Frequently Asked Questions
I am burned out on music. Why should I participate in college?
College band and orchestra offer a completely different experience from high school. At Purdue, you will be involved with a more mature, motivated group of musicians who have changed their focus to a more in depth appreciation of music. There are no "requirements" so everyone in a particular ensemble is there because they want to be. In that positive atmosphere, creative expression thrives and music is both fun and rewarding. No matter how you felt about band or orchestra in high school, you will find the college ensembles to be a new and different experience. You won't know what that means unless you give it a try!
My advisor told me not participate in band my freshman year, since I'll be too busy adjusting to college life and keeping up with my academics. Is that true?
We often hear this statement, but the facts just don't bear it out. Band students learn how to manage their time more effectively than other students. And as a group, student musicians in our department have one of the highest grade point averages on campus. Participation in band actually assists you in making the adjustment to college, as you have an immediate circle of friends, and pleasurable activities that relieve classroom stress. If any advisor refuses to register you for a Band class, contact the Band Office immediately at 494-3952 and we'll handle it. You should not be denied registration to any band class by a university counselor. But if you are, we are in a position to help correct the situation without putting you or your parents in the middle. Don't be talked out of something you really want to do!
Can I play in a band without signing up for the class?
No. All students wishing to play in a band/orchestra, with the exception of graduate students who have received instructor permission, MUST be registered for the appropriate class. One of the benefits of taking band/orchestra as a class is receiving two hours of academic credit each semester.
Am I limited to playing in only one band at Purdue?
No. You may sign up for as many bands as you wish. Keep in mind, however, that each band carries with it a particular time commitment, as do the requirements of your academic studies. It would be unwise to try to participate in too many bands. If you need help in making this decision, feel free to talk to one of the band staff members.
If I join band/orchestra, am I making a full year commitment?
No. Since our performing ensembles are academic classes, they are scheduled on a semester basis and you sign up for each course for one semester only. You may register for any number of subsequent semesters, but only one semester at a time. You can march in the fall and play in concert band in the spring, or any other combination you might choose.
Marching Band takes up a lot of time. Won't that affect my studies adversely?
Again, the facts don't bear this out. It is a proven fact that busy people tend to be more aware of the need to organize and budget their time, and as such plan time to get everything accomplished. Students who have more free time are more apt to waste that time. The two hours you spend on marching band each day often provide a much needed study break . Furthermore, the friends you make in marching band are available to work with you in study groups and homework sessions.
I have several questions I'd really like to ask of a Purdue student who's "been there, done that" in the Bands Department. Can I do that?
Certainly. Call our Public Relations Office at (765) 496-6785, or email email@example.com, and tell us the kind of person you'd like to correspond with - perhaps one who plays a specific instrument, or is in a specific group. We can arrange and email or telephone visit for you with a student musician.
My advisor says I have a conflict between one of my classes and the band class I wish to take. Does this eliminate me from band?
Not necessarily. We are able to approve a certain amount of conflict with a band class and still allow you to participate. The amount of conflict that can be approved varies from course to course. If you have a conflict, contact the director of the band that interests you and discuss the matter before eliminating band from your schedule.
My advisor has indicated that the band class I want to register for requires the permission of the instructor. What should I do?
Your advisor can call the Band Office directly at 494-3952 and receive the necessary permission to register from a band staff member.
Auditions scare me. What if I'm deathly afraid of playing for a university professor?
Auditions for Purdue Bands are pretty low key, and the staff works hard to put you at ease. You have nothing to be afraid of. You're probably much better than you think. We have no music majors, so everyone who auditions is approaching band from the same standpoint. You aren't competing with students who are required to practice many hours each day for their degree. If you have taken the time to practice and prepare for your audition, you should have no problems at all.
What happens if, after my audition, I'm placed in band class that's different from the one I registered for with my counselor?
In the jazz and concert band areas, Purdue directors often request that all students sign up for one course number until auditions determine actual placement. Switching classes, should it be necessary, is not a problem. You can transfer to the right course through a fee-free process called "Drop and Add" that occurs in the first few weeks of each semester. Band staff members can help you with this process.
If I decide to sign up for band/orchestra after my Day On Campus visit, am I out of luck?
No. Simply call your counselor and ask to have band added to your schedule. If you do not have that number, call the office associated with your major and ask them to connect you. If you run into any problems, give the Band Office a call at (765) 494-3952, and we will run interference for you.
I have a friend who wants to be in band, but he/she hasn't received any mailings from you. What should I do?
Have your call the band office at (765) 494-3952 and request a registration mailing packet. It's just that simple!