Instrumental Music Now Required Course

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Sierra McDonnell, Brittney Boucher, Bree Cloes, and Rylie Beardall struggle to learn instruments for the new requirements. Picture by Emily Suckow

Sierra McDonnell, Brittney Boucher, Bree Cloes, and Rylie Beardall struggle to learn instruments for the new requirements.
Picture by Emily Suckow

English, biology, or math, general education courses are the bane of our existence in college, especially after our major is chosen. These courses are meant to make us well-rounded students, but here’s the beef; they have extended the general education requirements to include band and orchestra classes.
You read that right. Effective in the fall 2015 semester, instrumental music courses will be required as general education courses. This change has been made to build creativity and cooperation skills, and to increase the appreciation for the music department.
“It makes sense,” says Rylie Beardall, a dental hygiene major. “Music majors are required to take biology courses and math courses. Why not require the math and science majors to take classes outside of their major as well?”
A large part of playing an instrument includes knowing how to do many things all at the same time, like reading your music, watching the conductor, remembering fingerings for notes, and listening to everyone around you. “The multitasking of playing in a band ensemble is very effective in teaching students how to prioritize and get multiple things done in the career world,” says Matt Harris, general education major.
“The music department will definitely increase,” says Jamie Baker, music major. “The real question is will people put time into it or will it become just another general?”
One problem that arises is that some instruments will get many more players than other sections, and balance in the ensemble will be off. “Guitars will be popular because guys think girls like it when they play guitar,” says Brittney Boucher, English major. “The flutes and violins will grow because everyone likes those. The drums will increase for anger management. The trumpets will be popular because they say trumpet players make good kissers.”
As far as other majors go, music can affect them positively or negatively. “I think it will make me want to go into my major even more because I’ll realize how terrible I am at playing an instrument, and it will make me realize what I’m really good at,” says Sierra McDonnell, art major. “Also the required practice time for music classes will feel like a waste because I’m being forced to practice for something that I don’t want to do in the first place.”
Overall, making music classes a general education requirement is a controversial topic. “It will put college students into even more debt because now you have an instrument to worry about too,” says McDonnell. On the opposing side, Boucher says, “I think it will provide a sense of unity. I think it will be good for us.”

Emily Suckow is a twenty year-old sophomore at Snow College. She grew up in South Jordan and graduated from Bingham High School in 2014. Being well-to do in the oboe, flute, and English horn, she was drawn to Snow for their four-year music major program, but has since switched her major and is pursuing a degree in Public Relations at this time. Emily spent her sophomore year at Snow College as Webmaster and Vice President of the Snowdrift, Snow College's student newspaper. When she was 13, Emily was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, but is currently cancer-free and loving life.

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