The Life Of A Music Major, As Told By Non-Music Majors

The Life Of A Music Major, As Told By Non-Music Majors

What do other majors at West Chester University think happens in a day in the life of a music major?

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In this fun experiment, I wrote and requested interview questions from others studying music about being a music major at West Chester University. Then, I posed them to people who studying other fields, who ended up giving answers that were fun and surprising to read. Below are the anonymous interviewee's responses followed by the answers I came up with.

1. What is your major and year?

Person P- Freshman, Biology

Person M- Senior, Nutrition

Person E- Sophomore, English

Person S- Junior, English Writings

Person O- Sophomore, Civil Engineering

Person J- Sophomore, Elementary Education

Person N- Sophomore, English Literature

Person A- Junior, Nursing with a Psychology minor

Person H- Sophomore, Nursing

I am a Sophomore Music Education major.

2. What musical experience do you have?

P- I've been in band and chorus since third grade and I'm in marching and concert band here.

M- I took private voice lessons from age eight to seventeen and was in choir until eighth grade. I played the flute from fourth grade to tenth grade in band and orchestra, also participating in marching band sixth grade to ninth grade. I also took keyboard lessons for four years, violin lessons for three years.

E- I was in choir throughout high school and I took singing lessons in eighth grade. I was also in a select choir in middle school.

S- I had music class in grade school, where we played the recorder and sung.

O- I took violin for one year when I was in kindergarten and took choir for three years. I also have some experience on the Wii drums and guitar hero.

J- I play piano, ukulele, and was in high school choir.

N- Choir in elementary school, Hand chimes (also in elementary school), and piano.

A- I was the captain of my drumline in high school (indoor and outdoor) by my senior year, did orchestra, wind ensemble, and a women's choir. I started my first instrument (drumset) when I was four but really gave up on music for a while from about 4th to 7th grade after piano lessons really came for my brand, but I've pretty much always done some sort of vocal ensemble and even dabbled in a couple recreational bands/ bit of songwriting in high school.

H- I have been playing flute for 10 years! In high school and for my first semester at WCU I did marching band, and I was also a drum major in high school. I play my flute in the church choir at Newman every week, which has been a really fun way to meet people! I've also played the cello and piano in the past as well as sung in choirs.

I started learning the violin in fourth grade, and continued my participation in orchestra through the end of high school. When I was twelve, I started taking piano lessons and now I study piano as my major instrument in college. I have done various choirs, including Cantari Donne and Mastersingers at West Chester University.

3. Do you have any personal relationships with one or more music majors?

P- Yes, quite a few.

M- Not currently. My best friend of 24 years and current roommate was a music minor. My aunt was a music major 30 years ago.

E- I room with one!

S- No.

O- Yes, you.

J- Yes.

N- Yes. One goes to Temple and hearing her talk about everything she has to do stresses me out.

A- Yeah, I have a handful of music major friends.

H- Since I was in the marching band, I got to meet many music majors and learn a little about what they are doing. I have a few friends who are in ensembles, and they have a lot of work. One thing I always see music majors doing is taking mirror selfies in their practice rooms!

As a music major myself, I have several friends and acquaintances studying music at West Chester.

4. What music-related majors are offered at West Chester University?

P- Education, performance, elective studies.

M- No idea. At all. I kinda thought music was music honestly. It never occurred to me that there could be more than one.

E- Music education, music theory/history.

S- Teaching, vocal, and instrumental?

O- Education and how to do music

J- Music Performance, music education, music therapy?

N- Music Education, Music theory, voice

A- Ed, Performance, Ed and Performance, and Composition.

H- The two that I've heard of are music performance and music education.

WCU offers quite a few paths for music majors, including Music Education, Performance, Theory, History, and Composition. For students who are interested in performing and teaching, there is also a five-year Music Education and Performance major. Another major offered is Music with Elective Studies, which means students mainly study music, taking many of the same required courses as other music majors, but they also study major courses in another major, most often business or therapy. For each major, there are three tracks: Instrumental, Voice, and Keyboard, indicating the major instrument of the student and which instrument they have major lessons for.

