Should My Child Major In Music: Part I

By Jeff Comas

        

A question I often hear from parents this time of year is- “Should my child major in music, in college?” When I hear this question, it usually means that their child is 17 or 18, college is looming just ahead, and it’s time to consider a major. Their child may not know what they really want out of college, but they know that they love to play music. Being a music major sounds like it would be lot more fun, and much easier than majoring in math, or science. So they tell you “mom…dad, I want to major in music.”

Maybe your (not so little anymore) Johnny loves to jam out on the rock tunes he’s learning at his guitar lessons and wants to be a rock-star, and you have to admit- he is actually getting really good. Maybe Sally has been seeing a vocal coach and can sing all the pop tunes on the radio and wants to be a famous singer. She really has good pitch and a good sounding voice.

If you believe your child is set on pursuing music education and/or pursuing a career in music, then it is in their best interest for you to help them find the right path.

You love your kid and you want nothing but the best for them, but as a parent you may wonder if you want your child to pursue an education, or possibly chase a career in music. We’ve all heard stories of how hard it is to “make it” in the music biz, and I’ll admit it can be challenging. It’s true that many “professional” musicians only manage to produce a meager living, even some who seem to possess great “talent.” However, the truth is that there are actually many ways to earn money with, or from, music. Very few involve fame and stardom, and most do not involve a regular paycheck. Still, if one takes the right steps, even a musician with average talent can bring in decent income with his or her craft and skills.

So, the answer to the question “Should my child major in music, in college?” really depends on a several factors; lets take a look at some possibilities.

There are basically three types of formal music education available: traditional university music programs, modernized university music programs, and avocational music programs. I have experience with all three types, and considered opinions about what they offer for (young) adults who are considering music as a career; or considering formal music education for other reasons.

If you believe your child is set on pursuing music education and/or pursuing a career in music, then it is in their best interest for you to help them find the right path. In Part II of this article, I’ll discuss more about the types of music education and which one, if any, is right for your child.

Stay tuned…


More Articles by Jeff Comas

A Safety Plan For Parents

I want to warn you that contents of this article may provoke some uncomfortable thoughts. However, if you love your children (and I know you do) I urge you to read on. After all, every parent is concerned about their chi . . .

Nourishing The Soul With Music

“The effect of music on our bodies” has been a topic of scientific studies for a very long time. We all remember listening to our favorite singer or band for extensive hours and how it lifts our mood and cheers us up. Th . . .

Should My Child Major In Music: Part II

Last month we talked about your child pursuing music education in college and/or pursuing a career in music. I mentioned that there are basically three types of formal music education programs: the traditional university . . .

Getting The Most Out Of Practice: Part III

Reading music is an activity in three and sometimes four dimensions;

  1. Pitch (highness or lowness of the sound),
  2. Rhythm (when notes are played & how long they last),
  3. Dynamics (the volume of the music played), . . .

Getting The Most Out Of Practice – Chapter Three: Why Read Music? Part I

I believe that learning to read music is an important part of becoming a musician. However, there are those who will point out that many wonderful musicians do not read music. I freely admit this is true, but there are a . . .

Getting The Most Out Of Practice: Part II

I commonly ask music students what they think they need to do to improve their performance of a certain piece of music. The common response is “practice more.” While more practice may be part of the solution, it is defin . . .

Understanding The Developing Teenager

Since 1989 when I became a music educator, I have worked with many hundreds of children and adolescents. While I hold no specialized certification outside of my license as an instructor of the Childbloom Guitar Program, . . .

Getting The Most Out of Practice Part One: Let It Be Easy

Most of us have had the experience of hearing/seeing a fantastic musician perform, and thinking that he or she made it look easy. Chances are that it actually was fairly easy for the performer. Why was it easy? Because t . . .

Getting The Most Out Of Practice: Part IV

As I mentioned previously, I believe all people should learn to read music. I have witnessed how learning to read music helps children (and adults) develop their cognitive abilities, improve their understanding of concep . . .

Getting The Most Out Of Practice: Part V

If readers have been playing close attention, you might have noticed that last time I said “Next time we’ll talk dynamics.” Well, it’s that time, but I decided to add the subject of timbre to this article.

Lets again re . . .