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I just returned from my orientation at the University of Alabama, and i was overwhelmed by the amount of courses music majors must take. I was advised not to take over 4 courses first semester. But i have 4 music courses alone!

SO i was just wondering if this intense load of courses generally gets better or worse as you progress through college.
 

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Due to the number of 1 hour credit music classes, music majors take more classes than other majors. It's also unreasonable to graduate in 4 years if that's what you're after. 4 classes (12 hours) is a good rule of thumb for freshman who take nothing but core classes and haven't started taking courses in their major yet. Music majors start taking music courses right away. You'll probably be taking private lessons, theory, ear traning, class piano, and an ensemble to start out with which probably come in at around 8-9 hours. That leaves you room for only 1 or 2 core classes.

Don't take advise from high school counselors or normal college advisers. Since it's so different from the rest of the university, schools of music normally have a specific music adviser. Talk to that person and let them help you make your schedule.
 

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don't be afraid of taking classes.

people who advise you not to take more than 4 courses first semester are people who are afraid of working, probably students who have never had a high university workload, and are just a bunch of bull anyways. university is a big adjustment, and classes are part of it.

take this coming from a guy who had 7 courses consistently through university. engineering courses. take as many classes as you want and feel you can safely take. experiment. have fun. i can't stand arts or social science students who had 15 or 20 hours of class a week who complain that their course load is too high. it may not be the easiest, but a 33 hour/week classs and lab schedule in university with hard engineering courses didn't kill me and wasn't unfairly taxing.

if you're allowed to and need the courses anyway, sign up. if it seems too stressful, then drop a course off the bat and take it later. it's not a big deal. sign up for non music courses too, and if you can handle them and get something out of em, then you will be better because of it, even if it is more work than most people would advise.

just keep your head on, don't get overwhealmed, and experiment. if it seems too hard, then lighten up the load. if you think you can take on more, which you probably can (if you don't listen to too many music majors telling you not to do so your first couple of days), then try it out. the worst that can happen - well, it's probably not too bad at all, so just go for it.
 

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All good advice. I ended up graduating with 167 credits for my music ed degree.

Best advice I can give, GO EASY on yourself the first semester. You don't want to overwhelm yourself right off the bat. Remember, you can probably take some summer classes if needed so you won't have to take 22+ credits EVERY semester. Best of luck to you.
 

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I think I took summer classes and mini sessions almost every year.

A word of advise, if you stink at a certain subject like Math or English, take it at a community college and transfer the credit in to the university. Often times, the credit will transfer but the grade won't. You just have to make a C. So, if you take a bad subject and skate by with a C, you get credit for the class but it doesn't have a detrimental effect on your university GPA. Plus, it's cheaper at a community/junior college.

You just have to make sure the course at the JC will transfer. The university should have a chart of what courses at which JC's are the equivalent of their courses. The public speaking course I took at JC had a different type of number and name. Most of the time, American History I will be named similarly at both schools but in this case I had to take Business and Professional Speech to get the equivalent of basic Public Speaking. The basic Public Speaking course at the JC wouldn't have transfered. So you have to be careful of that. Again, your university should have something like this:

http://www1.txstate.edu/catsweb/am/e000000_wb0.htm

Mini sessions are great. You knock out a class in 3 weeks. I'd much rather be done with History quickly than spreading it out over an entire semester.

Taking core classes in summer and mini sessions really frees you up during the semester. I'd much rather spend my out of class time in the practice room than studying political science or writing essays for an English class.

The only core classes I took at my university were my Sciences (Physics), Anthroplogy, American Literature, and a PhysEd. Everything else like Algebra, History, English, and Political Science were taken at a JC.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks alot for all of the advice. As far as hours go, i will have 14. And taking more than 4 years to graduate doesn't really bother me. I'm just really excited to get college started. These last 2 months are killing me!
 

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Yeah, i hear you. Thats gonna be my focus in college. And i like the idea of taking courses at a juinor college that aren't major-related so i can take specialized classes during regular semesters.
 

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grantonsax said:
Don't let the course load distract you from learning how to play your horn...that's what you really need to do.
Indeed.

I've been taking 18 credits every semester since I started. That is the maximum allowed, essentially. If a student here takes any more than 18, they do what's called a credit "bust" and tuition switches over to per-credit payment. In general this means that your tuition spikes about six thousand dollars. Not something I can even come close to affording so I've stuck with 18 and it hasn't been difficult at all. I don't really understand the 18-hour limit; 22 or 24 would be manageable.
 

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james nichols said:
Thanks alot for all of the advice. As far as hours go, i will have 14. And taking more than 4 years to graduate doesn't really bother me. I'm just really excited to get college started. These last 2 months are killing me!
Don't let the waiting get to you. College will be here soon enough. Forget about it for the next two months and just enjoy the summer while you still can.

Ben
 
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