and keep your music at a respectable level

re·al·i·za·tion

noun

The moment of sudden clarity when feelings are finally recognized, or are made aware for the first time.


It hit you one random afternoon in the studio, a soft beat filling the silence in the small, dimly lit room as you curled up even more snugly into Yoongi’s blanket on the black leather sofa. His back faced towards you, bits of his blueish black hair sticking out from beneath his black beanie, his head bobbing slightly to the beat as he clicked away on his mouse. From the side, you could see the black mask tucked under his chin with one strap behind each ear, his fair skin strikingly pale due to the contrast with his dark clothing and onyx eyes. He chewed on his bottom lip in concentration, mumbling softly to himself as his other hand fiddled around with the different controls on his sound board. He was in the zone, as per usual, and over the course of the past few months, you’d come to learn very quickly that he did not appreciate being bothered while he was in this state. Just like the very first time you’d met in your composition class.

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What’s So Hard About Being a Music Major

(Subtitle: “Oh, I thought about majoring in Music, but I decided I wanted something less easy.”)

(Sub-subtitle: How to rebut people who think music isn’t work)

So sometimes, people can assume that music is easy. Anyone can sing, after all, right? It’s just tapping/rubbing/breathing through something, right? How can classes on that be hard?

Well, they are. They are hard. Here’s the lowdown on why being a music major is something worthy of knighthood (or at least fewer side-eyes at the holidays, Aunt Carol).

  • Sheer number of classes. I’ve taken, on average, 8.5 classes a semester while I’ve been in college. To a high school student, that sounds like average, or maybe a little high - however, that is TWICE the number of classes you need to be normally considered a full time student! They get away with it by considering a lot of classes only one or two credits, leaving me to take an average of 20 credits for those 8/9 classes. This equals 20 hours of in-class time per week. The problem is…
  • The amount of work assigned for those classes! When every class has readings due by the next class period, and you have four or five classes a day, plus three papers to write, plus a quartet to orchestrate, plus a recorded Aural Skill assignment, what you get is three hours of homework some nights on top of the five hours you spent in lectures. 3 hours of homework, four nights a week, is another 12 hours of stuff each week. Then you add in…
  • Essentially mandatory extra-curriculars. Sure, being in that extra ensemble isn’t required. However, the winners of the concerto competition the past four years have been in that ensemble, so you feel a little superstitious and join it. Then you realize it’s probably not good to have no small groups on your music CV for grad school, so you join one or two of those. Boom. There’s 7 hours of rehearsal a week, right there. Then add in the six or so concerts you’re expected to attend, and that averages out to another 1 hour per week over the course of the semester.
  • Practice time!! Oh right, your actual instrument! As a performance major, I’m expected to practice 24 hours a week on my repertoire (!!!). However, because I am not super-human, I usually manage about 8 singing hours and 4 reading hours.
  • Length of the average day. A lot of music major classes are put at 8 am. I don’t know why. A lot of rehearsals run until 9 or 10 pm, just because we have SO MUCH OTHER STUFF TO DO! Fourteen hour long days aren’t fun, kids.
  • No weekends. The thing with being a music major is that most concerts end up being on the weekends. A concert that you’re performing in is also known as “a really good way to prevent yourself from doing social things that weekend.” Furthermore, in order to realistically get in all your expected practice time, you should really practice at least once each weekend. I don’t see HR majors putting aside two hours every weekend to practice their hiring chops. (Sorry HR majors.)
  • No social life. If you don’t have weekends, and you often don’t have evenings, you don’t have a booming party life. I hope you like your roommates and the people in the music department.
  • Incredibly high level of competition. Once you graduate, unfortunately, you are going to have to keep pulling LONG hours and working your tail off if you want to become the best of the best. Musicians accidentally undercut each other sometimes because we all love what we do, and therefore will do it for peanuts. That means that to get paid decently, you need to be REALLY GOOD.
  • Little EXTERNAL reward. People don’t respect the title of “musician” the way they do “doctor” or “accountant.” They aren’t going to nod and say good job. Good thing music is there for you!
  • Requires ENDLESS dedication. Seriously, after all of the above, you NEED to need music like air if you’re going to keep at it. And/or just be a stubborn mule who is GOING to keep going, even when that passion for music seems to fade a little.

