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CJceltics33
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 2:58 pm    Post subject: Double Major? Reply with quote

I’m a sophomore in high school and loving the trumpet as much as ever. Obviously music is not an easy field to work in—and I’m no top tier player even for my age. But I’d still like to take it as far as I can. That’s why I’m considering a double major. It’ll be in math and trumpet performance. My plan is to have a job related to math and play gigs on the side. Earn some extra cash, but mostly, have fun...and maybe even retire from my math career early. How attainable is a double major? Is it extra work? Extra time? Extra stress? Just wondering if anyone could share their thoughts, advice, or experiences. Thanks!

CJ
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AJCarter
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I knew many people at Michigan who were performance and something else. one person was also Biology, one was accounting I think? another was English. I knew a young lady there who was double bass/Clarinet/ANOTHER major and then a minor in something as well.

Just depends upon how well YOU can handle the stress and budget your time.
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TrumpetMD
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 8:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Double Major? Reply with quote

CJceltics33 wrote:
I’m a sophomore in high school and loving the trumpet as much as ever. Obviously music is not an easy field to work in—and I’m no top tier player even for my age. But I’d still like to take it as far as I can. That’s why I’m considering a double major. It’ll be in math and trumpet performance. My plan is to have a job related to math and play gigs on the side. Earn some extra cash, but mostly, have fun...and maybe even retire from my math career early. How attainable is a double major? Is it extra work? Extra time? Extra stress? Just wondering if anyone could share their thoughts, advice, or experiences. Thanks!

CJ

In theory, a double major sounds practical. But I don't think there's one "right answer" for everyone. You have to figure out what's best for you.

FWIW, my wife and I both started as music majors, but switched to other programs before graduating (her in applied math and computer science, me in medicine and computer science). For us, music is much more rewarding when we're not relying on it to pay the mortgage.

You should be prepared for the extra time and costs, assuming it will take a couple extra semesters to complete both degrees.

In addition, a double major doesn't guarantee better opportunities. Many college majors have poor job prospects. So if you're planning to do a double major, make sure one of them will lead to gainful employment.

Mike
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sthomas98
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just finished my freshman year in college, and I am actually doing exactly what you are thinking of. I am a double major with traditional math (BS) and music performance (BM). It is actually a dual degree when you are doing what I am doing, and it would be called a double major if both degrees were a BA (with a double major BA, they would share many of the same core classes, unlike a dual degree like I am doing).

In short: yes it is harder and requires more college credits to graduate (for me 150 total instead of the usual 120), yes it requires a lot more work and time than just a single major, and yes it puts extra stress on you. But, I would say it is definitely worthwhile if you truly are interested and passionate about both subjects— especially if you want to pursue either of them professionally.

Keep in mind, if you want to get a performance degree, you have to be very dedicated to practicing (a lot) every day, and you have to be very passionate about music. Music performance is one of the more time-consuming degrees you can get if you are serious about playing professionally someday— so that means, among other things, that you need good time management skills. Math is also one of the more difficult and time-consuming BS degrees— but it is also very interesting to study in college because of all the different applications of it you get into.

Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions, I'd be happy to answer them.
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khedger
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't bother with a double major. Take your math major. Use some of your credits to study theory/harmony, and ear training, and get a private trumpet teacher. Play as much as you have time to play.
Having the trumpet performance major on your record isn't going to affect your situation playing outside of your math job later. It's more about just getting the musical information you need while you can.
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epoustoufle
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

khedger wrote:
I wouldn't bother with a double major. Take your math major. Use some of your credits to study theory/harmony, and ear training, and get a private trumpet teacher. Play as much as you have time to play.
Having the trumpet performance major on your record isn't going to affect your situation playing outside of your math job later. It's more about just getting the musical information you need while you can.


+1

Use the time you save to *gasp* play music! E.g. in outside ensembles, starting your own band, volunteering, busking, etc. You'll have a blast
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Richard III
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

epoustoufle wrote:
khedger wrote:
I wouldn't bother with a double major. Take your math major. Use some of your credits to study theory/harmony, and ear training, and get a private trumpet teacher. Play as much as you have time to play.
Having the trumpet performance major on your record isn't going to affect your situation playing outside of your math job later. It's more about just getting the musical information you need while you can.


+1

Use the time you save to *gasp* play music! E.g. in outside ensembles, starting your own band, volunteering, busking, etc. You'll have a blast


+2

And I would add a plus one to the following. In fact every young student should have this posted in large letters on their wall. Too many college students are studying something that leads to nothing. What you work on in college should have a specific job it relates to.

Quote:
So if you're planning to do a double major, make sure one of them will lead to gainful employment.

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royjohn
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not really familiar with what jobs a BS math major would qualify for, but if you choose this path, you should be. I wonder if the main thing that math majors do is go on to graduate degrees...other possibilities with definite employment potential would be music ed. or a double of music with IT. Another possibility is music management or recording, if either of these interest you. They also have the attraction of keeping you in the music field, if not actually performing. Choosing what to do with your life is difficult, but you do have to balance what you love with how you will eat. It is great if you can find something that you enjoy which pays well. It doesn't necessarily have to be what you enjoy most, just something that isn't soul-destroying to practice day by day.

