Monday, September 9, 2013

Like Calculus, With Sound

The semester started a couple of weeks ago, and once again, I'm back at it.  I'm sure I've already mentioned this - but for the sake of the post, I'll repeat that I'm a double major, pursuing both a degree in Music Education and English w/ an emphasis on Creative Writing.

A little pet peeve of mine:  When someone learns I'm studying music and they say, "Oh, that's nice", complete with synchronized nod of the head and half-smile.  Like they're saying "Oh, that's not hard at all", like they're poo-pooing it.

I asked a few non-music majors what they thought music majors did.  The most common responses I received were "learn to play an instrument" or "learn to sing".  Well, sort of.  However, the performance and pedagogy aspect are only a small aspect.

Pursuing both fields at the same time, I can tell you with 100% certainty, that pursuing a degree in music is waaaaaaaay harder than my English degree, AND there are about twice as many classes to take, as well as tons more out-of-class work required.

Studying music is extremely rigorous.  Did you know that prestigious law schools love music students?  It shows the student is dedicated and a hard worker.

The thing I least enjoy (and usually what makes or breaks the music major) is THEORY!  Blah.  But, I get it; one must understand the rules before he/she can successfully break the rules.  To give you an idea of how difficult theory is...

... yeah, it's like calculus, but with sound - and that's just from semester 1.

I still remember my first day of Theory I.  There were about 30 students crammed into a little space.  Standing room only.  Day 2, there were half.  I counted.  Half the students had dropped after taking one look at the syllabus.  Guess, they figured out it was more than learning Do-Re-Mi.  By week 2, there were 10 of us, and by the drop-deadline, there were 7.

Fast forward to Theory II.  We started with those same 7 and ended with 7.  Theory III, only 5 of us showed up.  Turns out, 2 of the ones that finished Theory II didn't get the required grade to move on and had to repeat.  Fast forward again to Theory IV. There were 3.  2 of us graduated in May with our Associates, and 1 (me), with honors. This is tough stuff!

I will say, there were nights I cried over theory homework.

Each time I pass a music class, I feel validated and I know that there is a reason I am doing this.

Because I am pursuing a Bachelor's of Music Education, I have an additional 13 or so classes more than the traditional music student.

Luckily, for me, I figured out a long time ago (through subbing) that I LOVE teaching, and I especially love conducting choir.    I also found that I love learning.  Some days I get ahead of myself and begin to contemplate possible dissertations for my Ph.D.!!!  Whoa, Nellie!  Simmer down now.  It's going to be a while just to complete my Bachelor's!

So remember, the next time someone tells you they're going into music (and if you can't talk them out of it), don't poo-poo them.  Think: "Calculus, with sound" and then offer them your condolences along with your encouragement.  :)


KiennaP said...

Well I find it very impressive that you haven't given up! That'd be cool if one day you ended up teaching me in English or in Choir when I'm older. Just know that you're doing great - this is one proud daughter!

Bill said...

Where's the "Like" button?

okeydokeyifine said...

So by the time you are ready to proceed...your daughter will be the school principal and your job will be a shoe-in, right?

okeydokeyifine said...

So by the time you are ready to proceed...your daughter will be the school principal and your job will be a shoe-in, right?