Musicians Institute - Comments and Student Experiences|
- Solid selection of nice guitars and pedals in the library to mess around with at yourleisure (Suhr, ESP, and others)
- I had great instructors (most of them have left, a couple are still there).
- Great selection of courses to cover most stylistic interests - acoustic, slide, jazz, flamenco, metal, blues, funk, fusion, classic rock, jimi hendrix (great course!) and more.
- Unlimited access for students to practice rooms so for all night chop-busting sessions (proved useful on a couple occasions)
- Not sure if they're still doing this but i lucked out and won a private lesson with paul gilbert that changed my life in a few simple words. "You would benefit from learning some more detailed chord extensions" -- Wasn't quite sure what he meant at the time but it has since become a definitive part of my playing style.
- half to 3/4 of the amps are busted/worn out/plain old crappy
- Live performance workshops were difficult to book owing to the MASSIVE amount of guitarists. I think the guitarist to drummer ratio at MI when i was there was about 8:1.
- Anybody can get in regardless of skill/experience/dedication - lots of half-assing and i feel i lost out on a lot of valuable time just waiting for students to re-learn their pattern 4 barre chords. (it's just a freaking F chord)
- expensive and climbing rapidly.
- want to find a job? good luck, dude.
- at last check, employment success rate was less than 30%.
- Too many other guitarists.
--Expensive as hell--
Overall reflections - if you want to get better at guitar, I gained a lot from this program, and I'd already spent a great deal of time developing my skills before going in. If your goal is a music career -- don't spend the 80 grand or however many fortunes it costs today. You can do it with a few solid theory books, The Real Book, a private instructor or two, some backing tracks, dedication and some live experience. You'll never pay that down right out of the gates...especially with interest rates today.
- Some great instructors
- Overall great equipment - i heard they recently upgraded. more about that in the cons ;)
- very small classes - 5-8 students tops
- Software, Audio Interface, Glyph External Hard Drive included in tuition -- Also got a huge discount on overstock Glyph hard drives towards the end there, 50 bucks a pop, for a 200 dollar drive. Can't complain
- TJ Helmerich doing his Robert Plant impression, then playing circles around the entire GIT Faculty in one day -- seriously may have been worth the entire tuition right there.
- Some not-so-great instructors - a lot of burnt out RIT Graduates on staff.
- SUPER disorganized - good luck getting anything done that involved the department itself.
- constant battle for 4 hours a week of studio time
- maybe 10 minutes a week of hands on experience on consoles/outboard gear
- Consoles were dilapidated by the time i had entered the program, the Neve and the SSL both had about 10 channels towards the left of the boards that we jokingly referred to as "Channel Strip Graveyards" (Entire channels missing, modules from channel strips missing, no fader, or just outright not working.) I hear they've since upgraded, but i'm sure it's just a matter of time before maintenance bills get too high and they let the gear die slowly and painfully.
- Job placement - seriously? Internships only? That's so 20 years ago. I was the only person from my graduating class who was actively working in audio engineering within a year of graduating, again no thanks to MI's career services dept.
- TJ Helmerich spending half the class or more talking about how great he is/showing off -- don't get me wrong, he is great, but he's got a wikipedia for that.
Overall Reflections - strong curriculum (a little dated at times but still strong), some good instructors, few of whom really give the impression that they care about your success. Totally scatterbrained as an organization, not NEARLY enough hands on time. Too much academia. But again, i learned a lot...No luck finding jobs through this program either. I work live sound but my experience on tour closed that deal, not my training at MI.
- Great facilities
- Ample studio time if you want it and are willing to lose sleep over it (2 am to 7 am sessions. WEEKLY. Hell yeah.)
- One on one time with almost any IAP Teacher you need
- Fun projects
- Michael Anderson
- Eric Corne
- Logic Pro 9 was included in tuition
- Course itself was kind of a joke.
- Curriculum is very surfacey - not enough detail for a nerd like me.
- Huge classes
- Too easy most of the time.
- EXTREMELY expensive for what it is.
Overall experience - not engaging enough, but tons of emphasis on development as an artist and being self-reliant. Overall a good course, but little to no challenge (that being said i did come in with a fair bit of experience performing and production knowledge, so there is a good chance i'm a little biased). Way too expensive for what it is.So - to close - was it worth it? yes and no. I understand that nowadays teachers are not allowed to communicate with students outside of the classroom. That seems a little bit far-fetched to me being that music is a community based industry. I was sold when i came in in 2009 on the idea that "Your teachers might throw gigs your way and help you find paid work" nothing could be farther from the truth. If anything teachers are more starved for a paying music gig than most of their students. The only reason they propagate the gig drought as more and more digital samples replace live players is because it pays the bills, and only just. Career services department was a joke. They butchered my resume, spelled my name wrong, and gave me a list of studios that MAY be hiring interns, half of which were defunct or i got the wrong number for. 2 of which wasn't hiring, and 1 of which has a pretty disturbing rate. 25 interns to 1 hired runner...8 months of hard work as an intern to be turned away because of too much competition? Maybe try bringing on board fewer interns. Job placement statistics are a joke, and i didn't really feel prepared for a job in the industry like they promised. I put in tons of effort, maintained a solid 3.0 or more GPA throughout my 3 years at the school, and missed a total of maybe two or three classes the entire time i was in attendance. I did however gain much from my time at MI. I met the love of my life, to whom i have been happily married for over a year now. I learned a great deal about playing guitar and audio engineering. And i also learned to read the fine print. I learned that i can't expect to be spoonfed golden opportunities like they suggested i would. I also learned that the only way to succeed is to bust your tail around the clock and actually live it. Sitting in a classroom was simply not enough. an hour tops a week of hands on application is simply not enough. I wish there was more hands on time and a staff that didn't consist primarily of alumni, but rather industry professionals making their entire living in their craft and teaching on the side. Seems like many of the staff at MI are teaching for a living and working their craft on their side. That doesn't bode well for the future. Take it with a grain of salt. You may learn a lot if you show up for it. But that's it. Finding work is up to you, so don't bet on the school caring enough about you to help you with the groundwork.
Davis & Elkins College (WV) 1:positive
Manhattan College (NY) 1:negative
Alamance Community College (NC) 1:negative
State University of New York - Albany (NY) 1:positive
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