Music

Music

What can I do with this major?

Area

Employer

Information/Strategies


Area:

Education

Sub-Area:
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Private Lessons
Employers:
  • K-12 schools, public and private
  • Colleges and universities
  • Conservatories
  • Daycare centers
  • Recreation centers
  • Children's music programs (franchises, local)
  • Studios
  • Self-employed
Strategies & Information:
  • Acquire teaching certificate for public school teaching. Learn about requirements by state.
  • Earn a graduate degree to teach in higher education. Specialize in an area such as music theory, composition, music history, etc.
  • Performance skill on one instrument or voice is required.
  • Gain experience working with children through volunteer or part-time work experiences.
  • Join the National Association for Music Education as a collegiate member.
  • Develop business relationships with schools and/or music stores to increase client base.

Area:

Performance

Sub-Area:
  • Instrumental
  • Vocal
Employers:
  • Orchestras:
    • Philharmonic, symphony, and chamber
  • Armed Forces bands and orchestras
  • Small ensembles
  • Rock or jazz groups
  • Dance bands
  • Concert soloist
  • Clubs and restaurants
  • Church choirs
  • Community choral groups
  • Opera companies
  • Musical theaters
  • Ballet productions
  • Recording industry
  • Radio, television, and motion picture industries
  • Cruise lines
  • Amusement parks
Strategies & Information:
  • Develop musical talent and skill.
  • Obtain formal training to acquire necessary skills, knowledge, and ability to interpret music.
  • Demonstrate ambition and showmanship.
  • Join campus bands and choruses, church choirs, and other performing acts.
  • Seek competitions, apprenticeship programs, and workshops to gain experience and recognition.
  • Auditions are generally required to join bands or get jobs.
  • Be willing to move to a large city with more opportunities such as New York City, Los Angeles, Nashville, Las Vegas, or Chicago.
  • Network with people in the industry to learn about potential jobs.
  • Opportunities are very limited. Most performers have other careers.

Area:

Conducting

Sub-Area:
  • Directing
  • Planning
  • Leading
  • Musician Selection
Employers:
  • Orchestras:
    • Philharmonic, symphony, and chamber
  • Armed Forces bands and orchestras
  • Various bands
  • Choirs
  • Choral groups
  • Opera companies
  • Musical theater companies
Strategies & Information:
  • Develop superior musicianship and leadership.
  • Acquire extensive experience in performing groups.
  • Develop advanced site-reading skills.
  • Learn other languages such as French, German, Latin, and Italian.
  • Gain acceptance into a conductor-training program or related apprenticeship.
  • Opportunities are extremely limited.

Area:

Composing/Arranging

Sub-Area:
  • Composing
  • Arranging
Employers:
  • Self-employed
  • Record companies
  • Publishers
  • Muzak
  • Motion picture and television industries
  • Production companies
  • Orchestras:
    • Philharmonic, symphony, and chamber
  • Opera companies
  • Musical theater groups
  • Ballet troupes
  • Broadway
Strategies & Information:
  • Knowledge of composition, harmony, arranging, and theory are important.
  • Skill on one or more instruments and voice are necessary. Play an instrument in a professional arena.
  • Become familiar with all types of music productions.
  • Learn how to use electronic instruments and synthesizers.
  • Develop computer and desktop publishing expertise.
  • Attend music conferences and workshops.
  • Seek grants and awards through foundations, e.g. one from the National Endowment of the Arts.
  • Very few musicians earn living through composing.

Area:

Music Libraries

Sub-Area:
    Employers:
    • Colleges and universities
    • Conservatories
    • Public libraries
    • Radio and television stations
    • Motion picture studies
    Strategies & Information:
    • Develop computer and research skills.
    • Gain thorough knowledge of music and musicology.
    • Earn a master's degree in library/information science.
    • Work in a campus or public library to gain relevant experience.
    • Develop good organizational and technology skills.
    • Learn to understand foreign languages, particularly Italian, Latin, German, and French.
    • Join the Music Library Association.

    Area:

    Communications (Broadcasting)

    Sub-Area:
    • Music and Program Direction
    • On Air Performance
    • Promotion
    • Voice Overs
    • Copyright/Clearance Administration
    • 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 & Information:
    • 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.

