\"\"
Piano Forum logo

Need advice regarding majoring in music please! (Read 2632 times)

Offline em95

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Need advice regarding majoring in music please!
« on: May 25, 2012, 11:01:12 PM »
Hi there. I'm trying to figure out if I'm anywhere in the neighborhood of good enough to consider majoring in piano performance. I don't have anyone with whom to compare myself, and I'm still trying to work up the nerve to ask my teacher.

Pieces I've learned recently include
Beethoven sonata op. 49 no. 2,
Mozart sonata in c major k. 545,
Chopin prelude in e minor op. 28 no. 4, and
Shostakovich prelude op. 34, no. 19.

My teacher has also suggested we work on Prokofiev's harp prelude sometime in the future.

I'm actually planning to study medicine or dentistry, and up until recently, I was planning to major in biology or chemistry. So it's not like I'm aspiring to be a performer or anything. Also, the music department at the university I'll be attending (btw, I'm almost done with my junior year) is not super competitive. According to their website, the audition repertoire should include a major work by JS Bach, a Classical sonata, and one other piece of contrasting style.

So anyway, I still have some time to improve. However, I realize it's pretty late in the game to be deciding this is something I want to do. So, if you can determine by my information above whether or not it's even remotely possible for me to major in piano, I would be much obliged.

PS I hope this is in the right place! I'm kinda new.








Offline 49410enrique

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3542
Re: Need advice regarding majoring in music please!
«Reply #1 on: May 27, 2012, 12:29:56 AM »
. nm

Offline jimbo320

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 726
Re: Need advice regarding majoring in music please!
«Reply #2 on: May 27, 2012, 03:05:57 PM »
IMHO yes. Only you know your limitations.
I too majored in music but that was the only major took. It was hard and I couldn't imagine having more to deal with. But as you know it all depends on the school, professors and curriculum.
Where are you going to attend?
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"Music is art from the heart. Let it fly\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"...

Offline em95

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Need advice regarding majoring in music please!
«Reply #3 on: May 27, 2012, 05:55:19 PM »
Thanks for the reply. I'll be attending La Sierra University. I don't know if you've ever heard of it. It's in southern california. So you think it could be done? I know majoring in music is already rigorous enough when you're an advanced musician, but do you think, given my current level (and given that I'll be taking my med school prereq's simultaneously), that I'll really struggle? I guess it's probably hard for you to say since you can't actually hear me play. I suppose I should ask my teacher...

Offline Bob

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 16114
Re: Need advice regarding majoring in music please!
«Reply #4 on: May 27, 2012, 07:16:17 PM »
Possible but don't plan on doing anything else during that.  It will probably take more like six years just for the bachelors and then you'd need more to be a doctor.  There probably won't ever be enough time to practice, but I think you're tacking it onto the medical doctor degree. You'll probably also run into that -- medicine or music, each side won't think you're taking their side seriously.

They let you in though for performance knowing you wanted to focus on science and medicine?  I'm wondering why they didn't say to go for a minor in music or just a bachelor of arts in music if you wanted to take the classes.  A bachelors performance degree doesn't mean anything, not when you're competing with people coming out of the top schools year after year with masters and doctorate degrees.  And competitions.

And from those pieces I'd say no.  That's looks more like early high school or sooner than that for a performance major.  It looks like more bachelor of arts or music ed to me.  You need more difficult pieces and more of them.

I'd really question why they're accepting you as a piano performance major.  It's only going to be more work, less time, in the future. Are you going to walk out showing off their school in terms of piano performance?  That's one thing they're looking at.  Or more realistically, are they just going to use you for some extra income?  A few more freshman and sophomores who don't make it and few realize they're there.... But it's some extra tuititon income and if one or two of them progress ok, no loss.

The Shostakovich I'm not familiar with and just listened to a bit.  It doesn't sound too tricky, more intermediate.  The Chopin is way to easy to count for anything.  The Beethoven and Mozart are 'intro to Beethoven' 'into to Mozart' type of pieces.  Even if you played the heck out those pieces, they're not technical enough for a performance major. 
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline em95

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Need advice regarding majoring in music please!
«Reply #5 on: May 27, 2012, 07:35:44 PM »
Yeah, I guess I meant BA, not piano performance. That's what they recommend for pre med students. Sorry. I obviously don't know enough about this. Although medical schools actually DO like to admit students with non-science majors, and music majors have a really high rate of admission. Anyway, I'm just trying to explore my options here. I'll probably end up majoring in chemistry, but I wanted to find out if this was a possibility for me because I really enjoy playing the piano. Thanks for your help. Sorry if I sound clueless.

Offline Bob

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 16114
Re: Need advice regarding majoring in music please!
«Reply #6 on: May 27, 2012, 07:42:30 PM »
BA in music?  Sure. 


I heard the thing about music being a plus and it probably is, but I haven't really seen anyone in the real world say, "Oh, you're in music?  You must work hard.  We'll hire you."  As was presented to me before and during college.  And I've heard two other departments saying the same thing.  "You know... People in our field work really hard and it looks good on your resume.  If you get x degree that will add to your resume and you're more likely to get a job."  What I've seen when I've looked at non-music related jobs is a passing notice.  "Oh music?  That's interesting..."
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline em95

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Need advice regarding majoring in music please!
«Reply #7 on: May 27, 2012, 08:22:39 PM »
So you don't have to be super advanced to do a BA?? You said the pieces I'm playing are early high school level. What level would I need to be at, do you think, for me to be ready for college?

Offline Bob

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 16114
Re: Need advice regarding majoring in music please!
«Reply #8 on: May 27, 2012, 11:27:50 PM »
If they'll accept you, you're ready.  You could be ready now for a BA.  The school I went to would accept you most likely for a BA, maybe music ed factoring in your desire to teach, but probably not for performance.

Make sure you know all your major and minor scales, leger lines, be able to sing major and minor scales with solfege syllables, and.... get a music appreciation survey type of book and read through that.  You'll be set for music history courses that way.

You'd have to check with the school of course but this is what I've seen for the performance hierarchy...
performance
ed
BA
minor


A BA should get you into music classes though.  I've seen priority given to that heirarchy.  "You can't get into this section because it's for performance majors only."  And playing favorites.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline em95

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Need advice regarding majoring in music please!
«Reply #9 on: May 28, 2012, 12:02:22 AM »
Well, thank you, Bob, for being so helpful. I really appreciate it.