Posted by Dave on May 27, 1999 at 13:02:44:
In Reply to: Re: Florida State U. posted by Brett on May 27, 1999 at 09:23:06:
I have a bit more to offer, although it may be a bit biased.
I attended Florida State and found it to be a wonderful school with great resources, an extensive library, bountiful performance opportunities (3 concert bands, a wind ensemble, marching band, 2 orchestras, an opera orchestra and countless ensembles) and a top-notch music education program.
A lot of students transfer out of the school because it is tough. It is a huge school with many distractions to lure a freshman away from his/her studies (great football team!). That's a big reason why the music department doesn't give out a large amount of scholarships to incoming freshmen. Too many students drop out. There are at any given time around 400 music majors. Students come from high schools where they used to be the big cheese and then wonder why they are playing 4th cornet in the 3rd band. The competition is thick. Chips on shoulders are knocked off daily. The persistent ones stick to it and graduate with a degree that turns heads. Those that can't transfer and then croon about what a horrible, overrated school it is.
Mr. Ebbers is a wonderful teacher and friend. He graduated with a master's from Northwestern where he was in extensive study with Arnold Jacobs. His teaching philosophy reflects this with influences of Carl Rogers (educational behavioralist) and a little "Inner Game" tossed in. I found his methods to be exactly what I needed from a teacher. He's not an equipment freak like some instructors. He doesn't make you play "his" horn. He's a wonderful man with his priorities in order.
Your son should visit all the schools possible to see which one feels right. FSU has a wonderful reputation, and rightly so. It's a great undergraduate institution that offers a lot to students.
Jay Hunsberger at the University of South Florida is also a GREAT teacher and a world class player. USF's facilities and resources are lacking, but the music ed department is solid as well as the tuba studio. I'm not sure if Gail Robertson is teaching tuba at UF (she's a helluva euphonium player!) but Uf's facilities also cannot hold a candle to FSU.
I was always told to get an undergraduate degree from a school with as high a reputation as you can get in. Then for a graduate degree, attend a school that has a private instructor you like.
Again, visit all the schools possible. If I can be of any more assistance, feel free to e-mail me!