I really wanted to be an opera singer, but my singing teacher, a Juilliard professor, pointed out that singers I admired with great ability were starving in NYC...and did I want to do that. I ended up with a Ph.D. in psychology and a decent living. I sing in choirs and choruses and get an occasional solo. If I had it to do over, I'd pick a different field, as psychology was stressful and not that remunerative compared to the time investment. Would have stayed in engineering (which is where I started) or maybe gone into medicine to be the big dog in the MH field. I think you will find something you can enjoy that makes enough money for you (and only you can say what "enough" is). And then make sure that you put a lot of money away so that you can retire early and play as much music as you like...
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khedger
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard III wrote:
epoustoufle wrote:
khedger wrote:
I wouldn't bother with a double major. Take your math major. Use some of your credits to study theory/harmony, and ear training, and get a private trumpet teacher. Play as much as you have time to play.
Having the trumpet performance major on your record isn't going to affect your situation playing outside of your math job later. It's more about just getting the musical information you need while you can.


+1

Use the time you save to *gasp* play music! E.g. in outside ensembles, starting your own band, volunteering, busking, etc. You'll have a blast


+2

And I would add a plus one to the following. In fact every young student should have this posted in large letters on their wall. Too many college students are studying something that leads to nothing. What you work on in college should have a specific job it relates to.

Quote:
So if you're planning to do a double major, make sure one of them will lead to gainful employment.


I'm not sure so sure I'd go that far. There IS such thing as learning to learn, not just to become a cog in the wheel. Can most of us afford it? No. And if one wants to pursue it, they should do it with their eyes wide open. But there are plenty of English majors around who don't English for a living! =
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Joshua712
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the prospects of being personally fulfilled and having a reasonable chance of success in either field is desirable to you then for the love of all things holy do not double major. I thought the same thing you did and I said to myself, “Self, I’m gonna get a degree in trumpet performance and a degree in Political Science that way if I can’t win a job I can go to law school or something”

A totally fallacious line of thinking that has no basis in reality. I was swamped with busyness- was spinning circles trying to keep both sides going and eventually came to the realization that all the extra effort was wasted effort. Having a successful career in any field necessitates complete and total commitment. And just because something is a “fallback” doesn’t guarantee success because ALL job markets are competitive nowadays not just music and you will be competing for jobs with people who will have spent the last four years going to bed thinking of math, waking up thinking of math and doing math math math all day. If you want to be a trumpet player do that. If you want to be a mathematician do that. Do or do not. There is no “try”. A man cannot serve two masters. Sitting on the fence is no way to live your life

But bottom line: you do you. That’s just my $0.02 and you’re a total stranger to me so what you do doesn’t really affect me in the slightest
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jscahoy
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's no harm starting out with your plan. People change majors every day. Honestly though, except for grad school, there's nothing you can do with a performance major that you can't do without a performance major.
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royjohn
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In thinking over my previous reply, I do wonder about a double major when one is music performance, which eats up a LOT of time. Music ed. or taking extra time to finish if doubling would make more sense.Or just math or something and performing a lot for fun.

But as the last poster said, you can try and see, and that's what college is for.
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dr_trumpet
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did a major in trumpet performance and a major in economics/management from a well-respected midwestern college. I worked VERY hard to accomplish this in three years, but I got it done. My first job out of college was one where I used my accounting and business degrees some, but since that time, it has been music all of the time, and I've frankly had zero interest in working in business.

However, the principles I learned about a business, the accounting, the tax consideration, the keeping of records, has all been essential and tremendously valuable as a free-lance musician. It helps keep track of pay records, purchase and sale of instruments and accessories, lesson schedules, work schedules, and so much more than just is expected of the free-lance players schedule. For that reason alone, the economics/management degree has also been of tremendous benefit.

It may not be for everyone, and I know next to nothing about you and your life, your preferences, etc. I am only sharing what I did, and the value I have gotten from that degree. Two degrees later, I teach college, I teach high school, I teach lessons, I perform frequently, I write marching shows, I judge, I compose, I write and arrange show choir shows, etc. It's all a part of the work schedule, and I can't imagine a day without all of them.

Hope my experiences help a little,

AL
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Betelgeuse215
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Start with a double major and then pick if you can excel in both, go for it. If you realize that in order to focus on one, you can't do both, you'll need to be willing to accept that realization.
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Brassnose
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on the idea! I work as a university professor at what would be a Tier 1 or 2 school in the US and the vast majority of the students basically starts their degree with the plan to finish comfortably and then getting a job in their hometown ... Needless to say that I find this very frustrating - there is a whole world of opportunities out there and they don't even look at them.

So IF you can stand up to the stress and additional work - why not? Even if it takes you a year longer. After all, we will likely live (on average) something like 80 years. Spending a semester or year longer in college really does not matter too much on that time axis.

