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 Suggestions for grad. schools, and what to do in college?
Author: suavkue 
Date:   2010-10-15 02:06

Yes, I know the question about which grad. schools has been asked dozens of times - but I'm in a weird situation. I'm a freshman in college, pursuing a Clarinet Performance and Mathematics (Actuarial Science) degree, and if I follow the plan I made, I should graduate in four years. I'm *considering*, when I go on to grad. school, to at least pursue a masters (the performance one screams "doctorate," though...) in both majors.

(I wonder if I'm crazy... but I still have three years, and I feel that the major with which I continue in grad. school I will have chosen by the time I've graduated - but I have doubts that I'm going to go continue on with both in grad. school.)

Anyway, if I do decide to pursue both, I will probably have to look into a state university for grad. school. USC, and University of Arizona come to mind (though, it's extremely competitive to get into both). What others would all of you recommend? I was considering University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, but Burt Hara's leaving after this year.


Also, how should I go about searching for opportunities in college (internships, any experience, etc.) with the clarinet side of things - besides giving private lessons?

My current equipment:
Ridenour Lyrique 576BC, Rico Reserve 4, Ridenour Hand Finished Mouthpiece, Luyben Ligature

Post Edited (2010-10-15 02:09)

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 Re: Suggestions for grad. schools, and what to do in college?
Author: EEBaum 
Date:   2010-10-15 02:24

USC is not a state school. Quite expensive private school.

I wouldn't worry about this yet. Really. Spend your first couple years (really, your whole undergrad, but especially the first couple) trying as many different things as you can, finding out what you like to do, both things outside your field and areas of focus within it.

What would you hope to get out of two masters degrees?

Also, what drew you to the actuarial degree? And the clarinet degree?

While you can do two unrelated bachelors' at the same time, I think you may find it difficult to do two unrelated masters' simultaneously. Bachelors is a time of GEs and less intense stuff anyways, but at the masters level, ESPECIALLY on the performance end, you'll likely want to spend every waking moment on your field of study in one way or another. Or, at least, more than half of your waking moments.

In essence:


There's a term I've heard recently, I think it might be a book, "racing to nowhere." People get so worked up about doing everything they possibly can to optimize their progress toward an educational goal, then get there and realize that they have no idea what to do once they've arrived.

Also, don't rush yourself through the 4 years. I've seen dual majors done in 4, but it's not pretty. I took 7 for my two, would recommend 5-6.

Do note that there are some things that you can only do in your college years, and that it's very easy to neglect them in favor of trying to optimize some career path. You only live once, and such things.


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 Re: Suggestions for grad. schools, and what to do in college?
Author: clarinetguy 2017
Date:   2010-10-15 03:17

If I remember correctly, you posted a question about your clarinet about a month ago. How did the repair work out? Did you decide to get a new clarinet?

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 Re: Suggestions for grad. schools, and what to do in college?
Author: Mark Charette 2017
Date:   2010-10-15 03:36

You're going to be too busy studying for actuarial exams for the first 6 or 7 years after your bachelors to be even thinking of any masters degree. I've got a son who's a certified actuary - I know how much time you're going to be putting in studying for those series of exams.

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 Re: Suggestions for grad. schools, and what to do in college?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2010-10-15 05:58

Thare are so many great schools. After I finished the music program at Peabody I went to Cal Tech, studied molding and computers. Nothing wrong with getting 2 degrees, but consider taking your time and do these 2 degrees one at a time for your Masters.

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 Re: Suggestions for grad. schools, and what to do in college?
Author: suavkue 
Date:   2010-10-15 23:30

Thanks, Alex - I'm starting to wonder about my degree plan right now. In order for me to get out in four years, I would have to take 18 cr./semester (fall and spring) and 12 cr. for one summer semester. I'm considering going for a fifth year since it just seems like too much (I'm taking 19 cr. this semester, but I wonder how taking 18 cr. will be each semester after).

@clarinetguy: Interesting story with that. I sent it to the technician, and it needed a complete overhaul. The technician was nice enough to repair all of the pads, adjust any keys, tell me of some tendencies (some of which I've never really thought about), and he even repaired my case. I have to say, though, the clarinet plays better now than when I bought it from a local music dealer (the company I will not mention, since I know that it's well-respected - but I was wary of buying from them, tried the clarinet, and I *thought* it was a good clarinet, until years later when my embouchure was better-developed). I think the warning sign I should have noticed was when I was trying the Leblanc professional clarinet (not my current one), it didn't respond at all - and the person who was giving me these clarinets to try at the store thought that it was weird to happen. I looked through the bore and noticed it was dark, and proceeded to separate the pull the clarinet apart - guess what? There was a DampIt in there. Seriously - DampIts are not supposed to be inside the clarinet.

Anyway, end of that story - I did a sectional with the principal clarinetist of the University's orchestra today (she uses a Buffet R13 - unlike the shop I went to, the shop that she went to had many of one clarinet, so she could try them). She noticed that I was making a "puffing" noise when trying to articulate the chalumeau register (which I've known about, but I thought it was an embouchure problem and that if my embouchure got better, the chalumeau would get a better response), and she thought that since I've just switched to double lip that my embouchure was the problem. I tried her clarinet, played the chalumeau register, and asked her if she heard a "puffing" noise - she said she couldn't hear it; nor could I. We then figured out that my clarinet has a lot more resistance than the Buffet R13, and that it's making a "dull" response - there's no other way that I could think of describing it compared to the R13 she has.

So honestly, I feel really bad, that for the past three years that I've been using a bad clarinet that I didn't even know was bad - and I thought it was my fault that the clarinet can't respond as well. I've had to switch embouchures at least three times per year since I've had this clarinet (but then again, my embouchure was bad when I got this clarinet - it got better on my second year; my teacher at the time even said it "looked right" - and then now I figure out that my clarinet just doesn't respond well).

It plays better than when I bought it, and now I have every reason to throw it in the trash, make it a lamp, or something since I'm honestly angered by the fact that my equipment's been holding me back.

In about two weeks' time, I should be ordering a clarinet by then - for now, I can't do much. There's obviously a problem, and I'm glad that all those past years of frustration weren't actually because of me, but my equipment, but I feel like I've wasted my time, in a way.

EDIT: @Alex: I just noticed that other post you made in the other thread. xD Well, the reason why I'm also doing an actuarial major is because I've been doing very well in mathematics and enjoy it, plus the job market for it is great. What's interesting is that when I made my degree choice, I couldn't see myself just doing music or just math for my life - hence I'm going for both, and I really enjoy what I'm getting out of the courses (despite that the credit load is stressful at times, considering that it's midterm time right now). It's a lot of work, but it's work that I enjoy greatly.

@Mark: I got sophomore placement into both majors, and am taking an Actuarial exam-prep. course (which is required for my major) this upcoming Spring semester. My math advisor says that I should try to pass the second actuarial exam during the next summer, and I should be taking two of the exams next year.

My current equipment:
Ridenour Lyrique 576BC, Rico Reserve 4, Ridenour Hand Finished Mouthpiece, Luyben Ligature

Post Edited (2010-10-16 02:25)

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