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Thread: Hey drummer

  1. #1

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    Default Hey drummer

    drummer, I know you value your privacy, but I was wondering if you would mind sharing your experience at Berkley with us. My son is in Jr. High and is already looking at colleges with the expectation of becoming a music major. I don't know anyone personally who attended Berkley and the info on their web site only goes so far. In particular, what did you study? Was it expensive? What was the student body like? What were the professors like (were they hardcore commie atheists )? How were the facilities? Did you live on campus? What did you learn there? Did you get a degree? Certificate? Did your time there help you in becomming a pro-musician? Does the prestige of being a Berkley grad carry any weight with people you work with in the business? Overall, was is a positive experience? Was it worth the time and money? Would you recommend it over, say, a music degree from USC, San Jose State, or University of the Pacific? I hope I'm not being too nosey, but your expertise and advise on this would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

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    yes, sure, drums, yes, awesome, awesome, great, no, a whole lot, no, no, yes, yes, yes, yes, it depends.
    - Tom

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  3. #3

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    Seriously...
    RD, many name musicians went there (Steve Vai, Mike Stern, Jeff Sipe, Cindy Blackman, etc.)... whether they graduated or not. I didn't graduate but was there long enough to have an amazing experience. The teachers in my opinion were as good as it gets. The vibe is intense and you walk away with a feeling like you can tackle the world. Of course you also feel more qualified after leaving there. The intensity just changes your attitude overall and I think helps take you to another level. You have to work hard just to keep up.

    Study was everything from performance to theory to composition. They also stress total musicianship which you can certainly respect as it helps to round you out. Yes, it was expensive but no more than any other college. The biggest stunner is the cost of living overall being higher in that region. Being from the south, that was a shock. Even to go to a club to hear one of your idols, you'd pay a $20 ticket to get in and they'd have a 2 drink minimum. Even if you got a coke, they'd charge you $5 for it so after a tip, you didn't get out of there for under $35 or $40!

    As far as overall prestige, I would say yes. The school has such a positive reputation that you tend to get instant respect when you mention you went there. Its a name school It's kind of like having an artist on your resume. The minute people know that you've done something big, it sort of puts you on another level. You can feel it when you're talking to them. It's hard to explain.

    So yea, I highly recommend it. It isn't the only school out there to consider. There's University of Miami which is known to have a strong music program and of course we've all heard about North Texas. If you can get in the One O'clock Jazz band, you're on the way.

    There are lots of schools. I think Berklee's great but you need to find a school that fits you. It really depends on what you're looking for. For example; VCU here in Richmond is known for it's great jazz program. Many of the jazz greats hand-pick their next band from that school. You just have to do the research and find something that feels right and that suits you.
    - Tom

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  4. #4

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    Thank you for your reply, drummer. I was hoping to find out how it was.
    How do you guys feel about Percussion Institute of Technology (PIT) at Musician's Institute? My old instructor graduated from there. I wanted to go, but my parents weren't up for that (back in '88.)

    on a side note; a guy I know on x-box live, has a grandson that won some national competition put on by Modern Drummer last year. He's 15 and a jazz drummer. He got approached afterword and was given a FULL scholarship to Juilliard! At 15!!!!!

    Thanks again, drummer. I would love to talk to you more in depth about it, someday!
    Regal Tip Quantum 3000 nylon tip - my weapons of mass destruction

  5. #5

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    Thanks drummer.

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