Miami University: A Day in the Life of a Music Major
It’s been a Tuesday.
In one of my many conversations with my high school band director, he warned me that as a music education major I would have a much heavier course load than a lot of my friends. When I scheduled my classes at orientation it didn’t seem that intimidating. I’m taking seven classes this semester, which is about how many I took in high school. However, I also have to spend an hour each week in private lessons, an hour in a studio class, and about 8 hours in ensemble rehearsal. Oh, and I’m supposed to practice my instrument for three hours a day. I don’t earn credit for those hours, but they are required. I had to give up my idea of double majoring in a separate field because it would require being in school for at least five years.
Still, I can’t complain. Even though I’m busy, I love my major. So, back to it being a Tuesday.
I woke up two hours earlier than I needed to so that I could practice for today’s piano exam. After a quick run to Starbucks for a hot drink to celebrate the fall weather, I headed to Presser
Hall for my clarinet studio class. The clarinetists meet as a group once a week, as do all the other instrumentalists and vocalists in the music program. We give and receive feedback on each other’s performances. I was terrified the first time I performed, but now, I can’t wait to play again.
I took my piano exam, which went well (the grad student who teaches the class is super sweet), and then went to sight-singing class. Sight-singing is awful. It’s required of all music majors and minors, and I haven’t met a person who actually likes it. The class is exactly what it sounds like: we have to look at a brand new piece of music and sing it on solfège syllables or scale degrees with only a few seconds of preparation. Vocalists are comfortable enough with it, but instrumentalists like me aren’t.
At 4:15 I headed to marching band rehearsal. At Miami, Instrumental Music Education majors are required to be in marching band for two years to gain the experience we’ll need to be high school band directors. Rehearsal is every day, and there’s a game almost every weekend, so it becomes exhausting. I’m
glad I do it, though; band camp took place the week before the rest of the students moved in, and being surrounded by and supported by upperclassmen helped me feel comfortable on campus very quickly.
After rehearsal ended, I went to a social event for Miami’s collegiate chapter of NAfME (National Association for Music Education). We tie-dyed our chapter t-shirts and then just hung out for a while. I left early and headed out with a group of people from my dorm to go to a Department of Magical Appreciation meeting (it’s a fancy way of saying Harry Potter club)
where we reenacted the sorting ceremony from the Harry Potter films and were all sorted into our Houses. In case you’re wondering, I’m a proud Ravenclaw.
I went to Chipotle for dinner with a friend, because the dining halls close at eight, which
means I never make it there on Tuesdays. Back at my dorm, I’m finally settled in with my friends for our nightly study group.
Being a music major is a lot of work, but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. For the first time in my life I’m surrounded by people who inspire me to push myself further, both musically and academically. I’m happy to live this crazy life if it means my days are filled with music.
Until next time,
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