7 Helpful Tips Every Music Major Needs to Know

Two female students playing the piano

For music lovers, music is a passion. It's a way of life.  Life is defined by the music playing in the background of their story.

If you are more than a "listen to it" kind of a fan of music, you might want to focus your studies and eventually your career around your passion for music. 

Parents or adults might question the value of being a music major. How will you get a job? Will you make any money?

For music majors, it is more than about the money, it is about the love and passion for music. If you plan to study music, consider these 7 helpful tips for being a student of music. 

1. Prepare for a Different Kind of Course Work

The study of music might not work in the same manner as the study of education or engineering. The classes might be planned out differently for your degree.  There are methods courses connected to your music degree. There are also specialized courses for the instrument of your musical ability. 

For instance, you might study classical piano. You might need private lessons. You might need to be a part of some ensemble groups. Obviously, you would need rehearsal times. There may be built in "lab" times as part of your course work where you will work on your music with others or have supervised rehearsals with professors. 

Music major classes will cover a wide array of theory and practice so be prepared for a full schedule as a music student. 

2. Heavy Credit Load

In addition to all of your music requirements, music students still need to meet their school's general education requirements. This is true for all majors in college, whether you study math, music or communications, etc. 

Universities want to create well-rounded students. You will be required to take course work in subjects beyond music. Schools want their students to be good writers, to have basic skills in math and science beyond their major area of study.

How does this impact a music major? Beyond your music classes and rehearsal times, you will have to build into your schedule time for this course work. You are likely, because of the heavy load with rehearsals, to have a very full schedule. 

3. Rehearsal Time is Homework

 If you have played a musical instrument for any amount of time, you know the cornerstone to success is practice. This holds true for the study of music as a student too.

You will need to learn to build in practice times around all your other requirements. Treat it like your other homework.

If you have a history class that gives you six hours of reading a week, you set aside six hours. Your piano theory class will require you to show your proficiency in a way beyond paper and pencil. This requires you set aside "study time" or practice time the same way you would for more traditional classes. 

4. Focus, Tenacity, and Passion

 Like anything you want to be good at, music requires focus and dedication. It really teaches the fundamentals of dedication.

Music students are crazy busy students. Unlike some students pursuing a career, for music students, they are following a passion

Music students understand the life skills of practice, dedication, competition, and focusing on a goal. If you are chasing your dream as a music student, you are learning many valuable life skills beyond the specifics of your music. 

5. Hone Other Skills Too

 As if you aren't busy enough as a music student, don't forget you will need some other skills when you leave college. 

If you plan to pursue music as a performer, you will need some skills in marketing and management. You will likely need some business acumen to manage your career, think contracts and negotiating.

Use some of your general education courses to help you hone other skills that will help you in your career as a musician. It is important to use this time as a student to further those skills at the same time your further your music studies. 

6. Think A Little About Employability

It is likely you have music professors who while they teach are also professional musicians. Make connections by networking with people who are already doing what you aspire to do. Watch closely and learn what it takes to be a professional in the music industry. Make that a part of your education too.

Also, consider the vast arena of music-related majors and careers. While you might be going to college to pursue music, there might be a career related to music you have not considered. College is the time to learn and find opportunities you might not have known about before. 

There a long list of career possibilities related to music you might consider as a way to follow your passion for music.

7. Pursue Opportunities to Grow

Music majors will have a long list of opportunities to perform and to showcase your talents. Look for ways to practice your art and further skill.

You might be able to play for a theater production. You might be able to join a local performing group. You might get some of your fellow music students and put together a different kind of band to work on performance skills. 

If your ambition is to be a professional musician, then look for every opportunity while studying music to refine your skills. Push yourself out of your comfort zone to audition for things that are a stretch for you.

Taking advantage of every opportunity to grow, learn and further yourself as a musician beyond your traditional educational requirements. 

The Passion of Music Majors

If music is your passion and you want to make it your career, it makes sense to pursue the study of music. Be prepared for hard work and plenty of competition. The life of a musician is really all about rehearsal, audition, and performance, after all. 

Music majors are chasing a passion, there is no doubt. Are you interested in studying music? Do you want to study music, but want to find a way to take care of some of your general education courses first? We can help.

Contact us today to find out about our general education course. We can help you with those, then you can pursue your love of music.


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