Although the nature of the music industry requires a tough skin, a devotion to your craft, and resolute determination, a career in music can be incredibly rewarding. Gaining a degree in music can open up a wide variety of career options, ranging from a dream job as a professional singer or member of a successful band to the less glamorous but more stable option of teaching music in a school.

Professional singer/musician

All musicians and singers fantasize about being onstage playing to thousands of adoring fans, but this only becomes a reality for the lucky few. Gaining a degree in music can boost your chances by not only giving you a sound grounding in theory, composition, and performance, but by introducing you to fellow musicians, exposing yourself to constructive feedback, and building your confidence though practice. Many successful professionals have used their music degrees to gain positions at studios as sessions players; through their work, they have been exposed to further opportunities and have enjoyed a great deal of success.

Instrument/Singing Teacher

Holding a Bachelor of Music, or B.M., degree adds a great deal of polish and professionalism to your resume. Prospective clients will immediately take you more seriously and you can comfortably demand a higher rate than non-qualified teachers. Networking and word of mouth is also important for enlarging your client base; this will be developed during your degree studies. Those lucky enough to teach from their own studio can experience rapid growth and soon be inundated with lesson requests. Choosing a good location is key.

School Music Teacher

This position is one of the most popular professions for holders of a degree in Music. Music majors are in demand at schools at all levels and the reliable income these positions provide allows musicians to pursue their musical ambitions without suffering for their art. Early childhood music teachers can use their love of working with children, their creativity, and their patience to great effect. Sound therapists are also in great demand and command very competitive salaries.

Orchestra player

For the highest-level technical players, a position in a city orchestra is an excellent career goal, and having a music degree is a prerequisite. The training you gain during your degree will provide the knowledge and understanding of how to perform in a full orchestra environment.


Creative musicians can go into the challenging field of songwriting and composition, writing to order or selling the rights to their songs to artists and record labels. Becoming noticed and making strong connections with industry professionals is key here as they are often inundated with demos and cannot listen to them all. Music degrees will not only help you develop your creativity and productivity, but will often involve performance showcases where students perform or play their compositions to industry members.

Careers in the music industry are wide-ranging, highly competitive, and varyingly stable. Whichever path you pursue, a degree in music can not only give you a head start, but will also provide professional networking opportunities and the chance to meet fellow musicians.

About the author: Gregory Parish is a music enthusiast and freelance blogger, who writes about music education. If you want to make a career out of your passion for music, Gregory recommends pursuing an online music degree.


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