Should I take AP Music Theory 9th grade year instead of Orchestra for my arts credit? I plan to apply to schools as an Econ. major, and hope to get into UPenn Wharton. I have heard that UPenn likes arts/music, so which one should I do?
Definitely do not take AP Music Theory INSTEAD of Orchestra. Taking both is best, but if not, wait to take APMT another year. If you have to take Orchestra to be a member, that matters far more to any college as an extracurricular than one class and an exam score. However, if you look at the course material online and it isn't far from what you already know, you might be able to self-study over the course of 9th grade and sign up to take the exam without being enrolled in the class. Try four-year planning based on your high school's graduation requirements and what colleges like UPenn look for in applicants. Even if you change your schedule later, it can help. If you want to show your spike in music, try to stay in orchestra all four years of high school. You should also do community service like organizing/giving concerts for rehabilitation centers, raising money through making music, etc. Of course, you can and should pursue achievements/awards for your instrument. I don't know how advanced at music you are, but showing hard work, passion, and consistency is more important than just talent.
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