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Mini Crisis: AP Bio or Orchestra?

thatcellokid2019thatcellokid2019 Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
So, in choosing my courses for junior year, I have picked

AP Jr English
AP Physics 1
AP Spanish 4
Honors Precalculus & Trigonometry
Honors US History 2
AP Biology

My problem is that I want to take Orchestra. I've played the cello since 3rd grade, but I want to go into medicine (which is why AP Bio took that spot). I've made it to the state level in orchestra and could potentially reach all-eastern next year. If I were to take Orchestra in place of AP Biology, I would have:

AP Jr English
AP Physics 1
AP Spanish 4
Honors Precalculus & Trigonometry
AP US History 2
Honors Orchestra

So, is AP Biology worth dropping Orchestra for? I know this is a dumb question, but would it look bad to not take AP Bio if I want to be a science major? I have no clue what to do.

Sorry if I'm wasting all of your time...


Replies to: Mini Crisis: AP Bio or Orchestra?

  • ThinkOnThinkOn Registered User Posts: 483 Member
    @thatcellokid2019 You're not wasting people's time, your concern is legitimate. The politically correct answer would be for me to say that you should take the class that will be more fulfilling for you (e.g., if being in the school orchestra makes you happy, then do that...if immersing yourself in all things bio...you get the picture). My take is that if you are not already involved in a private orchestra outside of the one you would be involved in at school (e.g., a youth orchestra that you had to audition for to get in, or a church youth orchestra), then continuing to stay involved in Honors Orchestra may be a solid venue for you to show your passion towards your cello. You do have AP Physics to show your interest in the sciences. Is AP Bio available for you to take next year as a senior?
  • thatcellokid2019thatcellokid2019 Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    Thank you for responding

    AP Biology is open to juniors and seniors at my school, but by taking it senior year I would miss out on AP Chemistry of AP Psychology.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 38,568 Senior Member
    AP Psychology is an AP Lite so you wouldn't really be missing out much.
    I'd keep orchestra. There are tons of kids with AP bio junior year, few with orchestra achievements.
    It means you'll have to choose between AP Bio and AP Chem senior year.
  • Bobbybob444555Bobbybob444555 Registered User Posts: 367 Member
    If you love orchestra take it. AP classes aren't necessary.
  • yonceonhismouthyonceonhismouth Registered User Posts: 1,977 Senior Member
    I would recommend you take orchestra, and take AP Bio senior year.
  • MACmiracleMACmiracle Registered User Posts: 1,462 Senior Member
    My D made a very similar choice last year. She had been offered a place in a new cohort the school was forming for top students to maximize AP courses, which had been limited entry where she attends.

    She decided to stick with the school orchestra instead, knowing they counted on her, and she also added in a youth orchestra outside of school for musical growth.

    I think she made the right choice. Many kids can take the AP sciences but not many play an instrument well. Music is also fun and relaxing for her.

    However, after doing a year of this, she decided she wants to change things up for next year. She will be taking AP Chem, AP Psych, and a college level theology course. She will keep the school orchestra, but most likely drop the youth orchestra.

    She loves the youth orchestra but it's been very time-consuming. It's one day a week that she can't get anything else done, and it means practicing pieces for two orchestras every other day of the week.

    There are other important things she's involved in, and she's being recruited for more leadership positions with those as well. It's impossible to do it all.

    In any case, interests evolve and shifting gears is okay because all of this is part of figuring out what's important to us and how we wants to prioritize our interests.

    Listening to my D and seeing her make this decision for senior year confirms my thoughts about her. She's academic and loves learning. Next year academics will be her focus. She loves music, too, but as a sideline, to enjoy, not to make into work.

    I have an older D who went to college to study music and is now building a career in a music field. Her time commitment to music built consistently through the high school years. She is academic and research oriented, too, but it's always within music.

    Not to bore you with these stories, but it's good to think about the different ways music can be part of your life as you make this decision.

    I personally like the idea of orchestra over AP Bio. I think it will give you more enjoyment and growth and help you as you make decisions going forward. Plus, on a practical note, music is great for brain development and will help you no matter what you decide to do in the future.

    Wishing you the best!
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 38,568 Senior Member
    BTW, if you're serious about music and academics, and have good stats, look into St Olaf.
  • biomedsbiomeds Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    @thatcellokid2019 I assume you will continue taking cello private lesson, if so, does your school allows independent study on Orchestra class? i.e. you can practice on your own time but participate in school/youth Orchestra rehearsal/performance, etc., so you can free a ‘slot’ for your AP Biology.
  • VeryapparentVeryapparent Registered User Posts: 723 Member
    You sound like a clone of my junior. One thing to think about is APUSH is a ton of work and your schedule is challenging but definitely doable. If you were my daughter or son I would say go with orchestra and figure a way to include AP Bio senior year. That being said I could not talk my DD out of 5 APS senior year and you seem like her (she is also a cellist). If you can't bring yourself to pass on the BIO find a youth orchestra or ensemble and go that route as an extra curricular. Junior year is a busy year so best of luck!
  • thatcellokid2019thatcellokid2019 Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    I asked my conductor about an independent study and he doubts it would fit into my schedule.If I do decide to drop Orchestra (even with the independent study), I would be ineligible to audition for districts or all-state orchestra/all-eastern. I picked Orchestra over AP Bio in the end. I can take bio senior year, but I'll be missing out on AP Chem or a different class senior year.

    Thank you all for helping!
  • plumazulplumazul Registered User Posts: 1,744 Senior Member
    Is it possible for you to take AP Bio instead of AP Physics 1? IMO, AP Physics 1/2 is not useful.

    I played with my HS band and orchestra(s), traveled with them and was a de facto member even though I never took the classes. I would often practice with them instead of going to lunch. Is such a thing possible for you?
  • CharlotteLetterCharlotteLetter Registered User Posts: 773 Member
    @thatcellokid2019 Your state requires you to be in an orchestra to audition for all-state? Mine only requires that we be part of a school or youth orchestra (or choir... I sing) OR take private lessons from someone who will enter us. Just asking 'cause I find that odd.

    Anyway - You can study bio on your own to prepare for college if you don't get to take it in HS. I agree with @plumazul that AP Bio might be more useful than AP Physics 1. If you're going to be pre-med and you choose a STEM major, you may not have time to be in your college orchestra. I would definitely stick with orchestra if I were you.

    I have no idea what your senior schedule would be, but perhaps you could take AP Bio instead of AP Psych.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 38,568 Senior Member
    ^Actually, students need one each of bio, chem, and physics. Ap Physics 1 tends to be "the" physics class honors students take.
  • CharlotteLetterCharlotteLetter Registered User Posts: 773 Member
    Good point @MYOS1634, but the poster must have taken some sciences in freshman and sophomore years and I assumed they would have taken at least one of the core sciences.
  • doublebachdoublebach Registered User Posts: 76 Junior Member
    FWIW my kid used to be in orchestra and I highly recommend you continue with orchestra (my kid unable to continue orchestra due to varsity sport and overly restrictive hs scheduling rules, including inflexible orchestra teacher would not consider ind study). My high school junior took AP Chem this year and next year senior year will take AP Physics and AP Environmental Science (teacher for this class is the bomb!). My kid will be a STEM major in college but wasn't able to cram AP Bio in the schedule. I would highly recommend AP Chem next year over AP Bio. At least at our school AP Chem is more rigorous than AP Bio and my kid learned alot in AP Chem and enjoyed the class very much (we have another awesome teacher who teaches AP Chem).
This discussion has been closed.