Is 4 years of orchestra worth it?

<p>Seeing the "Is marching band worth it" thread made me think of this question except with orchestra. So right now I'm taking orchestra and it takes an hour in my 6 hour schedule. Is it worth it to take it and have one of my slots always be filled with orchestra or is it more useful to use that slot for other classes? I've heard that taking a music for 4 years shows commitment and looks good for college but not sure if classes are better.</p>

<p>Yeah I’d say it’s worth it. Don’t kill yourself with 6 APs. I couldn’t do orchestra this year (freshman year) but I’m going to start it back up next fall.</p>

<p>Do you enjoy orchestra? If you do it merely to call it an extra curricular then I would say “No”. If you enjoy it, then keep the class. Many universities have orchestras even if you do not choose to major or minor in music. Our D loved orchestra but never intended to to study music. For her being in the orchestra in college was her time to unwind and have an opportunity to be with people that loved what she loved. I think it depended on what your definition of “worth it” is. I don’t think it will get you admitted to a “dream college” unless you’re good enough to get into Julliard. If you enjoy it it can be a means to meet people in college with similar passions and give you an easy A that you enjoy.</p>

It depends on where I am in orchestra. Right now I’m one of the two freshmen in the Sophomore-Junior-Senior orchestra and don’t have a great chair(so I’m not exactly “respected”) and so don’t have many people to talk to. Next year though many of my friends will be in the class and I’m sure it will be a more enjoyable experience.</p>

<p>This has been the most haunting question in the last four years of my life. I have played alto saxophone since elementary school, and piano since ninth grade. I have performed in countless festivals at the state level and beyond. I have had private instructors and had the opportunity to play alongside some of today’s best jazz musicians. I have suffered through four grueling summer band camps and have taken every music related course that my high school offers. I have pursued audio recording independently, experimenting and researching ways to achieve perfect sound. I have recently purchased a piano tuning kit to aid in refurbishing my old upright. My senior project is to compose a concert band piece over which I will solo during our spring concert this year. My brother is a trumpet performance major graduating this spring on a full ride from a top music school, and I’m graduating high school this spring.</p>

<p>With all that in mind, it may come as a shock that my goal is to get a degree in biomedical engineering. If I could do it all over again, here’s what I would have done differently:</p>

<p>I would have done more. I would’ve practiced more. I would’ve gone to more music camps. I would’ve started buying recording equipment sooner. I would’ve been composing since ninth grade. I would’ve started piano lesson when I was younger. </p>

<p>I can’t quantify the benefits that music brings me. I wouldn’t be me without music. Nobody is going to pressure me into dropping music so I can report the number “5” to a school next to some AP subject.</p>


<p>Now, to answer your question…</p>

<p>When you ask if it is “worth it”, do you mean</p>

<p>a) worth it to an adcom reviewing your application as a non-music major?</p>

<p>b) worth it for your own level of satisfaction?</p>

<p>Determining which question you are asking is very important.</p>

<p>For me, b) is a definite. </p>

<p>As for a), I guess I will find out on April 1st when I get my admissions decisions back.</p>


<p>My advice:</p>

<p>If you are going to stay in music, do as much as possible. Don’t just “be” in orchestra. That won’t benefit you or your application profile. </p>

<p>If you like it, then continue you. You always gotta have that 1 fun class.</p>

<p>immasenior, your post gave me chills because it resonates so much with me. I’ve been playing trumpet for eight years and have 2 of 8 classes filled with jazz and concert band. I spend hours a week on marching band, pep band, orchestra, a jazz combo, brass choir, or pit orchestra. I spent ages practicing for all-state honor band and all-state jazz. I don’t know what prompted me to become to deeply involved in music–but band is my life. I want to get a degree in mathematics and biology, not be a performance major or anything. But the personal fulfillment I get from music is enormous. I, too, wish I had gone to a music camp (IU Summer Music Clinic and Jamey Aebersold Jazz come to mind), and worked even harder. Why? Not because I plan to pursue music, but because it is so much more than an extracurricular.</p>

<p>Don’t do orchestra because you want to put it on your application. You will hate that decision. Being a freshman in a primarily non-freshman orchestra is pretty impressive, and yes–I’d say it will get better and you should stick with it.</p>

<p>I had the same problem last year too, and it was almost the same situation! While I’m not sure if I’ve made the right decision in terms of college apps, I definitely think it was well worth it- after 5 other periods taking strenuous classes, orchestra is (as some people above have already mentioned) is a great way to unwind. There’s also the upside of having no homework (except maybe some practicing) which is pretty awesome in my opinion especially for days where you seem to have tons of homework in your other classes. Basically, if you enjoy orchestra and playing music, I’d say go for 4 years! Try not to focus too much on what colleges think but rather do what your heart tells you to (that sounds reallllyy cliche haha but trust me it’s very true!).</p>


This times a thousand</p>

<p>immasenior and flamewire… listen to them. In particular, “If you are going to stay in music, do as much as possible. Don’t just “be” in orchestra. That won’t benefit you or your application profile.”</p>