In the past two years that I have been a music major, over half of the people I have talked to have no real idea what a music major does. Most people assume that all we do is sing and play our instruments and that's about it. But there's so much more to it. There are countless music theory classes, hours of lessons and practices and many 0 credit classes we have to take every semester. But no big deal, right?
Honestly, just as a musician in general, I've always felt under-appreciated. But it became an even bigger realization for me in college. One of the biggest debates I've encountered with other students is how many credit hours we each take and the complexity of our classes. As a music major, I will pretty much always have to take over 20 credit hours just to graduate in 4 years. I've ran into many students who take 15-18 credit hours, but constantly complain about time management and in some cases, have even dropped their class. As a music major, time management is needed in order to succeed and you don't even have time to drop a class. On top of taking 20 credit hours, we have to take 0 credit classes such as studio classes, professional development, masterclass and recital. And on top of THAT, we have to make time to practice every day, have spontanous rehearsals for choirs or shows when needed, and all of the performances that come with those.
I will never say that just because I might be taking more credit hours than you means that my curriculum is harder than yours. There are many people who are in classes I know I would never be able to handle. But my argument is that people really just don't understand how difficult our major is. They think it's all fun and games, but in reality, it's one of the hardest majors. While I'm forever grateful to be studying something I'm so passionate about, it still takes as much work, if not more work, than any other major. We can't just read from a textbook, have a test and it be done. It's constant physical and mental work everyday.
At the end of the day, I wouldn't ever want to stop studying music. No matter how many credits we are all taking, as long as we are all studying something we're passionate about, that's all that matters. However, it is scary knowing that if I feel under-appreciated now in college, who knows what will happen after undergrad. The music business is quite a scary field to get into. Music majors may be under-appreciated, but just getting that one person to smile and appreciate all the work we do makes it all worthwhile in the end.