How to be Friends with a Music Major

Written by Mandy Pennington. Media by Tawnie Kozora.


Friends with a Music Major? You’ll be okay.

Mandy playing in the Blackroom. Image by Nick Roberts

There are many personality types and one of life’s greatest struggles is finding a way to get along with all of them. When someone has different interests and passions than you, how do you relate to them? I am here to advise you on how to get along with an especially odd group: music majors.

People who have chosen to pursue a career in the unstable, unpredictable world of music are a rare breed. They have imaginative minds and lovable, scatterbrained personalities. They’re the ones who are always running late but have so much to offer. They’re the ones you love to be around because they radiate passion and ingenuity. There are many things you love about them but there are also many things that annoy you; here are some ways to get along with your best friend who happens to be a music nerd.

Mandy posing with her ukulele. Image by Nick Roberts

When you hear them singing in the shower, tell them they sound great. When they’re practicing furiously and asking if you think they sound good, ignore their pitch issues and tell them they’ll definitely be able make a career out of it.

If that music major just so happens to be your roommate, please put up with the constant humming and the off-key guitar strumming. Everyone has their flaws.

When they can’t decide what to wear for a recital and you don’t see why it’s so important… it’s important. A recital is like a music major’s prom. They look their best to perform their best. That’s how it works, right?

When they’re stressing about their upcoming ear training and sight-singing test, act like you sympathize even though you don’t understand how it could possibly be so difficult.

When they’re telling you what type of chord that train horn is or what note a siren is, don’t hate them for being a know-it-all. Identifying a siren as a Bb is completely useless information, but admire their creativity and give them a pat on the back anyways.

Students playing music with each other. Image by

When you want to hang out but they say “no, I need to practice”,  don’t roll your eyes. It’s their livelihood on the line! The best thing you can do is sit in the practice room with them, eat your McChicken on the floor, and try to watch Netflix while they attempt to sing Handel and play Brahms.

When they’re nerding out about music theory and the brilliance of tri-tones and how wonderful minor four chords are, tell them how annoying they’re being. It’s okay. Just be prepared for them to do the same to you when you rave about the Cubs or your biology paper. Listen to Debussy for hours even when you feel like jamming to the Chainsmokers, because they’re studying for their music listening exam and they just need your support.

Above all, don’t feel left out when you’re hanging out with them and their fellow music majors. They may seem cliquey, but they just share a deep bond of love for the same thing. They will try to include you, so just nod and smile when you don’t get them. Remember, you’re a great friend for putting up with them and they love you for it. Though you may not understand what they’re talking about half of the time, you secretly hate their original music, and you wish they’d realize they can’t play the violin, you have a friend with immense passion and a big heart. In the end, they’re worth it.




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