5. How many classes do music majors take each semester?

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P- 11

M- 5-6

E- 7-8

S- 5

O- 11-13

J- 5-6

N- 6-7

A- 10-12

H- 5-6

The schedule of a music student is a little different than others simply because of the number of courses we take. While everyone's schedule is different, we will often take over 10 classes each semester, which is made possible by the credit amounts per class. While some of our classes are worth 2 or 3 credits, others are worth 0.5, 1, or 1.5, making it possible for students to have such a large quantity of classes without overloading. However, many end up overloading anyway, either to try graduating on time or to fit in their favorite courses and ensembles.

6. What courses are required for music majors?

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P- Jury pieces, lessons, ensembles, learning new instruments, and basic gen eds.

M- I assume gen eds plus major classes in theory and also playing your instrument. Probably also composing.

E- Piano course, singing or orals classes, music history, and music theory.

S- Music theory classes, language requirement, gen eds.

O- Instrument classes, music theory, teaching music classes, go to recitals, music history.

J- Gen eds and music theory classes.

N- Music theory, music history, and I'm assuming they have to learn a couple of different instruments as well.

A- It probably varies between performance and/or ed as well as instrument concentration, but gen eds, 2 years of marching band, a series of theory, aural, and composition classes (probably 2-3 of each at least), classes for all the instruments, ensembles, music history, ed classes, conducting classes, and lessons.

H- Music theory classes, taking music lessons on every instrument, and I believe doing two years of performance in an ensemble. I was in marching band so I heard a lot about the work music majors have to do and it's a lot! I can't imagine trying to learn so many instruments.

The course requirements are different for everyone depending on their specific major and concentration/ instrument. However, all music majors have to take Music Theory, Aural Activities, Private Lessons, Music History, a Major Ensemble, Studio Hour, and Conducting. Instrumentalists besides strings and double reeds players are also required to take two semesters of marching band. There are other courses only required for specific majors, such as music education courses, instrument classes, and music literature. Between these courses and general education courses, it's a busy schedule to say the least.

7. What do music majors learn in Music Theory courses?

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P- How to write music, chords, and understand it.

M- Scales, chords, keys, time, maybe music reading skills, music math.

E- How to sight read and generally read music, compose your own pieces, analyze other pieces from different composers

S- How to analyze music?

O- Rhythms, melodies, harmony. You listen and write music as well as reading it.

J- The fundamentals of music, basically. The clefs, the notes, the chords, and how they work in conjunction with each other.

N- I honestly have no idea, something along the lines of how music is composed? I know it's pretty hard based on what I've heard from my music ed friends.

A- I feel like basically, it's an English class, but instead of dissecting novels and what their authors meant, it's dissecting music and what/why composers made the musical choices they did, analyzing chord progressions, melodies, countermelodies, and all that good stuff

H- How music is composed and why it is written the way it is.

Music Theory courses cover the process of writing, analyzing, and understanding the building blocks of a composition. We start at the basics, reviewing how to read different clefs and then moving on to tougher topics, such as how musical ideas or motives are written and repeated. During class, we observe different pieces, modern and classical alike, to look at how or why a composer would put in a certain chord or melody. We also spend time composing our own pieces as a project. Tests and quizzes will be divided into sections into vocabulary terms and analyzing a few lines of music.

8. What does an Aural class look like?

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P- singing.

M- I have no idea what that is or how one takes a class on it.

E- maybe a few students and a professor working on different pieces together.

S- It's in an auditorium, maybe?

O- Is that like listening to music class? Or maybe it's singing.

J-

N- No. Idea.

A- hell if you don't have perfect pitch or at least really good relative pitch.

H- Students learning how to sing different pitches.

Aural Activities courses work on developing a musician's listening skills. We focus and are tested on two main topics- singing and dictation. We start off singing major scales, and eventually move into more difficult notes outside of our set of "normal" notes in a key. While we do skills and prepared songs, we do a lot of sight-singing, where the professor takes a song we do not know, gives us the sheet music, and we have to sing it to the best of our ability, with only a few notes or chords on the piano indicating what it might sound like. Dictation is the ability to listen to a song and properly notate it on the staff. Usually, this will be less than 10 measures at a time during a test, but for homework, the pieces can be much longer. In class, we usually get eight opportunities to listen to the piece before that section is over.

