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Last May, I graduated from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY with a B.S. in Music Education. Saint Rose has a very general percussion program, but jazz has always been my favorite so I went out of my way to work on that while getting my degree (not always an easy task when you're supposed to be focusing on classical percussion!). That's why I went to the Delaware workshop this summer too.

Before graduating, I did a lot of research on masters programs that include vibraphone study. Finding those programs is NOT an easy task! I searched all over the US and even tried finding schools in Canada and Europe. It took a LONG time, but finally I came up with this little list:

1) SUNY Purchase (Ted Piltzecker is there as "contributing faculty" right now)
2) University of Maryland (Chuck Redd)
3) Five Towns College (Bryan Carrott)
4) Capital University (summer program in Jazz Pedagogy; Nate Anders teaches vibes lessons)
5) University of the Arts (Tony Miceli)
6) Queens College (Christos Rafalides)

If anyone has anything to add to this list, please do. I had absolutely NO luck finding vibes professors in Canada, and the only ones I discovered in Europe were Thomas Dobler in Switzerland and of course David Friedman in Germany. There have to be more than six in the US, and more than two in all of Europe!

Personally, I am looking for absolutely any program that allows opportunity for vibraphone study. Ideally, I would like to go to school in France while working part-time as an English teacher through a certain government program. I speak French, so language isn't an issue. If that doesn't work out, I'd like to find a school in Canada or something...

So anyway, ANY information on any schools, but particularly those in France, Canada, NOLA, or another francophone region would be great. Right now I am working as an AmeriCorps*VISTA, which is kind-of like the Peace Corps but only in the US. I'll probably do this for two years and then try for the French program after that. This is convenient because I'm in Albany right now and am able to wake up at the crack of dawn each morning to practice vibes at Saint Rose before starting work. Gotta keep those chops up! I can't afford a vibraphone yet, so having one so close by is really great. I haven't decided what my ultimate career goal is yet, but I know I want to keep playing vibes, so going to a school where I can take lessons is a must.

All you francophone vibists, I really want to hear from you on this post. Est-ce que vous avez les informations pour moi? Merçi en advance pour ton aide!


tonymiceli Wed, 10/12/2011 - 23:10

ha ha ha. of course i would love that and hope you choose that.

but to be on a site like this i would have to acknowledge that you have some great choices there!! christos is great, of course david is great. you left off berkely which of course has a great vibe department with ed and dave and others.

i always tell students this:

new york is the best place to study music. because it's new york. now that being said there are a lot of reasons not to go to new york to study. money being one of them, lots of people being the other. for some people that's not worth it.

so next i always say, you should try and study somewhere where you'd be ok living since you'll be spending two years in grad school and also networking around town. so pick a town with a good music scene, a scene where you think you could be a part of. for me i always thought of new york, philadelphia and chicago. i thought they were scenes i'd love to be in. i stayed in philly.

then you also have to consider the teacher. you have to have a teacher you feel good about. and if you have a 'more famous' teacher you have to make sure that you're going to get your lessons spread out over a semester. not all in one week. get it? if the teacher is playing all over the world all the time. good for them of course and not so good for you. you won't get weekly lessons. now a days that's less of a problem. players like that who are teachers work it all out and run out on wed and come back on sunday.

there are some good vibe's teachers in colleges and in a way you start splitting hairs when you choose one. so listen to them, and see which ones styles you like the most.

my 2 cents!

Jdoubleday Thu, 10/13/2011 - 00:41

Unfortunately Berklee doesn't have a masters program, but you can go to New England Conservatory and study with Berklee teachers I believe. Stefon Harris teaches at NYU right now and is one of the most amazing teachers I've ever met. I'm pretty sure that places like Manhattan School of Music and New School have deals where they can pay for you to travel somewhere and get a lesson. You could probably go to any school in NYC and take lessons from whoever you want. If money is an issue, I would just pick a small school in NYC and study with Stefon and do some serious networking.

I think the private teachers are important, but you really want to make sure you are around other people that can and want to play. I feel like most of the things I learn are from playing with other people and figuring things out. I like to think that the large majority of what there is to learn about improvisation isn't instrument specific.

It can be really hard to do anything though if you don't have a vibraphone. I have some friends that don't own one and they have a lot of trouble with things. Try getting a gig and telling the person that you don't have a vibraphone that you can use!

