This semester is moving along quite swiftly and believe me, I'm counting the semesters, months, days, hours, seconds until I can get my degree and BOUNCE!
For those individuals living under a rock, I left my cushy five year plus office job (with benefits) to attend school full-time. Many of the courses I require for my major are only offered during the day so I had to make a difficult decision.
Obviously I chose school.
This semester, I'm taking Ear Training / Sightsinging I and Music Theory I as well as participating in Jazz Band. I’m also taking private lessons. My private instructor, Professor Hand Killer, allowed me to skip Keyboard I (she teaches that course) due to my advanced skills (DUH! I mean, like, I've only, like, been playing the piano, like, for over, like, twenty years!) I also wish I had skipped Theory I and Ear Training I since I know a lot of the material and thus far, I’m finding it WAY to easy. While it's too late to drop it, I'm utilizing it as a refresher course and I'm sure I'll get an easy A out of this.
The Jazz Band is another story. All music majors are required to take six semesters of performance ensemble and since the other options were Chamber Singing or Chorus -- well, you get the idea. The course isn't as easy as I thought. The professor has me learning some really difficult piece (click here) which he wants me to play at the beginning of EVERY class! (sigh) However, I'm making friends fast and it'll be fun to play alongside horns as well as talented singers and musicians. Our final performance is in early December and since my jazz skills are crap, I've got to bust my a** like never before!
The Haydn piece, Piano Sonata in E minor, H.XVI, Opus 34, 1st movement, (click here: first three minutes are what I have to learn) that I'm performing for the jury at the end of the semester is also coming along really well! I’ve finished learning it and my fingers are swollen from all the hard practicing I've put in. I'm extremely determined to get higher marks this semester.
Being on campus during the day is exceedingly overwhelming. I have been at UMass for over a year, however I took courses through the Continuing Education Department so many of the classes were at night, on weekends or off-campus. Furthermore, I had many older students so the atmosphere was more mature. Unfortunately, the courses I'm enrolled in this semester are populated with freshmen and sophomores and many younger students. I feel as if I'm in my first year of college again; many of the students are running their mouths, joking around and asking obnoxious questions. I miss the previous semesters but I can't dwell on that: I have to remain focused.
The good news ... I did the calculations and it seems I may be eligible for a spring of 2010 commencement. After this semester, I'll have over 80 credits and you need 120 to graduate. If I attend full-time during every semester, I'll be done quickly! There are a few variables that I'm still not certain about. Nevertheless, I'm about 90% sure I can be finished by 2010, give or take an extra semester. I really want to walk the stage. I know my family would be proud to see me walk so I'm working exceptionally hard to finish by 2010.
I'm still not sure what I want to do after graduation. Even before I met The Voice, I had considered graduate school. A few of my friends either have their masters or are considering getting it. However, I'm not 100% sure what I want to do in the music industry. I have considered working in A&R or marketing and even flirted with the idea of being a teacher. Nevertheless, I know that possessing a higher degree looks better and hopefully opens more doors. Still, I can't go jumping that broom yet. I must continue my focus on getting the BA first and then we'll talk!