Why Music School Just Wasn't For Me

Why Music School Just Wasn't For Me

High school dreams don't always work out, but that's nothing to worry over.
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For half of my high school career, I had my life planned out. I wanted to go to college for Music Therapy, get my degree, go into the world, and be happy in my field of work. I prayed for months and months to get accepted into the music school of my dreams. I was generally new to music, too. Being fresh out of high school with only two years of lessons to back myself up, there was a lot to learn, not only about music, but about life as a musician, and life in general!

When I got accepted to my top music school, I was basically jumping out of my skin. But most of all, I was quite shocked that after only two years, I got into an AMAZING music school. I was going to be studying piano on the same level as those who had been playing for their whole life! How impressive, right? Wrong.

At my huge high school, that now feels small compared to all of those that join me at Temple, being a music major was unheard of! "She plays the piano? How talented!" "Going to school for music? She must have dedicated her whole life to this!" Funny thing is, I didn’t.

One short week into majoring in music, I found myself crying. A LOT.

Temple was great. I loved Philly. What was going wrong? I was crying at the piano when I used to look forward to sitting there for hours. I was dreading all of my classes when at one point all that I wanted to do was music and only music.

It happens, though.

Not all of us are cut out for our high school dreams.

Now I'm the former music kid that sits through anatomy wondering where the hell my head was when all I could think about was music. My eyes have been opened to so many amazing new subjects, careers, and majors. I feel like I've missed out on so much.

Picking what you want to do for the rest of your life is not easy. I had my heart set on my life as a musician, but here I am, a brand new undecided major. I don’t regret this, either. I’m so thankful for all of the opportunities that being a musician has offered me. I’ve made countless amounts of friends in my past few years. I’ve learned about music in its truest, rawest form. I’ve seen how music can heal. And, above all, I’ve given myself a challenge, accepted the challenge, and found out (on my own) that it wasn’t for me.

Now, I’m lazy...compared to when I spent hours at the piano. Now, I can sit in bed and work on assignments that have nothing to do with touching a piano or reserving practice time.

The fact that I pulled myself together in two years to get accepted into an amazing music program is an achievement to myself. Although I didn’t go further with this dream, I’ve shown myself that if I want something bad enough, I can achieve it.

I'm thankful for the music school here at Temple and the opportunity that I was given. The programs and teachers are amazing and I'll support every single music student for the rest of my college life because I know that it isn't easy. Next time you see a music major, appreciate what they do. Music isn't as easy as it is perceived to be.

I guess what I'm getting at is if you’re unhappy, find a way to cut the negative energy out of your life and make yourself happy. Why pay (a lot of) tuition to earn a degree that makes you never want to work a day in your life after college? Find what you love and be that; even if you’ve been training for years. In this case, my time was not wasted, but I learned lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Cover Image Credit: Jonathan Silverman

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Five Main Reasons I Chose Communications

Because I know people will forever hound me about "fake news".
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I did an article a few weeks ago about “questions my family would ask” and my answers to them. One of the questions was as follows:

What’s your major?

  • Communications. Yes, I know to not get involved with fake news. To be honest I will do my best not to write about politics at all in my field because I want to get involved with entertainment journalism and meet new people and write about stuff I actually enjoy hearing about twenty-four seven.

This answer got me to thinking more about the fact that people may have a stigma against those going into the communications field. I know I for one have seen many articles doing “majors as _______” and the communication ones are humorous and true, saying that the communications slogan would be “trying to convince people your degree is worth something.” Honestly, it’s the truth. I feel as though many may have a negative impression when I say I want to go into the communications field. I can not count how many times someone has said “fake news” to me in some way shape or form, and it may make people hesitant to admit this is their passion. So this articles for you, if you wonder why in the world someone would donate so much time into something like this.

Learning on the Job.

I for one always had a passion for learning. School? Not until recently, but learning was always something I enjoyed. With communications, there are endless opportunities to learn about places, events, and people. You learn so much about history and settings which you may not otherwise think you would find interesting. Yes, you can learn on your own time, but being paid to learn about things that you may not otherwise open your mind up to- and things you do find fascinating, as well- is, to me, the perfect environment because there is always something new to introduce.

Meeting People.

I can’t think of a more interactive job than one which involves heavy communications skills. Journalism or public relations are so heavily involved in other people’s lives that it makes my life seem less boring. I believe the perfect example of this would be the 1998 film by Todd Haynes, Velvet Goldmine, starring Christian Bale. It follows a journalist who gets to travel all over New York and meet people in attempt to piece together a piece of mysterious history. Ironically enough, that wa the film that really made me want to go into journalism. The interviewing process is more often than not, highly intimate. You learn details about people you may otherwise never have met before, or crossed the street and not thought twice. Heck, you might have even let a door shut on them, but in that moment you’re sitting across from them hearing their entire life story.