9. What does a music major's homework look like?

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P- Practicing, writing music, stuff like that.

M-

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E- sheet music for practice, rehearsal, and maybe some homework on paper.

S- Studying and writing musical notes?

O- You have to practice musical instruments, write some music, go to recitals, and write lessons for small children about rhythms.

J- I think it's just theory worksheets I guess.

N- Recording different vocal techniques and lots of sheet music worksheets I guess.

A- Practicing, practicing, more practicing. Probably some written lesson plans and stuff for ed majors, maybe occasional writing the occasional composition, possibly video submission playing tests.

H- Practicing different tones and pitches and answering questions about how music is set up, rhythms, etc.

Music Majors have a variety of different assignments. Most importantly is practicing repertoire for lessons and ensembles. Other than that, we probably have to take notes and write papers for music history, write compositions and complete analyses for music theory, complete dictation exercises and prepared melodies for aural, write lesson plans and complete observations for education courses, etc.

10. What are recital cards?

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P- Cards that you have to get punched when you go to recitals.

M- Recital cards might be like a program for a recital show or a cheat sheet for a performer.

E- Cards that document how many recitals you attend.

S- A card used to go to a recital.

O- They are cards that work like coffees but instead, you have to attend recitals. You get them punched when you go and watch others performing.

J- Is it like a pass or something?

N- No idea.

A- Y'all gotta go to a bunch of recitals per semester, I wanna say like 10, with a certain number of ensemble, student, and faculty recitals and get your lil card punched.

H- I haven't heard of these, but my best guess is a paper that tracks how many recitals the student goes to in order to fulfill the requirement.

Before we graduate, music majors have to complete six recital cards, tracking how many recitals we go in a semester. For each card, we need to watch two ensembles, two students, two faculty members, and two recitals of our choice for a total of eight overall recitals. When we attend the performances, we get two holes punched- one showing we came in before it started and one saying we left at the end.

11. How much should music majors practice?

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P- 2- 4 hours a day.

M- Every day for two hours.

E- Two hours a day.

S- 2 or 3 hours spread throughout the day?

O- Until they are proficient.

J- an hour a day.

N- Every day. Maybe for 2-3 hours?

A- Approximately 25 hours per day.

H- 5-6 times a week for maybe 1-3 hours.

During all-school meetings, professors usually tell students to practice for at least two hours every day, and strongly encourage even more. Every faculty member will say something different, but the point is everyday music majors should step in the practice room and come out having made progress in their instrument and in other courses. Realistically, everyone has a different amount of work, especially if you're in more classes and/or ensembles. But most importantly is the way a student practices, which is hopefully efficient and good for their mental and physical health.

12. What was your perception of musicians in high school? How has that changed in college?

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P- I believed that they were well-rounded students and that they had a dedication. It's stayed around the same.

M- That they were either druggies who couldn't cut it in science and math but had talent, or they were parent-pleasing prodigies. Sorry. Today I think they're just like everyone else, trying to find a way to make a living doing what they love.

E- In high school, it seemed like they were almost a strange mix of people from all different friend groups and personalities. Some seemed like they felt they had to take the music classes while others were there because they loved what they were doing. In college, I've noticed the musicians are more of the latter. They love what they're doing and are majoring in something they are passionate about. They're all very dedicated to what they are learning.

S- I thought it was just a hobby or a dream, but I know that many musicians have a lot of job opportunities ahead of them and are taken more seriously.

O- They are nice and like music. Poco artsy.

J- A lot of my friends are music majors at other schools. I feel like they have a passion and I honestly really respect them for choosing a major that doesn't necessarily guarantee financial stability, but ensures they will be doing something they love for the rest of their lives.

N- I've always respected them. Even though I only play some piano, the dedication it must take to learn instruments and the theories behind them- it seems like a lot to me.

A- I was one, I did band, orchestra, and choir in high school, and both of my parents are music teachers, so my perception hasn't really changed other than I know how hard it is to pursue music and how much work goes on behind the scenes of every single performance. I knew I wasn't cut out for it so major props to everyone who is doing it, especially at West Chester because the programs here are really strong.

H- I've always seen musicians as dedicated and hardworking. I still believe that now, but I see even more passion. You can tell that music majors really enjoy what they're doing.

