College Upright Bass
This page is geared towards playing the upright bass at the
college and university level. There are of course many opportunities
to study music throughout the world. There has never been such a
quick rise in the levels of any instrument like what has taken place
on the upright, double bass. More, better made instruments, combined
with huge technological advances have made the bass easier to play
and more accessible to players. With so many student upright bass
players seriously pursuing advanced studies, it's no wonder this is
also advancing and moving into the university level.
It's not just for performance majors:
At first glance, most high school players that have studied the
upright bass during their school years get dumb founded as to what
to do (with their bass) after school. One doesn't have to be a music
school major to play in a college orchestra. In fact, many
universities offer some pretty serious scholarships to entice decent
upright bass players to do just that. Non-major students can
actively participate along side with 'music majors' in just about
every course curriculum they offer. As long as the pre-requisites
are met, the courses, ensembles and even a lot of the faculty are
accessible. While every school is different, it's best to look
around and ask what is available. This is often a good way in
choosing which university will be the most attractive choice.
Many universities offer "double majors". There are lots of upright
bass players that while they still love playing the bass, wonder if
that's all they want to do or study. The double major is nice
because it allows the student to get degrees in two complete
disciplines: Music performance and business? Music and Math (some
say that's too close!) Music and a science? I went to school with a
fellow upright bass major that is a now a pediatrician!
Upright bass college scholarships
There are scholarships that promote and allow students the
opportunity to study at many schools that would ordinarily be un-afforable
any other way. For example, for those wanting to study out of state
(with those incredibly high 'out of state' tuition fees) get a
scholarship that simply allows them 'in-state' tuition. That alone
can be worth saving $10-20k a year! We frequently hear from students
that actually wanted to study at an out of state school for
something other than music, but got a scholarship there as a double
major. What a great country we live in!
For the serious upright bass performance major
and whom to study with:
As a professional, upright symphony bass player, I have a simple
approach to tell the younger players that ask for advice on where to
study and what teacher to study with. For me, this was the most
exciting choice to make in which school I went to and why. If you
are interested in studying music in college, as a major, what is the
end goal? If it is to successfully study, and eventually play in a
professional orchestra, you them must ask yourself: What teacher has
the best results and has had the biggest success in helping his/her
students achieve this? Don't be afraid to ask, it's your life! Same
goes to the best Jazz teachers.
The teacher/player upright bass player.
This is another facet in choosing where to study
upright bass. Often the teacher has his/her own style of
playing. If you really love that style, then by all means this
should be another consideration of choosing where to study. Many of
the students that do this often incorporate the same type of music,
studies and philosophies as the teacher. Today, playing upright bass
in college is an exciting choice. With the successes achieved in
music education, one can also pursue their love of music throughout
college often opening other more exciting opportunities.
There is a nice little book out now by player/professor Joel
DiBartolo called "A Guide To The Collegiate Audition Process -For
Double Bass" It's a good general guide which gets into how
to audition, where to go and a lot of issues mentioned on this page.
It also has lots of traditional solos and etudes to choose from to
help students decide what to play (for an audition) and gives some
ideas on how to approach a college bass audition. Good luck!
"A Guide To The Collegiate Audition Process -For Double Bass"
by Joel DiBartolo for $19.95