Why You Should Consider a Major In Music


James Bonnell, Centurion Staff

As we move through our theme of reasons to major in specific studies, faculty in the music department at Bucks would like to point out the many benefits of a major in some form of music. In order to provide some insight, Associate Professor of Music Jeff Baumeister was available for comment. Professor Baumeister actually began his career right here at Bucks as a music major.

Not long thereafter he was the proud owner of a Bachelor of Music from William Patterson University. He went on to complete a Master of Music program from the University of the Arts and eventually ended up back where it all started teaching music at Bucks. Throughout the exchange, we discussed his life with music, what kinds of goals he had, and what he gained from becoming a
music major.

“I didn’t have any career goals. I just loved music and wanted to learn as much as I could about it. My goal was to become a better musician,” said Baumeister. Beginning with piano in the 7th grade, Professor Baumeister and his friends started a band and his love of music never stopped. While he started reading music around 13 or 14 years old, it was more just about playing music and having fun.

Many musicians spend years working in one field before transitioning to another, equally as rewarding field. “It wasn’t at first, but teaching at Bucks was a goal when I eventually went for my master’s degree,” Professor Baumeister shared. With this in mind, it’s worth noting the sheer volume of careers in musical settings that can be followed outside of performance and teaching. Live concert technicians, sound and light coordinators, music journalists, recording engineers, instrument repair workers, music therapists, DJ’s, music managers, and entertainment lawyers are just a few of the many people who could major in music and go on to other related careers.

If you are wondering if anything essential to everyday life can be learned by majoring in music, or even just playing music, Professor Baumeister says “Absolutely! Especially in music ensembles where you learn to listen to everyone and work as a team.” The conectedness of music is something that can be seen all over. To any aspiring music majors or even just musicians, the connections you will make will stay with you.

“As my skills improved, many of my teachers eventually became colleagues that I gig with still to this day. Also, there were so many awesome, like-minded students that I met while majoring in music. I still gig with many of them today too. Majoring in music connected me to an amazing network of people.”

Professor Baumeister has earned much praise for his musical arrangements and was even in charge of a ten-musician jazz suite for Bucks’ 50th anniversary. The piece is named “Portraits from the Pub” and it debuted in 2014. Aside from being a professor and performing musician, Jeff has also published numerous transcriptions and analytical essays in DownBeat magazine