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Double Major with a Minor

fluteflutefluteflutefluteflute Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
Hi! I am admitted into a school of music for woodwind performance, and I want to double major with a BS in International Affairs with a concentration in econ (the concentration is built into the major). I have been playing with the idea of continuing my study of Spanish and try for a Spanish minor as well. My future goals are either playing as a professional musician with an orchestra OR working abroad with NGOs (I hope to do peace corps, too).
I'm wondering if the Spanish minor would be beneficial to my goals? I have two very separate goals right now because I am super passionate about music but I understand the reality of its competitive nature and limited availability.
Thanks!

Replies to: Double Major with a Minor

  • albertsaxalbertsax Registered User Posts: 303 Member
    First of all, what woodwind degree are you planning on doing? Based on your post, you're doing a BS in international affairs with music as a secondary major. Or are you doing a dual degree? Or a BM double major?

    It depends on the particular school and your particular degree as to whether adding a Spanish minor would be possible in the first place. A BM music degree is 2/3-3/4 music classes already, and at some schools you could barely fit in another minor, let alone another major and a minor.

    As to whether it's beneficial to your goals, learning a second language could always help. As a musician it wouldn't be too necessary, but for your other career goal it should certainly be a plus. You'll just need to see how much you can squeeze in to undergrad.
  • fluteflutefluteflutefluteflute Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Yeah, that is a lot of my problem right now. I would be a flute performance major at FSU. Would it be a good idea to try for everything and then take it down as needed? Like start with all 3 and then, if it's too much, take out the Spanish minor? I am going in with lots of AP/IB credit, which cuts out 2 terms of gen eds (ish) for the international affairs.

    It would be a BM in performance and a BS in Int Affairs
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,726 Super Moderator
    It's actually probably a better idea to go in with one and then build on it as you can.

    You don't need to major in international affairs to work in NGOs, and there are also post-graduation opportunities to get that kind of training (like an MIA, or the Peace Corps itself, or a certificate or something). And you don't need to officially minor in Spanish to continue to learn Spanish - you can just take Spanish language classes.

    Music performance majors are usually demanding. It looks like at FSU the BM is between 74 and 78 credits, whereas most majors tend to be around 40-50 credits. A total college degree is around 120 credits, so if you are taking nearly 80 credits of music, you barely have enough room left over for your general education requirements. You'll be playing at a higher level, and in addition to coursework music majors often require or strongly recommend private lessons, recitals, and other performances. FSU has some great ensembles and Tallahassee has some, too, and you may find that you want to participate in those to uplevel your performance skills.

    Take a semester or two to see what the workload and course scheduling is even like at your college first, and talk to an advisor to understand how difficult balancing a BM and another major would be. You may be able to take international affairs classes and/or Spanish classes as electives, and then perhaps if your schedule has room for it minor in one. But if you're serious about pursuing a career as a professional musician, then you really need to focus on honing that skill.

    It doesn't close any doors for you - there are plenty of professional artists who pivoted and did different careers after they decided their performing years were over. (When I taught classes at Columbia in grad school, many of the GS students had lots of interesting careers before returning, and one of my students was a professional ballerina before returning to get her degree.)

    Also, my answer changes of course if you are willing to spend more than four years in undergrad. Then you have more time.
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