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Is Music a Good Choice for a Major?

Debating on Taking Music as a Potential Degree Candidate

By Emily AbbeyPublished 6 years ago 3 min read

My Journey of Picking Music as My Major in College

In high school, I knew my passion was singing. I would look forward to chorus, I quit the cheerleading team to be in the musical and some of my favorite moments were when we would be waiting for rehearsal and we would start singing a cappella all in harmony and melody... it was beautiful.

I wanted to go to New York City, “The Big Apple” as they call it, in order to become a singer. At 18, cute and naïve, my mom would not let me go to NYC by myself, let alone I didn’t have $1000 a month to pay for rent.

I started applying to schools and since my passion was music I chose that as a backup plan and go to NYC every summer to try to get some gigs. I auditioned and made it into a nearby college. Yet I had enough financial aid to dorm and I really wanted to experience that.

I met new people, experienced new things, and was exposed to new cultures. That’s one thing college is good for: finding yourself. The first two years I worked at coffee shops trying to save enough to go to the city for the summers, yet I was still focused on getting good grades.

Instead of having you take all general education courses, they have music majors take the core classes the first two years. I wasn’t going to New York City during the summers, maybe I was scared but I knew I didn’t have enough to make it for a couple months and finding the reservations for a place rob stay was hard.

I wanted to try to search for a different major as the years went on I realized that music in general, not music education, gave me limited job prospects especially in my small town.

I couldn’t back out now since I didn’t take any general education courses my first two years but only core classes. Perhaps they do that in many schools for this major since people mature and realize half way throughout that they want a stable job after so much money being paid.

My advice is to take it as a minor if you aren’t going for music education. Or else you won’t be able to switch half way through because you would have had wasted 2 years taking core music classes.

I would also recommend taking theater as your minor if you like to be on stage. It’s good to experience the act of doing it—no pun intended—before going out into the real world. I realized I am kind of lazy when it comes to going to theater classes but I love to sing and act on stage.

Do what you love and love what you do and you won’t have to work a day in your life! I recommend being willing to travel to your dream job. Save up in order to pay rent there for a couple months. Secure a job in music teaching at a charter school if you don’t have your music education degree and only general music. Go out and apply to voice teaching or instrument teaching positions.

See what aspect of music you like the most. Is it therapy? Electronic? Performance? Teaching? And make sure you dip your toes into each to make sure. After all of my classes I know I love to sing and act on stage and I do fancy teaching... but I really don’t like mundane acting classes, and I don’t have a particular interest in electronic or therapy.

Everyone is different, but for me, music as my major really worked out as I graduated I have the opportunity to say I was trained in vocal performance for 3 years, am able to teach at charter schools, and I have a minor in theater in order to perform!

And now that I have just graduated what is in store for me is a great job that I will love doing, I won’t settle! Although I didn’t end up staying in NYC, that doesn’t mean I can’t teach there. There are also some opportunities to do lessons on the side or even performances on the side since the entertainment industry is booming over there! Plus, there are some schools that pay for you to get your masters degree while you teach in their school! I feel like I am giving away a precious secret!

I hope this article found you well and I hope that you can now see if music is the right major choice for you!


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    Emily AbbeyWritten by Emily Abbey

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