What can I do with this degree?

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EDUCATION

  • Teaching 
  • Private Lessons

Employers

  • Colleges and universities 
  • Conservatories 
  • Elementary and secondary schools
  • Private Studios

Strategies 

Acquire teaching certificate for public school teaching. Gain experience working with children through volunteer or part-time work experiences. Graduate degree required to teach in higher education. Specialize in an area such as music, music theory, composition, music history, etc. Performance skill on one instrument or voice required. Develop business relationships with schools and/or music stores to increase client base.


PERFORMANCE

  • Instrumental 
  • Vocal

Employers

  • Armed Forces bands and orchestras 
  • Symphony orchestras 
  • Small ensembles 
  • Concert soloist
  • Rock or jazz groups 
  • Church choirs 
  • Community choral groups 
  • Opera chorus or soloist 
  • Musical theaters 
  • Ballet productions 
  • Recording industry 
  • Radio, television, and motion picture industries

Strategies
Develop musical talent and skill. Obtain formal training to acquire necessary skills, knowledge, and ability to interpret music. Ambition and showmanship are important. Join campus bands and choruses, church choirs, and other performing acts. Seek competitions, apprenticeship programs, and workshops to gain experience and recognition. Opportunities are very limited. Most performers have other careers. Auditions are generally required.


COMPOSING/ARRANGING

  • Composing 
  • Arranging

Employers

  • Record companies 
  • Publishers 
  • Motion picture and television industries 
  • Production companies

Strategies 
Knowledge of composition, harmony, arranging, and theory are important. Learn how to use electronic instruments and synthesizers. Develop computer and desktop publishing expertise. Skill on one or more instruments and voice are necessary. Seek grants and awards through foundations. Very few musicians earn living through composing.


CONDUCTING

Employers

  • Choirs 
  • Choral groups 
  • Symphonies 
  • Opera 
  • Armed Forces bands and orchestras

Strategies
Develop superior musicianship and leadership. Acquire extensive experience in performing groups. Opportunities extremely limited. Gain acceptance into a conductor-training program or related apprenticeship.


 

MUSIC LIBRARIAN

Employers

  • Colleges and universities 
  • Conservatories 
  • Public libraries 
  • Radio and television stations

Strategies
Develop computer and research skills. Gain thorough knowledge of music and musicology. Earn master's degree in library/information science.


 COMMUNICATIONS

  • Music and Program Direction 
  • On Air Performance 
  • Promotion 
  • Voice Overs 
  • Music License Administration 
  • Music Editing, Production, and Composing 
  • Sound Mixing 
  • Post Production 
  • Research

Employers

  • Radio and television stations 
  • Virtual reality sound environments e.g. Internet sites, software creators

Strategies
Take classes in communications, broadcasting, or journalism. Work at on-campus radio station. Complete an internship at a television or radio station. Develop computer-related skills such as software development and programming.


Career Possibilities for the BA in Music:

The B.A. in Music at SVSU is a liberal arts degree with a performance emphasis.   Many students and parents wonder what someone can do with a degree in music.  Here are some alternatives.

A liberal arts degree does not limit a graduate to a specific career path.  Instead it develops broader skills that can lead to many varied careers.  This may seem daunting to a new graduate who does not know which career path to follow, but in the long term it leaves the graduate able to change fields more flexibly as the job market changes or their own inclinations develop.  Here are some of the most important skills that a student with a liberal arts degree develops over the course of their college career:

  • to communicate clearly in writing and speech
  • to think creatively, critically, and analytically                
  • to solve problems accurately and imaginatively

Music majors learn other important skills:

 

  • teamwork
  • collaboration
  • deep focus
  • perceptive and acute listening
  • disciplined practice skills

The performance emphasis of SVSU’s B.A. in Music allows the student to develop their musicianship and performance technique to a level that means they can successfully enter graduate degree programs in their performance medium, music theory, or music history.

 

All these attributes also make graduates good candidates for graduate degree programs in other fields.  A careful choice of minor can enhance a student’s chances of success in a musical career as well as job prospects in other fields.  Some of the minors we recommend are Entrepreneurship, Communication, Theatre, French, and Sociology.

For a more detailed discussion of the benefits of a degree in music, read this. For the graduate who chooses a career outside music, their musical talent, skills, and knowledge can be a lifelong avocation.