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#413458 - 10/17/01 06:49 PM To major in performance or double major.....  
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 433
Amy Offline
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Amy  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2001
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Upstate New York
I'm trying to decide which major to pursue in college.
I've been thinking of doing a double major of music education and performance. I definatly want to do performance because I want to teach at a college but i'm a little nervous that I won't be able to get a job when i'm out of college without a music education degree. I know that if I double major, the performance part of it may suffer. Any advice?


-Amy-
*Visit my page! http://www.expage.com/pianopalace
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#413459 - 10/17/01 07:51 PM Re: To major in performance or double major.....  
Joined: May 2001
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Alex Offline
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Alex  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 116
Plano, tx
Amy,

The competition to teach at universities today is extremely competitive. You will have to have at a minimum a MM but most likely a DMA. When I was in school many many years ago, we had a position come up for a secondary piano teacher (teach voice, trumpet, flute etc majors). Over 100 people applied with more than a few having DMA's from Eastman or Julliard. I'm not trying to discourage you. What I am saying is that a performance degree undergraduate is not enough to get a university teaching job (of course if you win a competition like the Van Cliburn all bets are off - you don't need any degree!). Therefore, I would get the education degree as a fall back position. Then, work very hard on your playing and go on to get your MM. Quite frankly, at most universities (not the conservatories), your course load won't prohibit you from practicing as if you were getting a performance degree. Just a thought.

#413460 - 10/17/01 08:25 PM Re: To major in performance or double major.....  
Joined: Jun 2001
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Matt G. Offline
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Matt G.  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2001
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Plainfield, IL
FWIW, most college music education programs are geared towards training grade school through high school music teachers. If that career path isn't on your list, I'd bypass the Mus. Ed. degree. If, however, you are interested in exploring that path, you'd best be prepared for a much more diverse course of study compared to a performance track.

You should also inquire pointedly at the school(s) that you plan to attend if double undergrad majors are allowed. Many music perfomance tracks are considered "comprehensive," meaning that due to the intense course work, no minors or double majors are allowed.


Sacred cows make the best hamburger. - Clemens
#413461 - 10/18/01 04:19 PM Re: To major in performance or double major.....  
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Posts: 325
MikeC65 Offline
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MikeC65  Offline
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Posts: 325
St. Louis, Missouri
Back in 1987, I double-majored in piano performance and computer science (yes, I know they don't go together). As a computer science major, I auditioned into the music major lessons from the piano professors and took a whole bunch of other music courses as distribution credits towards the science degree. Once I convinced the music department to double-credit those classes as credit towards a B.Mus. degree, the rest was easy. I was practicing plenty anyways, and I never had any trouble with the number of courses I had to take. Of course, if they had not been willing to credit the computer science classes as distribution classes for purposes of the music degree, and credit the music classes as distribution classes for purposes of the computer science degree, it would have been a different story.

So, now I have a B.Mus. degree that I have used for absolutely nothing concrete... but I must say, it has opened the door to many things just by virtue of being on my resume. Apparently it really impresses people, and I have been able to get interviews and jobs because of it.

Hope this helps.


Mike Cohan
St. Louis, MO
1910 Steinway Model K
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#413462 - 10/18/01 05:18 PM Re: To major in performance or double major.....  
Joined: Aug 2001
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ChemicalGrl Offline
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ChemicalGrl  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 643
Durham, North Carolina
I remember when I was an undergrad ... a few of the music majors I knew minored in Computer Science. Seemed like a natural thing to do, since the work they were doing in their music major involved a lot of work with computers and programming anyway.


Regards,
Lyn F.
#413463 - 10/19/01 08:43 AM Re: To major in performance or double major.....  
Joined: May 2001
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AndrewG Offline
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AndrewG  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
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Denver, Colorado
Hi Mike,

May I ask what kind of piano a model 'K' is like? Grand or vert? I'm curious.

#413464 - 10/19/01 09:56 AM Re: To major in performance or double major.....  
Joined: May 2001
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magnezium Offline
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magnezium  Offline
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Singapore
Mike: you did a computer science degree, a music degree, and now you're a lawyer? wow...

#413465 - 10/19/01 12:52 PM Re: To major in performance or double major.....  
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MikeC65 Offline
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MikeC65  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 325
St. Louis, Missouri
Quote
Originally posted by AndrewG:
Hi Mike,

May I ask what kind of piano a model 'K' is like? Grand or vert? I'm curious.


