As music majors, we all have to take classes that are required for our degree. Usually you just have to deal with it and take the classes and sometimes you have to take classes that you don’t really like. I remember in my undergrad, I had to take atonal music theory classes for my degree and I did not enjoy them one bit. I don’t think my professor taught the class very well and eight on music to me just doesn’t really sound that great (but I am challenging myself to find a total music that I actually do like). Usually you also have to do some sort of a final project in his classes whether it’s writing a paper or possibly composing a piece. My advice to you if you’re currently taking a class that you do not like that much is to try and personalize your classes. What I mean by this is, if you have the authority to pick your paper topic, or if you are writing a piece of music as your final project, really try to make it your own, and to make it something that you enjoy. Something that has helped me a lot he’s making sure that my paper topics are stuff that I really am interested in so that the whole process becomes a lot less daunting. Especially when you have to do research for your papers, you’re not gonna want to do it if it’s a topic that you’re not interested in I’ve learned recently that I love to do because if it’s something that I am interested in, I’m more likely to want to read my sources and to read them deeply.
Another thing that you can do to personalize your class is to just simply take classes that still count for your degree but interest you. At UIUC I really appreciate the diversity of music classes that they offer here. I’m taking a class this semester that is all about music in the 1980s, which is my favorite type of music!! And reading the course description it’s not only classical music written in the 1980s, it’s popular music in America that was written in the 1980s so we’re talking RUN-DMC, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, etc. I am so excited for this class that I already have paper topics lined up for when I know we’ll have to do a final paper at the end of the semester.
Things like this can really help you to enjoy your classes and to stay interested in studying and in participating. Being a music major is already pretty difficult, but doesn’t have to be the most grueling experience.