Flying Whales and Yo-Yoing Flamingos -- Why I Chose Music Education As My Major

Hello all,

I haven't been inspired to write very much lately, and I'm sorry for that. With the bittersweet ending of high school, and the constant excitement for IU, there hasn't been much time for me to actually sit down and talk to everyone out there in the Hoosier nation.

Unfortunately, I'm not a senior graduating from IU, or off to go do a summer abroad or start an internship. My life is still currently in Dallas, Texas, where I am trying to catch as many rays of sunshine, before it spontaneously rains again, and attempt to salvage my graduation money and put it into savings before I spend it all on things I "might" need for Bloomington. But, as I've slowly come to realize that I will no longer walk the hallways of my high school, it's starting to dawn on me that my life is basically starting once August orientation rolls around (which btw sorry guys -- I would totally come to summer orientation but I've got a job oops). So, with hopes towards the future, I've decided to dedicate a post on why I've chosen my major of Music Education

(for those that aren't classically oriented as me, maybe this will be cool to you :D)

So let's get this party started.

I'm sure that my title is confusing (isn't it always), so let me just set the scene. 

*curtain draws*

*lights dim*

It's showtime

My godmother was a fierce and wise woman. Frannie knew to always "go for the gold," which continues to be a philosophy I strive to uphold daily, and she always incorporated her wise musings and life morals into my life. Around five or six, I spent every day in her magnificent sun room (we have those down here), and watched Arthur and other cartoons that I'm sure we all love very deeply (tbt to the 90s amiright). The summers were hot, and playing outside was just asking for a heatstroke. Fed up with me watching "mindless TV," Frannie took out the VHS collection she'd gleaned over the years, and pulled out a navy blue title with Mickey Mouse on the front.


Disney's interpretation of Night on Bald Mountain by Modeste Mussourgsky

Disney took classical music such as Beethoven's Fifth, Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue", and Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance (ahh the nostalgia), and brought them to life with pictures, making the music seem alive -- yo-yoing flamingos, flying whales, and Mickey Mouse as a Sorcerer's Apprentice (oh my). And from then on, the aura of classical music has always brought me back to that sun room at age five.

Over the years, music came to be a big part of my life, before I even started playing an instrument. As a seven year old, pianos just look cool. I banged my hands on the keys to make some ugly chord that sounded oddly beautiful in the back of my mind, which continued to baffle me. With my Sony CD Player, already equipped with the Lizzie McGuire Movie Soundtrack, and my actual headphones (that went on my head), I listened to music like most people do today -- in the car, waiting for an appointment, just hanging out in my room. For those who want to feel old, I got my first actual MP3 player -- not an IPod -- when I was in fourth grade. I got an IPod shortly afterward -- my song count in the great range of 200 -- and I still hadn't realized how much music had and would influence my life.

Where I grew up, middle school was fifth through eighth grade, and high school was ninth through twelfth. In an effort to incorporate arts and electives to our young ten and eleven year-old minds, the entire fifth grade class (totaling then about 500), participated in Orchestra, Band, General Music (Choir), and Art for nine week rotations the entire year, and when sixth grade class registration rolled around, we got to pick which elective we pursued for the next couple of years before entering high school.

I can sing, but my choir teacher smelled like rotten eggs, so I opted out of General Music.

Band was fun, and trombone was really fun to play, but everyone thought that a girl who played in band was a geek.

I can't draw anything. So Art was a nope.

All that was left was orchestra, where my middle school directors were creepy and odd, but I liked cello (the instrument I play in case you couldn't tell), and I thought it sounded cool. Though my directors were strange, they took a special liking to me because I picked up on cello so quickly, and I had a hankering to learn many new things all at once. And thus, my classical music journey began.

My high school years involved me studying cello more intensely, changing private lesson teachers -- even joining outside orchestras. Since I'm athletically challenged, orchestra was the only thing that I could really excel in. By my senior year, signing up to be a teacher aid for my orchestra was a no-brainer, so learning a couple of things on the piano, as well as viola and double bass, just seemed more fun and I began to enjoy all things music -- INCLUDING blasting classical music and symphonies in the morning when I drove to school ;D

*me in the car*

So the answer was clear to me -- music was a yes for me in college. Over the years I've been learning cello, I've played some really impressive and beautiful pieces, but I've never felt like a performer, which is why I chose education. I've always loved teaching -- I tutored in everything in high school, as well as teaching cello, viola, and bass lessons -- so, it only seems right that I become a music teacher in the future. 

And, if you're feeling a little inspired, feel free to hmu on campus next year! Even though classical music is a big part of my life, I appreciate all types of music -- indie, alternative, 40s, mariachi, classic rock, name it!

But just to let you know...

You don't have to have a major and a future picked out for you yet when you get to IU. College is all about exploring yourself, finding your own interests, and building your own future. Just because I know exactly what I want to do in life does not mean you have to! I have plenty of friends who are going to colleges all around that are unsure of their major, which makes it easier because they can focus on their General Education classes first, and decide what they want later, and maybe take some interesting classes along the way that will spark their interest. Choosing classes might be tough at first because you're still undecided on the career path that you want, but that's what academic advising is for. There is nothing wrong with being undecided -- it only means your greatness has yet to be discovered!

Another post entered, another boat load of gifs to communicate through. I hope this brought you all a little closer to me, and I AM SO EXCITED FOR WELCOME WEEK.

Adios, y'all


About The Author
Miller SusensMusic Education Major, Dallas, TX, Class of 2018

Yes, Miller is my first name. I prefer blue cheese bacon burgers on the first date and I'm pretty sure that I only own brown sandals. Lover of yoga, tumblr, pilates, fried chicken, sweet tea, and colors. Member of Alpha Gamma Delta (peace luv alpha gams). Cellist in the Jacobs School of Music. Native Texan. Very, very clumsy.