The official newspaper of the Ramaz Upper School

The Rampage

The official newspaper of the Ramaz Upper School

The Rampage

The official newspaper of the Ramaz Upper School

The Rampage

Music VS. Art

Music VS. Art

One of the privileges of being a junior is having the ability to select a few of your classes. Whether it is your creative elective or an AP, part of junior year is having the opportunity to choose electives based on what interests you.

This does not mean that minors and electives should be neglected courses. All electives are required courses regardless of whether the grade is factored into your GPA. However, for juniors, the art and music band is split evenly, leaving a handful of students upset with their placements. 

Junior art and music are two very different classes. Music students must complete two major projects – the Name Project and the Fugue Piece – as well as take a final. The two compositional projects and two finals differ greatly from the workload of art. The Junior art students are required to complete a Muji art journal that is evidently put off to the last minute by most students, prompting their complaints. However, in reality, there is nothing pressing or stressful about doodling in your notebook the period before class.

The main complaint among juniors is whether it is fair for music students to have a music final the week before the finals exam period while art students do not. And while the word fair isn’t necessarily in the Ramaz dictionary, it would be nice for the school to recognize the different classes juniors have to endure. One requires stepping out of your comfort zone to compose and perform pieces as well as taking a final while the other requires a student to doodle in a notebook. Giving music students a final while the art kids have nothing is completely unnecessary. “Now I’m stuck having a final three days before finals start and I have a huge project relating to things I was never going to be comfortable with but I have no choice but to do them because it’s part of my final grade.” (Lindsay Chubak ’25)

In my biased opinion, I think music is an extraordinarily fun class. The projects are interesting and so much fun to complete and perform. As a musician, junior music enhanced my understanding and enthusiasm for music as I continue into AP Music Theory. However, I already know how to read and write music. It was not a skill I had to pick up on the way to be able to pass the class. For many students, they were thrown into the deep end of the pool and required a tremendous amount of hand holding through the course. 

What can be done to solve this? How can the school balance out the intense workload of the music students and the lightweight load of art students? While it is not fair to assign a final to students who simply are not artists and were also placed in the class out of “luck”, as some might say, it is also not fair to assign music students an additional final that is added onto their already filled plate. Juniors are so busy and having another final is another thing on their lengthy to-so list. Give the juniors a break. I think the solution is to remove the music final and give both subjects projects. Allow music students to continue with their name projects and fugues, but require art students to complete a project culminating their semesters learning. The only way to balance out the arts classes is to make the workload fair and not have a final. 

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