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Pursuing music in college

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by shkinnyBOB, Mar 10, 2003.

  1. As a junior in high school, I have been really considering what to major in at college and have pretty much decided on music. I was just wanting to hear from other music majors about what to expect and what kind of opportunities are there for music majors. I was also wanting to know about the specific areas that one can major in. Also, I know a little music theory, not much, but I was wondering if I should maybe take some theory lessons before starting college or should I not waste my money because it will all be taught very thoroughly in college. Thanks, any comments will be helpful
  2. jitsoa33

    jitsoa33 Guest

    Mar 10, 2003
    lafayette, ca

    which one should i respond in?
  3. Like I said, any information would be helpful, but the main thing is about the opportunities coming out of college as a music major (particularly a bass player)
  4. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    If you want to be successful as a music major in college, you'd better be a pretty accomplished musician by the time you leave high school. That means theory, sight-reading, technique, the whole bit. The competition is stiff, and you'll just be left blowing in the weeds if you don't come prepared.

    My favorite music grad? Nathan East, who graduated from UC San Diego.

    A lot of music majors end up as high-school teachers, some end up as professional classical musicians in an orchestra somewhere, others, like Nathan, become session musicians and side-men. Don't assume you'll make a lot of money. If you become a first-call session player, though, you can get up into that six-figure bracket.
  5. Choosing music as a major is a chitzy enterprise. You got to know your stuff back, front, 3/4 left, right, upside down, inverted and inside-out.
    And even then you might not get in.

    Competition for majors, especially at prestigious colleges (and many 2nd tier ones), is very stiff, and if you mess up even a bit you could get cut.

    Also, the stuff they teach in college is some upper echelon (sp?) theory. If you don't have a good understanding of basic theory you'll be lost.

    Both my friends are applying for music majors at Berklee and UMass, and there's a whole bunch of auditions/formailities you need to go through. So, unless you're very dedicated to music, I would suggest having it as a minor, or just as a hobby.
  6. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Let me just say this Out of Experience. Get as much education pre-college as possible. You have to audition to be a music major, and need a lot of the basics to be understood already. I wasn't able to make it because I didn't know enough yet... :rolleyes: Because we all know, we love to go to college and pay thousands of dollars to learn things we already know. :rolleyes:
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think music is probably unique in many ways as a subject of study - so you have to get a lot of things "under your belt" - like scales, chords etc And a college teacher can't necessarily "teach" you this - you just have to practice a lot to get these sort of things in your head.

    So - I would imagine that you would need to know, for example - what a major chord and a minor chord sound like as a prerequisite - now it is a waste of time for a college tutor to sit there with a whole class playing examples of different chords over and over - this is something you have to do on your own and get "in your head" - same with scales, intervals etc .

    You have to do the basics of music on your own and only then can you learn more at college - it is like trying to teach English Literature to a class of illiterates. There is no point teaching them about semiotics or the subtelties of Shakepeare's sonnets if they can't even read a single word of it. :rolleyes:

    Same with music - if you don't know the "language" as a prerequisite, then there is no point in taking the course!!
  8. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Nathan East graduated from UCSD? That's cool thats where I am now and will be finishing in June.

    From what I've seen though UCSD's music department is a complete joke. Aside from having some figurehead's the vast majority of the "performances" that seem to happen are of the "contemporary" sort. This basically means that while it apparently has so much depth, meaning and importance you could not tell if it was being played by master musicians or a group of two year olds with instruments. Maybe I just don't "get it" but the classes I've been too and the performances I've seen are pretty awful for the most part.

    I've seen quite a few music students from my school perform and frankly I don't think you need to know much at all to contend with some of them. That's just been my personal, although fairly recent, experience.
  9. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    You know what is weird Munji?

    I know this is going to seem really strange.

    You were in my dream the other night. The only part you were in was when I mysteriously surfaced in some huge body of water, and I had no idea where I was. But there was this bearded guy in a boat not far from me. I swam to it and I "recognized" that it was you. You were like this wise sagely being and didn't speak but you didn't "need to" to impart your wisdom. :D It was really weird...I have no idea why you of all people would appear like that. I guess this just shows I spend way too much time on talkbass.
  10. PolkaHero

    PolkaHero Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2002
    If you're going to major in music education with a minor in performance, fine. You'll be able to earn a living then.

    If you're going to major in performance with nothing to fall back on, well, lots of luck to you. Unless you're practically a genius on your respective instrument/voice, it will be very difficult to make a comfortable living by only performing. Harsh, but true.