How Do I Apply My Music Degree?

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By Elizabeth Wells
music degree, guy leaning on guitar
Photo by panitan punpuang via Unsplash

So, you have a Music Degree. But what do you do with it? Opportunities are out there for you Music Majors! However, it’s best to shop around for the right job for you.

Career Options:

  • High School or Elementary School Music teacher.  This is by far the most common career option for people graduating with a music degree.
  • Arts Management.  There are many careers that involve managing arts organizations.  This usually requires a bit more specialized training, but a music degree is a good start.
  • Music Librarianship.  Librarianship is a burgeoning field and many more academically-minded musicians might want to go this route.  They will need some postgraduate training.

Non-Career Options:

  • Private Music Teaching and Freelancing.  Many people who love music teach privately in their homes for pleasure and for a little extra money.  Musicians are always needed for weddings, bar mitzvahs, and other social events.
  • Church Musician.  Although there are paying church jobs, increasingly people are doing this for less money and more for enjoyment and fulfillment.  Almost all denominations and religions have some kind of music-making in their worship practices, so musicians are always needed, and sometimes paid.
  • Academic Study.  Basically, many students go on to do Master’s degrees in performance, history, theory, or pedagogy. Although long-term they are seeking employment, for many this is a way to extend their study of music while they work or pursue other options.

Places to Find Employment:

Music Vacancy Listings is a subscribed list put out by the College Music Society.  Although it is mostly for academic jobs, orchestra positions are also listed here.