Survival Tips for Music Majors
7 May, 2018

We all know about the enormous impact of education on our professional future when it comes to music career - proper education plays a vital role. Thus, we've prepared survival tips that will ease your life as a music major.

How to Survive Being a Music Major

  • The beginning of your professional career is your first not last day on campus

Admit it, a lot of students believe that school is a waste of time because "Who needs practice if he has true talent?" Don't diminish the power of practice and connections. During school years, you meet a lot of people, see their path, and can learn from their mistakes. This communication will have a strong effect on your success after graduation. What's even more important - your reputation. After graduation, musical society will have a fixed picture of you. Do you know how many groups have members they met in high school? Thus, your main task before graduation is to create a proper image of you!

Try to make the best impression while studying. Sooner or later, your group mates will be your colleagues and your teachers - will give you recommendations and references. If your reputation is "really untrustworthy, unprepared, unpunctual, rude" in other words, "pain in the ass," this description will stick to you, and it will be pretty hard to rebuild this impression.

Don't get us wrong - it's normal to make mistakes. It's even good because that is the way we learn. Sometimes, all you need to fix the unpleasant situation is a simple "I'm sorry."

  • Being prepared is vital

Devote enough of your time to studying and stay on the top. As a music major, you have a lot of stuff to deal with at the same time. Classes, rehearsals, private lessons, different projects, music creation... It's easy to lose a track of what is really important. Being unable to prioritize, most students start to procrastinate which is not a good option at all. This is the worst thing can music major do, especially with practicing.

So what options are? The best thing is to set up your priorities and create a schedule. In this case, you will have time for your personal stuff before classes or repetitions. Unfortunately, you will have to put on hold socializing to stay on the top of your studying. Just give yourself enough time to finish all tasks. Of course, this system may not work for you. We all are unique and have different approaches to work. So what can you do? Find or create a system that will help you to stay on top of everything. The thing that really saves a lot of students is to-do lists. Write down all your tasks/goals in the morning, so you could finish it by evening and still have time for friends.

One more piece of advice for you - do not overload your schedule. Do not take too many classes during one semester. Why making your life impossible? Just take fewer classes and you will be able to devote more efficiency, time, and energy to studying. Yes, it may take an extra semester to graduate if you take fewer classes, but this studying will be more efficient.

Last but not least, if you are not prepared for the class - just tell the truth. Do not make excuses, usually, they sound silly. Be honest. Professor will appreciate your honesty. However, do better next time, so your teacher will know you're a reliable person. So we come to our next part.

  • Reliability is everything

Reliability is connected with being prepared. It will be appreciated if you have all your classes learned, have great participation during lessons, and constantly working on your musical skills. You will have a solid background and believe us, it will help you a lot in future. Because everyone wants a reliable musician - the one who comes on time, is always energetic and professional, always willing to do more. Every rehearsal is the biggest gig. Every listener is the biggest fan. Every song they have to play -is the biggest hit. And these musicians always get the first call.

  • Practice, practice, and practice

I'm not sure why we writing this word of advice. It goes without saying - spend as much time as you can practicing. School is the best time because it's the only time when you have enough time for practice when you have an appropriate environment around. When you out of school - you will never have suffice time for practice, so catch the opportunity.

What is the best way to practice? Some of you will probably say "Well, just practicing? What are you talking about?" But it's not about time you spend practicing, it's about quality. Think really hard about what you are doing, why you are doing it, and how you can do it better. Create a problem and solve it. And your teachers are there to help you to find the most effective way to solve your problem. Knowledge of how to teach yourself is the most precious one.

  • Record yourself

Another one vital tip. Always record yourself: in classes, during rehearsals/performances. Listen to them immediately to see your mistakes and weak spots. Also, you can listen to them in a while (a year, for example) to see personal growth. Development can only be measured over extended periods of time. You will be surprised how better you become in a year. That will motivate you highly! So record yourself and use it for improvement and motivation!

  • Listen

Usually, teachers can tell who will do great from the first conversation. And if you going to jazz school but have never listened to it - it's hard you succeed. Seems right?

So our point here - the best inspiration for a musician is music! The more you listen, the more different music, the more you can create. This is the way you will find your own style. Someone's music is a great model for development.

So listen to everything you can find! Of course, listen to music that evokes emotions in your soul, listen to something weird/strange to your ear. Find a new perspective on your style. Find interesting interpretations of well-known songs. Only via listening to different music, you can find answers to all questions.

Use the most amazing source of inspiration for musicians - music!

  • Patience is gold

Please, do not expect to become "musical perfection" one day. It will take time to find your style, to master your skills, and to gain your audience. So patience is vital here.

You have so many classes in school that it seems like you need to learn everything in one night. But do not panic, every technique will come to you eventually. You'll get everything with time.

  • Save everything

Literally, everything! Textbook, records, silly ideas, tests, tasks - these are your resources! Sort everything by course and semester, so you can find things easily.

Save stuff - you'll be happy you did.

  • Be active

Take part in everything you can, perform as much as possible, play in every possible moment. Play in school and out. Show your music to the world, give it a chance to appreciate your talent. The more experience you have, the better you get, the more connections you have - the more possibilities are open for you.

  • Step out your comfort zone

The next tips for music majors won't surprise you. Perhaps, stepping out comfort zone is something everyone should do. It will make you more confident and help to appreciate things you already have. Also, it opens new styles, new ways to solve old problems, new people. So stepping out comfort zone is a pretty rewarding experience. Do it!

And the last but not least, do not be ashamed to ask for a help. It's more fun to solve problems when you have someone by your side.

Music is magic! So make studying music an incredible experience. It doesn't matter how successful student you are if it's true music in your heart.

We hope these tips on how to survive being a music major are helpful, and you will use them to have the most incredible time in your life!

Be happy with your talent! Have fun and create something amazing!

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