I've seen an interesting evolution in the last several years when it comes to students, college and majoring in music. I think ( though I have no long term study to back this us) that a certain percentage of students have always chosen to major in music because they enjoyed band or strings in HS, it was the thing that made them special, and they were "good" at it - at least in comparison to everyone else in their HS. Then, they get to college and realize that music is much more than class band/strings, and they decide to do something else. Hopefully they keep music in their life in some way, but they understand that majoring in music isn't being in band.
Now, however, a new subset has begun to emerge in the percussion world, and it is frightening to me as a musician and professor. Students who think they are majoring in some combination of Greek Orgs and marching percussion. Or, they truly believe that being a music major is just like performing in indoor drumline.....
Now - before i get hate mail, I have no problem with the "marching arts" as an activity. I understand their value in building community, creating work ethic and developing technique. I also think there should be a healthy debate about adding tracks or degree concentrations in marching percussion arranging/instruction/composition. There is no question that students who will teach at the HS level will need to have an understanding of this activity, and I think we need to look at developing a more serious curricular experience for this activity, in order to prepare students for the world they will encounter when they graduate.
However - Just like anything else - you need balance, and an understanding of how one activity fits into the overall college music experience. And you need to pass your classes, and prepare for your lessons, and be ready for ensemble rehearsals and performances. I also think we should be honest about the time and approach to teaching and technique we use in the marching activity VS. concert playing - it really is vastly different, and often at odds.
Your major is music - which includes music history, theory, aural skills, chamber ensembles, orchestra, band, music technology, professional development, and participation in program events. Make sure you know what you are getting into before you choose to major in MUSIC. If you want to play in band and be a economics major - go for it, there are plenty of college band programs that would love to have you. Want to do business and play tenors, fantastic, you'll find a place.
Want to major in music - understand what it means. All of it.
Welcome! I am a percussionist, conductor and artistic leader who drinks a lot of coffee.