10 November 2003

Major Concentration

There has been much discussion of majors and concentrations going on in this little red-and-blue corner of the universe. Lizzy's half, the blue half of the room, has been staring at a change-of-major form for several weeks, and seems to have finally decided to double-major in music (concentration on theory and literature) and French. She also wants to abandon me and run off to France all next year. I don't know who I'll live with--everyone's going abroad but me! *cries*
My half of the room, which would be the half decorated almost exclusively in red (it has to match the wardrobe, you know) has moved on from the world of harp. It was hard to admit that I had been wrong to come to college so sure that my concentration as a music major would be on harp performance. I love the harp, but even I don't love the harp quite that much. I haven't filled out the paperwork, but I'm going to double-concentrate in theory and literature (sounds like two but it's not) and liturgical music. The liturgical music concentration has just been added, but I've already taken half the classes required for it (music of the Catholic Church, Gregorian chant seminar, schola). My mother, upon being informed of my decision, said, "That sounds like you. Liturgical music is very much in your 'comfort zone,' isn't it?" Ah, no one knows me like my mother. I'm going to do the theory and lit thing as well, because the only added bits are a class on research methods and writing a thesis. I think that for someone who wants to go to grad school on the academic side of music, this would be a good thing. It will help me know what is entailed in writing a long research paper, and it will look good on the transcript for grad school.

The liturgical music concentration is pretty cool. One has to study both voice and a keyboard instrument (preferably organ, though piano may be accepted) and do a half recital on the primary instrument. In my case, this entails a voice recital and taking a year's worth of organ lessons. I also have to take two classes in conducting (one of which is applied conducting, which confuses me as it is not in my year-old course catalogue), and do a one-semester internship at a parish, which must involve "some significant responsibilities in planning, preparing, and executing music for a certain number of liturgies." I think I can handle that, considering that as a cantor, the organist and I jointly chose music and I certainly "executed" the music (unfortunately sometimes in more than one sense). Dr. Schaefer did say that he intends to be selective about who he admits to the program, as it is intended to turn out people who will be parish music directors. He doesn't want to release people into that world who will not have high standards (no matter how well they may or may not acheive those standards under the circumstances in which they find themselves). He did say that he is willing to admit me. I guess I'll be his first little student. I wonder if he knows how much I look up to him, or whether he is too concerned with his own projects to notice?

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