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Can you play music without majoring in music?

Posted by on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 in Academics, Admissions, Blair School of Music, College Life, Freshman Life, Music, Student Life.

If you have played music since you were practically a baby all the way up until your senior year of high school but are fairly certain that you will not become a music major, you might be wondering if there is any way that you can still play your instrument or sing in college.  A question frequently asked by those who have visited the “Contact a Student” page, the answer is a resounding yes! There are so many different options:

  • Join the Spirit of Gold marching band.  They have one of the best communities on campus because of the time they spend together prepping and playing together at our ‘Dores SEC football and basketball games.
  • It thoroughly impresses me every time they spell something. How is that even possible?!
  • Tack on a Second Major or a Music Minor to your degree.  This way, you can take lessons from the teachers, perform chamber music and receive coachings, and take Blair classes!  The application process is simple: enroll in a semester of private lessons before you audition!
  • A sampling of our Blair professors and staff! Yes, I did go and copy paste headshots from the Blair Faculty and Staff page.
  • Form your own group.  Plenty of people have formed their own band and gigged around town.  There are also chamber ensembles that have formed, such as string quartets or trios, to read through some of the fabulous repertoire found through the Music Library.
  • Practice to your heart’s content. The Blair School of Music is always open, which means that there are practice rooms available for use.  There are also practice rooms in your Commons Houses if you don’t feel like walking down to Children’s Way.  In the case that you would like to come over to Blair, I would recommend coming in the morning or the evening, when the practice rooms aren’t occupied by most of the Blair majors.
  • Audition for the Vanderbilt Commodore Orchestra (VCO).  The VCO is an orchestra for the Vanderbilt community.  It is made up primarily of undergraduates, but is open to graduate students and professors as well!
  • Sing with the Vanderbilt Concert Choir.  Led by Professor Williams, this choir is made up of undergrads who love to sing. They often take a trip over Spring Break to some fun location, like New Orleans, Orlando, or Chicago, and sing a whole variety of genres.  I love going to their concerts!
  • They get really high up to take this picture. Love it.
  • Hit up the a capella scene.  From the Melodores to the Vanderbilt Variations, there are a host of different groups you can join.  Some are girls-only, like the Swingin’ Dores, some are boys-only, like the Vanderbilt Dodecaphonics, and some are geared towards specific genres of music, like the Gospel Voices of Praise and the Southeast Asian Vandy Taal.  Check out more options here!
  • The resident dreamboys. This photo taken from their Facebook page!

Whether you are a violinist, clarinetist, or tenor who loves Vanderbilt but would like to pursue engineering, psychology, or economics as a career, it is possible for you to be a part of the music program on campus without becoming a performance major at the Blair School of Music, even when you are accepted to a different school!

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