There may also be a few chances here and there where your double major or a corresponding major/minor combination may make you a top candidate for a job: our former keyboard player is a computer scientist and now works in machine learning focusing on how a computer can learn to handle music - even compose. Another person I know has a degree in math and church history - I think she wrote five or six job applications in her whole life and always got the jobs she wanted - slightly offbeat combinations are interesting to HR folks. After all, they get a million applications from people with regular profiles every day.

All in all - non-standard combinations of topics may not give you the regular mass jobs, but it may in special cases be quite helpful. So, as long as you can manage it and stay healthy and happy, why not?
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CJceltics33
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! You guys have provided some valuable information and I really appreciate it. I have not decided yet but I’ll see where trumpet takes me in the next few years and then make a decision. I’ll also research any not run-of-the-mill jobs that may involve math and trumpet, as per Brassnose’s idea. Thank you!
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CJceltics33
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone know of any jobs that involve trumpet and math? Jeez it’s be a dream to work in the Monette shop lol...

And how does the stress of a double major compare to the stress with just one on a day to day basis? Is it more work each day? Or just a year extra...?
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roynj
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 4:58 am    Post subject: Re: Double Major? Reply with quote

CJceltics33 wrote:
I’m a sophomore in high school and loving the trumpet as much as ever. Obviously music is not an easy field to work in—and I’m no top tier player even for my age. But I’d still like to take it as far as I can. That’s why I’m considering a double major. It’ll be in math and trumpet performance. My plan is to have a job related to math and play gigs on the side. Earn some extra cash, but mostly, have fun...and maybe even retire from my math career early. How attainable is a double major? Is it extra work? Extra time? Extra stress? Just wondering if anyone could share their thoughts, advice, or experiences. Thanks!

CJ


I was a math major and also played trumpet in my college band and jazz ensemble all throughout college. I also took private lessons from the college music school prof, which was a bit of a rarity because he didn't usually take non-majors. That was quite a challenging learning experience. There was no way that I could have handled a double major at Texas. I wanted to have a bit more free time than that would have allowed.
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Craig Swartz
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

khedger wrote:
Richard III wrote:
epoustoufle wrote:
khedger wrote:
I wouldn't bother with a double major. Take your math major. Use some of your credits to study theory/harmony, and ear training, and get a private trumpet teacher. Play as much as you have time to play.
Having the trumpet performance major on your record isn't going to affect your situation playing outside of your math job later. It's more about just getting the musical information you need while you can.


+1

Use the time you save to *gasp* play music! E.g. in outside ensembles, starting your own band, volunteering, busking, etc. You'll have a blast


+2

And I would add a plus one to the following. In fact every young student should have this posted in large letters on their wall. Too many college students are studying something that leads to nothing. What you work on in college should have a specific job it relates to.

Quote:
So if you're planning to do a double major, make sure one of them will lead to gainful employment.


I'm not sure so sure I'd go that far. There IS such thing as learning to learn, not just to become a cog in the wheel. Can most of us afford it? No. And if one wants to pursue it, they should do it with their eyes wide open. But there are plenty of English majors around who don't English for a living! =

"Learning to learn" is fine if you'll ever have the means to pay off your inevitable debt once you've "finished" your "formal learning". I teach at a prestigious small college where it would cost one in the neighborhood of $260K to pay all of the fees over 4 years if one had to pay it all him/her/itself. With our endowment program the vast majority of our students are well-subsidized but it still leaves one with a huge financial commitment upon graduation. So, I'd like to point out that there is much, much "debt-free" and practical learning that can take place after you've left the college/university profs in the rearview mirror and enter (gasp) real life. Embrace that even more, and keep your options and eyes open. Good luck.
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kalijah
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
That’s why I’m considering a double major. It’ll be in math and trumpet performance. My plan is to have a job related to math and play gigs on the side.


You do not have to have a trumpet performance degree to play side gigs. You just have to play well enough to create demand for your services. AND YOU MUST BE ABLE TO READ COLD and play the correct style. (I know of those with performance degrees that can't read well enough to get work)

There are, or should be, playing opportunities in college ensembles for non-music majors. There was for me. I studied Electrical Engineering and there was no minor field of study in that curriculum. Even then there were opportunities to take classes in music theory, arranging etc. AND the ensemble involvement was just a matter of auditioning successfully and registering for the class. You can use these towards your non-technical "humanities"credits if such is required.

But you can learn much music outside of the college umbrella as well but the college ensembles can give you some valuable experience and credibility. You can study with independent teachers for the fraction of the cost of college. There are also tons of materials available such as Aebersold etc. that are a fraction of college costs.

I also played with various "rehersal" bands which were higher level than the college ensembles in some cases. But these are a rare opportunity and I had good fortune in that regard.

"Community" bands are also a playing opportunity, as well as church groups etc. but I found that many of these are filled with high-school-level and marginally skilled musicians, or worse. But there was occasionally exceptions.
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