Preparing for College Music

Passionate about music? Does it fill your life? Students who are considering entering a music degree program at Andrews University should look at the following points:

1. One Instrument Focus: Although it is valuable to play more than one instrument, it is important to specialize in one of them. Regardless of your main instrument of instruction, or whether you plan to be a voice major, college education in music requires piano proficiency. Therefore, if you are considering majoring in music and you have taken piano lessons in the past, it is time to brush up those skills already acquired. If you have not taken any piano lessons, it is time to start now. 

2. Basic Muscicianship: It is expected that an entering muics major be familiar with the basics of musical notation such as note values and pitches, clefs, meters, dynamics, articulation and expression markings. Students also should be familiar--through reading, writing, and hearing--with scales (major and minor), basic chords (triads and sevenths), and chord progressions (I - IV - V - I, etc.). 

3. Ensemble Experience: Students who attend high schools with strong band, orchestra, and choir programs enjoy tremendous learning opportunities. Those who do not have that opportunity should actively pursue music options at community music schools. Playing, singing, arranging or leading music in your local church is also highly recommended. At Andrews University, each student has the opportunity to use his/her talent and engage in several worship experiences on campus. 

4. Technology: Familiarity with computer notation programs is recommended. The most common are Finale and Sibelius, which are stand-alone notation programs. Some companies offer less-expensive starter versions or educational discounts. 

5. Get Yourself Musically Cultured: Serious young musicians often do everything to advance themselves except actually listen to music! Even well-trained students often have a poor aural grasp of basic musical styles and concepts, especially those that fall outside their specialty or preference. One excellent way to be exposed to a variety of music genres is attending live concerts or listening to internet videos and recordings. Ask your music teachers for suggestions and be proactive about listening to many tpyes of music. 

Visit the Department of Music website to learn about programs of study and who to contact for more information.