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Music Ed Major- College- no "steam" left

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by scorpionldr, Apr 10, 2006.


  1. So yea, I'm a "music education major" playing sax (and now I don't know WHAT I would like to play). Or at least that's what I've been working with. I came to WPU in Jersey from a small community college (also in Jersey). Around the third or fourth semester, I had my doubts of whether I'd get out with all the theory and ear training and onto "bigger better things." I've spent two semesters in this new place. Two, of which have caused me now, thanks to the "seemless transfer system" (seems like I carried the role of less than a music major, and oddly enough, I majored my associates in just that) to lose a year's worth of theory and ear training work and all of two years of lessons in piano and sax, which I have to make up now.
    I really love the lack of standardization across the board within the system, because now I get to drink excessively and question my future because all the while I've been here, it's been nothing but work (which to a degree it should be), and I feel like I'm in a hole socially, mentally, and musically. That and the fact I get to hear from especially rich 18 year olds "you should be playing 8-10 hours a day; my aunt and uncles which are both extremely accomplished music majors used to do that" on a regular basis, when between full days of class and the work I have to do on the side, I hardly find the will in the day to play for TWO. My sax teacher is a professed pompous ******* who on a regular day will find about 5 things for open range criticism, and it doesn't help that the first semester I was so consumed with spending all other times than the lesson day inebriated, so I'm fighting constantly to rise above in order to pass my NEW FRESHMAN JURY. He's an OK guy, he tries to put a bit of confidence on my shoulders, but that's once in a blue moon. So far, at about the age of 22, as I'm working through things, the only place I'm finding my own peace of mind is with my band, "The Bludgeoning" (www.myspace.com/thebludgeoningnj I'm playing bass), and even that is diminishing before my eyes as everything is much more complicated with distance set between the three of us (although we have a few perks, like the recording session the week after easter, so i guess things might get better with that).

    I find it difficult to want to wake up nowadays as I have literally lost it. I'm so far in that I can't leave it, and I'm so far out, that I can't even contemplate how I will survive four more years of college. I've went from 190 to 260-270 in the course of three years. I study noise now. There's hardly an outlet for rock in this school as there's lines drawn everywhere between the "jazz vs classical saga" and the music management and sound engineers.
    What would you do?
     
  2. Drinking is your real problem. Stop completely right now forever.

    Practicing by yourself for more than 4 hours in a single day is probably useless. 2 hours is more than plenty if you’re completely sober, practicing smart, and using your time efficiently.

    Teachers are supposed to find things wrong with your playing. Your teacher might not be giving you the tools you need to get better. Or it might just be that you and your teacher aren’t a good fit for each other. This is important.

    A formal music education may not be for you. Ask yourself whether you want to do this, and if you can’t answer in the positive, then make plans to get out/change major/do what you WANT to do. You’re not “in too deep,” as you can always drop out and get a job to pay the bills and whatever debt you have.

    Rigidity is the hallmark of institutionalized education – the arts and humanities are no exception. It is possible to continue your education, and glean what you can from it without succumbing to thinking of music solely in terms of standardized labyrinthine nomenclature, unable to enjoy it. But you have to make the effort to retain that and expose yourself to music that hasn’t been studied into the ground.
     
  3. Don't_Fret

    Don't_Fret Justin Schornstein

    Dec 10, 2003
    NY
    Hey, man. I'm at Willy P this year, too. PM me if you need some help or just want to talk.
     
  4. well, as for the drinking, compared to last semester I'm pretty tame nowadays....but SH!T I gotta cut back on how much I do in terms of the rare occurrances that I get a chance to.

    I'm thinking two hours a day is probably good.....it's just with all this ensemble work I got (I used to do 4 hours a day between individual practice, and 2 ensembles). I quickly found that sober is the way to go on dedicated practice....I'm very confused as of late as my teacher seems to mean well, but places his expectations overly high (for all students of his), and a lot of the time I'm finding I feel sorta trapped under ice with it....on the other hand, there's this other sorta layed back lacksidaisical teacher (who has oddly enough been trained by the same teacher as my current prof). A formal education in music might actually NOT be for me, but it'll sure as hell put food on the table in the long run. I live for music, but I can't let myself live in this dream land of "oh, I'm gonna get signed one day man, and then I'll leave you F***ers in the dust" (no matter how much I want that) and that's one of the reasons why I continue: music is better than no music at all. Anyone can get a job as security in AC around me, but I would rather be touring or earning the degree; no halfway point. As for the "in too deep" part...there's a lot that I've went through that I'm not just willing to throw away.
     
  5. aarono

    aarono

    Feb 14, 2006
    Minnesota
    Pull the hell out of college right now!

    I'll point you to an interesting thread from another bass guitar forum, it deals with college and your issue. Pay special attention to Jode (guy with oversized skull avatar), he reinforces what I think and I believe it's an ideal lost in today's mentality of "college=required right away!".

    http://www.musicplayer.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/ubb/get_topic/f/5/t/014329.html

    Man should never be subjected to something he doesn't want to for a period of time he doesn't want to endure. (That felt powerful, put that in your signatures, cause damn that was powerful :) ).
     
  6. He basically said for himself that he put the cart before the horse with the entire college deal and let things ride him. I understand that. But where do I go if I have college out of my life? Finding some house where I can pay rent working at the local shoprite and getting baked in my spare time?? Don't get me wrong, I would get out if I had some more definition to my life, but right now I have no support for doing what I WANT to do because musically, I come from a pretty barren area, and I'm in one oddjob band (check out the link for an idea....), with two other guys in the same boat as me that are equally as busy. I honestly think if I were to quit now, that I'd end up working full time retail for several years until I got to where I want to be.

    Oh, and yea, my parents, like others, hold the strong belief of either teaching or performing. Every direction I turn seems to be wrong.
     
  7. aarono

    aarono

    Feb 14, 2006
    Minnesota
    The choice is yours, give alot of thought to it. I'd rather enjoy life instead of slaving through years of something I don't wish to go through to perhaps get something good at the end.

    If you know there is a prize at the end of the tunnel and you're up for the challenge, go for it. But what's at issue here is the fact you probably don't want to see another class for a few years, you probably feel like you don't belong there anymore. It's like staying with your girlfriend who you absolutely hate just to have the opportunity of maybe getting her rich uncle's inheritance money.

    Alot of people wouldn't be where they want to be if they didn't leave their comfort zone.

    And remember the military is never a bad choice. If you have any majors yet (I can't remember your full post), you have great chance of starting out as an officer.
     
  8. I would really like to thank you for putting things into a bit of a perspective for me. Perhaps there is no light at the tunnel. I don't know. What I DO know is that college has made me more of a sadistic and bitter being than I already am, tenfold. The parties, the girls, the booze, all added up to nothing. And a lot of the time, in this area, I find myself alone. I think there will be a time for me to step outside of my comfort zone, but closing this semester is the first task at hand.

    I have an associates degree, but I don't think I'll join the military anytime soon, as we have such a great president (hints of sarcasm). I will most likely take this summer as an opportunity to see if I can get my project out of the basement and across the states to see just how many people can dig us, which will dictate exactly what I would want to do in the fall.
     

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