What can I do with a Music degree?

EDUCATION

AREAS

Teaching
Private Lessons

EMPLOYERS

Daycare centers
Elementary and secondary schools
Private schools
Recreation centers
Colleges and universities
Conservatories
Studios
Self-employed

STRATEGIES

Acquire teaching certificate for public school teaching. Gain experience working with children through volunteer or part-time work experiences. Graduate degree required to teach in higher education. Specialize in an area such as music, music theory, composition, music history, etc. Performance skill on one instrument or voice required. Develop business relationships with schools and/or music stores to increase client base.

PERFORMANCE

AREAS

Instrumental
Vocal

EMPLOYERS

Armed Forces bands and orchestras
Symphony orchestras
Small ensembles
Rock or jazz groups
Dance bands
Concert soloist
Clubs and restaurants
Church choirs
Community choral groups
Opera chorus or soloist
Musical theaters
Ballet productions
Recording industry
Radio, television, and motion picture industries

STRATEGIES

Develop musical talent and skill. Obtain formal training to acquire necessary skills, knowledge, and ability to interpret music. Ambition and showmanship are important. Join campus bands and choruses, church choirs, and other performing acts. Seek competitions, apprenticeship programs, and workshops to gain experience and recognition. Opportunities are very limited. Most performers have other careers. Auditions are generally required.

COMPOSING/ARRANGING

AREAS

Composing
Arranging

EMPLOYERS

Self-employed
Record companies
Publishers
Muzak
Motion picture and television industries
Production companies

STRATEGIES

Knowledge of composition, harmony, arranging, and theory are important. Learn how to use electronic instruments and synthesizers. Develop computer and desktop publishing expertise. Skill on one or more instruments and voice are necessary. Seek grants and awards through foundations. Very few musicians earn living through composing.

CONDUCTING

EMPLOYERS

Choirs
Choral groups
Symphonies
Opera
Armed Forces bands and orchestras

STRATEGIES

Develop superior musicianship and leadership. Acquire extensive experience in performing groups. Opportunities extremely limited. Gain acceptance into a conductor-training program or related apprenticeship.

MUSIC THERAPY

EMPLOYERS

Hospitals: general and psychiatric
Special education facilities
Mental health centers
Nursing homes
Correctional facilities
Private practice
Outpatient clinics

STRATEGIES

Take courses in psychology, social work, or education. Earn a master's degree in music therapy and seek certification. Volunteer in a rehabilitation setting. Must demonstrate a genuine interest in helping people.

MUSIC LIBRARIES

EMPLOYERS

Colleges and universities
Conservatories
Public libraries
Radio and television stations

STRATEGIES

Develop computer and research skills. Gain thorough knowledge of music and musicology. Earn master's degree in library/information science.

RECORDING INDUSTRY

AREAS

Publishing and Editing
Producing
Recording
Engineering
Manufacturing
Talent Acquisition
Promotion/Media Relations
Publicity
Administration
Marketing and Sales
Product Management

EMPLOYERS

Production recording studios (most located in New York City, Los Angeles, and Nashville)

STRATEGIES

Complete an internship at a record company. Take business courses to work in management or administration. Journalism, public relations, and communication classes helpful for work in areas of promotion. Gain sales experience for marketing. Must interact well with people and develop persuasion tools. Knowledge of electronics, audio engineering, and recording knowledge required for production. Work or volunteer at a campus or local radio station. Join organizations involved with bringing events and entertainment to campus. Work at a retail record store to learn about the industry.

COMMUNICATIONS

AREAS

Music and Program Direction
On Air Performance
Promotion
Voice Overs
Copyright/Clearance Administration
Music License Administration
Music Editing, Production, and Composing
Sound Mixing
Post Production
Research

EMPLOYERS

Radio and television stations
Virtual reality sound environments e.g. Internet sites, software creators

STRATEGIES

Take classes in communications, broadcasting, or journalism. Work at on-campus radio station. Complete an internship at a television or radio station.
Develop computer-related skills such as software development and programming.

MISCELLANEOUS

AREAS

Sales
Music Journalism
Law

EMPLOYERS

Music shops
Record stores
Instrument manufacturers
Music-related publications
Magazines and newspapers
Entertainment law firms

STRATEGIES

Music shops
Record stores
Instrument manufacturers
Music-related publications
Magazines and newspapers
Entertainment law firms

GENERAL INFORMATION

Finding positions in the music industry requires a combination of talent, training, connections and some luck. Perseverance is required!

Develop competencies in business management, computers, marketing, or other areas to broaden range of employment possibilities.

Develop a variety of skills. Become "multitalented."

Confidence, personality, a positive attitude, and a love of music are important to success.

Need basic tools of self-promotion.

Some jobs may require you to join unions or guilds.

Performers often travel frequently and must be flexible regarding their work schedules.

Gain experience working for a music publisher or other businesses in the entertainment industry.

Majoring in music provides students with a sense of aesthetics and an understanding of human expression valuable to many employers.

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