What You Should Know About This Degree
Just as music is an incredibly diverse field in terms of employment opportunities, there are a variety of ways to pursue careers in music. Some, like music education or music therapy, require that individuals have a degree in order to obtain the necessary professional certifications. A bachelor’s degree may be sufficient, or you may need to earn a master’s degree in order to advance your career to a higher level.
Other music-related professions, like singers, instrumentalists, songwriters, and producers, have more flexible thresholds for entry. Individuals may pursue these careers with little or no formal training, or a combination of formal education and hands-on learning.
Earning an advanced degree in an area like performance can help you improve your musicianship, provide valuable networking opportunities, and open up additional career paths like teaching at the collegiate level. However, before enrolling in a master’s in music program, it is important to consider your career goals and if formal education is the best path towards achieving them, or if you should dedicate your time and energy to working in the field or engaging in private lessons and mentorship.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Master’s in Music programs:
- Is there a portfolio or audition requirement? Depending on the type of program you are seeking, you may need to demonstrate your musical skills and knowledge, either through an audition or a portfolio of work. Check the program’s admission requirements, or talk to a program representative, to find out what applicants are required to submit as evidence of their musical abilities.
- Are there any in-person requirements for this program? While the programs we reviewed are primarily delivered online, some do have in-person requirements. In some instances, students are required to visit the campus for certain classes or residencies. In other cases, there are experiential learning components, particularly for music education or music therapy programs. Look carefully at the program’s curriculum, or talk to a program representative, to ensure you’re aware of any in-person requirements and can accommodate them in your schedule and budget.
You will also want to make note of application deadlines and gather application materials like transcripts and letters of recommendation. Financing your graduate education is another consideration. Research sources of funding including scholarships, assistantships, and tuition benefits from your employer.