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How does one balance two majors at once?

I plan on majoring in music education with either a second major or minor in psychology. Doing something in the science field was kind of a big leap for me, but I have always loved discovering how the brain works. I thought that pairing my interest of music and/or multilingualism with the field would be fascinating. But if my primary interest, since I was fairly young, is music how can balance the two whilst maintaining a healthy life? #psychology #music #double-major #administrative

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Luis Javier’s Answer

Hace you thought about Music Therapy. This is an area that would allow you to combine bith interest in one career. At Berklee for example, while you are preparing to become a therapist you still have to maintain your proficiency in your instrument. After you complete your BM, you will want to consider a graduate degree as it will be required for your field. At that point you can specialize in an area of psychology.

Thank you comment icon Great answer. No need to repeat. Thomas Heid
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B.J.’s Answer

It's great that you have strong and diverse interests, and with the current boom in technology, medicine, and brain research, you can definitely carve out your own path to specialize in what inspires you the most. I would, however, caution you in considering doubling your music education major with another major. While there are are certainly people who have pursued a music ed degree, along with another course of study (or varsity athletics, etc.), you might want to think about going through your first year of the music ed program before adding any more academic responsibility to your plate.


At most schools (at least at those who will really prepare you to teach when you graduate), the music education degree program is already much like a double major. You will have most of the same demands as every other music major (music classes - which tend to be for less credit than most other classes; 2+ hours of daily practice on your primary instrument; ensemble rehearsals and performances; mandatory concert & recital attendance), along with having to learn and practice every other band and orchestra instrument and piano. On top of all of that, you'll have the entire education course load required by the school and for state certification, along with the general education courses required of all students.


Double majoring can be done as a music student, but I would highly suggest you get into the program and get your feet under you first.


Good luck!

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Nir’s Answer

The key to balancing two majors is the same as balancing one very hard major. You must know what you are going into ahead of time. It is critical that you read up on your assigned class/professor before you sign up for any given course to know what is the expected workload. I balanced a double major plus a minor by making sure to spread out the most difficult classes from each field over different semesters.

Another very important aspect, and it sounds lazy but it's not, is to know which work is critical to your success and which work is not. The truth of the matter is that unless you are a walking encyclopedia of memory and can function without sleep, there will be periods when the work is simply too much overwhelming to absorb every little detail and master every topic. However for the vast majority of tests/projects/papers if you are paying attention to how the professor is grading and what they say will be covered on the test/experience from previous tests and students, you can start to get a better idea of what information is actually necessary for succeeding in the class.

For example if a professor assigned 5 very long chapters but they were not covered in the test, and simply required class participation, then I would skim or in a pinch, go off what other students said. It can be a very stressful situation but if you balance your work properly and scope out workloads before commiting you will be fine 95% of the time.
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