Music Degrees

The Advantages To Earning A Music Degree

A music degree offers individuals with inherent abilities in the field of music means of strengthening and specializing their skills to advance to a number of careers as qualified professionals. Music degree programs provide students with knowledge regarding a number of liberal arts disciplines as well as specialized studies in music history, theory, pedagogy, composition, performance, and/or conducting. Students may also concentrate studies in a specific period or time or using a specific instrument to refine their skills and abilities. Most graduates who complete studies within music degree programs gain employment as performers within the music industry, as composers, conductors, or performers. Many also work as teachers or researchers within educational systems.

Many colleges and universities have developed innovative online programs to extend instruction to students as they manage work and family obligations in addition to their educational responsibilities. Online degree programs provide students with virtually the same educational experiences as traditional, on campus programs. Online courses also feature the added benefits of increased flexibility of class scheduling and a more personalized degree experience. Online classes generally consist of smaller groups, of twenty five students or less, who have 24 hour access to course materials, instruction, and information. Online programs also provide students with one on one interactions with professors and other class mates through Internet chats. Many students find online degree programs are the most affordable, convenient, and efficient means of expanding education necessary to advance personal, educational, and professional goals.

What Students Learn Within A Music Degree Program

Music degree programs offer students the ability to gain knowledge and refine skills necessary to advance to a number of careers within the field. Music programs also allow students an expanded understanding of the field and a deeper appreciation of the history and culture of the performing arts. Most musicians begin studying an instrument at a very early age and acquire on the job training as they mature through participation in personal, school, or community based groups, bands, orchestras, and productions. Some musicians also participate in formal educational programs though there is no formal standard for training. Generally individuals with an interest in composing or directing must complete a minimum of a bachelor degree to qualify for employment.

Many students with an interest in music begin studies within associate’s degree programs to gain a basic understanding of the field and increase specialized skills. Associate degree courses include general education courses combined with specialized lessons, theories, and instruction. Courses include: English composition, exposition and argumentation, music theory, private lessons, survey of music, fundamentals of speech, introduction to biology, college algebra, U.S. history and government, statistics, introduction to philosophy, introduction to psychology, Western civilization, humanities, participation in music, string methods, movement for the stage, applied music lesson, music ensemble, beginning acting, materials of music, ear training and sight singing, history of Afro-American music, physics of music, computer applications to music, jazz improvisation, directed study, dominant trends in music education, children and youth in urban schools, and an internship. Graduates from associate degree programs may enter employment or continue studies in higher degree programs.

Bachelor degree programs offer students an expanded understanding of the theories and techniques of music. Courses for students pursuing careers in music education include: English composition, applied instrument, chorus or marching band, music theory and ear training, piano class, woodwinds or brasses, college Algebra, introduction to music, speech, World literature, strings or percussion, music history and literature, American civilization, introduction to psychology, philosophical foundations of education, introduction to education of exceptional children, educational psychology, human growth and development, general and vocal music methods grades K-8, vocal conducting or instrumental conducting, lifetime fitness and wellness, elementary foreign language, introduction to geology, general and vocal music methods grades 7-12, multicultural education, global societies, effective teaching skills and classroom management, computer applications to music, major applied and senior recital, and an internship. Graduates with bachelor degrees may advance to licensing programs required for employment or continue studies within advanced degree programs.

A master’s degree in music provides a solid educational basis necessary to advance to a number of occupations as a highly skilled professional. Master’s level courses include concentrations in composition, computer music, integrative studies, and performance. Courses at a master’s level are: projects in new music performance, musical analysis, conducting, integrative studies, problems and methods of music research and performance, electronic music techniques, apprentice teaching in music, advanced research projects, independent study, master’s thesis, portfolio development and presentation, ethnomusicology, critical studies, systems inquiry, and an internship experience. Graduates who complete studies within master’s degree programs may advance to employment or doctoral degree programs.

Doctoral degree programs offer students the ability to qualify as experts in the field. Doctoral courses include: projects in new music performance, musical analysis, conducting, problems and methods of music research and performance, electronic music techniques, ethnomusicology, systems inquiry, critical studies, composition, dissertation, teaching general music, developing children’s choirs, research in music teaching, comprehensive string pedagogy, foundations of music education, comprehensive musicianship through performance, selected studies in music education, psychology of music learning, assement of music learning, sociology of music education, quantitative research in music education, advanced orchestration, advanced tonal analysis, applications in music technology, pedagogy of music theory, a dissertation, and clinical experiences.

Prospective Jobs For Music Degree Graduates

Graduates with music degrees have the ability, skills, and knowledge required to work within a variety of careers. Employment for graduates who complete studies in music disciplines is based upon factors like: level of experience, area of specialty, level of education, and geographic location. Most graduates who display remarkable talent or complete undergraduate studies advance to jobs within the music industry as performers, conductors, or composers. Many graduates who complete associate’s degrees in music advance to employment as assistant music teachers, recording technicians, or provide private musical lessons.Graduates with bachelor’s degrees often advance to teaching positions within elementary schools or work as artist managers, promoters, or marketers within the business industry. Graduates with master’s degrees qualify for employment as upper level executives within various music organizations, instructors within vocational schools, or as administrators of performing arts or non-profit agencies. Graduates who complete doctoral degree programs generally advance to employment as professors within colleges and universities or as independent or organizational consultants in the music industry.

Salary Range For Graduates With Music Degrees

Graduates who complete music degree programs have earnings which vary tremendously and are based upon factors like: experience, level of education, organization of employment, and geographic location. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports average earnings for salaried musicians ranges from $26,480 to $63,200 or higher. Graduates who complete associate degree programs and work as recording technicians generally earn $31,790 to $65,590 upon establishing their reputation and gaining work experience. Graduates with bachelor degrees who gain employment as $47,100 to $51,180 annually. Master’s degree graduates who gain employment as instructors within vocational schools earn $45,977 to $63,827 annually. Graduates who complete doctoral degree programs and who work as professors within colleges and universities earn $45,010 to $85,330 annually.

Career Outlook and Advancement Opportunities For Music Degree Graduates

Graduates with music degrees are expected find competitive yet ample employment opportunities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that employment for musicians and related workers is expected to increase by 8 percent at an average rate in comparison to other occupations through 2018. Individuals skilled with multiple instruments, styles, and methods are expected to find increased employability. Additionally, individuals who display talent, gain experience, and complete formal educational programs based in fields related to music, like new media, music distribution, and other specialized fields will find greater employment opportunities.

Graduates with associates degrees who enter employment as musicians often must display talent and establish reputation before securing salaried jobs. Bachelor degree graduates who begin employment as teachers may advance to managerial positions with higher responsibilities and salaries upon gaining relevant work experience and continuing education. Master’s and doctoral degree graduates who begin employment as music directors, administrators, or educators often advance to larger organizations with greater prestige. Some graduates may also advance to positions as self employed musicians or consultants with higher earnings and contracted hours of work upon establishing reputation and talent based on their ability to command large audiences in concert halls, arenas, or stadiums.

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