Preparation is key, regardless of which path you want to take in life. If you want to prepare for becoming an excellent college music major, it is possible to start as early as high school. According to a recent article from Proessaywriting, mastering the basics will constitute most of the work.
There are no complicated tricks or methods, just a simple matter of looking ahead and planning accordingly. Here are the most beneficial actions that you can take:
- Get some tutoring
Regardless if you want to write a college paper or you want to become a better musician, tutors can help you along that journey. There can be a certain stigma attached to reaching for some extra help, but don’t let that misconception prevent you from using any advantage at your disposal.
School programs and curricula are all over the place because they have to suit everyone. Most courses and lesson plans are calibrated for the average student who hasn’t yet decided what he/she wants to pursue in the future.
Passionate students of any subject will quickly discover that the time allotted for their favorite subject is not nearly enough. Thankfully, after high school, you will get to go to college. And in college, you get to have a much more specialized and narrowed-down experience.
So, how do you select a tutor?
It ultimately depends on the level of instruction that you require. You would expect your teacher to have at least a Bachelor’s music degree. Or, he/she can demonstrate a background in preparing students for college. Finally, you can select someone who is an actual successful musician in their own right.
If your particular tutor does not have a single attribute of those mentioned, it would be best to avoid him/her.
- Network and learn to play with others
Music is a team sport. Even solo singers have many people in the background that support them. Few artists sing, play instruments, produce their beats, and so on.
Poor social skills have resulted in the breakup of many promising bands, orchestras, and projects. Club owners and other artists can refuse to work with you if you are too difficult.
It would be a good idea to form a good teamwork ethic from the start, given that you cannot avoid interacting or working with others.
Your high school experience plays a key role. There are high schools with very good music curricula. Graduates from these schools will already start college with an upper hand. A major music program will guarantee that students know how to play their respective instruments, sing, and coordinate with a band.
They will also know how to read a music sheet and refine their “ear”, placing them well above those from schools that treated music as an afterthought.
How to major in music?
Pre-game everything if you want good results.
There is little consequence for what you attempt to do in this specific period, settled between the end of high school and the start of college. Your efforts will not be graded or judged too harshly. Feel free to try different instruments or genres of music. Most people do not know what they like until they experience it first-hand.
Art is sometimes fluid, and other times it has hard and fast rules. Learn to play within the boundaries of decent art.
To a certain extent, having a good voice is similar to being tall, or boasting lightning-fast reflexes. There are abilities that you are born with. Not everyone can become the next Sinatra or Sammy Davis JR., even if they spend most of their time practicing.
However, even if you do not have an extraordinary voice, you can be taught to work with what you have. For example, do you think that every single member of a choir has a golden voice?
Of course not, that is almost statistically impossible.
Yet, by practicing and working with your voice, you learn to control it. Your “ear” also gets better at recognizing patterns and sounds. Never underestimate this “ear”.
Historically, most musicians and bards did not have formal training. They would learn everything via practice and experience while watching others.
It is a wonder of the human mind that we can just pick up complex things like playing instruments, without understanding the underlying theory.
If you are religious, then there will be plenty of opportunities to sing in church. This can be a solo venture, or as part of a choir.
5. Do not neglect the theoretical aspect.
For this point, you have to go against society for a bit. Modern art considers everything to be art. Some museums literally display dirty toilet seats as art or blank white walls as art. Of course, only a few people take time out of their day to visit those works of “art”.
In reality, art is both an art and a craft. Most arts require instruments and tools, not just raw emotion and vision. Musical theory is the language, the tool used to make music, and you will need to know it.
While you can learn by ear, you will still be limited and rigid. You cannot imagine what you do not know.
Ideally, it is best to study a bit of theory before you go to musician college. Of course, you are paying the college to teach you these things, so there’s no imperative to study 24/7 beforehand. You just need to have a working knowledge of the fundamentals.
Everything in life is a mix of natural talent and practice. Do not listen to those who say that you can get by with just one or the other. Depending on the music college of your choice, the amount of prep will also vary.
In general, assuming you are not applying to an Ivy League school, just make sure that you have a firm grasp of the basics. Also, please try to get as much practice as possible. Be it singing, socializing, playing your instrument, or practicing with a tutor.