Confessions of a Former Music Major

by Katelynn Barnes 2 years ago in college

My Experience With Studying Music in College

Confessions of a Former Music Major

I played flute from sixth grade to my senior year and I loved it. I performed in a highly recognized band in my area. I have five All Regions under my belt and even got promoted to playing piccolo my junior year and flute section leader my senior year. I really thought being a musician was made for me and committed to studying instrumental education in college. That's where I made my first mistake.

Instead of going to a four year college, I chose to get my basics out of the way at my local community college. Now I don't regret the memories and experiences that helped me grow. I got to meet new people and I had the amazing opportunity to join the choir—a choice I didn't see me making at first. I had always been an instrumentalist but I ended up loving it. So the experiences were worth it but I regret it because it put me in a deficit when I decided to transfer due to a lack of private flute credits.

My second regret involves one of the teachers. My sight singing teacher was awful. He was rude and would purposely make my fellow peers cry. His teaching was less than pare. Around the time I was in his class, I was hit with an emotional situation that involved my mom. It worked out alright but it was enough to shake me up and I decided to spend the weekend making memories with her. That meant I didn't practice a whole lot and the teacher had the nerve to tell me my degree was more important than my family. That was a turning point for me and it's when I realized that maybe it wasn't meant for me.

All the struggles emotionally that I endured trying to achieve my degree all weakened my spirit but didn't completely destroy it. However, the moment I realized my hard work meant nothing delivered the final blow. The college I wanted to transfer to told me I would have to complete four years worth of flute lessons. Something they didn't even include on the class list for instrumental education. Applied Major? I wasn't majoring in flute. I wanted to teach music. That's it. With that thinking, how was I supposed to know? The main director was willing to help me complete my backed up flute lessons over the summer, but the flute director was not and delivered her opinion about it in a very condescending manner. That was the moment I lost my passion for it.

Playing my flute lost all meaning. The happy feeling was infected. It turned into a sad thing. Shortly after I decided to say goodbye to my dream, I got the heartbreaking news that my Papaw on my dad's side passed away.

Due to the friction between my paternal family members and myself, I didn't get to say goodbye. The funeral tore me to pieces and I said goodbye to the fragile man who once loved my music.

It's been a little over two years since I turned my back on being a music major and so I still can't bring myself to pick up my flute. I know one day I will revisit my former passion and when I do, I know I'll feel that happy feeling again. I lost myself in trying to earn a degree and in the process, I lost my passion for music.

My advice for anyone pursuing a music degree is: Just remember to love yourself. You're degree is important, but it's not that important. It's not worth neglecting those you love and it's not worth losing that passion you have.

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Katelynn Barnes

Honestly, I don't figure I'll be here much. My mental health is at a low, my family has since been hit with devastating news, and to be honest...I'm not really seeing the results I expected. So I'm walking away for a bit to focus on me...


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