Saturday, April 7, 2012

Change: Life, The Future; What am I doing?

I'm pretty seriously considering changing majors. I'm still sure I want to stick with music, but I'm not entirely sure what I want to do. I really need to sit down and talk to some people and figure out what my options are.

Throughout the last year and semester, I've been considering switching to a vocal ed major. I've learned so much in choir and enjoy learning about choral music so much more than band. The experience that choir has given me is incredible, and I feel like I'm learning at an incredible rate, and it really has awakened a new passion for choral music.

At the same time, I still feel like teaching college would be a good option for me. I haven't closed the door on double majoring in Theory and Performance, then going on to get a masters and doctorate in music and teaching college, but after all the talking and preparing and thinking about teaching high school, I'm not sure what I should do anymore.

I've constantly said that getting a theory or performance degree is pointless. I naively thought that everyone should pursue an ed degree because you take essentially the same classes but you get licensed to teach and have a modicum of job security when you graduate. You can pursue a performance career without a music degree, as well as going on doing graduate level work to teach theory.

The thing is, I don't have time to do all the things I want to in school. There isn't time for me to take all my music classes, take all more cores, and be in Wind Ensemble/Concert/Marching Band, Choir, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, Chamber Singers, voice lessons, comp lessons, and smaller ensembles. To pursue an ed degree and graduate in four years, while not limiting my musical learning and experiences in ensembles and lessons, (and getting a reasonable amount of sleep every night), I'm going to have to take cores over the summer anyway.

Switching to a Theory/Performance major, I can eliminate the ed classes and take all music classes at AU during fall and spring semesters, while taking online/hybrid summer classes to knock out my cores. This not only is going to allow me to focus on music all year, but it will free up my schedule and let me keep working hard and learning more musically. I can take secondary lessons all the time, pursue choral music more seriously, and take musical electives like conducting, for the sake of expanding my musical knowledge.

Whatever happens, cores are hapening over the summer. The only real question left is to switch from ed to Theory/Performance. In the course of my life, this is a really weighted decision, leaving me at a fork of deciding whether or not to teach high school or college. Honestly, I could pursue a performance career with flute. I've gotten to the point that I'm really good and getting better isn't huge technical problems in my playing. Getting better is the little things that make you more musical now: how to breathe perfectly, how to phrase, fine-tuning tone and vibrato and getting better. Yeah. That performance career would require a $10,000 flute. A bit ridiculous, really. But compared to the price of getting a doctorate in theory, is it that bad of an investment? Sure, a performance career would suggest getting a masters in performance. But I'm already learning from the best. I could feasibly be the best if I dedicate my life to it.

I'm at this mental block where I think that what I do is directly influenced by my personality. A teacher is selfless. They're dedicate and almost always seem perfect. They know almost everything in their field and can answer students questions. They help students grow and don't dwell on being the best.

Being a performer means being the best. I think some part of me thinks of professional performers who make careers out of it as cut-throat people who spend 18 hours a day in a practice room. They step on the little people and are jerks. At the same time, almost every music teacher at AU is in Cleveland Orchestra, ASO, Wooster, CJO, or some other professional group. And everybody here is incredible. They're great musicians and incredible teachers who go out of their way to help.

Whatever I do might not be linked to my personality, but I still don't know what I can do, or how I can do it. Regardless, to make a living, it means adding something on the side. Opening up a flute studio to teach from, or composing, or recording, or any number of things to supplement a musician's income.

No comments:

Post a Comment