Should You Study Music at College? is a Music Degree Worth It?

Should You Study Music at College? is a Music Degree Worth It?

In this article, we answer the question “How valuable is a music major?” by exploring details about the degree field.

No matter what area of music you want to work in, getting a degree in it is crucial for a number of reasons. However, because college is so expensive, some people might question whether getting a music degree is the best option.

Should you study music at college? Yes, for the majority of aspiring musicians, a music degree is worthwhile. Degrees in music are necessary for musicians to develop their skills and for employment in the music business. A degree may not be required, though, in some fields of music.

Read to determine whether earning a music degree is worthwhile.

Should You Study Music at College?

If you have a love for the subject and the dedication to finish your degree, majoring in music is worthwhile. As a music major, you have a variety of options, including performing arts careers and administrative positions.

You can find a variety of opportunities to express your musical creativity and find a rewarding career, whether your goal is to sing professionally on a cruise ship or instruct young children in choir songs at an elementary school.

You can achieve your ideal lifestyle and motivate others with your creative expression by selecting a distinctive specialization as a music major. Here are some other reasons being a music major is worth it:

Should You Study Music at College? is a Music Degree Worth It?
  • Confidence in your musical ability: Your efforts to find a job may be supported if you become more confident in your skill sets and sense of worth as you develop and refine your craft.
  • Meaningful friendships: Making friends with like-minded and creative people can be facilitated by enrolling in a music major program. After graduation, you might work together on a professional project with these people.
  • Diverse musical disciplines: Programs frequently let you sample a variety of musical instruments and subject areas before selecting a preferred specialization.
  • Networking opportunities: Professional musicians in your field, including professors and visitors, can teach you priceless lessons and serve as mentors.
  • Performance opportunities: If you want to work in the performing arts, it may be especially helpful if you major in music because you frequently learn how to present your skills to an audience. Observing your peers’ presentations can also provide you with musical inspiration.
  • Music industry connections: You may network with people who can assist you in scheduling sessions in a professional recording studio and promoting your projects because talent agents frequently visit music programs at universities to find new clients.

Benefits of a Music Degree

There are a lot of benefits to getting a music degree in the end. Here is a list of the advantages of earning a music degree.

  • Increases employment opportunities
  • Provides quality education in all facets of music
  • Professional one-on-one training
  • Excellent for resume building
  • Provides research opportunities
  • Provides performance opportunities

Disadvantages of a Music Degree

There are some definite drawbacks even though a music degree is the best option for career security and performance opportunities.

  • Music degrees can be expensive
  • Scholarship opportunities are competitive
  • Music degrees do not guarantee performance opportunities
  • Music degrees do not guarantee jobs in the field of study
  • Certain coursework and classes are not recognized by every institution
  • Differences in learning environments
Should You Study Music at College? is a Music Degree Worth It?

What Should You Learn in Music in College?

As a music major, you have to study:

  • Music theory
  • Music history
  • Your specific area of focus
  • Aural skills

You also have to:

  • Expand your keyboard proficiency (for most majors)
  • Take music lessons
  • Practice more than you ever have on your major instrument and possibly a second instrument
  • Take classes to help you succeed as a performer
  • Learn how to prevent repetitive motion injuries
  • Learn to communicate effectively and use criticism well

Add to the list:

  • Any required academics
  • Rehearsals with required ensembles, orchestras, or choirs
  • Performances
  • Required master classes
  • All the extracurricular music opportunities that music majors delve into
  • Junior year and/or senior year recitals
  • Other professionally-related experiences
  • Everything else any college student needs to do (eat, sleep, do laundry, work, and hang out with friends)

Additionally, you gain perspective on what a music major entails.

What Can You Do With a Degree in Music?

This inquiry about music degrees and what specifically one can do with one is one that I frequently see made. That’s honestly an open-ended question, but the honest answer to that is “It depends”. There are many things one can do with a music degree, just like there are with any other degree from an institution of higher learning.

Quite a bit of it is dependent on your musical goals. You may want to teach in the public school system, become a well-known performer, or simply enjoy making beats for the radio. The answer to that question is important because it will indicate which degree track in music you should enroll in.

Should You Study Music at College? is a Music Degree Worth It?

Here is a list of the typical music degrees that the majority of colleges and universities offer.

  • Music Performance
  • Music Education
  • Pedagogy
  • Music Theory
  • Music Therapy
  • Musicology
  • Choral Directing
  • Film Scoring
  • Music Production
  • Music Agent
  • Accompanist
  • Sound Technician
  • Songwriter
  • Talent Scout
  • Vocal Coaching

There are degrees that cater specifically to those interests for many of the above-mentioned occupations. A concert pianist, for instance, might want to pursue a degree in performance with their primary instrument. You might want to go into the field of music therapy and work with patients.

The study of music, its history, and its significance are additional topics. You might want to consider pursuing a musicology degree for that. Even more intense levels of concentration can be found within each degree. In order to tailor their studies to their particular areas of interest, students can select a basic degree title.

You can pursue a musicology degree, for instance, if you decide that you want to be an authority on historical musical instruments. The major will become more tailored to your particular area of interest over the course of that degree, with access to leaders in the field, specialized courses, and research opportunities.

For degrees in theory, pedagogy, and music education, the same holds true. It doesn’t really matter which music degree you choose; the initial stages are all very similar.

Conclusion: Should You Study Music at College?

The answer to the question “What’s the value of a music degree?” depends on your career goals, musical ability, and level of experience. Nevertheless, even if you don’t invest in yourself while in college, it is always worthwhile if you are truly passionate about teaching, performing, or creating music.


Do You Need to Study Music to Be a Musician?

Music is everything, and that is why it is not necessary to study music to make music. In reality, however, formal musical training is not required for competent performance. Additionally, it has significantly tarnished the widely held belief that learning music requires intense early discipline.

How Many Students Listen to Music While Studying?

A recent survey estimated that around 60% of students use music to help with studying. According to earlier studies, 50 percent of people do this. So, it’s likely that at least half will consume some while working, and if you enjoy listening to your favorite music while studying, you’re most likely not alone in that.

Is It Hard to Have a Music Career?

The music industry is very competitive and one of the more difficult industries to break into, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Whether you are a music producer, engineer, or artist, you might still have what it takes to break into the music business if you put in the necessary effort and follow the right steps.

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