Saturday, August 9, 2008

Music Major?

A few high school musicians have asked me if they should study music in college, or pursue some kind of "practical" major. I've talked to a few of my friends that make their living playing music, and we generally all agree higher education helped us in two areas:

1) Networking. The world is pretty small, and you're bound to run into some of your classmates down the road. And for that matter, the competitive environment you'll experience in a college music program all but disappears in the real world, so be nice to the people you might not think are very good. They might be hiring you for a gig someday.

2) Intensive practice time. There will never be another time in your life that you get to practice eight hours a day and have a handful of experts trying to help you get better. While you'll continue to develop your individual style and sound well after school, most of your post-college woodshedding, when you find time to do it, will probably be to maintain the techniques you honed at school.

2 comments:

Dave said...

If you know you are going to be a musician and you are going to get a college degree anyway, I say make it a music degree. A practical degree, such as, say, a German degree, will eventually feel like it was a real waste of time and money.

Jill said...

I agree with you. I am wishing I had majored in theater instead of the more "practical" business. What I really regret is not using that time to explore my talents or figure out what I really wanted to do with myself. I say go for that music major, or anthropology or philosophy.