Back to top of page What instruments do you teach? Many USSCM students choose Guitar, Keyboard, Bass, Drums for an instrumental major. All students, regardless of their major, receive training with each of these four rhythm section instruments. Or you may major in any contemporary melodic instrument; experienced vocalists, string or horn players may major on their own instrument, but also will complete the rhythm section instrumental training.
Back to top of page Will I need to come to the school? You do not need to come to the school. Our program is a distance program designed for people who cannot travel to a first-rate music school. All the materials you need will be sent to your home.
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How does this work? All USSCM teaching is done exclusively online, through Web, email, mp3 attachment, chat, etc. You record your homework and send it via email to our database teaching forum, where it is immediately reviewed. This creates a highly efficient feedback loop for rapid learning. You can go at your own pace, as fast as you want!
When you enroll at USSCM, you will receive a package of materials for each microsemester, about a month's worth of work for a student who works steadily at our program.
This package contains CD's, textbooks, music books, and readings, instructions for organizing your use of the materials, and a daily practice log. Materials are customized for your major, primary instrument, and level of musical experience. They include Faculty-Minus-OneTM recordings to help you with ensemble playing and the our BigEarsTM eartraining program, organized on CD's, DVD's, in books, handbooks and so on.You communicate with your advisor using email, mail, chat, and recordings, minimally on a weekly basis, but as often as you want, even several times a day! You can find three suggested study schedules in our online catalog, at http://www.usschoolofmusic.com/catalog/bulletin5.html. We supply a log where you will record your activities. At minimum, plan on sending us this log once a month. Include written questions, tapes for review, and library requests. As you complete each microsemester, and we approve your homework, you will receive materials for the next microsemester.These materials and programs have been carefully designed for correspondence students. For example, in 1977, USSCM subsidiary Freelance Music began marketing unique music learning materials using new media, such as Freejam TracksTM, and Complete Album TranscriptionsTM. Later, another USSCM subsidiary, Musicworks, added software to the growing list of special learning tools. These and other newly-developed materials are exclusively available to USSCM students; this is a continuing process. For example, USSCM students now receive an expanded version of the acclaimed Big EarsTM Perfect Pitch Method, which simultaneously emphasizes Perfect, Intervallic, and Relative Pitch Recognition while imprinting modern pop harmony and chordscales. Other USSCM-developed materials, such as the Joy of Improv TM, which are published by Hal Leonard Music Publishing, have been strategically integrated into the programs Technology in development will allow you to connect your instrument directly to USSCM's servers.
Back to top of page What does it cost? Costs vary with your location and choice of program, beginning at $7500 for a basic program. You can find a detailed breakdown of costs by building your program at http://www.usschoolofmusic.com/indexenroll.html. You can afford an entire USSCM program for less than the cost of one semester at an ordinary music college!
Back to top of page I don't have very much experience. Will I be able to do your program? We prefer a student to be moderately experienced in performance but consider serious applicants with less experience on a case-by-case basis. Back to top of page I already have a degree in music. I have played in bands for years and made several recordings.
What can you offer me? Some of our best students are serious musicians who come to us with college music degrees and extensive experience. If you feel a need to improve your musicianship and are willing to work, we can help you. Our program is individualized around a core of basic skills, and we will adjust our materials to avoid wasting your time and money.
Back to top of page Are you accredited? Do you offer a college degree? We can offer accredited degrees through an affiliate school, but they are more expensive, cover the same material, and of very little value in the Commercial Music Industry, where it is much more important that a musician have a reputation for being knowledgeable, competent, and personable. A degree student would also have to complete many courses that have nothing to do with music. Degrees in music are generally only of value when a person is going into teaching of music in high school or grade school and you must also be credentialed by an individual State. The programs that lead to these certifications have nothing to do with commercial music. For all of these reasons, we have opted not to pursue accreditation, but to offer instead a high quality of training which compares favorably to a Diploma program at a school such as the Berklee College of Music or Musician's Institute.
Back to top of page How long is a microsemester? How long does it take to complete a USSCM program? Students proceed at their own pace, but the student willing to work fulltime at an intensive rate can complete a program (8 minisemesters) in eight months. Students unable to work on their studies fulltime take longer to accomplish the program. Some students take a little longer and major in several programs. Please see http://www.usschoolofmusic.com/catalog/bulletin5.html for several alternate suggested daily study schedules.
Back to top of page Can I really go at my own pace? Are there any type of deadlines? Is there a limit as to how long I can take per microsemester? You can go at your own pace, but taking too long hampers learning. We recommend no more than two months per microsemester. About five weeks is preferred, and four weeks is the minimum.
Back to top of page I need a certificate in a hurry to get a certain gig. Is there any way can earn a USSCM certificate within a month? I think that I would not need 8 months because I'm already a professional musician.
Here's the bottom line: It would take most anyone more than a month to complete USSCM studies, and we don't sell our diplomas; they have to be earned. Having said that, it might be possible for a precocious and experienced individual, working 8-10 hours a day, to complete our studies in less than eight months. It would depend a lot on your experience right now in commercial music, and your discretionary time. It would take several months to tell whether you were serious about your studies. However, you should understand that we would not sacrifice our standards to meet a financial incentive.
Back to top of page I am interested in a few of the diplomas. If I do one now, and later on decide to do the other one as well, how does that affect the cost of the second one? Since the second Module can be done in four microsemesters, it is half the basic cost to add a Module, but it's best that you declare your program at the beginning of your studies because we will need to adjust the pacing of some of your studies and we customize materials for each student according to this pace.
Back to top of page Can you send me a printed catalog? We don't have a printed catalog. You can find detailed information about US School Programs in the USSCM catalog, at http://www.usschoolofmusic.com/indexacademics.html. Tuition information is available when you design a program at http://www.usschoolofmusic.com/indexenroll.html and you can enroll in the same place. If you would like to speak with our Director, Professor John Amaral, to discuss your program after reviewing the catalog information, you can reach him at 617-666-4839.
Back to top of page More about USSCM'S Distance Learning Music Diploma Program See Our Online Catalog . . .