Travelling

Probably the most glamorous part of the communications field is being able to travel and meet the people I mentioned above. It is no secret that some of the most well known publications are nowhere near my home state of Virginia, but that’s okay! I look forward to taking that risk and living in New York. In my eyes, and probably a few other students’ as well, moving is part of the job, and all too worth it when you could get the chance to meet someone truly extraordinary. Personally, if I were to carry on in communications, my section would focus on the entertainment industry (films and the like) and so conventions are a big part of publicity and press. Being able to go there under the title “press” interview some of the biggest stars in horror or other films, interviewing Oscar nominees? There’s no opportunity if you stay grounded in your roots. You have to move to find the story.

Advertising

And communications isn’t just for talking! You get to get involved with campaigns and marketing as well. It opens doors to getting work scene, making posters and merchandise for artists, commercial advertising, films, and so forth. There’s a truly creative aspect that comes with communications whether it be posters, presentations, or merchandising. It’s a real art form you don’t appreciate until you sit through a lecture on fonts.

Having a Voice

Okay, this ones a little cliche, but one of my personal favorite aspects of communications- mass communications- is being able to have a voice, be it in front of a small group or a big audience. It allows you to test yourself, and see where you really stand on certain aspects (yes, we are taking the political bullet here). It also allows you to spread your message and persuade others to think critically about what they believe. I believe that communications gives a very heavy sense of empathy which some (most) may lack, the understanding of other people and their sides to some issues, big or small. Once the message is out, it’s the ultimate gateway to compromise.

I use to be incredibly introverted, and going into the communications field has helped me to create another version of myself entirely. It opens doors to figuring out what your morals and ethics are, a road of self discovery, if you will. Communications isn’t just “fake news” and politics, it’s an entire world of never ending education and facts and learning, and while it may not be as glamorous as a lawyer or doctor, it is just a fascinating to the right people.




Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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Let's Arm the Teachers

.....with what they really need
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The news is swirling and people seem to be losing their minds over school shootings (as they should be). From conversations on mental health to intense arguments on gun control, the national dialogue on school shootings has once again reached a peak. Survivors are seeking action by politicians now more than ever - although many have been fighting for change for decades.

The newest, most creative, "ah-ha" idea in many localities around the country is to arm teachers and administrators with guns to protect students. Whether this idea seems genius or like the stupidest thing you've ever heard, I am not concerned. Put it in a Facebook post.

I want to talk about a different kind of armament for teachers and school district employees. What if the government armed schools with the supplies, salary, and training to protect their students in a way in which they were capable of the positive mental, physical, and emotional development to protect them from a plethora of disasters including suicide, bullying, poverty, and, yes, school shootings? What if all teachers, not just private school teachers, were given the resources to properly support their students? This could lead to a compounding of armament meaning that students would be provided with the 'arms' (support and skills) they need to protect themselves from poverty, mental and physical illness, violence, etc.

Picture this, a student is struggling in school academically and socially. A teacher being paid sufficiently, with enough free time due to small class sizes, with the motivation and drive through proper training by their administrators, and with the extra supplies to help his or her students practice and understand class material is equipped to support the student emotionally and academically. This student, with this careful attention from the teacher improves in school socially and academically to become a productive member of society with some self esteem as icing on the cake.

The student without these resources falls through the cracks. He or she remains behind in school, emotionally damaged, and vulnerable to failure. Failure comes in many forms whether it be not graduating, not getting a job, falling into poverty, getting into trouble with drugs and alcohol, not having friends, deteriorating mental health, etc. These things are as much of a threat to one's life as gun violence. Furthermore, these things can lead to gun violence.

I do not agree with those who want to arm teachers with guns in order to protect students, but I do believe, although to a different degree, that education and strong teachers have great amounts of power in protecting the world. I believe it is possible, through funding and stronger infrastructure, for education, specifically public education, to protect students from violence inside and outside of school buildings themselves.

Overall, the politics of gun violence in America is complicated and wrought with many strong and conflicting opinions. I believe the most recent solution, to arm teachers, is complicated and dangerous, but my point has nothing to due with this discussion. I believe, though, that teachers should be armed with resources much more effective in the long run than guns. I believe in the power of teachers to keep students safe.

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