Welcome Future Music Majors!

Congratulations on your decision to become a music major! While proficiency in a primary instrument is paramount in your skill set, it is extremely beneficial for ALL musicians to possess what is considered to be the fundamental musicianship skills.  These skills are generally taught in college level piano class 101 or music theory 101. But it would be to your benefit — and to the delight of college music professors everywhere — if, as an entering freshman, you would have at least had exposure to these basic skills.  These include...  

  • Pitch recognition for treble and bass clef
  • Sight-singing (solfege experience would be even better)
  • Sight-reading on your instrument and on piano
  • Harmonization of basic melodies on piano
  • Accompanying basic melodies on piano
  • Transposition of basic melodies on piano
  • Simple improvisation on piano and your primary instrument

The last four items are generally referred to as "functional keyboard skills" — skills that you would need in a classroom, or leading a choir or just playing “Happy Birthday” for a friends party.  The best method of achieving these basic skills is through piano lessons!  

With piano lessons you would learn…

  • Basic piano technique and fingering 
  • To recognize, play and write major and minor scales
  • To recognize, play and write chords (major, minor, diminished, augmented, 7th, etc)
  • To recognize, play and write chord progressions
  • Basic harmonic analysis

You would also learn how to harmonize melodies using these chords…melodies such as “Happy Birthday” or simple folk tunes you might use in a classroom singing session.  

What should you do?  First: Find out if there are any music theory classes offered at your school and sign up NOW!  Second: Find a piano teacher and take some lessons NOW! — once a week, once a month, or just in the summer when you actually have time to practice. Don’t wait until the last minute to do any of this because it will take time, practice and patience to develop competent piano skills. 

CLICK BELOW FOR…

PIANO CLASS 101 OVERVIEW 

MUSIC THEORY 101 OVERVIEW 

COMPARISON OF A FEW PA COLLEGE MUSIC PIANO CLASS SYLLABI

Online music fundamental and music theory resources:
     musictheory.net
     emusictheory.com
     teoria: music theory web

Here are some online resources for future music majors…

What It takes to be a music major

Should I major in music?

Careers in Music

National Association for Music Educators

About Music Careers

Music Therapy Association

Music Careers in the Military

Musicians Professional Resource

What Happens to Music Majors After They Graduate?

Music Education Degree: What to expect?

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