Philippe Mace teaches in France and I hear he is a great teacher too.

I hope this helps!

-Joe Doubleday

Marie-Noëlle Thu, 10/13/2011 - 04:38

Bonjour Carolyn!

I'm sure you'll get some help from here about studdying the vibraphone in France. Here is what I can tell you so far, from the teachers I know:

- PHILIPPE MACE : Philippe is among our active members and faculty here. He already posted a few lessons/videos. He was with us in Sassenheim last year where I first met him. He teaches in Paris and I heard great things about him. You can get in contact directly with him as I'm sure he will soon read this post (if not I'll remind him!). Here is his myspace page: . Now you can also get in touch with one of his former students: Illya Amar (a member here too).

- DAVID PATROIS : I don't know him in person but I know he's among the greatest in France. Not sure if/where he teaches. But here is his website: . I think you could also get better info and feelings through Nico Farrugia (member here) who knows him.

- FRANCK TORTILLER : Franck is another top vibist in France. I met him more than once and truly enjoy his playing. I'm not sure he's teaching on a regular bassis these days. He recently worked and composed for an ensemble of young percussionists. So if not as a teacher, you might get to work with him as director on a project some day. Here is his website:

- EMMANUEL SEJOURNE : Emmanuel is another "French Master". But he's more dedicated to contemporary music than jazz. I'm in contact with him once in a while: a very pleasant person. He wrote a few important pedagogic books, composed many pieces, and to my knowledge is working in Strasbourg Conservatoire (a great French city for percussion). You can listen to him just typing his name on Youtube. Here is his website:

I'm surely forgetting some. But this is at least so far what I know. Don't hesitate to get bak to me, if you need more info, contacts, or whatever.

Good luck... and maybe see you one of these days in France!

- M

ed saindon Thu, 10/13/2011 - 08:34

Hi, we just heard at our percussion department meeting at Berklee yesterday that the school is hoping to have a Masters Program in Performance in place by 2012. I just thought I would throw it out there. The school did have a Masters Program for a short period in conjunction with neighboring college Boston Conservatory. Unfortunately, that didn't work out.

It's a pretty good bet that there will be a Masters Program at some point, but it's not guaranteed that it will be in place by 2012. The program has to be approved by the NEASC which has stringent requirements that colleges have to meet in order to get approved. Berklee also will have a Masters Program at their affiliated campus in Valencia, Spain. I'm sure we'll be finding out more information as things progress. Ed

c.stallard22 Thu, 10/13/2011 - 11:13

Thanks guys for all your great insights; keep 'em coming!

Joe: Although I don't have a vibraphone, I have very consistent access to one. Saint Rose is literally a five minute walk from my apartment, and no one is there at 6 AM so I've been able to get a few solid hours in almost every day without a hitch so far. The director even gave me a key so I can get into the room when it's closed! As for gigs, I've borrowed instruments from the school in the past so I don't think that will be a problem if anything ever comes up. Honestly my biggest issue right now is finding people who want to play...

Tony: I'd love to come study with you! Philly is such a cool city and UArts is definitely my top choice in the US right now. I'm probably going to do AmeriCorps for two years so I can save up more money and then if France doesn't work out, I'll definitely be coming your way in 2013! Do you give out grad assistantships or anything? That would really help me out. Also, fyi everything you mentioned to me about playing and grad schools and UArts and all that at the workshop has stuck in my mind, and it's really helping me stay motivated to keep waking up at the crack of dawn. So thanks!

Marie-Noelle: Merçi pour ton aide! That was really helpful, and if you think of anyone else please let me know. J'espére nous pouvons rejoindrons en France! :)

Emilie Sat, 10/15/2011 - 19:06


I'm in Canada actually (Sherbrooke, Qc) and study with André Cayer.
He's a great vibes jazz player (classique and contemporain too), and he teaches jazz arrangement and jazz improvisation too ... Nice teacher, Nice place (school open 24/24 to practice!)! But Sherbrooke is a little town, you have to go to Montréal to see more music show, or musical activities..
If you want to know more about André or the University of Sherbrooke, you can email him :

waxpoetic Thu, 07/05/2012 - 04:15

Everyday I feel incredibly fortunate to be a student at Capital. Nate is a fantastic teacher and the percussion facilities are top notch. I know it's probably a little late by now but I had to throw in my two cents!