UA-76843172-1

MU’s music program presents strict curriculum, but offers tools for student success

music major students performing
Music degrees are hard to get, but they are worth it. Photo courtesy of Millersville University.

Shaun Lucas
Associate News Editor

A common complaint regarding high school is the emphasis on required classes. Many students must alter their schedules based on requirements and class availability, unable to attend courses of interest. In addition, multiple colleges require two or more years of foreign language classes in high school, removing the ability to choose non-required courses. Collegiate programs differ from the standard high school curriculum, with major and minor programs specializing in a student’s career interests.

Despite the specialized programs, however, I am left scratching my head regarding my non-major-specific classes. In regards to credits, prerequisites require me to take 10 credits worth of science classes. In fact, this semester, I was assigned to take a class titled “The World Oceans.” With all due respect for the class and the teacher, I am a bit confused about how this course will aid me in pursuing a career as a journalist.

I pondered if there was a program at MU which solely focuses on the major at hand, tremendously preparing its students for a career in the specific field. In my pursuit, I learned of the depth of any music program within the Tell School of Music.

“As a music education major, most of our classes are focused on music or are music related,” Freshman Henry Miller said. “I like that because we get to devote our time to music: playing music, studying music, listening to music. It helps me feel prepared for my musical career.”

While music majors have stringent class requirements, these requirements relate directly to musicianship. Students must partake in multiple group ensembles per semester, along with individual lessons and recital performances. These requirements allow for one to practice their musical craft while allowing for exposure and critique in an empathetic environment of fellow music enthusiasts. Along with hands-on experience, the program pushes music theory classes, along with requiring students to view a minimum of 49 performances before graduation.

The Millersville music department possibly provides the most resources for aspiring music majors to utilize: practice rooms, rentable instruments, recording studios, instrument repair tools, and programs to compose music. All these resources allow for the application of learned material, encouraging experience prior to a formal career.

The Millersville Marching Band, a required ensemble credit, begins in the summer and ends in the winter. This early start allows for students to be accustomed to campus, allowing for a smoother transition from high school to college.

“The professors and the classes gave me the means and the knowledge to better myself as a musician and an educator,” Senior Chris Herty said. “But as far as getting prepared for a career in music, it all comes with the amount of effort put it by the student.”

While all the requirements may seem excessive, the program pushes music students towards extensive career preparation, especially with Lancaster’s rich connections to the music industry.

For more information on the music program follow this link.