So. Being a music major is work. It really is. If you love music, though, don’t let this scare you off! Some people have a taste for this kind of labor - don’t fail to at least attempt it just because it seems like a lot.

To all you music majors and prospective music majors out there: I commend you!

TRNDSTTR (Lucian Remix)
Black Coast
TRNDSTTR (Lucian Remix)

New York synthpop act Black Coast (aka Stan Rapoport), a new artist to the scene, has exactly one original track on his SoundCloud, and it is already making waves on the internet. Talk about getting off on the right foot (wtf is that expression btw, is one of my feet wrong?). “TRNDSTTR” (featuring vocalist M. Maggie), remixed by fellow NY producer Lucian, has a captivating, booming bass line that will take several listens to fully digest. 

Recommendation: After running to your respective mode of transportation that takes you to your respective place of occupation, put this song on to warm yourself up. Dance as well if it keeps you from reaching hypothermic levels. IT’S SO COLD.

"Milkshake" Singer Kelis Opens Pop-Up Restaurant

Singer Kelis Rogers—known to most as Kelis—made a name by singing about her milkshake bringing all the boys to the yard. Now, the New York-born songstress is making a foray into a different kind of food: fine cuisine. Rogers’s first pop-up restaurant will be hitting London in July, and while some might be surprised by hit maker’s move into food, the Cordon Bleu-trained chef is determined to prove her culinary passion and prowess to the world.

After selling six million records around the globe and snagging a Grammy Award nomination in the process, Rogers decided to step away from the stage and into the kitchen. “Cooking school revolutionized everything in my life,” she says in an interview The Guardian. “I had spent four years tied to a label I hate, which was like an arranged marriage. I felt exhausted, under appreciated and really disrespected and it sucked.”

Though Rogers grew up around food—her mother ran a catering business in Harlem—she spent 10 years in the music industry after signing her first record deal at 17. However, following her release from her contract in 2008, Rogers knew she wanted to get back to her roots and the food she was raised on. The singer graduated from the Cordon Bleu in 2009, but after an unexpected pregnancy and divorce, she turned back to the music industry to pay the bills. “Everything was upside down and I didn’t know how to support myself through food yet,” she says. In 2014 she released an album aptly named, “Food,” which included songs such as “Breakfast,” “Jerk Ribs,” “Biscuits and Gravy,” and “Cobbler.”

Soon, she resubmerged herself into the food world and wrote a cookbook titled “My Life on a Plate: Recipes From Around the World,” which was released last year. Now her kitchen skills are being tested on a much more public space: her own restaurant. Rogers will be collaborating with the cooking duo behind the London restaurant Le Bun to open a pop-up eatery that will run though July. Then, she’ll be taking her menu on the road to a variety of U.K. based festivals.

The chef, who is best known for her hit about another food entirely, will serve up juicy pork flanks and blackened pineapples, in a mission to prove her cooking abilities to the world. “Keeping things super balanced, bringing together flavors I’ve experienced from all over the world, is what I think makes me stand out as a chef,” she says. “There’s also something so aggressive about music—it attacks your ears even when you don’t want to listen—whereas food is the total opposite. Food is a choice and I think because of that, there’s a certain level of respect that has to go into it.”

septiplier for markimoo-jackarooney, it’s not much but I hope you like it?

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As he music started up, Jack pressed his forehead against Mark’s, grinning as he murmured, “Keep your hands up where they belong, mister, my gran doesn’t want to see you grabbin’ my arse.”

“My hands are at a perfectly respectable level,” insisted Mark, squeezing Jack’s waist teasingly, “for this occasion.  Once we get to the hotel, on the other hand–”

He kissed the Irishman deeply, dipping him downwards to emphasize his words.  The crowd behind them cheered and clapped as he brought his lover back up, smirking like a child.

“Mark fucking Fischbach,” Jack hissed, taking his hand and leading the dance, “if you think you can get away with kissing me like that, you’ve got another thing comin’.”

“You didn’t seem to mind it when we said our vows,” he hummed happily, his movements as precise as ever, “and by the way, it’s Mark McLoughlin, now.”