It is a 52" vertical. Steinway began making it in 1903 (it was called the "Vertegrand") and ceased making it in 1929. They begain making it again, with some modifications but basically the same scale design, in 1982. Frankly, I think the new ones are wildly overpriced (about $23K) compared to the quality of new (or used) grand you could get for the same money. But I really like mine. Here is a picture of the modern Model K (I hope this works):

[Linked Image]


Mike Cohan
St. Louis, MO
1910 Steinway Model K
#413466 - 10/19/01 12:55 PM Re: To major in performance or double major.....  
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MikeC65 Offline
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MikeC65  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 325
St. Louis, Missouri
Quote
Originally posted by magnezium:
Mike: you did a computer science degree, a music degree, and now you're a lawyer? wow...


Yes, I did. I practice law full time (I'm a family law attorney), but I also write and sell computer software for Missouri attorneys, and try to practice as much as possible too. Relating that to the subject of this thread, you should not base your decision on whether to double-major TOO closely on your immediate plans right out of college. As you can see from my experience, plans change. If you really want the double-major, you should do it regardless.

[ October 19, 2001: Message edited by: MikeC65 ]


Mike Cohan
St. Louis, MO
1910 Steinway Model K
#413467 - 10/19/01 01:15 PM Re: To major in performance or double major.....  
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 433
Amy Offline
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Amy  Offline
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Upstate New York
Thanks for the replys. I would like to get my masters right after I finish my undergrad and definatly try to work towards my PhD.


-Amy-
*Visit my page! http://www.expage.com/pianopalace
#413468 - 10/19/01 05:01 PM Re: To major in performance or double major.....  
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Posts: 68
swb Offline
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Dallas, Texas
Amy:

I'd be more worried about getting a job with a performance degree than with a music ed degree. But a couple of thoughts. Since you love piano, maybe you should consider a degree in piano pedagogy (hope I spelled that right). Unlike music ed, this degree is for teaching piano, a career you can pursue through schools, colleges or as an entrepreneur. A double major is a great idea. Even if you go with piano performance, you could double with anything. I, oddball that I am, doubled in English and Math, all the while taking piano, singing in a choir and taking dance classes. I ended up with a law degree and I practice law and still play the piano. The point being, no matter what you do, you can still pursue music. And there's a lot to be said for having an employable skill when your education is complete. Don't be scared away from being a music educator. It's a great career with lots of employment opportunity, even though many options will be outside of the university environment.


SWB
#413469 - 10/19/01 05:19 PM Re: To major in performance or double major.....  
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Posts: 325
MikeC65 Offline
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MikeC65  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 325
St. Louis, Missouri
Quote
Originally posted by swb:
Amy:
(snip)
I, oddball that I am, doubled in English and Math, all the while taking piano, singing in a choir and taking dance classes. I ended up with a law degree and I practice law and still play the piano. (snip)


Woo-hoo, there's another one of us! What kind of law do you practice? I'm a family law attorney. And I still practice and perform.


Mike Cohan
St. Louis, MO
1910 Steinway Model K
#413470 - 10/20/01 12:24 AM Re: To major in performance or double major.....  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 68
swb Offline
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swb  Offline
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Dallas, Texas
Mike:

I practice estate planning, probate and tax (very geeky, what can I say). But, geeky as it is, you can make a living practicing law and still find time to love music. Unfortunately, music is still a very hard way to make a living. My piano isn't nearly as interesting as yours - a plain ol ebony Kawaii grand. Oh well.


SWB
#413471 - 10/21/01 02:19 PM Re: To major in performance or double major.....  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 902
PianoMuse Offline
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PianoMuse  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 902
Philly, PA
My advice:

I was a music Education major. It was so much work that i could hardly keep up with it, I can't imagine a double major with music ed and something else! Music ed. is like a double major in itself. Unless you are absolutly willing to sacrifice all your time and basically all your social life ( which i did for a year and half), then i would say go for it, girl! But if you are not sure, then i would say be very carefu, b/c you can burn out easily..i did, and i had to drop the education concentration. Now i am general music, with a concentration on piano pedagogy, and its MUCH better.


"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." ~Rachmaninoff

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