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 Colleges in Ohio/Michigan
Author: J-MB 
Date:   2019-01-24 01:26

Hi! I was wondering what schools in Ohio were the best for clarinet performance or just have a strong teacher in general? I’m also looking for strong ensembles in the program in Ohio. I know Oberlin doesn’t have a “wind ensemble” or band so I already haven’t looked at that school. I’d prefer to keep cost down. I’m still a sophomore so I still have time but I’m trying to compile a list of schools in Ohio/Michigan so I can take lessons next year and know where I am going to audition. I know some colleges have academic requirements but my G.P.A. Is a 3.61 and I haven’t taken the ACT yet.

Thanks!!, Justin.

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 Re: Colleges in Ohio/Michigan
Author: bmcgar 2017
Date:   2019-01-24 02:42

Forget a "list of the best" and visit schools and faculty. If you're set on majoring in performance, the school you choose isn't as important as the faculty you would work with and the teacher you'd click with.

Many top-flight people teach in "second- or third-tier" schools, and many marginal teachers teach in what are considered "the best" schools.

Of course, if you're only out for the credential and not necessarily the best teacher for you, personally, pick from a ranked list so that you can be judged by the school you attended and "name" you studied with rather than your development as a player.


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 Re: Colleges in Ohio/Michigan
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-01-24 06:49

I found this on the Oberlin website:

[to Mark: I thought of the word thing as I put that to bed........sorry]

If you don't feel like reading the entire article (of which I copied three paragraphs originally) the twelfth paragraph refers to four ensembles. The student's review also speaks of the liberal arts can pick any subject of interest to you.

As a conservatory I would think they have wind ensemble amongst those four groups. It is also one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country. As Ed Palanker (newly retired bass clarinetist of the Baltimore Symphony) is want to say, it is a great idea to double major in something else in addition to music to give yourself more options.

There are an awful lot of scholarships and grants out there for those on more of a budget. DON'T rule it out!

Oh, and Richard Hawkins teaches there........he's a decent clarinetist! :-)

..................Paul Aviles

P.S. The campus is also famous for its population of albino squirrels.

Post Edited (2019-01-24 15:02)

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 Re: Colleges in Ohio/Michigan
Author: Steven Ocone 2017
Date:   2019-01-24 17:54

Lots of great teachers teach at the lesser known schools. Whatever you do, keep your expenses down.

Steven Ocone
Ann & Steve's Music

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 Re: Colleges in Ohio/Michigan
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2019-01-24 18:57


I was wondering what schools in Ohio were the best for clarinet performance or just have a strong teacher in general? I’m also looking for strong ensembles in the program in Ohio. I know Oberlin doesn’t have a “wind ensemble” or band so I already haven’t looked at that school. I’d prefer to keep cost down.

For clarinet, Oberlin is going to be one of the best schools. That is doesn't have a wind ensemble actually reflects reality: wind ensembles are not professional paying gigs in most of the world. The band/wind ensemble concept is a military band and US public school construct. Yes, we have many paying military bands in the US, but Oberlin doesn't include one.

Oberlin is also incredibly hard to get into and, IMHO, prohibitively expensive. I have a student there currently and she loves the school, loves the ensembles, and loves working with Richard Hawkins. Studio members are assigned to two orchestras and rotate parts continuously through the year.

Michigan and Michigan State also have great clarinet programs, although Michigan's just started requiring taped-audition pre-screening for clarinet and became much more difficult to get into, based on the student I have there and the students I had audition there recently. Both schools have two clarinet faculty.

I have a former student who was accepted to Ohio State for masters and DMA, but they declined going there -- it should be on your list to investigate.

I'm sure others will provide more helpful information!


Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: Colleges in Ohio/Michigan
Author: J-MB 
Date:   2019-01-25 15:52

So in all what colleges are good to look at that have an outstanding clarinet faculty? I know going out of state is more expensive so is U of M and MSU’s programs worth the extra money? Also is majoring in performance not viable ? I mean I plan on going to grad school and then later post-grad education to become a college professor, I truly want to perform clarinet though and that’s what my passion is. Sorry for all the questions or if they were unclear !

Thanks, Justin

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 Re: Colleges in Ohio/Michigan
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-01-25 17:27

Between MSU and UofM, I have always been a BIG fan of Elsa Ludwig Verdehr of MSU. She's been a great performer and educator for a very long time. And if that's not enough, she and her trio have been actively commissioning tons of new works for clarinet......simply amazing. MSU also has Guy Yehuda:

Between now and your Doctorate in education there will be lots of twists and turns in the road, but you could do a lot worse than an undergrad degree at MSU.

..................Paul Aviles

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 Re: Colleges in Ohio/Michigan
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2019-01-25 19:19


If you are a sophomore in HS, there is a long road ahead of you to become a university professor with a doctorate. One does not just show up with a DMA and there is a job for him or her. Each person's journey is quite different.

To get a better feel of how people who hold faculty positions in music schools made their way over the many hurdles encountered, check their credentials on the school's faculty websites. Look at their degrees and the musical positions they have had or now hold. Also, you may wish to check my bio on this website to see my progression through the ranks of academe from being a high school band director to that of a full professor in an entirely different field. There were many twists and turns along the way.

Perhaps the best advice I can give is that an initial degree in instrumental music education might be your first stop. With such training, you will always have job skills to fall back on. All the state universities in Ohio have music education programs and are quite similar since the State of Ohio requires a specific curriculum for a music teacher's certificate. Since I have degrees from three of those institutions and have always had a relationship with the music department even as a faculty member, you can not go wrong getting started there. I have never been disappointed in my education and training or how the whole thing turned out.

The other thing for you to do is make a point to hear some student recitals at a university music school. I remember being at OSU recently and hearing students from Caroline Hartig's clarinet studio perform; there were some amazing young players that you need to hear so you can see how your playing stacks up in comparison.

Good luck in your quest.


Post Edited (2019-01-25 22:57)

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 Re: Colleges in Ohio/Michigan
Author: the3n9 
Date:   2019-01-27 04:38

Hi Justin,

I'm a junior and I live in Oberlin, Ohio, so I figured I'd give my two cents.
First, social life:
Oberlin is a small, liberal town, so if you are Conservative, it is definitely not the place for you. While the town doesn't really have much for us high schoolers, it's totally different for the college - tons of concerts, speeches, and events. However, you'd need a ride to get out and about as the town (for me, at least) can get quite boring after a while.
The college:
While I am not considering applying for Oberlin (mostly because I don't want to feel stuck in this town for longer than I need to), I think it is a really great college to apply to at least. The conservatory is pretty nice, with lots of practice rooms and rehearsal spaces (us townies even go there to practice/perform quite often, haha). They have outstanding performers, and while a wind ensemble doesn't exist, there's a program where students can make their own class so to speak (I know an acapella group formed there one time), so I doubt it would be hard to get a band of wind players together. Also, Richard Hawkins teaches there, which is a plus.
All in all, it's up to you where you go to study, but here's my opinions on how I've seen Oberlin in the eight years I've lived here.


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