Things I Didn’t Expect as a Freshman Music Major
The start of college is always a little nerve-wracking, and starting a music major can make it worse - what if people are better than you? Wait, what if you’re the BEST, what would that say about the program? What if you lose all motivation? WHAT IF THERE ARE SPIDERS IN THE PRACTICE ROOMS?I was worried about all of these things at one point or another, but there were definitely some things I wasn’t prepared for. Here’s some things that you might want to consider before you start school:
- Exactly HOW LONG the hours are. Seriously. You don’t really think about how long 12 hours are until you have something every hour for twelve in a row. Be prepared for that. It’s not completely unavoidable, but if you’re a music major, there’s a good possibility you want to join ensembles, and if you join too many then this will be your life. Speaking of which:
- The number of performing groups I’d end up in. I’m in my large ensemble choir, which is required, as well as a large student group, a small student group and two even smaller, very occasional jazz gig groups, as well as the opera production. My music binder is thicker than my textbooks. So many. So, so many.
- The sheer amount of music I’d learn each semester. I tabbed my sheet music today. With 2/3rd inch tabs, I went all the way down the sides of an 11 inch long page, ran out of room, and started from the top again. And that’s without a chunk of a capella music and any of my choir rep. Practice is a thing that I do much of.
- Planning for AFTER college. Wait, you mean, music school isn’t the end of the road? Huh. Hm. Uh. Guess I’ll… Do more music school? Yeah, that sounds good.
- The goodies in the computer lab. Our lab has really nice midi keyboards at every computer, Protools and Sibelius on every desktop, and access to dozens of music databases through the school library. If your school is similarly set up, make sure you try these things out!!
- The close-knit community. My school, at least, is a lot less clique-y then I was expecting. While certain majors are definitely closer to each other than other people, that’s more of a result of shared classes than anything else. There isn’t, as far as I’ve seen, any real inter-instrumental hate, or really any judgement of people at all. We all know each other too well for catty comments, because even if we did feel like making them, they’d get back to the person they were about within the week. It’s a family - slightly dysfunctional, but still a family.
This isn’t supposed to scare anyone, nor is it a shining call to Be A Music Major. It’s just some things to keep in mind so you don’t miss out or get blind-sided.