Music as a Gateway to College

Perhaps you love the thrill of being on stage, the drama of that perfect intense song or just the thrill of being able to master a complicated set of notes. Yet you will have many guidance counselors tell you that music does not look as impressive to colleges, as say, AP Calculus. That may be true, but there are still many positive qualities colleges look for in applicants that can be learned in music programs. You can accent these on your college application or entrance essay. In many ways, music is more than your passion: it’s your ticket into college.


Do your best to work towards being first chair if you are in an instrument ensemble. Many music teachers count on the first chair to carry the section and tutor others in that section. This will show you can lead a whole section and help other students become better at their own music.

If this cannot be done, try starting your own quartet or ensemble. This is something to put on an application to say you had the leadership skills to start up something and see it to completion.


It takes a lot of work to become progressively better at your music. You can highlight your time working your way to progressively harder pieces. Make sure you enter music contests as well. Winning high awards shows your persistence in mastering a difficult song.


Playing music in front of a large crowd is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of guts to get up in front of hundreds of people and still play like you did back in your room. There is that fear that you will screw up. It’s easy to be afraid that every single person in the audience showed up specifically to judge you. And if your audience is a contest judge, that critical eye is a very true reality. So let the bold side of you shine, because you earned it.

How to Copyright MP3 Music

If you are a musical performer, you probably want to be able to be paid for your work. This is, of course, reasonable. After all, the music that you play is something special that few people can create. You should be able to receive remuneration for your efforts, just like a home builder or a college professor.

To insure that you are paid for your work and that no one else can use your music without your permission, it is important that you copyright your music. This includes music that you create in any format, whether it is on a CD or even an MP3. Copyright is the legal recognition that you own the MP3 music, and that anyone who wishes to use the MP3 music must get your permission before they do so.

How exactly, though, do you go about copyrighting MP3 music? There are several steps involved in the process:

1. Make sure you have a license to record the musical composition. If you didn’t write the music, you will need to have permission from the copyright owner in order to do so.

2. From the moment you create the recording, you are the legal owner and you have copyright. Everything you do from here is designed to insure that your copyright is legally recognized.

3. You can, for a fee, register your MP3 music with the Library of Congress. This will insure that there is a public record of the copyright of your MP3 music. This is probably the most reliable and safest way to copyright MP3 music.

4. There are other ways to copyright MP3 music, as well. You can, for example, mail yourself a Compact Disc with your copyrighted MP3 music on the disc. Leave the envelope sealed. The date on the postmark stamp may be able to be used to prove you mailed it to yourself on a given date, which may be able to help you establish proof of your copyright to the MP3 music.

In addition, you need to make sure you are clear about your copyright with other folks. If you put your MP3 on your web site, make sure you note that the file is copyrighted, even if you are giving it away for free, so that someone else can’t try to claim the copyright for your MP3 music.

How to Prepare for College Music Theory Classes

This article is written for those who have some basic knowledge of music theory. If you are not familiar at all with the concepts discussed, take some piano lessons quickly before heading off to college!

Note Reading

If you have learned to play an instrument or had formal voice training, you should have learned to read music. But, depending on the instrument or your singing part, you may have learned to read only one of the clefs. If you only learned to read treble clef, you need to also learn to read bass clef for your college music classes. If you only learned to read bass clef, learn the treble clef as well. College music theory encompasses both staves, so you want to be proficient at identifying notes on both treble and bass staves.

Key Signatures and Scales

You will be expected to have the ability to play and/or sing in various keys. The best way to work on this skill is to practice scales in different keys. Find a resource (book or online) that includes instruction on proper fingering–this will help you play more quickly and more accurately.

Simple and Compound Meter

Be familiar with the basic meters or time signatures. Most beginning students can play in 4/4 or 3/4. Expand your skills to becoming comfortable in meters such as 6/8 and 12/8. This will give you a head start on many of the students in your first music theory classes.

Basic Rhythms

Before enrolling in college theory classes, you should be able to play basic rhythm patterns without much effort. This only becomes possible with careful and consistent practice. (Have you guessed that I am a music teacher?) Reading music is much like reading your native language–the more you do it (the right way) the better you get! The first time you practice a piece of music, go slowly enough to count out each note and rest. As you become familiar with where the piece is going musically, you can begin to play or sing up to tempo.

Check out the resource section for additional help with this topic.

Another Young Musician

Istvan Medgyesi is a local musician near the town I grew up in. A friend of his introduced me to him via Facebook and told me I had to interview this guy and see what he is about!

Growing up in an “electric music tasting” family Istvan began to play the guitar at the age of 14.

Influenced at a young age by a many different things, people, he has encountered in his life he states, “many people and factors have influenced my musical style. I have always loved a wide variety of music, so I gather what I like from each style and try to put my own spin on it. Lately, I’ve been studying Hindustani Classical Music and working to apply some of the principles to guitar and banjo.”

Playing all kinds of music, he is solo at this point in his music career but has played with bands in the past.

“Right now, I’m playing with my buddy Shawn Brewster’s band Oldboy, based out of Cleveland, whenever we’re out that way. I sit in with a few other bands for recording and gigging from time to time.” Istvan said. 
Often plays at Clubs, bars, festivals, coffeehouses, art spaces and galleries, benefits, colleges, parties, he is very open to new experiences, like any true musician would be.

Local recognition has allowed him to play out all the time and do a small East Coast/Midwest Tour this spring &summer.;

Please check out this upcoming new local legend!

You can check out some of his music (and that of some of his good friends) and show dates @