I love being a music major. I love music and it’s incredible ability to bring people together and to tell stories. I love that music allows me to be creative and expressive. I love performing and being on stage. I love the community music fosters. But I’m not going to lie, people don’t give music majors enough credit. My fellow classmates are some of the smartest, dedicated, hardworking, loving, and open people I know. When they say STEM majors require a lot of work, I could bet you that music majors are putting in even more time into their practice and studying. As a computer science double major, I, myself, would say I put in more time into music than anything else. So I just wanted to write a post about what my daily life was like this past spring semester and specifically, I’m a Bachelor of Music: Performance Major studying piano.
The thing about college is that you don’t usually have the same classes and schedule everyday. At my school we mainly have Monday, Wednesday, Friday classes and then Tuesday, Thursday classes. With my insane 20 credit load (16 is average), my schedule was all over the place, but I’m going to give an example of my average Wednesday (my busiest day) and my average Thursday.
6:30 AM – Wake up
6:50 AM – Eat breakfast while making lunch
7:15 AM – Leave the house and drive to school
8:00 AM – Get to school because there is always traffic. Get my stuff for class out of my locker and check my phone. If I get here earlier, sometimes I’ll sneak in a little practice.
8:15 – 9:20 AM – Music Theory IV! This was actually one of my favorite classes because my professor is amazing and the people in my class were amazing. We have all become really close and I literally couldn’t survive the semester or being a music major without them <3.
9:35-10:40 AM – Conducting I! I also really enjoyed this class. I realized I never want to be a conductor, but I can’t deny it wasn’t fun and our teacher was amazing!
10:40-10:55 AM – Walk to the other end of campus where my next class is.
10:55AM – 12:00 PM – Philosophy 115. I actually really liked this class. The first week I went to it, I was completely terrified since I didn’t know anyone, and it’s a general class that I’m taking as a sophomore, but I made some really great friends and met some really nice people. I also really enjoyed my professor.
12:00 – 12:15 PM – Speed walk all the way back to the music building.
12:15 – 1:15 PM – Piano Lit. So like I said my schedule was a mess and since this was a combined class with some grad students because we only had 4 students total in the class and this was the only time they could meet, it was scheduled here and I usually ate lunch during class. While this class stressed me out to no end, I really enjoyed learning more about piano literature, and also my piano teacher teaches this class and she is the best!
1:35 – 3:10 PM – Orchestra. While piano is my main instrument, I’ve been playing viola in orchestra for a couple months longer than I’ve been playing piano, but I’m a million times better at piano.
3:30 PM – Drive home.
4:15 PM – 12:00 AM – Get home and do nothing for an hour or two, eat, then do homework, then practice, possibly in that order, possibly not, possibly do them all, possibly not . . . (don’t tell my piano teacher)
12:00 AM- Go to bed . . . hopefully . . .
6:45 AM – Get up. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I get to sleep in 15 minutes, which is nice.
7:15 AM – Eat breakfast while making lunch
7:30-8:15 AM – Leave the house and drive to school
8:15 – 9:45 AM – Get to school and practice piano. The secret to being a music major and getting enough practice time is really using every bit of time you have to practice. You may feel like 20-30 minutes isn’t sufficient time to get anything done, but it’s more than nothing. I usually use this time to review stuff I learned or was working on the night before.
9:55 – 10:45 AM – Aural Skills IV. I love my teacher for this class. He is hilarious and is always bestowing commentary on life on us, but I’m so terrible at aural skills. Sight singing, I’m okay at if I write in all the solfege, but I can’t really do dictation to save my life . . . well, okay, I do okay in it, but it certainly is not my best subject.
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Piano Lesson! Not going to lie, I love having piano lessons in the second half of the week because if you don’t practice over the weekend, you at least still have time to practice enough before your lesson . . . but I totally always practice on the weekend . . . (that was meant to be sarcastic). Actually, I love my piano lessons because I absolutely love my instructor. She’s like a second mom who I can always go to for advice and help and she’s loads of fun!
12:00 – 12:30 PM – Lunch / check my phone / do homework time
12:30 – 1:15 PM – Practice piano
1:30 – 3:10 PM – French Conversation: Cinema. I really enjoyed this class but I really am terrible at speaking french and it’s a conversation class . . . I’m also a French minor, possibly a French major, and I semi don’t know why because I suck at French, but I’m taking the classes anyway. lol.
3:20 – 5:00 PM – Practice Piano
5:00 – 5:15 PM – Eat a snack
5:15 – 7:15 PM – Gamelan!! I love gamelan so much. It’s Indonesian percussion ensemble and it is so much fun and my group really became a family. Half of them are graduating so I’ll miss them.
7:30 – 8:00 PM – Drive home
8:00 PM – 12:00 AM – Relax, eat dinner, practice piano, do homework, possibly in that order, possibly not, possibly do them all, possibly not . . .
That’s was mostly what my schedule was like this past semester, which is utter craziness. Those are my two busiest days, but really the other days I just have one less class and use that time to practice. And you may be wondering how much I practice per day. Towards the beginning of the semester, not much if I’m to be honest. On some days, I would skip practicing (again don’t tell my teacher). But the last month of the semester when I had juries (like a music final when you play for a couple teachers for a grade) and a concerto performance coming up, I upped my practice time to at least 3-4 hours a day, everyday. Somehow I survived, but it was probably my hardest semester yet, but I have a feeling this fall is going to really kill me when I have to prepare for a recital and another concerto audition. If I am anything, I am over ambitious. But I hope you enjoyed some insight into my life as a piano major. If you have any questions feel free to leave them in a comment!