Saxophone Forum


by saxman987
(11 posts)
9 years ago

music schools

hey everyone i'm a junior inhigh school and I wantedto start looking at colleges. I know I want to go into to jazz music. I play the bari sax and the rest of the saxes to. I was justy wondering if any knew any good schools and if you could give me some opinions on them. thanks

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  1. by jamterry
    (573 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: music schools

    I think Fred Hemke is a great educator Kristy. Chicago has tons of opportunities to play jazz gigs. If you come to LA , you can look me up me up.

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  2. by straightj23
    (103 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: music schools

    You guys always talk about performance or history. I am a junior looking into a carrer in music education. I want to teach and conduct at the high school level. I live in the Cincinnati, OH area. I've looked at Miami U, U of Cincinnati, and Ohio State. I also looked at a college named SUNY Fredonia where my uncle in western New York. Any other suggestions for the music education major?

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  3. by BariSaxplyr
    (35 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: music schools

    hey, im a sax player at Berklee College of Music. I dont know what the deal is with people. Berklle is probably the best school in the country for playing jazz and contemporary music. That or SUNY Purchase. If anyone has bad opinions about the berklee sax program, i dont think they've really been a part of it. George garzone teaches here... nuff said.

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    1. by muzikman_wky
      (17 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: music schools

      Ei BariSaxplyr, Im from the Philippines and I was wondering if Berklee had some scholarships available for aspiring sax players... Im 18 an I have about 1 1/2 years experience in my tenor sax... I was hoping to transfer to a local conservatory but it turns out they dont have a course on saxophone... They say I learn fast and quickly surpased players in our school who have been playing longer than me... any way, I was just wondering what it is like in Berklee? I hope i could find someone to sponsor me in going there... Thnx and God bless!

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  4. by Peepin728
    (17 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: music schools

    As far as Jazz goes, check into North Texas, U. of Southern California, University of the Art, and William Paterson University (that's where I'm a freshman at). I would stay away from Berklee, but that's just my personal opinion from my experience with them. University of Miami and Maryland are pretty good as well, I visited them and they sounded pretty decent. There are probably others, but this is all I can think of right now. I hope I was some help to you, and if you ever have any questions about William Paterson you can ask me. -Dave

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    1. by saxophonik
      (73 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: music schools

      I agree with the Berklee statement. You should also check out Michigan State, U. Maine, UConn, USC (also mentioned before) and do some snooping around New York City area.

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      1. by YanagisawA-901
        (312 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: music schools

        university of north florida has a good program.. locally (maryland) for us there is Johns Hopkins - Peabody Towson University James Madison U. all 3 have great programs.. im personally going to towson in the future for photography and jazz performance.. i think lol

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        1. by knorter
          (205 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: music schools

          Saxman, There are a lot of schools out there. I think it depends on what you want to do. It also depends on your current level as a player. If you already have a sound background in Jazz theory, improvisation etc... maybe a bigger school near a metro area for gigging experience. However, that could be a really bad idea if you need a smaller, more hands-on approach. Write back and give me an idea of your experience and what you want to get out of college. What do you see yourself doing for money in 6 years from now? It's totally ok if the answer is "I don't know". Being as upfront as possible can help us make a good recommendation that is right for you personally. Kristy

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        2. by barimachine
          (323 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: music schools

          maryland is a good program and i like that chris vadala is director there but they are overly elitist, they are trying to establish very good programs and they are getting snobbier and harder to get into now they also accept students in the way that they have a set number in the jazz program of each intsrument so they could accept 3 bari sax players in one year and then fill all the positions until one leaves potentially screwing over the classes to come for years after I am applying to you USC and NYU another thing to think about is grades do you have the grades for these places, alot of them qualify alot of your application based on your audition mostly and other schools you must be accepted academically first

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        3. by jamterry
          (573 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: music schools

          Northwestern has a great music school, and they have Fred Hemke. I had to audition for him. From what I hear, he is still the dean of the music school. I don't know if he still teaches saxophone. Chicago is a jazz Mecca. Don't do what I did!!!! I was enrolled on Northwestern , and I was playing gigs every night. Then to top it off i was using drugs. It got to where I couldn't get up for class and I flunked out. The next thing that I knew , I was carrying a rifle in Vietnam. I have extensive playing experience , but I am still working on my degree. Don't let the gigs keep you out of class !!!! On the other hand you must play as much as possible. Best of luck to you !!!! Terry

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        4. by Peepin728
          (17 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: music schools

          I agree with jamterry in that Northwestern is a great school, my friend goes there right now for classical saxophone. Fred Hemke still is the dean, and still does teach saxophone. The other thing about that school is that if you want to go to college for jazz, that's not the place to go. If you want to go for classical, that IS the place to go, just to clear that up.

