Inside Micah Howard's Studio

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I am excited to tell you about the Double Bass Studio at Carnegie Mellon University. I love teaching at this great institution, and I look forward to every day I spend with our amazing students and faculty. What a great place to grow as a musician! I am not just talking about the education each student receives here – I am talking about the ongoing education I receive as well. 

This city is brimming with culture, and everyone at our school experiences that on a daily basis. Pittsburgh is home to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Opera and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, as well as other great institutions, such as the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble and Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Jazz. Students and faculty at our school have the privilege of working with all of the city’s world-class musicians and educators. 

Carnegie Mellon is a great place to study the double bass. We are dedicated to helping each and every student achieve his or her goals as a musician. Every week each student receives private lessons from me and participates in solo class, which I also teach. Peter Guild, another member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, teaches Orchestral Literature and Repertoire weekly. Additionally, we encourage each student to reach out to all of the great bassists in our area for lessons and direction.

Pittsburgh is brimming with great bassists from all of the city’s great ensembles who are more than willing to lend a helping hand. Every year members of the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Opera and the Ballet give classes and offer individual attention to our students. 

Carnegie Mellon also hosts many guest artists and pedagogues. For the last four years, we have held the Pittsburgh Double Bass Symposium, which brings together bassists of all ages and abilities. Our students are active participants, and we all look forward to this event every year.

The symposium is a one-day event with classes, recitals and exhibits. Recent guests include:

  • Tim Pitts, Rice University
  • Alex Hanna, Principal Bass of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Max Dimoff, Principal Bass of the Cleveland Orchestra
  • Nicholas Walker, Ithaca College
  • Kurt Muroki, Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University
  • And many more

For the past two years we have coordinated our Orchestral Literature and Repertoire class with Duquesne University, the Cleveland Institute of Music, Cleveland State University, and Oberlin Conservatory. At the end of each year, we hold auditions to select the best students from each school. These students then play for the faculty and students of all of the participating schools. This has been a great experience for all of us, and we look forward to continuing this well into the future. This is just another reason I love teaching here. 

I could go on and on about Carnegie Mellon. I hope this brief glimpse into all that we have to offer piques your interest, and moves you to learn more. Please feel free to contact me any time. I look forward to hearing from you