U Musings: Cognates leave out music performance

egonkling / Pixabay

If you’ve read any of my blog posts, you’ll know that I’m a member of the marching band here at the U. Marching band is a huge part of my life and a lengthy time commitment. I truly enjoy all the music I learn and the people I meet.

But I noticed something really peculiar the other day: there are no Arts & Humanities cognates that center on music performance, music education or any other major under the scope of the music school. There are a few for acting, art and dancing, but music is completely left out as an option for a cognate.

That’s a bit strange, right? Why can’t students who don’t want to pursue music professionally be allowed to perform and practice music for their cognate? Music is art too. So I dug a little deeper.

I began by looking up the different academic units that could be responsible for a music-centered cognate. I came up with Applied Music (MAP), Musicology (MCY), Music Education & Therapy (MED), Instrumental Performance (MIP), Keyboard Performance (MKP), Music Literature (MLT), Music, Media & Industry (MMI), Music for Non-Music Majors (MNM), Vocal Performance (MVP), Department of Music Studies (MUS), Studio Music & Jazz (MSJ) and Music (MU).

Seems like a lot of options, right? Wrong. There is only one cognate that shows up for all of these different department codes, titled “World of Music.” One cognate, no matter if I was searching Art & Humanities, People & Society or STEM. And in this cognate, there is no music performance involved. They are all musicology classes, discussing how the music came to be based on historical events, not creating and performing the music.

My first thought after I sorted through all this information was, “Why?” Why have all these different departments listed in the cognate search engine like someone can take a class about all these different things, when in reality there is no cognate that allows and encourages you to continue music into college instead of abandoning it when you graduate high school like so many people have done? It’s crazy that we have such an amazing music school, yet our administration doesn’t want to utilize that in the cognate system.

Not even marching band is included in the cognate system. I have about 10 credits so far that are useless because there is no cognate designed to include marching band as one of its cognates. Then, when some people go over credit limits by adding small ensembles to their schedule, they have to pay more money. More money for something that could easily be turned into something useful and educational. Our school is wasting one of the things it’s known for: music.

The University of Miami isn’t using the Frost School of Music to its full potential. I know that the School of Music wants to train and produce amazing musicians, but they can create classes that aren’t as intense as the ones they reserve for music students, just like the physics department has done. It’ll encourage tons of people at this school to continue or start music, not only in college but throughout their lives.

Feature image courtesy Pixabay user egonkling.