I remember in high school when I first decided to study music, it seemed like no one was as dedicated to music as I was. Now that I go to West Chester, it's amazing to see the talent and passion of the students around me and I am so proud to say I'm one of them.

Thanks again to everyone, musical or not, who contributed by asking questions or responding to interview questions.

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10 Rappers Whose Lyrics Will Take Your Instagram Captions To The Next Level

Make your life easy by choosing a caption that's already been written for you.

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Finding the perfect caption for you Instagram post is something everyone struggles with. On the contrary, the best rappers in the industry right now seem to have no problem with it. Whether it be Cardi B or Kanye West, you can always count on fire captions. Taken from the rappers themselves, here are the best rap lyrics for Instagram captions.

1. Travis Scott

Travis Scott album cover

  • "It's summertime, why they tryna throw shade?"
  • "Rollin' rollin' rollin' got me stargazin'"
  • "I got 'em stage diving out the nosebleeds"
  • "Anything can happen at the night show"
  • "This right here is astronomical"
  • "Valet park when I pull up in the ride"
  • "Pick up the phone, baby, I know you're home, baby"
  • "Oh my, what a wonderful time"
  • "She said 'where we goin?' I said 'the moon'"
  • "I been up sleepless late nights"
  • 2. Migos

    Migos II

    • "Walk it like I talk it"
    • "In the kitchen wrist moving like a stir fry"
    • "Put my mind on it, put my grind on it"
    • "We live like sopranos"
    • "Diamonds on my wrist stay drippin"
    • "Addin' up checks, no minus"
    • "I can buy that car, I know that you can't"
    • "No human being, I'm immortal"
    • "Walk in the buildin', they start applaudin'"
    • "Versace, Versace, Versace, Versace"

    3. Cardi B

    Cardi B be careful

    • "I like texts from my exes when they want a second chance"
    • "I went from dollar bills, now poppin' rubber bands"
    • "Why would I hop in some beef? When I could just hop in the Porsche"
    • "You know where I'm at, you know where I be"
    • "These expensive, these is red bottoms"
    • "I don't dance now, I make money moves"
    • "It's not a threat it's a warning, be careful with me"
    • "Poured out my whole heart to a piece of sh*t"
    • "Karma for you is gon' be who you end up with"

    4. Drake

    Drake

    • "This a Rollie, not a stopwatch, sh*t don't ever stop"
    • "I only love my bed and my mama I'm sorry"
    • "I get it how I live it, I live it how I get it"
    • "No new friends"
    • "Drinking every night because we drink to my accomplishments"
    • "This sh*t got me in my feelings"
    • "With your phone out, gotta hit them angles"
    • "My ex asked me, 'Where you movin'?' I said, 'On to better things'"
    • "My team good, we don't really need a mascot"
    • "Got new money, got new problems, got new enemies"

    5. Nicki Minaj

    Nicki Minaj

    assets.rbl.ms

    • "Imma keep it moving, be classy and graceful"
    • "In my kingdom, with my Timbs on"
    • "Uh, yo, watch your man, then you should watch your mouth"
    • "At least you took an L off your bucket list"
    • "Defend my honor, protect my pride"
    • "But to live doesn't mean you're alive"
    • "She just mad 'cause he never bought her ice like me"
    • "I fly with the stars in the skies"
    • "They paintin' me out to be the bad guy"
    • "All these b*tches is my sons"

    6. Mac Miller

    Mac Miller

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    • "I'm a monster with the heart of a lion, divide and conquer"
    • "I got a bone to pick like roses"
    • "I'll do anything for a way out of my head"
    • "Your love is not too kind to me"
    • "Yeah, I got a bad attitude"
    • "No matter where life takes me, find me with a smile"
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    • "I don't know 'bout you, but me, I'm important, I'm so gorgeous"

    7. A$AP Rocky 

    A$AP Rocky

    • "Same shit, different day"
    • "I got three phones: business, conversation, and relation"
    • "What the face say to the fist?"
    • "I look for ways to say 'I love you', but I ain't into makin' love songs"
    • "Paranoia got me losing all my z's"
    • "Make no mistakes, it's all a leap of faith for love"
    • "She ain't a stranger to the city life"
    • "Can't forget that I'm golden, can't forget where I'm going"
    • "Riding by the rules, I'll abide by it soon"
    • "Ain't a killer so don't kill the vibe"

