Music major????

I'm 13. I've been in choir, honor choir, and drama club for 2 years. I've also been taking private voice lessons. I've been starting to think about careers...and my ultimate dream would be a career in music, but do you think I should major in music? the thing is, I don't play any instruments. I can play a little piano, and a little guitar, and my knowledge of music is pretty good, but I can't afford any lessons besides voice. what do you think I should do? thanks :]

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you decide to go into music your decision has to start today. There are many who are like you, enjoy singing, have participated in choir, had a view lessons etc, etc... but there are also a number of others who at your age have had a few years of vocal training, diction, languages and can play the piano fluently. The road ahead in music will be difficult. Ignore what others say about getting in and the you'll get accepted or the chase your dream comments.

    I advise students like you on a daily basis and I also evaluate students to see if they have the potential to succeed in music. The key is succeed... not just make it into school but to go further.

    This is no secret, there are more unemployed singers out there than anything! Why do you want to go into music is the first question to ask yourself. Do you want to sing on broadway and musicals, or do you want to be in operas... or do you want a solo career singing lieder, Italian Art Songs... etc. Or do you want to go into music and eventually teach in the school system? Or are you in music because you don't know what else to study in University.

    Piano is very important for singers. Some people will say it is not because you will always have an accompanist however, being able to accompany yourself is a valuable skill. You need to be able to learn your part at the piano, not just plunking out the notes but also to be able to play the accompaniment. If you end up teaching, you will have to accompany your students. Neither you nor your students can hire an accompanist to be at the lesson all year! It is expensive. Your piano skills need to be better than proficient. And for singing you need to know how to transpose music. Sometimes the music will be out of your voice range or of your students and you have to transpose the music into a range that is singable.

    What is your ultimate career in music? If its music therapy you'll end up spending all your time thinking why you wasted 4 years of study in a field that has absolutely no jobs. Nothing worse in music than music therapy. There are so few jobs and the jobs that are available are not full time.

    If you are serious about being a vocalists you need to break the stigma that singers are the worst breed of musicians. You have to be opposite of what singers are notorious for - lazy, never practice, always making excuses for not studying and acting with egos. Sure other musicians have egos, but singers all parade around like they run the world.

    You need to take piano lessons and become proficient. In college you will have to pass a piano proficiency exam and take piano technique classes. You also need to start learning music theory and develop aural/oral skills. Nothing worse than a singer who can't count and comes in wrong all over the place. You will need to develop your listening skills - dictation, rhythmic dictation, interval identification, chord identification and work on sight singing. Its never to early to start learning languages and for vocalists the 3 biggies are German, Italian and French. I have worked with many singers who have great voices but have poor diction in their languages.

    You need to talk to your teacher about getting into a University. And, it may happen that your teacher is not good enough to help you. You should study with an advanced teacher who knows what it takes to get into Universities. Spend the next 5 years developing your musicianship. The more you know now, the easier it is for you in college. Because there are many like you with minimal training and even more with advanced training. Based on what you said you have studied, you are behind academically compared to others. The voice develops late so that is not too much of an issue but your other skills need to be addressed.

    Its great to have a dream and I'm not bursting your bubble. Just letting you know the truth that most people here won't tell you. They don't know the reality of it. Being in school is one thing or recognizing a dream, but being in the field like myself and seeing first hand how brutal it is something the majority here have no clue off.

    The scary thing and you need to know this is that you may never ever get a job that pays well and by well I mean a full time salary with benefits. If you want to teach in a University you need to get a masters minimum and have significant performing experience. Even if you want to teach at home, you should have a masters. There are many unqualified music teachers out there who are ruining students because they don't have the skills or knowledge. There are practically zero jobs for singers. You may be a section leader in a church choir which pays per service, or you may get to sing commercials... but the jobs are minimal. Even if there is a choir director position or music director for a theater job open they will look to see if you can play the piano with ease and also conduct!

    It is definitely harder for singers than any other musicians out there. The saying has always been, singers need pianists but pianists don't need singers. For every one pianist there are 40 singers out there. Its a scary world.

    Just being honest

    Source(s): Concert Pianist
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  • Anne
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    I currently am a Music Major, and yes it is stressful. Pretty much all of the good advice has been given, be prepared for competiton, Music Theory, etc... But I was talking about choice of major in a class of mine the other day, because I am currently a Music Ed Major, but I am completely torn between Music Ed and Performance for a career, and someone told me a great tool to use to figure out if something is right for you. If you can see yourself putting up through all of the stressful, not-so-fun parts of a major, because you want it that badly, then that is the career/major for you, however, of you just cant see yourself taking a music theory class, or being competitve at all, then maybe music should be just a hobby for you, which is still great. I truly wish that you figure out what you want to do

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Of course! I am a vocal major about to graduate with my Associates in Music. I didn't play ANY instruments when I started school. You will probably have to take a piano class, but it's nothing to worry about. I would definitely reccomend majoring in music. Especially if you love it. There are soo many different careers that you can have with a music degree. You can teach, perform, record, direct, music therapy, the possibilites are endless!!!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Do you HAVE to be a musician? Can you not imagine yourself doing anything else? Do you think your life would be a total waste if you didn't spend it making music? If so, by all means major in music. if not...major in something that pays.

    Source(s): Former music major, factory rat, lawnmower salesman, music salesman, and at the age of 42, music librarian (last 10 years)
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  • 1 decade ago

    definitely, don't do my mistake (sorta), i am also a vocalist and im taking piano lessons. I decided to go into journalism instead of music, although I really enjoy writing a part of me still wishes I would of went into music...go with your heart!!

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