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Music Composition?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Strangelove, Oct 11, 2002.

  1. Strangelove


    Oct 29, 2001
    Hi. I'm currently a high school senior, and the big question is looming up too quickly...college. I have found that I really love playing, listening, and writing music, and I think I want to go for Music Composition as a major. But I have a million questions to ask before I get myself into this.

    First of all, will I need to audition? If so, can I audition with bass guitar? It's my main instrument, and I'd like it if I could use that instead of my far inferior skills on piano.

    Also, are there any schools in my state (Illinois) that have a bass guitar specialty?

    I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed, and any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!
  2. Joe Taylor

    Joe Taylor

    Dec 20, 2001
    Tracy CA
    Dependiong on which school you attend will determin if there is going to be an audition or not. Also, what groups you plan on trying to get into. At many schools there are groups that you can only get into by auditon. When I went to University back in 1968 I did an audition to get in to orchestra no big deal then because I played a lot and was an ok player differnt story today. I went to a JC after I got out of the USN and they had a big jazz band that had been togather for years-the same people keep signing up over and over, yes they were good but there was no way to get into that group which I thought at unfair because it was a class at the JC. I want to play but there were no auditions.

    Now finding a school where you can major in slab bass I have no clue. I'm sure if you look hard enough you can find something or a school might start a program for just you, That is more common than you think. The music department would wright up a program of study and you would finish it. You might have to do some talking but it can be done. (a school was going to do a special phd program for my wife but she was done with school by then if you know what I mean.)

    I almost forgot ask your music teacher about this stuff he or she would know what happening in your state.

    Follow your dream but you got to work hard to make it happen.

  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    At most schools, you'll need to audition not only on your instrument, but also present a composition portfolio of some sort to the composition faculty. At the time I decided to major in theory/composition, I was still a guitarist and the school I was going to actually had a guitar program. But I knew that the piano was really the greatest composing tool around, so I auditioned with piano as my principal instrument after a summer in the woodshed. At the time, I barely made it in, but I'm glad I did it that way because the piano skills I acquired over the next 7 years took me places I never could have gone otherwise, and were incredibly handy for theory/counterpoint/orchestration studies. Even if you find a place that lets you major in BG, I'd highly recommend building up your piano chops while you're in school.

    All instrumental questions aside, the decision to major in composition is not one that should be taken lightly - you have to LOVE writing music to do it, because you'll be required to write every week, and there's almost nothing worse than trying to FORCE yourself to write week after week. I highly advise seeking out someone who has been down the road you're contemplating before and picking their brain about what the experience was like... if possible, someone from the very school you are thinking of applying to. You may find out that it sounds like a great experience, or you may find that it sounds like hell. Either way, it won't hurt. Good luck.

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