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Degree Options

Degree Options

One of the biggest things I wish I would have known before starting my undergrad were all of the possible options for majors. I only really knew about the music education route and had no idea that there were so many other options. It is important when exploring majors to keep an open mind and really think about which major would be something that could create a future you would want. It is also ok to change your mind and choose a different major along the way. The options in the music world are a wide range of exciting fields that each have their own unique rewards.

Music Education - this is created for students who want to be music educators. This could be anything from teaching elementary school music to being a high school music teacher. It could also be a first degree for those who want to pursue graduate degrees to be college level music teachers.

Music Performance - this degree is for those who want to be performers within the music world. It also works as a first degree for those wanting to be studio teachers at the collegiate level. Some people even use this as their bachelor’s degree when they know they wish to pursue graduate degrees in fields like music theory or music history. Those degrees do not have undergraduate programs at most colleges so this gives students the opportunity to get an undergraduate degree in the field.

Music Therapy - this field is for those who want to pursue music as a health profession. There are many different types of work these majors move into. I am not an expert at all in this field and will not pretend to be. If you want more information, please check out their website:

Music Industries - this is another field with a wide range of options. Most people assume that this field is for those who wish to work in recording studios, but there are also administrative and legal sides to this world as well. This field is full of entrepreneurs who build a life within this ever changing environment of the professional music world.

Composition - this major is for those who wish to compose music. This could be for any type of project from writing beginning band music to composing for film and everything in between. It could also serve as an undergraduate degree for those who wish to pursue music theory graduate degrees.


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Mind Mapping Your Practice

Mind Mapping Your Practice : The Anti-Practice Journal Approach to Journaling Your Practice By Tracy Bass University of Missouri - Kansas City Dissertation Points Credit Spring 2019

Most of us at some point in our lives have been instructed to keep practice journals or maybe we were even required to keep them. My freshman year of college was the first time I had seriously taken lessons and my horn teacher required us to keep a practice journal. This usually led to me making up what I had done minutes before my lesson and just scribbling down my thoughts for the week. I was practicing regularly, but just could not get on the practice journal train. I expressed my dislike for this method with my teacher at the time and she offered great advice and gave me some direction to do some further research about practicing. This led me to find Randy Gardner’s article from the February 1996 edition of The Horn Call titled “Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan.” I can not stress how important t…

Other Blogs and Websites

Other Blogs and Websites
There are plenty of other sites and blogs for horn people out there, but not all of them are high quality. A lot of them, like this one, were created as projects for degree requirements and then become left unattended. That being said, there are some truly great blogs that are frequently updated by leaders in the horn world. Here are a few of my favorites: - James Boldin’s Horn World James’ site is an all around resources for the horn world. He has a blog that is frequently updated and personal information about his life as a teacher and performer. He also has a job listings page that has a current list of professional ensemble auditions and teaching jobs that are open. - Horn Matters, by John Ericson and Bruce Hembd This blog is a HUGE resource for horn players. These guys have arranged their blog by topic and they create new posts all the time. This blog is one of the most user friendly music blogs that I have encountered.

Selecting a Teacher

Selecting a Teacher
When you start looking for college to attend, make a list of all of your options. Figure out if you are applying to schools just within your state or throughout the whole country/world and make a list of your options. Find the horn teacher’s profile on each school’s website and you should be able to get a sense of what kind of teacher and performer the teacher is. If possible, travel to each teacher and have a lesson when you are trying to choose where you are applying. At the least, have some email correspondence with the teacher so that a dialogue has been started and they know you are interested. Through lessons and communications, you can get the sense of whether you and the teacher would work well together. It is always ok if you do not feel like you would like to study with a particular teacher, just as it is ok that a teacher may not want to take you on as a student. It is all about finding the right fit. My suggestions are finding out what their strongest te…