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"Should I quit music?" Questions

rkepp12rkepp12 Registered User Posts: 538 Member
Hey everyone,

I've noticed a lot lately that people on here post the "Should I quit band/orchestra/choir/etc to take more AP classes?" questions.

I am here to answer with a resounding "NO," and here's why:

I'll start with an personal statement. I have been involved with music since the age of about six years old. Since then, music has grown to become the most important aspect of my life. I started as a piano player, and as the years rolled on, I entered high school, and tried some new things, I am now part of my school's most advanced choral ensemble, section leader of the percussion section in marching band, and I have taught myself guitar.

So why am I telling you this? I promise I'm not bragging (or not trying to). I'm trying to show the important of music in someone's life. Is it really necessary for you to cut music out of your life just for that one AP class?

At most schools, summer school is an option. You can take required courses over the summer to complete graduation credits, but also free up space in your schedule during the year for AP classes. This is how I spent my entire high school career. Never, not even once, did I think of cutting music classes out of my schedule just for an additional AP class, because I know there are other options. I challenge anybody who has these thoughts to consult a guidance counselor about other options.

Not only are there other options, but the dedication and invaluable skills learned through a performing art are precious. Just as sports team see the results of their hard practicing when they win their first game, musicians see the results of practicing through successful performances. Music forces you to challenge yourself in ways that you never have before. There is something magnificent about hearing beautiful melodies and resonating harmonies after hours of hard rehearsal. In the process, we all know that we meet like-minded and similarly motivated individuals that push us even further.

So whenever anybody has a question about "Should I take AP Chem instead of Orchestra?" or "Is dropping choir just to take an extra AP class good?", you should refer to this thread. Because music is not something you should simply drop from your collection of skills. Music requires dedication and learning in a very different style from reading a textbook and spitting back answers.

In the end, I believe that the skills learned in a music ensemble are much greater than the benefits of taking another AP class that may or may not impress admission committees at all. Please keep this all in mind when you make these decisions.

Replies to: "Should I quit music?" Questions

  • guineagirl96guineagirl96 Forum Champion Math/Computer Science, Forum Champion Richmond Posts: 3,856 Forum Champion
    THANK YOU! This video elaborates on the topic "why choir kept me from being valedictorian" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZVxA0J5g28 I took 7 music classes in high school and I wouldn't change it for the world. Im a math/cs person, but I got 2 full tuition much scholarships, which allowed me to attend one of my top choices.
  • rkepp12rkepp12 Registered User Posts: 538 Member
    @guineagirl96 I completely I agree! I saw that video. Even if music keeps me from being valedictorian, that's a trade off I'm willing to make. And even with about 13 credits of music courses, I'm still ranked number 5 in my class. So I don't see why taking music classes can hurt you so much that someone would think about dropping it!
  • Animefan1998Animefan1998 Registered User Posts: 718 Member
  • rkepp12rkepp12 Registered User Posts: 538 Member
    Everyone should watch the video that guineagirl96 posted above. It's great, and is even more inspiration for continuing with music and the arts!
  • guineagirl96guineagirl96 Forum Champion Math/Computer Science, Forum Champion Richmond Posts: 3,856 Forum Champion
    This post should be pinned. Anyone know how to make that happen? I am bumping this cuz im seeing more people ask it again
  • rkepp12rkepp12 Registered User Posts: 538 Member
    Not a clue. But I definitely think those people need to see this.

    I didn't mean to use this thread as a way to recruit people, but rather show the value and importance of continuing music over other things (such as an extra AP class). I see it happen way too often on this forum. Everyone is so obsessed with AP classes that they forget to treasure the beauty of the arts.
  • rkepp12rkepp12 Registered User Posts: 538 Member
    Bumping again

    Just want to keep it in view as people determine scheduled for the new school year!
  • MagicialMagicial Registered User Posts: 70 Junior Member
    What if I don't overly enjoy music though? I really want to become Valedictorian but taking Orchestra very substantially hinders my chances. Taking classes over the summer costs $$$ that me or my family doesn't have; and the school wouldn't pay for it.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 42,153 Super Moderator
    I really want to become Valedictorian
    In the grand scheme of life, this matters little; few people will remember who was valedictorian a year after graduation and nobody will remember the valedictory speech. There are far better uses for your time.
  • rkepp12rkepp12 Registered User Posts: 538 Member
    @Magicial Do you not enjoy it because you are letting you "valedictorian" goal take over? Or do you not enjoy it in general?

