:

More and more I seem to see college/university tuba teachers listed as adjunct instructor/professor/lecturer/teacher of tuba. There seems to me to be less and less full time tuba teaching work out there on the college/university level. Plus many of the adjuncts I've seen do have terminal degrees and sometimes do have substantial performing experience, too. Terminal degrees seem, to me, to be so common these days in music that it is the defacto price of entry to a career in higher education.

I agree completely with the idea of diversification of ones skill set, especially as an entry level college/university teacher these days. IMHO this is just something that should be expected: you'll probably be asked to teach music appreciation, history, theory, sight singing, beginner conducting or you'll be asked to conduct the all campus band or an athletic band or maybe teach trombone along with tuba and euphonium...something like that. It seems to me to be quite rare to be exclusively tuba or tuba/euphonium these days. Most of the folks that are exclusively tuba or tuba/euphonium have been at it for 20 or more years (things have changed a lot since then) or they are adjuncts brought in just to teach lessons.

If the OP wants to talk about being "hireable" and having a better chance at getting a teaching gig, this is important information to have and to absorb. Like Doug was saying, it's about appropriately tempering your expectations.
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Re: Best Masters Programs for Tuba

Postby Bill Troiano » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:21 pm

Something to consider would be what kind of performing experiences you might have while at your grad school. I didn't choose Eastman because of the teacher, although he was a fine player and teacher. Don Harry teaches there now and he's a pretty amazing player. I chose Eastman because, being a conservatory, it wasn't a big school. I think the tuba studio consisted of 9-10 players. But, I knew going in that I was the only grad student and that I would probably get to play in some fine ensembles. Plus, they threw me some $$$. What I didn't realize is that I would get to play alongside some amazing players, most of whom were undergrads at the time, and several who went on to major performing careers, such as: Al Vizzutti, Chris Gekker, Jeff Tyzik, Jay Krush and others. So, I got to play in the Eastman Wind Ensemble under Hunsberger, the Eastman Philharmonia, the Eastman Jazz Ensemble under Rayburn Wright and a few brass quintets. All of these were amazing experiences that greatly contributed to my musical development. If you decide to attend a large school, there could be more tuba players and positions in ensembles might be limited. I don't even know how many colleges have jazz ensembles and use a tuba. Eastman does, or did. Worth looking into.
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Re: Best Masters Programs for Tuba

Postby Philtubes » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:06 pm

The best place to study right now is at Frost. Period. Gerard Schwarz (formerly of Seattle Symphony) is going to be our new orchestra director. The students are exceptional. Aaron Tindall is one of the best teachers you can study with. I felt like I hit a brick wall until I began to study here and my tuba playing is getting better every day now. There’s lots of scholarship money for you here. The tuba studio is full of good vibes and we all push each other to get better. I love it here. The campus is basically a resort. You’d be crazy not to consider auditioning here. Best decision I’ve ever made for my tuba playing.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask
Here’s my email phillihp@live.com
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Re: Best Masters Programs for Tuba

Postby Lee Stofer » Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:13 pm

I would suggest that, instead of simply looking to become hire-able as a music teacher/pro musician, consider whether you love those positions enough, and
want to do them badly-enough that you are willing to do anything it takes to get there. There is a difference between interest and passion, between involvement and sacrifice. If you want to become hire-able, go to school and get a welder's certificate or certify as an electrician, do the work, and within 5 years you can save enough money to pursue any kind of schooling you wish. Or, get an MBA, which would help immensely whether you pursue a job in the business of professional music or become a professional teacher. If you feel the need and desire to pursue a master's in music, talk to a number of professors, and take a number of lessons. You can learn a lot just through these experiences, and all the best to you in your quest.
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Re: Best Masters Programs for Tuba

Postby windshieldbug » Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:57 pm

The Curtis only takes one tuba at a time.
There is no studio.
And the competition for that one spot is fierce!
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Re: Best Masters Programs for Tuba

Postby Tubaru » Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:09 am

I’ll throw out a few schools that I came across when looking at Doctorate programs a couple years ago. They would also be excellent for a Masters program and well.

New Mexico - has an excellent assistantship which includes brass quintet
Iowa - has an assistantship that come open every couple years
Louisiana State - Joe has great things going on in his studio
North Alabama - Tom taught one of the best orchestral tubists in the country
James Madison - has one of the best brass bands in the country
The Hartt School - has a great chamber music program

A couple pieces of advice: Go somewhere where you:

1) are surrounded with great musicians who are better than you. Playing in ensembles who are better than you will elevate your potential where going somewhere where you are the top dog will not challenge you to improve.

2) get as much performance experience as possible in as many types of ensembles as possible. Do not let yourself be limited to what your school offers you. Find a way to put something together yourself and/or get out in the community and offer your services, even if you have to do some gigs for free.

Just my 2¢ worth.
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