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Music Major

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boxheadhappypill
(@boxheadhappypill)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 11
Topic starter  

I'm 27 and I'm considering going back to school to major in music... I come from a musical family, my father owns a shop in WA and my grandfather is a bass singer, etc, etc... It's the only thing I'm passionate about... I have already, many units under my belt, but no declared major... I know I will be doing music in some form or fashion my entire life, and would like to get in to producing or becoming a recording engineer.. unfortunately the school I will be going to only offers a liberal arts degree which I would be fine with because I can pick up more recording knowledge on my own... anybody have any advice for me? :note2:


   
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jeffster1
(@jeffster1)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 231
 

A lot of people will say that a music major is a bad idea for career opportunities and they might be right. You have to do what you're passionate about, regardless of opportunity. If you're serious enough about it, you'll find something you enjoy doing. My advice would be to pick a school you want to go to and do it. If it requires moving, money, find a way. That way you won't be looking back on your life one day and kicking yourself.


   
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boxheadhappypill
(@boxheadhappypill)
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Joined: 14 years ago
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Topic starter  

I work at a bank, doing loans, and all that jazz... I have it in my head that after I'm through with school, I can, in some way, transpose(ha) both my schooling and work experience in to something on the biz side of the industry...


   
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DennisF6
(@dennisf6)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 74
 

Just one opinion - my guitar teacher has a music degree. He has mentioned to me before that if he had spent the 4 years working as a musician instead of going to school, he would be further along now. In other words, his time would have been better spent "doing" rather than "learning". His goal is to be a professional musician (preferably, a rock star - he's a young guy) so that may be different than someone who wants to "work in the business".

So, what store in WA does your father own? I live near Seattle. Maybe I can swing some business that way.

I want to play guitar very badly -
and I do!


   
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boxheadhappypill
(@boxheadhappypill)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 11
Topic starter  

Just one opinion - my guitar teacher has a music degree. He has mentioned to me before that if he had spent the 4 years working as a musician instead of going to school, he would be further along now. In other words, his time would have been better spent "doing" rather than "learning". His goal is to be a professional musician (preferably, a rock star - he's a young guy) so that may be different than someone who wants to "work in the business".

So, what store in WA does your father own? I live near Seattle. Maybe I can swing some business that way.

My father owns Musician's Center in Bellingham.

I am currently in a gigging band, but I don't have delusions of grandeur about becoming a rock star... I'm turning 28 tomorrow and I'm super passionate, but I need to face reality and realize I need a serious day job... the job I have now is good, but in the long run I'd like to get in to the music industry in some form or fashion. I'm trying to figure out if it will benefit me to have the music degree, seeing as how my goals are different... than your teacher's


   
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UrbanCowgirl
(@urbancowgirl)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 428
 

I don't see how getting a degree in music can hurt if you want to work in the industry. I mean, you will be in school for how many years? 4 at the most, probably less? I don't see how in 4 years, if you don't get the degree, you would have that much experience working in a musical field that a job would pick someone with the same minimal 4 years experience over someone with a degree. Given your background I should think a degree plus your business knowledge would only help you. And if you don't end up working in music, having any type of college degree helps get you a better job whether or not it has anything to do with that job.
Sounds like a win win situation to me. I say go for it if that is what you are passionate about.

All my life I wanted to be somebody. Now I see I should have been more specific.


   
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Hyperborea
(@hyperborea)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 827
 

I'm not sure that a music degree would be what you want to get if you are aiming for the business side of things. If you really mean the business side then get a business degree with maybe a minor in music.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


   
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ph0nage
(@ph0nage)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 199
 

a lot of schools are starting to get Music Business degrees that are becoming popular. My roommate in college majored in this with Guitar as his primary instrument. there was an instrument route and a vocal route(Unfortunately, this was before i decided to learn guitar).


   
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dogbite
(@dogbite)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

make music your life choice.
let me explain.
I have always wanted to be ana artist. I went to schools and got my degrees.
I learned the ins and outs of materials. styles, history...you name it.
I make artwork and show in galleries.
so you could say I grew up to be an artist.
all my life 's decsions I made in some way added to my life choice.
so much so it has become my life style.
in a way, no matter what I do I am stuill an artist.

I am not famous, but I am not unknown. I don't use things like that to measure my success, however.
(well, maybe some).
I supported my self for many years from selling my artwork. and yes, I was broke half the time.
for the last fifteen years I have had a cool job. its in my field. I work in a modern art museum handling art work by really famous people all day long. very rewarding.

what I am saying is if you want a career in music you make it your life style.
so going to music school is a good idea. but also continue playing in a band, work in family's music store, meet musicians, network and network. pretty soon three quarters of your life has gone past and you realize you ARE in the music business doing what you want to do. some days are better than others. but you are not a ditch digger. you are not a store clerk.
that was my realization. I am an artist.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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Chris C
(@chris-c)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3454
 

Hi,

Many things can shape your eventual career path but here are two important ones:

1. Knowing where you want to go.

It's hard to reach any destination if you only have a hazy idea where you're trying to get to. The clearer you are about your goals the better the chance you have of planning how to reach them. 'Getting a job in the biz' is about as vague as 'get rich' and has about as much chance of success unless it's refined a bit more. You want to end up in recording? Then go and ask people who work (or hire) in that field, what jobs there are and what it takes to get them.

2. The contacts you make and the networks you build up.

If you know somebody already working in an area that interests you then you can get great help through accurate inside information, tips about opportunities, recommendations, and so on. It may be that studying music puts you in touch with people with really useful information, or you might mostly meet academics who train others to teach and talk. I don't know the answer to that. But don't just guess, go and ask. Ask people who work in areas that you think might interest you, and find out what the opportunties and requirements are. Ask the colleges if they can provide details of what careers their students were able to follow once they qualified. Did they get the jobs you'd like, or did they end up somewhere else?

Good luck finding what you want.

Chris


   
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boxheadhappypill
(@boxheadhappypill)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 11
Topic starter  

thanks guys.... all of your responses have been really helpful... two of the guys in my band have degrees in music, one in music composition and the other, I don't recall what his was but they both say they are happier they chose to go the music route... right now, one works part time running sound and has one regular gig running sound on sundays, the other wants to go after his masters and is looking at schools, he wants to teach at the college level....

If I were to work in the biz, I'd like to get in to producing, mastering or as talent scout... (unless I make it on my own as a musician...ha) those are the aspects that interest me. I spent time working at my dads shop, but it's tough to work for family, and I sort of wanted to carve my own niche... I would absolutely say that I'm an artist, as most of my life revolves and or is in place to supplement my art... my coworkers who have never seen me outside of work are caught by surprise when they see me out of the workplace because my tattoos are covered, I'm wearing a tie, etc...the point is I know it's something that I need to follow as it is a part of me, a huge part, and like somebody earlier posted, I just need to decide what my focus is going to be... I figure I'll start by asking questions and gleaning what I can from people who I know have already done it and just see where it takes me... 8)


   
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