#1
I'm currently going down a career path that doesn't require me to have a degree, but I think I should get one anyways and I need access to higher level math classes to learn the material I need anyways.

I looked at the music major (I think ti was geared towards teaching..) and I thought "Ive played the piano for 13 years and guitar for another 10, I'm sure I could do most of this without breathing!" I was wondering if other have had that experience

http://catalog.csupomona.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=5&poid=1016&returnto=821#requiredcorecoursesformajor

Here is a website with the "learning objectives" that don't seem to be even slightly difficult. I'm just curious if anyone else has had experience with a music major being super easy or way harder than they thought.

Edit: keeping in mind I'm looking at just the major part, not the "required subplan" because my required subplan is going to be statistics.
#2
Just because you've played multiple instruments for 10 or 12 years, it doesn't mean it will be easy. You make it as easy or as hard as you want, university is a place for you to sit down and hone your skills. You might not ever get such a good chance again, so make use of it! Challenge yourself, and make everything hard.

It also depends on what you want to learn. If you want to learn Popular, or Contemporary styles, then you might breeze through it. If you want to learn Classical or Jazz, it might be a bit tougher, but you can probably breeze through it... if you put in the hours. If you want to focus on New Music, then you might even run into a HUGE learning curve.

For me, theory and aural was easy until the second semester of second year, which was really difficult. Most of the classes were not too difficult. Some were really difficult as I deliberately picked a lot of classes outside my comfort zone at the time.
#3
You live nearby.

Having the paper allows for teaching positions that talent alone won't cover. The public and private school systems want to see the BA in Music.

The teachers will challenge you, make no assumption that it'll be easy because you can already play well. It WILL make performance situations easier. But the music history class will have dates and names etc. There will always be a class that bores you to death, music or no.

I took a class on The Beatles and there were questions on tests about song forms and functions totally outside of playing an instrument.

What type of music do you like?
#4
Music ed isn't a particularly difficult major as it doesn't have the full roster of performance and theory classes which tend to take up an enormous amount of practice time.
#5
Depends what kind of music school you go as well.

At least around here a BA in music is very broad. Basics are the same, but conventions, stylistic choices and instrumental abilities per genre/concept/idea per school is different, yet results in the "same paper".

For the conservatory here in Amsterdam, they also look at you from almost a psychological angle.

Things like if they feel you bring something new, if you show passion, if you can play well with others..even as superficial as if you look interesting to watch, as well as how you set up your sound on ur amp and if you look "convincing" enough.

They also look for if your stuck in a way.. like they don't want someone who has got everything figured out on their instrument necessarily, rather being able to mold you to new concepts and music.

This is however a very competitive school and a different country altogether, so I don't know how relevant this actually is to your situation.

EDIT:

Looing at it again, you said Major in music. I believe that's not the same as bachelor in America or is it?

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Apr 14, 2014,
#6
I minored in music and I thought it was pretty rigorous coursework. Music theory, harmony, conducting, music history and lots of homework in addition to performance classes... not a total breeze.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#7
I graduated from my Music Degree just yesterday, and the three year course was much different to what I or any of my colleagues expected.

Having however-many years of experience playing an instrument won't necessarily make the course a breeze. With regards to the course I was enrolled in, there was a large emphasis on experimental practices, sound design, extended techniques, recording protocol, and engagements with contemporary technologies to introduce, alter or augment performance strategies. For example, we learned how to script in Max/MSP and perform using patches we had made either as focal instruments or accompaniments or augmentations upon our regular instruments; composed soundscapes and pieces in other contemporary genre styles using only found sounds from field recordings and DAW editing techniques; and devised 15-minute solo performances with instruments that we made ourselves, with a need to fulfill multiple ensemble roles. This is a facet particular to the institution I was enrolled in, but could very well be applicable to others, too.

As mentioned by other posters, Histories, Philosophies, Sound Technologies (as I've discussed) and Composition are other important aspects of Music Major courses. You'll need to write substantial essays, and they will be viewed critically and dismissed if not up to par. We composed for chamber ensembles of two instruments during our first and second semesters, and leaped to composing and arranging for orchestra and big band settings in our third semester.
The work was often demanding, and if not, frustrating, and was expected that we invested 40 hours a week in studying outside of compulsory classes. Unless you do take the initiative to invest those additional hours into your study, you will struggle and won't achieve anything particularly extraordinary. Out of the 130 of us who started the course, 60 of us graduated yesterday, and only the 3 consistent with the extra workload, including myself, did so with Distinctions.

In the end, though, it's been worth it for me. I have new skill sets, and the experiences I've had have helped me develop a new mindset on and perspective for music making. I'd be happy to answer any particular questions you might have, but bear in mind that, like I've said, my course has some anomalies about it.
#9
Quote by a0kalittlema0n

I looked at the music major (I think ti was geared towards teaching..) and I thought "Ive played the piano for 13 years and guitar for another 10, I'm sure I could do most of this without breathing!"

This is completely the wrong frame of mind to even consider a music major.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#10
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
^What was your focus in your degree? I.e., composition, performance or general music degree?

My Sub-Majors were Composition and Performance, but I still engaged with units of Philosophies and Sound Technologies throughout the degree. The course was arranged as a general music degree with all four of those avenues were available to us, but we could elect our preferences for our roles in collaborative projects. As an example, we arranged a 70-minute set with rotations between performance groups, with the aim of making the performance as cohesive as possible both musically and logistically. I composed a lot of the work and wrote the overarching narrative to unify the bands' material, whilst Sound Technologies majors designed a lot of the software tools to be used and handled sound engineering; Performance Majors performed, but also organised aspects of presentation and the visual form of the set, with regards to arranging low and high-energy bands, emotional qualities of bands and so on; and Philosophies students thought long and hard about why we were doing it in the first place.
Last edited by juckfush at Apr 14, 2014,
#12
Quote by juckfush
My Sub-Majors were Composition and Performance, but I still engaged with units of Philosophies and Sound Technologies throughout the degree. The course was arranged as a general music degree with all four of those avenues were available to us, but we could elect our preferences for our roles in collaborative projects. As an example, we arranged a 70-minute set with rotations between performance groups, with the aim of making the performance as cohesive as possible both musically and logistically. I composed a lot of the work and wrote the overarching narrative to unify the bands' material, whilst Sound Technologies majors designed a lot of the software tools to be used and sound engineering; Performance Majors organised aspects of presentation and the visual form of the set, with regards to arranging low and high-energy bands, emotional qualities of bands and so on; and Philosophies students thought long and hard about why we were doing it in the first place.

Sounds like a cool program.
#13
I did a music major, and for me some parts of it were really difficult. Going in, I had essentially zero knowledge of music theory, so when I started taking theory classes, they really kicked my ass while I watched other breeze through them.

My program was more focused on music technology and recording arts, however. I'd been recording at home on my computer for years before I went to school, and the classes in studio recording still kicked my ass.

At the end of the day though, it's not about how easy it was, it's about the kind of knowledge and experience I was able to take away from it. Which happened to be a proverbial shit ton. If you're going to do music, make sure you really want to do music, because you're right; a degree in music doesn't mean a whole lot to potential employers down the road.

If you really want this, you will be able to extract a lot of valuable information from a music program. If you're just going throught the motions, then why bother?