    If it's the second one, you may want to re-evaluate a bit and decide if music is truly a passion in the first place. However, if it is the first, and you are letting your passion slip away because of a number (being ranked one, a high GPA, etc.), then you need to re-evaluate your priorities in other respects.

    In college admissions, there are more factors to the admissions committee/counselors than numbers. GPA is a number. Valedictorian is (technically) a number. Colleges want to see that you are excited about something. This comes through in the way your present your activities and what you include in essays.
  • MagicialMagicial Registered User Posts: 70 Junior Member
    Last year, I was at a low chair (10+ out of 20). Being at such a low chair, it really diminished my will to play music. As a goal, I've always wanted to achieve valedictorian but it's very hard to when all of my competitors quit music to take more APs.
  • CtesiphonCtesiphon Registered User Posts: 2,112 Senior Member
    edited September 2014
    I quit band this year, and part of the reason was because I wanted to take a class that I would otherwise not have room in my schedule for.

    However that wasn't the sole reason for me quitting. I am a senior now and I have played clarinet since 4th grade. I will not be modest and say I am a good player at it. Compared to all of the other clarinet players in my band I am technically and musically more skilled. It's a blatant truth and the gap between our abilities is astounding. However, the band director refused to ever give me first chair or even first part. He always puts the two laughy "cute" girls in front of me when they cannot even play simple scales. It is funny during marching band when I come to the first day of band camp completely prepared and they can hardly play the show by the end of the season.

    It was constantly very bothersome for me because one of these girls loved to lecture the freshman and sophomores on proper marching and playing technique when she can't even do it herself. Nonetheless, I don't really have any more good friends in band, now that the seniors from last year graduated.

    Overall, these reasons contributed to me not wanting to do band anymore. (Sorry for the semi-rant)

    However, at my school, there's an "honors option" for juniors and seniors in band. I guess that's sort of a trade-off: you can still do music and still technically be taking an honors class and getting the easy weighted A. Of course you have to write a short 2 page essay for the semester and go to some sort of musical performance, but that is much easier than trying to squeak out an A in something like AP Chem.

    I do agree though that one should not quit music in the strive to become valedictorian. In my case, I am no where near being valedictorian. I'm not even in the top 10% of my class. It wasn't really a motivational factor, however there were classes I were truly interested in taking that I simply would not have simply been able to without quitting band. They were more important endeavors to me than playing clarinet.

    Regardless I have taken up piano in the last year or so and it's been my personal musical endeavor at home. I don't take lessons or anything but at least I won't like, forget how to read sheet music in a few years or something lol.
  • rkepp12rkepp12 Registered User Posts: 538 Member
    @Ctesiphon I'm so sorry to hear about that situation! I can tell you're passionate about music, but it's too bad that other circumstances led you to quit band. But it's very understandable, and is a general annoyance in life to have people like that be given preferential treatment.

    I'm glad it wasn't "I want to be valedictorian so I'm going to drop band for a higher GPA" type of thing though! That's the kind of decisions I'm attempting to discourage with this post. And it's great that you still continue with music in some way!
  • FireBallsDJFireBallsDJ Registered User Posts: 343 Member
    edited September 2014
    @rkepp12 That was helpful! I am in my 3rd year of orchestra (been playing the violin since 6/7!) and considered to drop it next year for AP Econ or something to boost my GPA. The other reason was that our concert master who is top ranked(like #1) in the state will be graduating. Many of my friends did it this year and I got influenced by them because just last year I had no doubts in doing 4x of music. Your post was very valuable to me and gave me something to think about. So thank you
  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn Super Moderator Posts: 38,633 Super Moderator
    In the grand scheme of life, this matters little; few people will remember who was valedictorian a year after graduation and nobody will remember the valedictory speech. There are far better uses for your time.

    You know what? I would have agreed with you up until my 30th high school reunion. But I can't tell you the number of people (ones who had teased/bullied me in school) who came up to me at the reunion to say how much they admired me for being valedictorian! More than one person actually wanted his/her photo taken with me. I was so touched!

    Having said that, I DID take music very seriously. I played classical piano and practiced 5 hours a day, almost every day starting the summer before my senior year. I entered contests and attended piano performance workshops. I ended up majoring in engineering, because I knew I wasn't good enough to be a solo pianist, and I would have made a lousy piano teacher.
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