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Pursuing a Music Degree....? (Read 1077 times)

Offline malaguena

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Pursuing a Music Degree....?
« on: February 09, 2014, 05:43:56 AM »
I am a high school student, and will be graduating next year. It has always been my dream to pursue a music degree; however, I have seen people in the music industry struggling as they use it as their main source of income. I know this is the case with any job- some will have it tough while others have it lucky, but it seems like it's a pretty big problem to me when it comes to music.

So after all that, this is my question:  Is it worth it to pursue a music degree?


Thanks!
Malagueña
~Piano teacher and student~

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Pursuing a Music Degree....?
«Reply #1 on: February 10, 2014, 10:45:50 AM »
I have a degree in music.  The answer to your question is: no, the degree is worthless.  Anything that can be learned in school can be learned outside of it and I highly recommend you learn everything on your own and join music/chamber ensembles.

Offline pianoman53

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Re: Pursuing a Music Degree....?
«Reply #2 on: February 10, 2014, 12:12:42 PM »
If you see it as any normal job, then no. You don't learn music to earn money.

Though, if you learn music, because you love music, then it's worth it. Ofc you could learn music outside a conservatory, but not everyone can afford weekly private lessons with great teachers. It's also a lot easier to find other musicians in a music school than outside a music school.

Offline Bob

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Re: Pursuing a Music Degree....?
«Reply #3 on: February 10, 2014, 12:48:58 PM »
A performance degree gets you experience and connections.  Otherwise, it's kind of worthless, esp. for a Bachelors.
A music ed degree will let you teach in public schools.
The plain bachelor of arts in music level degree I never saw the point of, unless it was paired up with another degree in some way, like computers science/bachelor of music and that person went on to do something with computers and music.  Then it makes sense.

Most people doing something in music have several sources of income -- performance AND teaching AND some other low-level job for money like office work.

Being in a music program track of any kind gets you access.  Depends on the school.  Where I went, you couldn't get into theory or ear training classes if you weren't a music major of some kind, so then the BA made sense.  The higher level ensembles are going to be music majors.  General pecking order for ensembles was performance, ed, BA.  If you aren't a music major, you don't get priority.  For enrollment, for lessons, etc. 
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline philb

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Re: Pursuing a Music Degree....?
«Reply #4 on: February 11, 2014, 12:18:04 AM »
If you are worrying about how much you will make in the future, I would suggest not going for a performance degree (Most people I've talked to have salaries ranging from $20,000-100,000). If you couldn't imagine doing anything with your life besides performing music, I would absolutely suggest you pursue a performance degree. Most of the work you will do is outside of concert performance anyways (teaching, accompanying, etc.) though it is still possible to play several concerts a year and perform with orchestras.

Offline malaguena

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Re: Pursuing a Music Degree....?
«Reply #5 on: February 11, 2014, 04:16:57 AM »
Thank you all for your responses! You have confirmed my thoughts and ideas. I am not interested in a long-term career with music. Mostly, I'm interested in learning more about music. I do teach a bit on the side- I've been doing it for several years and enjoy it very much.
 I'm not particularly interested in pursuing a music degree only to have to do other work as well. I'm interested in a degree that will service me well all my life. Honestly, after reading this,  it has confirmed that a musical career is not right for me. Thanks so much! I've been very stuck on this subject, and was hoping to get some definite answers, which I got from you all! 

Time to look into a medical career.....:P
Malagueña
~Piano teacher and student~