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Non-Music Majors Should Have More Access To Music Extracurriculars

by Allison Vlkovic

Most people who are involved in music extracurriculars in high school have had “the talk” with their parents— the one where they are persuaded to pursue a safer career. They’re told that despite music and the arts being their passion, it never hurts to have a backup plan.

I listened to my parents early on and realized that music wasn’t for me in the long run, so I decided to go to Montclair State University’s School of Communication and Media.

I ended up really enjoying my major, but all of last year, it felt as if something was missing.

Universities have so many clubs for so many different people, and yet I always felt left out from anything that related to me musically.

When it comes to the arts, more specifically music, non-majors are left in the dark. Montclair State has so many wonderful music programs but it seems as if not many people outside of the John J. Cali School of Music know about them.

I came to Montclair State knowing I wanted to still be involved in a music extracurricular despite having no future career in the arts, but I figured it wouldn’t be a challenge considering how acclaimed the hundreds of clubs and music programs are here.

I walked aimlessly around on Red Hawk Day, scanning each table hoping for a club that could relate to my interests.

When I tried to see what musical clubs I could get involved in at Montclair State, I was met with many roadblocks. It seemed as though the only way to be involved was if you were an arts major, or had some connection to it in some way.

I had heard about Chorale from a friend at Montclair State but figured I was unable to join due to being a non-major. Upon further investigation on Montclair State’s website I learned that, technically, I was able to be involved by enrolling in the class and completing a vocal hearing.

During Chorale’s first rehearsal, Heather Buchanan, director of choral activities at Montclair State, asked who amongst us were non-music majors. Around eight hands were raised out of the 150 students in the room.

Ever since joining Chorale, I felt like I was immediately welcomed and encouraged to be there, despite my major. I was so happy to be performing music again, especially since not having been involved in anything since high school.

This raised a question for me: Why is it so difficult to find out about ways to be involved in the John J. Cali School of Music here on campus?

Greek life, intramural sports teams and other clubs here at Montclair State consistently advertise their programs in the hopes of new members.

I believe that if John J. Cali School of Music did this as well, not only would students within the College of the Arts get involved more, but so would a wide range of students in so many different programs.

I am a transfer student here, and already feel more involved and happier than I ever felt at my last school. Chorale has allowed me to continue my favorite activity from my childhood, while still being able to focus on a different career path in my adulthood.

I truly think Montclair State has an extracurricular for every student, and if they were all fully advertised, so many students could keep their hobbies and passions alive, despite their differing majors.

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