    Area:

    Music Therapy

    Sub-Area:
      Employers:
      • Hospitals: general and psychiatric
      • Special education facilities
      • Mental health centers
      • Nursing homes and senior centers
      • Rehabilitation centers
      • Correctional facilities
      • Private practice
      • Outpatient clinics
      • Schools
      Strategies & Information:
      • Take courses in psychology, social work, or education.
      • Earn a master's degree in music therapy and seek certification.
      • Volunteer in a rehabilitation setting.
      • Demonstrate a genuine interest in helping people.
      • Learn to work well with all types of people.
      • Develop a broad array of musical talents.

      Area:

      Behind The Scenes

      Sub-Area:
      • Audio Technician
      • Boom Operator
      • General Director
      • Music Video Producer
      • Recording Engineer
      • Set Up
      • Recordist
      • Rerecording Mixer
      • Sound Engineer
      • Sound Technician
      • Sound/Production Mixer
      • Stage Manager
      Employers:
      • Local bands
      • Regional bands
      • Production companies
      • Theater groups
      • Orchestras
      • Armed Forces
      • Radio, television, and motion picture industries
      Strategies & Information:
      • Shadow an individual who is in the music industry in an area of interest.
      • Volunteer in community, school, or church productions.
      • Gain expertise in the areas of musical and technical knowledge, sound board, and sound equipment.
      • Take courses in areas such as broadcasting, engineering, or computer science to learn technical skills.
      • Complete an internship with a recording company or other relevant organization.
      • Research seminars, workshops, and professional associations that could provide useful information or contacts.
      • Check trade journals and association bulletins for possible employment.

      Area:

      Music Industry/Business

      Sub-Area:
      • Publishing and Editing
      • Producing
      • Recording
      • Engineering
      • Manufacturing
      • Talent Acquisition
      • Artist/Talent Representation
      • Promotion/Media Relations
      • Publicity
      • Administration
      • Marketing
      • Booking
      • Product Management
      • Business Management
      • Retail Sales
      Employers:
      • Production recording studios (most located in New York City, Los Angeles, and Nashville)
      • Music management groups
      • Agencies
      • Music and record stores
      • Instrument manufacturers
      Strategies & Information:
      • Complete an internship at a record company.
      • Take business courses to work in management or administration.
      • Journalism, public relations, and communication classes are helpful for work in areas of promotion.
      • Gain sales experience for marketing. Learn to interact well with people and develop persuasion tools.
      • Knowledge of electronics, audio engineering, and recording knowledge required for production.
      • Work or volunteer at a campus or local radio station.
      • Join organizations involved with bringing events and entertainment to campus.
      • Work at a retail record store to learn about the industry.
      • Volunteer to help promote a local or campus band with their promotions and bookings.
      • Gain a broad knowledge of music and the industry.
      • Build a strong network of contacts.
      • Develop skills such as negotiation, assertiveness, the ability to recognize talent, and working under pressure.

      Area:

      Miscellaneous

      Sub-Area:
      • Music Journalism
      • Law
      • Music Analysis
      Employers:
      • Music-related publications
      • Magazines and newspapers
      • Entertainment or music focused Internet sites
      • Entertainment law firms
      • Production companies
      Strategies & Information:
      • Take courses in journalism and English.
      • Write articles for campus newspaper.
      • Prepare for law school and earn a law degree (J.D.)
      • For music analysis:
        • Develop the ability to read and transcribe well.
        • Gain knowledge with use of high tech digital computers to analyze music.
      • Move to a larger city where more opportunities exist.

      General Information and Strategies

      • Majoring in music provides students with a sense of aesthetics and an understanding of human expression valuable to many employers.
      • Develop competencies in business management, computers, marketing, or other areas to broaden range of employment possibilities.
      • Finding positions in the music industry requires a combination of talent, training, connections and some luck. Perserverance is required!
      • Develop a variety of skills. Become "multitalented."
      • As an undergraduate, gain as much experience as possible, paid or unpaid, through college and local organizations. Seek internships or volunteer positions with relevant organizations.
      • Confidence, personality, a positive attitude, and a love of music are important to success in many arenas of music. Learn basic tools of self-promotion.
      • Some jobs may require you to join unions or guilds. Research the industry to learn which ones are appropriate.
      • Performers often travel frequently and must be flexible regarding their work schedules.
      • Move to a larger city such as Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, or Chicago to find more job opportunities.

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