What It's Like Being STEM Major and Taking a CFA Class

I’ll never forget my midterm for Group Guitar 1. It was in the basement of BU’s CFA (College of Fine Arts), which I’d never been to or even heard anything about. The entire thing was a maze, almost industrial in its rows of practice rooms. Students with instruments of all forms buzzed around me over the sounds of a diverse mix of instruments being practiced. I felt insanely out of place with my rented guitar on my back, wandering around trying to find the room my midterm was in. I might as well have been at a different college. 

I’ve always love listening to music but long story short, I realized I felt the same way about playing it too late in life. I played a few instruments as a kid including piano, oboe and cello, but I wasn’t really into it until high school, after I’d quit everything. I started playing oboe again in the school band, but it was too late to ever get to be any good and I didn’t continue into college.

I realized how much I missed playing music when I found myself secretly practicing piano when I was home alone over breaks, looking up sheet music on Google Images and going through my old lesson books. I wished there was a way to play an instrument again, but I figured it’d be too expensive until I heard from someone there were a few guitar classes any BU student can take, similar to PDPs. With a quick Google search, I found out that any BU student can take a variety of one credit CFA classes without extra charge (as long as the number of total credits stays under eighteen hours), including brass, piano, guitar, music appreciation and more. Hoping to be able to understand the structure of some of my favorite songs better, I signed up for the guitar class. 

Photo Credit: Piano World

All the class has cost me is $40 to rent a guitar for the semester, plus a few picks and the lesson book. If you want to buy a guitar (which I honestly maybe should have done), the price starts at around $100. Either way, not bad to learn a new instrument with instruction. My class only has about six people, and we meet in CFA (not the basement where the midterm was) once a week for a 105-minute lesson.

This semester in Group Guitar 1, we’ve learned scales, notes, chord progressions and more. It’s an enjoyable time, but it is a lot more work than I expected. I took a salsa/merengue PDP last semester and I stupidly expected it to have a similar level of low commitment, but understandably, it is suggested to us to practice for an hour each day (but you can kind of choose the level of commitment you want to put in, especially if you are taking the class pass/fail). We also have a final and midterm where we play many of the things we have learned in class solo to our teacher. I’m taking the class for a grade (hoping it will help my GPA) but if you’re thinking of taking a class like this, but don’t want the stakes to be high, I would suggest taking it pass/fail. Also, if you live in a dorm with a practice room or single apartment/dorm, it’ll probably be a lot easier to practice. Unfortunately, since my dorm doesn’t have a practice room, I have to walk to Myles.  

I’ve definitely enjoyed learning the basics of how a guitar works and I’m going to miss it when I have to return the guitar. It’s also been really interesting to see a very different college at BU from CAS (my college) or really anything else. The magnitude of the school is pretty amazing when you explore it a little. 

Photo Credit: Amazon

Although it was hard at times to fit into my schedule, I really enjoyed being able to learn an instrument again and I’d definitely recommend it! If you’re interested, visit the website here


Want to keep up with HCBU? Make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, check out our Pinterest board, and read our latest Tweets!