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  1. #1

    Default Jazz Colleges (Rankings?)

    I've been scouting around a lot locally for potential places to go for jazz as an undergraduate major, though when I ask for people's opinions on the matter, I have found that none of them are alike! I'm playing at around the Grade 11 level (ARCT) if anyone you are familiar with it..but to put it into perspective, I'm currently working my way through Ibert's Concertino da Camera and the Phil Woods Sonata as a way to increase my technique/musicality along with focussing on my jazz studies.

    Some places I've been looking at are Berklee, New England Conservatory, Manhattan, and Juilliard. These are just locations I've scouted out myself - feel free to contribute other names (please) as I'm not too clear where to go.

    Of course those colleges are rather idealistic..Juilliard is especially intimidating and I don't know if I'd be able to get into the other 3.

    Also, a question of mine. In my line of questioning, I was told repeatedly that the undergraduate programs will give me the same quality of education regardless of where I go. But I personally don't believe that. Assuming the teachers are the same level, I think a big boost towards the Juilliard/Berklee direction is because of the incredible players in the student body. I've always personally found competition helps me improve a lot faster. So is what they say true? Am I making the right assertions?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Jazz Colleges (Rankings?)

    Quote Originally Posted by BryanQ. View Post
    Some places I've been looking at are Berklee, New England Conservatory, Manhattan, and Juilliard.
    How are you fixed for money?
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    Distinguished SOTW Member BarrySachs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jazz Colleges (Rankings?)

    Quote Originally Posted by BryanQ. View Post
    I've been scouting around a lot locally for potential places to go for jazz as an undergraduate major, though when I ask for people's opinions on the matter, I have found that none of them are alike! I'm playing at around the Grade 11 level (ARCT) if anyone you are familiar with it..but to put it into perspective, I'm currently working my way through Ibert's Concertino da Camera and the Phil Woods Sonata as a way to increase my technique/musicality along with focussing on my jazz studies.

    Some places I've been looking at are Berklee, New England Conservatory, Manhattan, and Juilliard. These are just locations I've scouted out myself - feel free to contribute other names (please) as I'm not too clear where to go.

    Of course those colleges are rather idealistic..Juilliard is especially intimidating and I don't know if I'd be able to get into the other 3.

    Also, a question of mine. In my line of questioning, I was told repeatedly that the undergraduate programs will give me the same quality of education regardless of where I go. But I personally don't believe that. Assuming the teachers are the same level, I think a big boost towards the Juilliard/Berklee direction is because of the incredible players in the student body. I've always personally found competition helps me improve a lot faster. So is what they say true? Am I making the right assertions?

    Thanks
    If you can, go to school in NYC. You need to see what the scene is like here and to learn from the best on the bandstand, not in the classroom. School is only the excuse you need to come to New York. Also, William Patterson in New Jersey has a good jazz programme with name faculty, as does SUNY Purchase. Both schools are near NYC.

    So, in this order:
    Julliard
    Manhattan Scool
    Mannes/New School
    NYU
    William Patterson
    SUNY Purchase
    CUNY (City College)
    Queens Collage (Aaron Copland School of Music)

    Otherwise, go to school in Canada where it's cheaper. U of M in Winnipeg, and McGill have good jazz programmes.

    Also in the USA are Oberlin, U of Miami, North Texas State, Berklee, NEC, Eastman, Grove, Mancini Institute, Monk Institute and Indiana University.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Jazz Colleges (Rankings?)

    where Im from (indiana) Indiana University reigns supreme as THE jazz school, but personally, I would prefer Berklee!!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Jazz Colleges (Rankings?)

    Western Michigan has great big bands and Trent Kynaston is a great teacher.
    Stop bombarding me with your facts and sciences!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Jazz Colleges (Rankings?)

    Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY is one of the best.
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    Default Re: Jazz Colleges (Rankings?)

    I have to say that the phrase "jazz college" strikes me as an oxymoron.

    Quote Originally Posted by BarrySachs View Post
    You need to see what the scene is like here and to learn from the best on the bandstand, not in the classroom.
    Yeah. If you're looking for a jazz college, I recommend Old School.
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    Default Re: Jazz Colleges (Rankings?)

