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johnoeth

2 instruments in College?

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I'll be starting college this fall and would like to play and take lesson for classical guitar and piano. I'm not sure of the semantics. Would this mean I double major? Major in one, minor in the other? Major and one and just take lesson in the other? :veryunsure:

I'd like you gices advice/experiences.

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Talk to your advisor.

Talk to your advisor.

Talk to your advisor.

Talk to your department head.

Talk to your advisor.

They will know what's best for your situation, and how your school and program work.

Also, if you're just starting school and don't have a major, take advantage of that and take as many DIFFERENT classes as possible. At least at my (former!) school, the (lib arts) majors are designed to be completed in two years, so that you can wait until the second year to declare.

But fur realz,

Talk to your advisor.

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Ferk has it right, talk to your advisor.

I actually auditioned into my music department as a Clarinet Major and as a Vocal Major, was accepted for both, but ultimately was told that I would have to choose one or the other. In my third year of school, I approached my advisor (who, handily, was also my performance professor) about the possibility of taking performance lessons on other woodwinds. We then took the proposal to the Department Chair and discussed options.

The chief difficulty is that within the State University system in California, lessons are broken up by track; MA candidates receive weekly half-hour lessons and BM candidates receive weekly hour lessons. Per our research, the amount of lesson time was capped by the system. Our compromise was that I was able to split my lessons - I moved to hour-long lessons every other week with each teacher. The end result was that I created the Woodwind Doubling major (BM Performance) at my university.

Once I started, I paid my teachers for extra lessons on the side, since I felt that I wanted more than what they were officially allowed to do.

In my opinion, I think you'll be making a mistake to do this. But then again, I was told the same thing when I did it, and I've never regretted it. Just keep in mind that as a freshman, you'll most likely just be ignored. If you want to make this happen, you need to do well, get well known at your school, and put a lot of effort into your major.

They aren't going to listen if you're a slacker... you need to push hard and excel.

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Honestly, if you think you are capable of putting forth the effort required to do both at a major level, then go for it if your school of music allows this. I am doing a double major on oboe and bassoon right now, and I know I'm not the only person in my school who has tried to double on instruments. I will third the suggestion to talk to your advisor, because these things differ wildly from place to place.

One of the other people who started out as a double major on oboe and bassoon (and just graduated as an oboe major) chose to drop one major because of his other non-music major, but he continued to take bassoon lessons on a minor level. But AFAIK, he could have continued doing both if he had chosen to, i.e. our department didn't force him to choose. But again, since this is really different in different places, talk to your advisor.

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My question would simply be can you dedicate a minimum of 42 hours a week for study? 3 hours a day shoudl be your minimum practie time as a performance major in college, so two instruments would mean 6 hours a day.

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You are overlooking that if you are doubling two or more similar instruments you can basically kill two birds with one stone. Certain daily practice regiments attack the same concepts equally on all instruments so it matters less which instrument you actually apply it to, since you are learning what is applicable on both. Basic things like breathing, articulation, and musicality (if you could call them basic!) over lap between oboe, bassoon, and English horn, and in that particular case, so does some aspects of embouchure, support, and fingering. So it's really not all that hard as you think to maintain a high level on multiple instruments. Of course, the further away the instruments are related, say... saxophone and trombone, the more individually you must attack each and that's where the whole dedicate the twice the time to practicing because it's actually two instruments idea comes in.

I happen to play almost all woodwinds and brass to a level that I find to be at least half satisfactory under the constraints of learning so many instruments in a short period of time. The reason I can do this is because of that simple principle that a lot of the issues involved with each tend to carry over to one another. I can work on my horn chops for days without touching the trumpet and come back with more accuracy on the trumpet than I had before, or I could work hard on learning the trombone even to a most basic level and ignore the horn only to return to the horn finding that my lower register has improved without me having even touched the horn for a week. Through careful planning you can easily maintain a decent level on at least two instruments simultaneously, especially if you have the patience.

Because I know somebody will probably say something as usual (psshh, corbin... not to mention any names... ) please don't read into this as me thinking I can play to a performance major level on all these instruments. When I say I play them to a satisfactory level... I've only been playing tuba for 2 years, and because technique has overlapped from trumpet and horn, I can play tuba like somebody that's been already playing for 5 or 6 years. Not that I expect to play as well as a tuba major, but more that I aim to. Since I have a headstart of sorts, I like to take advantage of it.

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Performance level IS satisfactory for a serious musician.

I typed out a long post here a few days ago explaining the credit hour differences and what they entail for someone double majoring, but then IE crashed :-(

I would say, don't do it, and focus on things that could make you a better musician overall. You don't have to major on both to get jobs with both. Taking those conducting classes, and instrumental ed would probably do you a world more of good.

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*fat for the fire*

In my world, you almost have to play more than one instrument to survive. Rhythm section player aside, if I wanna work I'm going to have to have serious trombone, bass trombone, baritone chops...tuba would be an excellent asset as well.

In school, saxophone players are required to take lessons in at least one other instrument (clarinet, flute, etc) in order to graduate.

Just sayin'

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Exactly, lessons.

Not a second major.

Not that string players have troubles getting jobs, but usually violinist and violist will be able to play each other's instrument.

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@ Corbin

Then I suppose I totally agree with you. ;)

Taking a major in two different instruments would be a very unwise decision. Comparable to taking two different degrees in ANY discipline! Imagine... B.Sc in Chemistry and Biology!!?!

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I'd hate to sound negative, but with your particular combination of instruments, the piano teacher may ask you to stop lessons on either one of the instruments because of the calluses on the fingers developed from playing guitar. I'm not sure if this will be the same at other colleges, but that was my friend's experience.

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I decided to try out double majoring since talking with my current guitar and piano teacher and the guitar and piano teacher at the future college. If I can't handle the work load, I will just take lessons on one. But I would be taking the same classes with each major just having a 30min-1 hour piano lesson each week. Which would almost be the same as just taking lessons, but I think I am required to accompany if I am a piano major.

But thanks for the replies. And why would callouses hinder my playing? If anything, it would be my right hand nails making an irritating clacking sound on the keys. :P

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First of all, I don't wish to offend anyone here.

I've seen a lot of students who were Double Majors or had a Major and a minor. Additionally, I've seen 2 Instrument Majors (or at least they were trying to be).

Apart from, let's say Piano Major + Composition Major, I've never seen any Double (whatever) students do any one of 'em well.

I think Instrument + Composition Major works quite well (at least at my college). Not A LOT of extra work involved except of course, more electives and such.

But then, none of them really EXCELLED on their instrument or in composition all at the same time. That is my case (hoping to change that around soon), and many other students' cases (hoping to change that around soon).

Definitely those 2 Instrument "Majors"; I've seen a lot of students trying to tackle 2 instruments at a time. Only lucky cases were able to move on (to one however), almost all of them didn't (at both). They were wasting their time.

This is what I've seen so far in 3 years in music College. Strictly speaking in terms of College and College-success(?), not real-life success.

I do agree with people saying you gotta know how to play more than one to survive; definitely.

I play both Guitar and Bass Guitar. Double Jobs!!!!! But then those instruments are very similar; especially in trad. Rock settings.

...Had a "friend" who tried to tackle guitar, piano, flute and voice. The "friend" even was considering becoming a theory Major! (Respect!)

This wasn't all done at the same time but the "friend" did try 3-4 categories at the same time. Imagine taking half hr. lessons in guitar, piano, flute and voice; all in a week!

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