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      2. by saxman0317
        (53 posts)

        8 years ago

        Re: music schools

        well, as said before, berklee would be my first choice when i go, ive been looking to. But as far as he said about SUNY schools, the best school ive seen for Jazz sax, esp bari, is Fredonia. They have Bruce Johnstone there for jazz, one of the best bari players uve ever met. Look him up, hes played with a ton of the greats. Also, the sax prof. is Wildy Zumwaldt, another sickly amazing player and teacher. Not to mention, but you could go to Fredonia for about 4 semesters, and still be less than 1 at Berklee

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      3. by Jazzerachi
        (2 posts)

        8 years ago

        Re: music schools

        It really depends on what you want. If you think you're good enough, you could probably make it in a big shot music school like University at North Texas. They have one of the best jazz bands in the nation, but the people in that band have probably spent years and years getting into it. As for me, I currently attend Texas A&M University At Kingsville. Our jazz band was voted best college jazz band by Downbeat magazine in 2003. My sax professor is a monster on sax, and really knows how to teach as well. His name is James Warth. He's played with so many artists all over the world. Currently he play with the Corpus Christi Symphony, along with other freelance gigs. This school is a good size school, which means you treated like a person, not a number like at bigger schools. But I'm just giving my opinion on the school I attend, but if you want to know more, just send me an e-mail.

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      4. by Dr.Palacios
        (3 posts)

        8 years ago

        Re: music schools

        you should definatly check out Univesity of Miami they have a great concert jazz band, if your a jazzer, you gotta be there.

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      5. by JazzIsLife
        (3 posts)

        8 years ago

        Re: music schools

        HUMBER COLLEGE IN TORONTO!!!!! Humber College offers a Degree unlike any other school in North America! .... it also offers 3 year jazz diploma and a 1 year certificate course Saxophone Faculty includes: Mark Promane (professional pit musician) Don Palmer Brian Lillos John Johnson Kirk MacDonald Alex Dean and the one and only PAT LABARBERA!!! Check out

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      6. by Tortuga12
        (4 posts)

        8 years ago

        Re: music schools

        You might also check out Ball State University. George Wolfe is one heck of a classical player, and they have a good jazz program there, too. I was always amazed at some of the sax players we had come through back in the day. I think the size of the school is good, too. Not too big, not to small.

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      7. by jamterry
        (573 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: music schools

        Listen to what Kristy says about playing level. No school has a jazz chip to implant in your brain. Start your journey now. Kristy can tell you how to practice.

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        1. by saxman987
          (11 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: music schools

          alright kristy this ones for you. I have some very extensivee improvising skills and theory wisse i am very informed about all of it. Sight reading is probably one of my lower points, but I am improvinmg every day. Can you help me out with some of this stuff. thanks josh

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          1. by knorter
            (205 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: music schools

            I also forgot to ask do you want to be a big fish in a small pond or small fish in a big pond. It's important that you figure out how you respond to certain educational situations: do you need lots of one on one attention or are you pretty self sufficient? Are you motivated or intimidated by people who are better than you. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions but they are vital for finding you the perfect fit. When you say you want to major in music, have you thought more specifically about that? Meaning if you want cutting edge jazz you'll need NYC influence. If you want studio work then an L.A. based school might be up your alley. Education majors might take a different turn. I don't mean to be difficult I'm trying to answer your question specifically and not just rattle off schools that have good programs. Larger schools with well known programs include: North Texas, Indiana, NEC, Eastman, William Patterson and Miami to name a few. Smaller schools might include University of Cincinnati, University of Louisville, Julliard. Another element to consider is the type of jazz you want to excel in. Again this is about you- I would advise different schools for different styles: bebop, post-bop, smooth jazz, pop/fusion, etc... Finally I would stress a school that has a well-known saxophone educator ( not just well-known player). I don't mean to insult some of my colleagues but with the music industry changing many famous players are turning to the financial stability of the education system. The universities are happy to have them because their names draw students. However not all of them are great teachers, and even more importantly they have very lenient schedules. They may go on the road for 2 months and then cram in 6 of your private lessons in 3 days. That won't benefit you at all. These are important questions to ask of possible teachers.

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            1. by golferguy675
              (600 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: music schools

              Is Bunky still teaching in Florida? I can't believe no one has mentioned Milikan in Illinois! They have one of the best jazz programs in the nation. Perry Rascal is an incredible teacher. Kristy, I'm glad you mentioned IU, I know some people that are currently attending there, and are having a pretty good time. Do you know Dr.Walsh? Hehe, what do you think of him?

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            2. by knorter
              (205 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: music schools

              Golfer, I know Tom (Dr. Walsh) very well. He's an unbelievable classical player and a great jazz player. I would highly suggest working with him. He would be an excellent person to study with. Kristy ps. I don't know if Bunky is still in Florida, I can ask around.

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            3. by golferguy675
              (600 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: music schools

              I know Tom personally as well. If you ever run into him tell him Justin O'Hare said hello. And please, do him a favor and rip that ipod case off of his hip. : D I like his jazz playing a lot more now, I heard him last July and he sounded different than before, more intense.

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            4. by golferguy675
              (600 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: music schools

              Kristy, have you heard where Brent Wallarab is teaching now?? :D Driving distance from where I'm at. He's a great guy, I really enjoy working with him.

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            5. by knorter
              (205 posts)

              8 years ago

              Re: music schools

              Golferguy-sorry I was out of town for awhile. Where is Brent? I haven't spoken with him in awhile. Kristy

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            6. by golferguy675
              (600 posts)

              8 years ago

              Re: music schools

              I won't say why he's not at Butler anymore here, I don't know if he'd care or not. But he's now teaching at IU with Walsh. He sure is all over the place, isn't he? Smisthsonian, then IU in Bloomington, and the Jazz Orchestra he does in Indy with Busseli. I sure hope his car's got good fuel economy!

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            7. by knorter
              (205 posts)

              8 years ago

              Re: music schools

              Well hopefully he's found a good fit at IU. He's always been busy.

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