Shouldn't be Too hard? What? Do you think music is EASY? Well, it's not. In fact, I know several people who started off with the intentions of getting a music degree, and then switched majors because it was too hard! One of my friends switched from Music to English. Another from Music to Economics. Another from Music to Pharmacology, and yet another from Music to Nursing. Yeah~ Nursing. This is because -- get ready, here it comes -- MUSIC IS HARD.
I suppose that if someone really isn't aware of the intricacies of music, he or she would probably just assume that a Music Major gets to spend a lot of time singing or playing their instrument, write a few papers on Bach or Beethoven or Schubert, and perhaps perform in a recital or a concert, and so on and so forth. Wrong.
Actually, the only time I had to write on any composer was in my "Intro to Music/Music Appreciation" course, which is a Gen Ed course that all students take regardless of their major. While I do have to have a certain number of credits applied to group performance (such as the choir) and while it is highly recommended I take private instruction for either voice or an instrument, the HARD part comes down to two things: Theory and Musicianship.
Theory is the study of how music works. These are the basic "laws" of music. This included a plethora of terminology I have never even heard of and I've been singing and playing the piano since I was four! I mean, do YOU know what an Inverted Authentic Cadence is? Or how about the difference between an Augmented or Diminished chord? And what about those same chords in either first or second inversion? Yeah -- it's a little bit harder than just knowing where Middle C is on the piano or that one flat means you're in the key of F Major. I struggle with that class. It requires a ton of memorization and analytical homework. It is hard, and quite frankly, most of it I probably will not use after I graduate. But -- I have to learn it to get the degree.
What is even harder than Theory is Musicianship. Musicianship is handled in 2 parts: Sight-singing and Ear-training. This is a little trickier than learning to sing, "Doe, a deer, a female deer", although Solfege (do-re-mi) is required. Let me give you an example of the ear-training exams I have. These are what are known as "Dictation exams". The instructor will play a melody on the piano, usually around 8 bars or so. Without seeing what he has played, we then have to write down what we think we have heard. He then does the same with 3 and 4 part harmonies. I have to be able to write down the notes he's played in the correct sequence and rhythms without being able to watch him play it. For the sight-singing exams, we have about 1 minute to review 2 different pieces. Without being able to hear it, we must be able to determine if it's in a major or minor key, and then be able to sing it. We are graded on pitch and rhythm accuracy as well.
So yes, dear readers. Music is tough. I still love it and am determined to not let it discourage me. I love to write as well, which led to the decision to double-major. Sometimes I wish I could just write my way through college. Then, perhaps music wouldn't be so hard!