Monday, August 22, 2005

To B.A or to B.Mus?

Okay, I didn't find the time to do my acoustics post today. Placement exams and meetings got in my way, though I was excited to find that five students passed out of the first semester of music theory, five times as many as last year. Tomorrow I should have time to blog, in between advising appointments. Advising can be a challenge, as we have seven different degree tracks for music students to pursue:
1) B.Mus - Performance, the most popular major, but high pressure
2) B.Mus.Ed, a very difficult major with many requirements. Students have to decide very early on to be an education major.
3) B.Mus.Arts - Music Business, a misnomer as most recipients of this degree go into arts management rather than opening a business.
4) B.Mus.Arts - double major, choosing a discipline from the college of liberal arts to take seven or eight courses in as well as music courses.
5) B.Mus.Arts - general. Not as many music classes as the B.Mus, but more than option 7. Students who were pursuing option 1 but fail the sophomore performance proficiency end up with this path.
6) B.Mus (Performance) and B.A (Some other major) - the double degree is like option 4, but the student also fulfills the general education requirements for the Bachelor of Arts, taking classes in all six Groups (science, philosophy/history/religion, fine arts, literature, foreign languages, and sports/ensembles/studio art). For the student who really likes music, but really likes the liberal arts education and some other subject as well. (I did this as an undergrad, getting my B.Mus in Trumpet Performance and the B.A. in Chemistry.)
7) B.A in Music - only seven credits in music are taken, with the remainder fulfilling general education requirements and other liberal arts explorations. For the student who isn't sure whether music is their vocation, and for those that have many academic interests.

For options 3 and 4, the student can also choose the Performance emphasis, requiring the sophomore performance proficiency and two recitals.

So much of my time tomorrow will be explaining these different paths to my first-year advisees and helping them to choose the best path.

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