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Should I participate in a college curricular band with a possible minor in music or join a club band?

I am definitely going to do marching band, and I know some colleges require curricular band to participate. However, not all of the schools I applied to require this. band music minors

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Jessica’s Answer

Hello Ethan!

It really depends on how much you want to commit and what your college has to offer. Most schools are just glad to have students participating in music, even if they are not majoring or minoring in music. You should easily be able to just join a band without minoring if that is what you are wanting. Depending on the school, there might be club bands or the bands could count as a 'class'. But just because a band counts as a class does not mean that you have to minor in music. It just means that you get a credit (usually a free credit) for committing to participate in the band for the semester. The great part about college is that you can changes things every semester. If you join too many things and become overwhelmed, you can always just choose to do less the next semester.

I would look into the schools that you apply to and see what they have to offer and once you get on campus, just go talk to professors in the music department. They will be more than happy to have you!

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Robbin’s Answer

Hi Ethan!

Marching Band is a huge time commitment. If you participated in your high school marching band you are probably already aware of the time commitment. College marching bands usually have more rehearsal/practice, as well as possible travel. If you plan on joining anything else (clubs, fraternity), just remember to pace yourself and leave room for your courses. You may find that college coursework is more challenging and requires more time for study than high school. If you join the college wind ensemble/curricular band as a course, it will appear on your transcript. You usually don't have to minor in music in order to participate in these particular performance groups. Minor in music, if the nonperformance part of music interests you, such as theory, dictation, and music history and you want to continue with private lessons for credit.

Robbin recommends the following next steps:

Contact the college music departments to find out more information about performance ensembles and music minor coursework
Start preparing your audition pieces with your private teacher. You need approximately 6-12 months to prepare for a college audition.
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Krissy’s Answer

The answer is yes. One should get as many as music experiences when they are in school. I encourage you to go for it and do not hesitate to get more knowledge about music performing.
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Melynda’s Answer


I was a music ed major (voice principal) and participated in WVU marching band/colorguard. It was VERY time consuming but very much worth it! If you can fit it in, do it! In the future, you can find a job as assistant band director, etc. I would caution to not overload extra curriculars. I was in band, two choirs, plus music classes and gen. Ed. (about 8 a semester). I was WORN out. I couldn't do it now, but a younger version of me loved it. Jobs were impressed!