If there’s one question I have gotten more than anything else, it’s probably “Why are you so excited about a choral song?” Answer: Because it’s a Stephen Hatfield piece, duh.
Now, if there’s one question RELATED TO THIS BLOG that I’ve received the most, it’s “How can I know if a music major is right for me?” Answer: that’s a lot harder to figure out. However, there are some signs that you can look for to see if it’s something to consider. Five, to be precise!
You love music. You like listening to it! You like to perform it! If you do not actually truly love music, then baaaaail. Think about majoring in business or marketing – don’t major in something without career prospects unless you actually, truly love it.
You have cried over one of your pieces – in a good way! If music can move you to tears, that’s a pretty good sign you can at least consider a music major.
You look forward to lessons. If you have regular lessons, and look forward to them, that’s a good sign! You can, of course, be nervous about a piece or your teacher’s reaction, but in general, you should have a positive outlook! If going to lessons makes you feel sick, or if you’re just bored, you might want to figure out why before committing four years and a lot of money to essentially take constant music lessons.
You don’t mind hard work. Like, really. I talk about this a lot, but majoring in music requires a LOT of classes, a LOT of time, and a LOT of effort. If you can’t bring yourself to do that background research or harmonic analysis your teacher asked of you in high school, then you should work on that before going into music in college.
You can and do practice without external reminders. Practice is key. There is no one thing in college that you should be doing more regularly and with more attention than practicing, if you’re a music major. If you need someone to yell at you every twenty minutes for a couple hours before your actually get down to it and practice, then that’s gonna be a problem. Music majors need to be self-starters, even more so than most college majors. Your teacher will lecture you if you don’t practice, sure, but only once a week. If they have to lecture you every week, they will NOT be pleased with you come jury time, and most schools will only let you fail two juries before you have to either appeal or get dropped from the music program. Now, as long as you improve each semester, you won’t fail a jury, but improvement requires PRACTICE. So. Practice. If you do it, you should be okay. /rant.
Music is an amazing field, and one I’m super glad I got into. It requires effort, but as long as you’re willing to put that effort in, music will reward you. So good luck, and have fun!