What You Can Do with a Bachelor of Arts in Music
Bachelor of music degree programs are typically not meant to act as professional training for any specific career in music. They are however, designed to prepare you for a variety careers in music, in one capacity or another.
Music degree programs typically offer practical training in music combined with the literary, critical, historical and scientific perspectives acquired through complementary coursework, these programs. With the knowledge, skills and competencies this mix enables you to acquire, your career path possibilities are numerous.
For example, as a music graduate, you may choose to pursue careers in music directly related to your degree (such as band director, music critic, or singer), careers less directly related to the degree (such as cultural administrator or concert promoter), or those that are not related at all!
Our "Job Board for Music Students & Grads" below lists job openings relevant to music, and closely related fields. You’ll see just how many jobs you can get with this degree, and you’ll be able to apply for them as your browsing!
Job Board for Music Students & Grads
What a Music Degree Program Teaches You
The composition, performance and reception of music are fundamental areas of study in a music program. Music training and music research are typically the two means to these practical and academic ends.
Other academic disciplines are drawn on to help you fully grasp various musical concepts. Fields such as history, sociology, English, anthropology as well as various physical sciences act as complimentary subject matter when teaching you about the analysis and reception of the art form.
As a result of your studies, you are able to develop musicianship that becomes second nature and accompanies the ability to understand and theorize the art of music.
Choosing an area of focus
Often in music degree programs, you may choose to refine your area of focus into a major. Some music programs may be more specific than others in their major offerings, as some may allow you to focus your major by instrument classification, or even specific instrument. Examples of majors include:
• Composition major
• Comprehensive major
• Performance major
• Recording arts major
Preparation for music careers
In order to prepare you for music careers, many programs require you to complete various career preparatory components, which may include preparing a work portfolio and completing a work placement in the music industry, or completing a major recording project.
Employable Skills You'll Gain for Music Careers
As a result of your studies in music, you are able to learn a set of skills that is specific to the subject matter. These skills apply to careers that are directly related to your degree, and they include:
• Development of muscular control (technical command of the voice or an instrument)
• Command of mind-body co-ordination
• The ability to express oneself to a range of audiences and be understood
• Selection of repertoires suited to particular performance contexts
• Development of musical interpretation
• Awareness of performance techniques appropriate to certain styles of music
• Presentational flair; awareness and acknowledgement of the audience
• Responsiveness to the performances of others in a group/team setting
• Able to develop and adhere to effective practice regimes
• Knowledge in specific instruments
Career Guides: Directly Related to a Degree in Music
While not considered professional training for any specific careers, pursuing a degree in music prepares you for jobs where general knowledge about music is considered very useful.
Careers fields that directly apply abilities in music, but for which additional professional training may be necessary, include:
Transferrable Skills You’ll Develop for Other Careers
As a graduate of a music program, you will make an excellent employee in almost any industry, not just in careers where skills in music are mandatory. This is because your studies enable you to gain several employable skills that are transferable across career fields and industries. These skills include:
• Qualitative researching abilities
• Written an verbal communications skills
• Time management skills
• Ability to think critically
• Ability to meet tight deadlines
• Ability to recognize quality information
• Presentation skills including an awareness of audience characteristics
• Curiosity and the desire to explore and carry a creative project through to delivery
• Ability to respond appropriately to constructive criticism
Other Career Guides: Indirectly Related to a Music Degree
Because of the transferable skills you can gain (listed above), a degree in music gives you a valuable background in many other fields where skills related to music have a less direct application, including (but not at all limited to!):
Please Note: Many of the above careers require additional education, training, and experience. Click on careers you’re interested in to find out more about the specific education and training requirements.
Careers in the Music Industry
If you are pursuing a music degree because you want to work in the music industry, then there is a good chance this could become a reality for you. The music industry is quite diverse, and involves musical and non-musical careers in the following fields:
• Arts administration and management
• Management, representation and promotion of artists
• Community arts work
• Copyright administration in composition and recordings
• Music education and training
• Music librarianship
• Live performance of music
• Creating music for video games
• Music publishing Music therapy
• Distribution and retailing of music and other sound recordings
• Song writing and composition
• Production, retailing and distribution of music instruments
Job Postings Related to Your Music Degree!
Whether you're a music student looking for a job to help you pay for school, or a graduate looking for an entry or mid-level job, our job board has opportunities directly and indirectly related to your degree.
Music Graduate Salary
You may be curious as to what salary you can earn as a music graduate first entering the work force. The truth is, your salary could vary drastically, and is heavily dependent on the following factors (not an inclusive list):
• Your level of education (such as if you went on to graduate studies)
• The industry in which you find work
• The profession you pursue
• The size and type of your employer
• The region in which you work
• Other skills you may have
Music Graduate Salary Ontario: According to a study in 2011 conducted by the Ontario Council of Universities, $34,653 CAD* is the average salary earned by a ‘new fine and applied arts graduate’, 2 years after graduating from Ontario universities in 2008.
*This figure is a composite of all graduates who earned a Bachelor’s degree in “fine and applied arts”, not specifically for music graduates. Unfortunately similar statistics for other Canadian provinces and the United States cannot be found from reputable sources.
Music Degree Scholarships
Are you a music major looking for help paying for school? Search our Music Scholarships page for awards in this field.
Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any and all scholarships for which you qualify, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships in Canada and the United States that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants.