What is a Degree in Music?

An education in music is for those with a passion for vocal or instrumental areas who want to become professionals at creating, teaching, or playing in the field.  Students of music programs usually pursue one focus (also known as a concentration or major) that usually involves either learning to perform vocally or learning to play one particular instrument over the others.

As a part of earning an education in music, students usually take classes that involve more than just the simple mechanics of making music.  Music students take classes that teach important foundational concepts such as:

  • music theory,
  • music literature
  • musicology,
  • music performance
  • instrument repair

Some students pursue music with the goal of eventually becoming a music teacher, which means they will also take music education classes and will need to meet the individual state and school requirements for becoming a music teacher.  In most cases an education in music also involves participating in live performances and shows.

Music programs are offered in both traditional, on-campus learning environments as well as online learning environments.  The courses that are offered by online college usually relate to musical theory, as musical practice and performance require a great deal of practice and hands-on experience.

Music programs exist at almost every level of post-secondary education, including certificate, associate's degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctorate degree programs.  With each progressive level of education students can expect to delve deeper into the study of musical concepts in their specific area of concentrated study.

Career Opportunities for Music

Just some of the careers available to those who have been educated in music include:

  • vocal/instrumental performers
  • musical composition
  • musical directing
  • music education

Those who choose to be professional musical performers, including singers and those who play instruments, will likely have a hard time finding consistent work.  Though the profession is expected to grow about as fast as the average, there are many people competing for the spotlight and for regular work.  Some people might also pursue work as a music director or composer, but the competition is just as stiff.  Many people work additional jobs that are unrelated to the field while they are pursuing a career in music, because finding consistent work can often be challenging.

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