You learned an instrument, joined the band (or maybe several bands), and generally fell in love with the musician’s life. Now, with college on the horizon, you started entertaining the thought of taking your love of music with you to school and making it your major.
Then some doubts started -- possibly helped along by your parents or other well-meaning people in your life. “Are you sure you want to do that?” “Maybe you should major in something, you know, with a future.” “You don’t want to waste your degree, do you?”
Now some good news: Yes, if you love your instrument, voice, or whatever else you play, then you absolutely should consider majoring in music. It’s a strong arts major with plenty of job prospects in the working world, regardless of whether you go into music full-time or not. In fact, even the nay-sayers in your life might be surprised at a music degree’s power.
Let’s look at three tips to help you decide:
It Takes a Lot of Work
Majoring in music is like joining a sports team: Everybody imagines the minutes of glory on stage, but they don’t foresee the long hours spent practicing, doing coursework, and such.
As a music major, you definitely have long hours ahead. You’ll study music theory in depth, along with the regular academic courses required for any degree. Many music majors pick up another instrument, usually either piano or voice. That means even more practice.
There are recitals and master classes to attend, performances to prepare, and performances to give. Granted, you get to do much of this work surrounded by people just as dedicated and creative as yourself, but it’s still a lot of work. Be ready for it.
You Learn Life Skills
All of that work means that you develop important life skills that transfer into any career.
Lots of practice? You learn to schedule your time and stick to your plan. Playing in an ensemble? You learn the give and take of collaborative working relationships. Getting your performance reviewed by a professor? You learn to accept criticism. Writing your own songs or jamming with a jazz group? You expand your creativity and strengthen your willingness to take risks.
Music Can Lead You Anywhere
In addition to the many career options available to working musicians, the abilities that make you a strong musician can also make you a great software engineer, business owner, or just about anything else.
In this age of personal branding and easy access to media and distribution, music entrepreneurship is exploding. Perhaps you share your performances online and build a devoted audience. Maybe you help others find their voice (or instrument) through teaching. Or you could work with other musicians on marketing, promotion, and touring.
Wherever you focus, there’s a future for you in the business and the art of music.
Learn more today
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