I read your column pretty much religiously. You give great advice, and you’re entertaining!
Here’s my dilemma: I am a 20 year old junior going to a state school in New York. I started college at a community college on the other end of the county, and graduated there this past May with an A.S. in Fine Arts – Music. Music has been a passion of mine since I was 11 years old, and I always dreamed of being a chorus teacher, like the woman who inspired me to fall in love with music in the first place.
Awesome – go after what you love to do!
However, When I lined up auditions at my dream school, as well as two other backup schools only 3 1/2 months before graduation, I was rejected…from all three. I has devastated and heartbroken, because music is the only thing I’ve ever loved. When I called my first choice school to see if they would re-evaluate my application for acceptance, they insisted I declare a major right then and there. I had no idea what to say. It’s not like I’d had 8 years to think about a second choice liek I had to think about my first. On the spot, the only thing that popped into my head was the only other class I was enjoying at the time: Psychology. Two weeks later, I was accepted as a Psychology major, and now…here I am.
I guess I’m a bit confused as to why you just didn’t say “music” when they asked you to declare a major? And why couldn’t you just change your major once you were enrolled? Is it a school rule or something?
No matter now I guess, I was just curious.
I’m still enjoying Psychology, and I think it is a good fit for me, but now I’m required to declare a minor. Logically, I’m considering minoring in music because…well, I have a lot of experience, and a LOT of transfer credits. But I have NO idea what I want to do with my degree when I graduate. I’ve been forced into a new path in a matter of months, and I haven’t had time to really consider what I’d do with a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Music. I had considered music therapy, but that is a specific degree program at my school, and one that requires an audition. I can’t face any more rejections. The first one was bad enough. Do you have any career suggestions for me? I’m really feeling the pressure to decide, and I don’t have a lot of time left. What would you do? – Allyson
Well, the first thing I would do is take the audition. You’re gonna have to get used to rejection if you want to get anywhere. I know it sucks – I’ve been rejected numerous times in numerous walks of life, and it stings just the same each time. But it’s a part of life, and the sooner you learn to deal with it, the better.
But let’s assume you get rejected again, or choose not to take the audition – can you get a double major from your school? Maybe now that you’ve proven to be a good student, you could ask if you could double up and add that music major?
I also did a little research and read that it’s now possible to get into the career of music therapy without a music therapy (or even a music) degree. Most AMTA (American Music Therapy Association) accredited schools have a music therapy equivalency program, in which people who have bachelor’s degrees in other fields can take the coursework and clinical training to meet the requirements, and then they can sit for the board exam. Check with your school – this could be your way into a career in music therapy.
What do you all think? What should Allyson do with herself, now that she finds herself in this unusual situation? Let us know!