Hi all of you readers out there. This is the beginning of a blog that I hope will help me and other people like me and those of you who don’t quite understand the life of a music major grow as people.
Firstly, I’d like to say that those of us in music are absolutely insane in the best way possible. These are the kind of people who are so deeply connected with their emotional side (not to say that people who aren’t music majors aren’t) that they are willing to place themselves in many situations where that is on display and being judged. That is quite hard for a lot of people to comprehend, and it was hard for me to understand my freshman year definitely. It was something that I was not used to at first, because this is not one of those mainstream careers that high school truly prepares you for. Yes, you have an orchestra or band or choir, but that doesn’t even cover a lot of what you have to do. Some people come into this experience discovering their solo voice and their own artistic interpretation for the first time, and it is a very daunting experience.
I always looked at this major in this way for many people: it’s as if you are learning to speak a language that you’ve only had the luxury of listening to your entire life without understanding a damn word. Sure, you get by at first with a few bits and pieces, but the true learning and understanding isn’t there. You have to build up your grammar (music theory), speaking and listening,(dictation and sight singing), reading (ensemble and solo literature) while at the same time maintaining a liberal arts education which requires you to go take math, English, a language or a dance course, a couple of sciences, a history. It’s something that I encourage all of you to be open to as you begin reading this. That little bit of insight alone already shows you the kind of crazy people we are. Never you mind that some people like me do multiple ensembles, sometimes on different instruments or entirely different voice parts.
Second, this is in fact a serious major. I don’t know how many people seem to get the idea that majors in the arts don’t mean anything, and that we just sit around whistling Dixie all day and playing instruments in some happy la-la land. This is incredibly difficult. The fact that you must go to class, and then continue your learning experience in private lessons and ensembles. On top of that you have homework in music, an abstract at times (and by times, I mean potentially the entire thing) subject, practice for both ensembles and private lessons for at least a couple of hours. Then throw in other classes your university might have you do, and well you’ve got a LOT of work and only 24 hours to do so, 8 of which is consumed by any combination of sleeping and eating and using the bathroom (at least I hope so; some people I know don’t have time for any of the above, lol).
Third, it is an incredible journey that to those who truly want it is so rewarding. I have never been exposed to such amazing music nor have I been reduced to tears as much or inspired to defy all odds than when I chose to dedicate my life to music and hopefully inspire others to choose this path. For those of you who can, I strongly encourage taking orchestra or choir or band, or joining the marching band, or getting in a general music classroom. It’s a great experience that helps you get in touch with another side of you that some aren’t comfortable sharing. It can build lifetime bonds.
Now for some information about me. I am a sophomore music education major with a choral emphasis at Ohio University. That means, for those of you who don’t necessarily know, I am going for a degree from O.U. and a teaching certificate from the State of Ohio that says I am able to teach all forms of music in a K-12 setting, but I most likely have the most experience dealing with choirs and vocal music. I play piano as a principle instrument and sing baritone/2nd tenor in 3 vocal ensembles: Singing Men of Ohio (all male), University Singers (SATB – soprano, alto, tenor, bass) and Section 8 (all male a cappella group that comes out of S.M.O.). I am also a budding composer who has finished a musical and is looking to either start another one or move on to more uncharted territory. It’s relaxing for me to get my thoughts out of my head in some way, and I’ve found that writing music or writing in general has done that. I’ve written two books, both of which are published but only one is still up for sale. I play tennis, and have for as long as I can remember. I am also black (didn’t see that one coming, did you haha?), which has put me in situations where I thought I’d never go before and broken many a stereotype.
Now that you know a little about me, I’m looking forward to this journey that we’re taking together.