What Can You Do With A Music Degree?

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Music is universal. It is timeless. It is a universally understood language all its own that unites people of all backgrounds. What can you do with a degree in music, then? Opportunities are endless. Whether you’re looking to expand your instrumental talents, educate others on the beauty of melodies, or enter the field of music production, you will find many types of jobs available to people with music degrees. If you have a passion for sharing the power of sound with the world, consider earning a degree in music to help spread joy and bring harmony to people of all ages.

Music Degree Programs

Colleges and universities around the world offer outstanding music programs that allow students to expand their knowledge and talents in production, performance, and education. Consult your guidance counselor for information on what classes you can take in high school that will help prepare you for a future in music.

Established in 1905, The Juilliard School offers exceptional music programs for undergraduate and graduate students alike itching to enhance their musical education. With bachelor, master, and doctoral degree programs in everything from music composition to opera, Juilliard covers all the bases. Majors also include various types of instruments, as well, including but not limited to brass, piano, and strings. Faculty members at Juilliard bring their experience into the classroom to give their students unique tips and insight into the music industry so that they may succeed upon graduation.

The Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester provides students interested in pursuing music with the choice of a Bachelor of Music or a Bachelor of Arts in Music. The Bachelor of Music program focuses mostly on advancing students’ talents as well as knowledge in music history and theory. The Bachelor of Arts in Music degree program looks more closely at the liberal arts aspects of music. In addition to the bachelors degree programs, the school offers various masters degree programs and doctoral degree programs in music. Music education is also a popular area of study within the music programs at the University of Rochester.

The School of Music at Azusa Pacific University contains many different music degree programs, including but not limited to a bachelors degree in commercial music, composition, music and worship, and even performance. These programs closely explore the ins and outs of music theory, composition, performance, and other aspects involved in the music business. With dedicated faculty and truly unique internship experiences at recording studios, churches, ensembles, and schools, students are able to build impressive resumes and possibly land jobs before even graduating college. For students looking to take their education to yet another level, Azusa has four exceptional masters degree programs to choose from in music, as well.

Careers in Music

When you decide that pursuing a degree in music is the right choice to enhancing your future, it is important that you look in to potential career opportunities that interest you and that you can build your studies around in college. Once you determine what career path to travel, tuning your studies to suit your future becomes significantly easier. This section provides examples of career paths in the world of music.

Entry Level Careers in Music

A bachelors degree in music may just help you land the job of your dreams. With a little help from experience gained from an internship or apprenticeship, your resume is sure to impress employers in search of people with music degrees. Below are a few careers you may qualify for once you earn your bachelors degree in music.

Music Critic

A music critic writes reviews of music events, artists, newly released songs and albums, and more for media outlets like magazines and newspapers. He or she may be employed by these media sources or may be self-employed. Music critics are particularly talented writers. It is not uncommon for a music critic to possess a bachelors degree in journalism, English, or music with relevant background knowledge. Music critics have excellent communication skills and an ear for music talent. They often receive free music, and they may also meet bands and artists in order to incorporate an even more intriguing spin on a story from time to time.

Music critics may earn an annual salary of over $30,000, based on education and experience levels.

Lyricist

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A lyricist forms a compilation of words to tell a story or portray a message that will be set to music. He or she collaborates with composers to create pieces of music that evoke such strong emotions in an audience. Lyricists know how to use words in ways that coincide with specific genres of music. They have highly creative mindsets, enhancing their ability to shape words into messages for the world to hear through music. It is not uncommon for lyricists to have bachelor degrees in English or music with a background in creative writing–particularly poetry–or other related subjects. It is also particularly helpful for a lyricist to possess the ability to read music. Lyricists may also be composers of radio jingles or television commercial tunes.

The annual salary of a lyricist depends largely on the type of writing they do as well as whether they also compose their own music and if they work for a specific company. Lyricists may earn anywhere from just under $35,000 to over $80,000 a year.

High School Band Director

A band director teaches high school students of all ages, from freshman to senior year, how to unite their instrumental talents in order to create melodies pleasing to an audience of proud parents and often at school sports events. A band director helps students hone their skills in both small and large groups and prepares them for further instruction after they leave high school. It is crucial that he or she possesses outstanding communication and leadership skills in order to best instruct students at various talent levels. High school band directors often possess at least a bachelors degree in music and, at minimum, a teaching certificate.

High school band directors may earn around $45,000 annually, based on education and experience levels as well as the school district at which they are employed.

Advanced Careers in Music

After you’ve spent a few years building experience in the field of music with your bachelors degree or if you decide to pursue a masters degree in music, you just may qualify for at least one of the positions described below.

Music Curator

A music curator updates and maintains music records and collections in museums and libraries and also arranges music-related exhibitions. Music curators typically possess a bachelors degree in music and a masters degree in museum studies with background knowledge in music history and music culture. They are also highly organized and have great communication and time management skills.

Music curators may earn over $40,000 annually, based on education and experience levels.

Royalty Analyst

A royalty analyst examines contracts and licenses related to the distribution of royalties so that record companies and artists are properly compensated. He or she also works with the finances involved in royalty distribution. Royalty analysts often possess degrees in finance or music with background knowledge in similar fields. They are familiar with the ins and outs of the music business, because they often possess years of experience within the field. They have excellent verbal and written communication skills and good math skills, as well.

Royalty analysts may earn around $70,000 annually, based on education and experience levels.

Companies that Hire People with Music Degrees

Once you finish earning whatever level music degree you decide to pursue, you will then accept the challenge of perusing the job market. You’ll have the best luck of landing a job if you possess an attractive resume and a reasonable GPA. Below is a list of examples of companies that are in search of people with music degrees.

Universal Music Group – based in the US; hires positions for marketing directors, production coordinators, royalty analysts, etc.

North Ridge Health and Rehab – located in New Hope, MN; hires positions for music therapists, etc.

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula – located in Menlo Park, CA; hires positions for music production instructors, etc.

Leander Independent School District – located in Leander, TX; hires positions for music teachers, band directors, etc.

Bandmerch, LLC – located in Burbank, CA; hires positions for royalty analysts, etc.

Music is a lifestyle. Careers in this world require time and dedication and a passion to share the beauty of lyrics and notes, of highs and lows, with the inhabitants of this Earth. If you have a burning passion for sound, for the need to share what pleases the ear, then you should consider a music career.

Author: Rose Boettinger

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