For as long as I can remember, music is and always will be my passion. It’s my first love, and it gets me through some of the toughest times in my young life. I come into Drake my freshman year as a vocal music education and I’m ready to make teaching music my career. The odds are out of my favor.
Music ed at ANY university is the hardest major hands down, but I also start college in the fall of 2020; the peak of the plague. Classes are all online, choir is socially distant, and I go through a brutal breakup. Safe to say things weren’t off to the best start.
Everyone is still unsure how to navigate a pandemic world when I started at Drake University. Fall semester I went in bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to take on a grueling 18 credit, 10 class course load.
Things went alright for the first few weeks, but during midterms I went through the well-known college experience known as the first heartbreak. This is the start of my downfall.
I try to turn the corner on the new year and dive into my school work, but a fresh breakup combined with holing myself up, alone in my room for all of winter break was not a good mix.
I let even the Spirit of Mathematics get away from me.
My final project is on Math and Music
I’m dumped mid-music theory lecture that would introduce the key concept for second semester theory. The composition technique known as Counterpoint is introduced.
No matter how hard I tried and how long I studied I could never grasp the concept until our final composition assignment. I hand in my chorale piece to my professor, shut down my computer, and call it a day.
But my mental health basically plummets during this time in my life, and as a result, my grades follow.
- Submit my Piano Lab final: Check.
- Fail 2 classes that semester: Check.
I log into my ear training final with my theory professor to her telling me she had great news, and that I had managed to pass theory.
It feels good to take the small win.
Making the decision
I give music education a full year.
When I weigh my options next to each other, comparatively there’s one right answer. I have to change my major.
The fight with this decision consumes me. If I change my major, then I have to accept that I failed. Failure is a particularly loathsome topic.
I mull it over before telling my voice professor my final decision.
In light of everything I’ve been through, I compromise with myself. I change my major to Digital Media Production and continue to participate in voice lessons with a new professor, and choir. All things considered, I got a good deal.
How it effects me today
I wont go as far to say this solves my problems. My GPA will never recover from my year in music education and I still work to repair my relationship with music.
I suffer from impostor syndrome. My confidence is nerfed.
I’m learning to love my voice again! My new voice professor Alyssa and my accompanist Cassie are my biggest cheerleaders.
I perform again in my first studio recital!
I don’t know where I want my career to go, but my situation shows that evidently, everyone goes at their own pace.
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