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The Hardest Thing About Being a Music Major

It’s a longstanding tradition at UT to rip everyone who’s not in your school for certain stereotypical qualities. For example, my roommates are engineering majors, which means they have no social skills, another of my roommates is an RTF major, which means he has no idea what he wants to do after he graduates, and I’m a music major, which means I really don’t take any actual “classes,” per se.

While this is a fun game to play, and promotes a certain level of pride within your own school, the stereotypes sort of exist because, well, they’re a little true. I have two classes this semester that feel like “class”–where I sit in a lecture hall, take notes and am administered a test periodically to assess my knowledge in the subject. 

But it’s the hours of “non-class” a week for music-related items that make being a music major so completely insane.

TOTAL HOURS IN A WEEK – 168 hours

HOURS OF “SLEEP” – 63 hours

NUMBER OF LECTURE-LIKE CLASS HOURS – 6 hours/week

VOCAL PERFORMANCE – about 20 hours/week

Vocal performance is a huge part of my life. I recently auditioned for and made Conspirare Symphonic Choir, which brings the number of vocal ensembles I’m in up to four (Ransom Notes, UT Chamber Singers, All Saints’ Episcopal Church Choir Job and CSC). Between regular rehearsals and periodic performances, this number can and does spike during certain weeks.

COMPOSITION AND THEORY – about 20 hours/week

Since I am sort of a composition major (Electronic Music is what I consider my path), I spend time composing, listening to new music, arranging for Ransom Notes, editing sound in the studio, and learning about theory, composition and electronic music in small classes. 

PROGRAMMING/GAME DEVELOPMENT – about 5 hours/week

Though not a huge chunk of my time right now, I am developing some games to hone my skills and make myself marketable as a game developer/game sound designer. It’s actually a lot of fun, but sometimes it can be very frustrating to get a character to look and act just right, or a level’s platform to be just the right height. Hopefully you’ll be playing my games on here very soon… :-)

TIME FOR EATING, EXTRACURRICULARS, ERRANDS, STUDY, SOCIALIZING and OTHER CONCERT and GIGS – 57 hours/week

57 hours might sound like a lot, but after regular meetings of Circle K International, Queer Students Alliance and the events and work I do for those, free time is pretty limited. The moral of the story: you have to LOVE music and be a little crazy to do what I do. But, when you get that piece performed or sing in front of a packed Bass Concert Hall, the rush is like nothing I have ever been able to describe in words.

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February 6, 2009 | | Comments are closed for this post

1 Comment to The Hardest Thing About Being a Music Major

Thanks for the insight! I’m going to be a music major next year at UT and by the sound of it, I’m going to be pretty busy.

May 2, 2009
— Mark
 
photo of Paul