    University of North Texas is good for some people. A lot of good players and the Dallas scene is cool. This is a less expensive school and the cost of living is low in the DFW area.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Jazz Colleges (Rankings?)

    New School if you're into modern jazz. I don't mean avant-garde free jazz, I mean the music that is happening right now. Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mark Turner, Adam Rogers, Tigran Hamasyan, Aaron Goldberg, etc... way too many to name, but you get the gist of it.

    Seriously visit Berklee before deciding to go there... I noticed far too many musicians in general, and in particular a huge number of wanking guitarists. The Boston scene is pretty good though. Obviously nothing comes close to NYC though.

    And money is a pretty big determining factor. I wouldn't recommend taking out all kinds of loans to pay tuition.
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  10. #10
    Distinguished SOTW Member Jazz House's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jazz Colleges (Rankings?)

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinMusicMan View Post
    I have to say that the phrase "jazz college" strikes me as an oxymoron.
    You certainly have a point there...
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    Default Re: Jazz Colleges (Rankings?)

    NC Central is pretty good.
    So is Oberlin.
    Rutgers has Ralph Bowen (he is a BEAST!)

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  12. #12

    Default Re: Jazz Colleges (Rankings?)

    My son's working on his masters at North Texas, great school with a lot of options. Denton is a very inexpensive area to live, with the Dallas music scene 30 minutes away. Another option not mentioned is the University of Kentucky, Miles Osland has a great program, lot of opportunities for sax players.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Jazz Colleges (Rankings?)

    Quote Originally Posted by gary View Post
    How are you fixed for money?
    Well, thats a bit of problem admittedly. I'm currently in grade 10 (two more years to go)..and yeah, I'm in Canada..so either I take out a mass of loans or somehow get a scholarship.

    These scholarships which I hear are pretty rare for undergrads...but I've had this mindset that to make it as kind of an 'international' player (please don't find this to be contentious), it has to be the states for me. I know McGill certainly has a decent jazz program..but it just can't compare when you take into account the atmosphere and the scene going on around. Its definitely a huge investment..and a risk. Ultimately it might not even pay off - but I think that if I'm willing to work hard enough, it will be beneficial in the long run.

    The New School - is this the right one? http://www.newschool.edu/jazz/

    And of the recommendations, what level do I have to be? I know I'll be competing with other people who grew up in far superior musical environments, more experienced teachers, and in a place that plays jazz at a completely different level than we do here..

    North Texas has been a consideration of mine as well, and my teacher went to Rutgers to study with Ralph Bowen..soo I'm not sure ultimately where I'll audition. Haha and I might not even get into any of them..

    My most optimistic choices would probably be Juilliard, Manhattan, or New School..just because its in New York and the scene theres just thriving..but again the issue of money and whether I have the skill to make it in comes up.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Jazz Colleges (Rankings?)

    Michigan State University has a big chunk of faculty from the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Its a great place to be right now. Wish I was there.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Jazz Colleges (Rankings?)

    As far as I've heard, Julliard is a pretty intensely competitive school to get in, at least for their masters program
    And also massively expensive

    I wouldn't over look schools in Canada, University of Manitoba is pretty happening right now (shameless plug), Steve Kirby is an amazing jazz director and is able to get some of the slickest cats in the WORLD to teach there. Derrick Gardner on trumpet, Steve teaching bass also, and now we have Jon Gordon teaching sax (who is a freaking monster)

    Let's put it this way, you know Gary Smulyan? Arguably the best jazz bari player alive right now?
    He was basically pestering the crap out of Steve for the sax position that opened up when Jimmy Greene left, he ultimately couldn't get it because he doesn't have a masters (which is silly in my opinion but alas)

    There are going to be 2 students studying at the Masters program at Julliard who GRADUATED from University of Manitoba, perhaps you've heard of them (or will hear of them)
    Luke Sellick and Curtis Nowosad
    Not a lot of schools can boast that, Canadian or otherwise

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