    8. Kanye West

    Kanye West

    • "Yeah u so mother thick"
    • "Ball so hard, let's get faded"
    • "That sh*t cray"
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    • "All of my kindness, is taken for weakness"
    • "I'm lookin' for the one have you seen her?"
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    • "Let's get lost tonight"
    • "Sun don't shine in the shade, bird can't fly in a cage"
    • "Reach for the stars so if you fall you land on a cloud"
    • "No you're not perfect but you're not your mistakes"

    9. A$AP Ferg

    A$AP Ferg

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    • "Gucci down to the socks"
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    • "Put in work, put 'em in the dirt"
    • "Fergy be mobbin' all day"
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    • "Don't pray for me pray for the weak"
    • "I was only 8 years old, watching Nick at Nite"
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    10. Lil Wayne 

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    • "Real G's move in silence like lasagna"
    • "I speak the truth but I guess that's a foreign language to y'all"
    • "Okay you're a goon, but what's a goon to a goblin?"
    • "I got some weight on my shoulders, to me it's like feathers"
    • "I am more animal than the zoo allow"
    • "Money talks, bullsh*t walks"
    • "Every night's a long night, every day's a holiday"
    • "I'm a cool cat, but I'm on life nine"
    • "Haters can't see me, nose bleed seats"


    No matter what the occasion, it's always good to have creative Instagram captions on hand. Nobody knows how to make clever captions than rappers themselves. Whether you need creative caption for throwing shade at someone, or you have used only emojis for your past 5 Instagram pictures, rap lyrics make the perfect caption.

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    'Dad’s Old Number' Is The Perfect Father's Day Song For Everyone Who's Lost Their Dad

    The amount of times I've wanted to call his number, but couldn't.

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    It's June now and Father's Day is right around the corner. Unfortunately for me, my dad passed away three years ago and this is my fourth Father's Day without him. My dad was my best friend and even though I have other best friends it's not the same.

    My dad wasn't just a best friend, he was more like an older twin. And these past few years have been rough without him. I listen to the old songs he loves, especially Skynyrd, but no song has hit me like "Dad's Old Number" by Cole Swindell.

    Cole Swindell - "Dad's Old Number" (Official Audio Video) YouTube

    The song tells of a son who has lost his dad and calls his dad's old number just to have the new owner answer. I still remember my dad's home phone and work number. I honestly have no idea who would answer his old home number but I've met the guy who works in his old office and that's who would answer.

    He's actually an old friend of my dad's and one of the last times I visited he gave me some pictures of my dad from the '80s when they worked together back then. It was a simple gift from him but meant so much more to me. There are other numbers in my dad's old office I could call and talk to when I need them because it's like a family and I grew up in that office.

    When Cole Swindell calls his dad's old number he asks for the person not to hang up, that he's not selling anything, and didn't know what he was thinking when he called. He further explains that he forgot that the number isn't his lifeline anymore and that every now and then he calls them up, and the one ring hangups.

    I haven't gone as far as calling the number but I've thought about it. When life got rough I had a couple of numbers I'd call. My dad wasn't always the best with advice but he was my dad. The other was my granddad who unfortunately passed back in February. And in watching Alabama Softball this past weekend I've just wanted to call and talk to either of them about how they fought hard but still came up short. Or to call and talk about how the Braves are doing. I and my granddad would talk about my daughter but I never got that chance with my dad and I wish I would've.

    He ends the song in saying if he finds the right girl or gets that job that there's a good chance that the new owner of the number. For me, I understand because if I'd have called and talked to the person then maybe I would have a relationship with them. It happens all the time and can be good. I just read a story on a grandmother who would call the wrong number thinking it was her grandson and it was some other girl who she now has a grandmother-granddaughter relationship with.

    For me, the song definitely gets me in my feels but it's because I know the exact feeling. For anyone who wants to go through with calling their dad's old number, I say go for it. You never know who is going to answer and what they will say. There are still good people out there and who knows it could be someone near you who has lost a dad or a father that has lost a son and it will help both of you. Happy Fathers Day to everyone whether your father is still with you or not.

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