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Piano major/minor (Read 1648 times)

Offline duckmalone

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Piano major/minor
« on: September 02, 2015, 02:35:46 AM »
So, today my piano teacher asked me if I was was thinking about being a piano major/minor. I am 14 and am going to be a freshman in high school next year, but I have never really thought about what I wanted to do. I have passion for piano, but in don't know if I really know, yet , what I can do with it. So I wanted to ask you what made you want to go into piano?

Also how do you think I will fair in a piano audition for college in 4 years if right know I play rcm grade 8?

Offline pianoman1349

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Re: Piano major/minor
«Reply #1 on: September 02, 2015, 05:53:27 AM »
For myself, I am currently enrolled in a program that allows be to complete a dual degree in science (chemistry) and piano performance (I probably will end up dropping the second science degree and complete a minor instead).  I am doing this mainly as a means for me to complete pre-requisites for medical and nursing schools after my undergraduate degree.  In all honesty, you can actually use your music degree for entrance into many professional schools post-degree, if course planning is done efficiently.

For this discussion, I'm going to focus solely on Canadian music schools.  Most music studies at post-secondary level will occur at a college or university.  Many of these programs will lead to a bachelor of music degree at the end of four years (longer if you decide to add a second major, or a minor in a different field).  Most programs will have a performance stream and a non-performance stream, which have higher and lower standards of performance respectively.  The standard of playing usually corresponds to the RCM 10/RCM ARCT levels for entry to programs regardless of stream, with the main difference being the amount of repertoire prepared for the audition and the standard the works are prepared to.  Within these lists, there will be works that are too easy or not substantial enough for an audition program, but this should serve as a starting point.

As for my own reasons for still studying piano at post-secondary level ... I am not quite ready to move on to something else yet, and I can still do all of the pre-requisite work in the sciences for a career in health-care in the future, so why not??

Offline kevonthegreatpianist

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Re: Piano major/minor
«Reply #2 on: September 02, 2015, 09:58:26 PM »
I thought you meant major and minor keys.

Iiiiiiii don't really know.....
I made an account and hadn't used it in a year. Welcome back, kevon.

Offline Bob

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Re: Piano major/minor
«Reply #3 on: September 03, 2015, 12:01:02 AM »
Probably more like three years.  You audition during your junior year or high school, or maybe early your senior year but there's not a lot of time to switch things by then.

Check audition requirements from several places if you do audition.  Or even if not.  It's a good goal.  You'll see the same pattern at different places.

You're a freshman in high school, so you're probably not out touring and performing.  Probably not a performer then.... Too late.  If you were, you'd be doing it by now and wouldn't wonder or ask.  Short of performance, there's teaching (which nearly all performers do any way).  For that, you're probably shooting for independent teaching, being a professor, or music education.  Professor means getting a doctorate in performance/pedagogy and still kicking butt with competitions and performance.  Music ed is a very different direction -- public (or private) school teaching in general music, choir, orchestra, or band.  Piano skills are great, but polished performance skills don't mean a lot there.  And you need other skills well outside piano for music ed.

There are other directions.  Piano performance is probably too late, but conducting or composing on a world-class level is still possible.  And there are other niche areas, like music theory.


Ah, next year.  I glanced over it too fast.  So yes, about 3.5-4.5 years.  So 8th grade?  Nice time to decide your career from what I've heard.  I would pick a direction and go all out all that.  If it's piano performance, it's that.  I wouldn't split it with other things (no one on either side of the split will think you're serious about there area, esp. when they have plenty of other people who are going all out for their area).  Performance, ed, whatever, but that as the goal.  If you're focus is that, then maybe piano as a secondary focus, but don't expect to be that great/competitive at it.  For performance you're competing against people who have been doing that as their sole focus their entire life.

The are other areas for "performance" though.  Accompanying is a big one.  Accompanying + teaching... People make a living doing that.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Piano major/minor
«Reply #4 on: September 03, 2015, 02:21:37 PM »
what made me want to go into piano?

...I met a guy... ;D

true story

Offline falala

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Re: Piano major/minor
«Reply #5 on: September 03, 2015, 08:50:29 PM »
Shortest story I've ever heard.

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Piano major/minor
«Reply #6 on: September 03, 2015, 09:11:35 PM »
Not much to tell...

I was playing the Maple Leaf Rag at junior college one day when a man opened the door and asked me if I could play piano in the jazz band---he said I would get scholarship money--so I said sure.   The first day of the next semester this gorgeous guitar player joined the band.   Within a week we were dating and a month later he said..

"hey, why don't you come with me to UNT and be a music major, too.?."

 and I thought...gee...that's sounds like fun..  ;D




On the first day of the following semester I was living in Denton and attending the 2nd largest music school in the US.

oh yeah...  and I have been married to that guitar player for 18 years.  :)

Offline ziomamusic

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Re: Piano major/minor
«Reply #7 on: September 08, 2015, 02:12:01 AM »
I would go for piano minor unless you wanted to make a living playing it professionally or teaching.
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