How to Choose a Music Degree

Maximize your chances for musical success

However, a music degree does not guarantee employment in these highly competitive fields. A music certificate or degree is not the only benefit you will get at the end.

Music qualifications can be a great way to launch your career. These ideas will help you select a course, and maximize the value of that qualification.

A plan is a map with milestones that will guide you on your journey.

First, you need to establish clear career goals. Then, you can create a solid plan for reaching your goals. Although it does not guarantee success, a plan is better than choosing a course or music school randomly. You can evaluate your options and determine which ones best fit your career goals by having a plan.

Your plan can be used as a guide to success. It will help you meet the short- and long-term milestones and keep you on track.

As you go through these steps, be prepared to modify and adjust your plan. You don’t have to make your plan a permanent one once you’ve written it down. A plan can be shaped as you continue learning.

These are the three main careers that can be derived from a music degree

Three main career options that can be derived from a music degree include:

  • Music education
  • Performer
  • Screen scoring

Choose which one of these three career options interests you most.

Also, you will need to assess your current skills. It is important to compare your current skills with the requirements of the institutions that you are interested in. In general, institutions that have higher skills and essential prerequisites are more likely to be offered places in the course.

You will need to study the educational requirements and standards of each state if you plan to teach music.

Professional careers can be highly competitive.

It is important to estimate the competition for your chosen career. You must be realistic about your possibilities.

The goal of estimating the level of competition does not mean that you should quit early or believe in yourself. It is about a hard-nosed assessment of how much work you will have to do so that you can build the skills and experience you need to be a strong contender in a highly competitive field.

What is the financial picture?

Another one of those “you have to be realistic” questions. Only the most talented musicians are paid exceptionally well in many musical professions. You will need to determine the income range, starting at the highest, that you can expect to earn in your chosen career.

You will then need to have a clear understanding of current market opportunities. Is there a lot of job ads for the perfect job? Or are there only a few?

How can people find work in their preferred field of work? Online advertisements or work experience, or networks that they have built while completing a musical degree.

You will also need to calculate your expenses, including student loans.

Some schools specialize in producing students for specific careers

The National Association of Schools of Music lists more than 600 institutions that offer music courses, including MI.

You have literally hundreds of choices for musical courses and qualifications as a student.

Certain institutions will be known for their expertise in particular fields. Many LA institutions will offer courses in television and film scoring. We will see that a music degree does not only include the ability to complete a course and earn a qualification.

This is the point where you have narrowed down your options. You know what you want to do and have a list that includes institutions known for producing top-quality students.

Core subjects and electives

Pay attention to the courses offered at your favorite institutions. You should map out the core, minor, and elective subjects available. Decide which subjects interest you and what experiences and skills you have to bring to the subject. Also, determine what additional skills you will need to excel in that subject.


There will be specific audition requirements at many institutions. If you apply for a place at a conservatorium, then you may be required to perform an etude, a concerto, and some passages from well-known Symphonies. These audition requirements should be included in your planning document. Make sure that you are able to perform well at auditions.

This stage will give you an overview of your career and the institutions and courses that may suit you.

Your degree will help you build networks

During your course, you will be able to build two major networks: faculty and peers.

Typically, your peers will need to be built once you are on campus. However, you can make connections online through music education.

Once you have narrowed your options and established your faculty network, you can begin to build your potential faculty networks. Let’s assume you have five great institutions and courses options.

Faculty networks: Research and development

Find out the qualifications and names of those who are responsible for teaching your favorite options. Find out their research interests and the subjects they are a specialist in. Before you accept an offer, it is possible to reach out and speak with these faculty members.

Talk to them about your career goals and yourself. Ask them questions that show your interest in the course.

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