Music Overview

Do you turn up the radio and sing every time you're in the car? Do you enjoy being on stage and performing for others? If you said yes, consider a major in Music.

A degree in Music isn't only about performing. You will learn about music history, composition, theory, and how to teach. Classes introduce you to and array of classical, modern, and contemporary music, show you how it has evolved, and prepare you for a career working with this art form.

Students have the option of choosing a general music major or they may choose to concentrate in a certain area. Examples of concentrations are: Music History, Music Performance, Music Theory & Composition, Musicology and Ethnomusicology, Conducting, Keyboard Instruments, and Voice Performance.

Required Skills

Students who pursue a degree in Music usually already have musical talent, whether it be singing, playing an instrument, conducting, or composing. The classes you take in college will foster these talents and provide you with the skills you need to become a professional. Since this is a very competitive field, perseverance and discipline are important. You should be prepared to put a lot of time and effort in to improve your technique and performance. Strong people skills are also necessary because you will be auditioning for parts or working closely with agents and musicians.

A career in Music can be part time or full time, and can often have demanding hours. Those who perform have practices during normal business hours, but are required to work at night and on weekends when performances are held. Performers may also have to travel to perform at certain venues. Teachers typically have more regular hours.

Students who are interested in pursuing a career in the music industry should spend time taking classes and improving skills. Voice and instrument classes with teach you different techniques and styles that will make you more flexible and interesting to employers.


Music graduates are employed as voice teachers, vocal performers, conductors, music historians, and composers among other professions rooted in music. This degree will give you the skills to write music for performances, teach other how to play instruments, perform in a variety of venues and productions, and share the history of this art form. No matter what type of work you would like to do, a degree in Music will prepare you for a job in the field you're passionate about.

All music occupations are growing at an average rate, meaning students should be able to find jobs after graduation. However, some careers, like music performance, are highly competitive and require great talent and experience.

Graduates with a degree in music earn an average starting salary of $36,850 and mid-career salary of $57,930.

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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Music might open up.

Art, Drama, and Music Teachers, Postsecondary
Music Directors and Composers
Musicians and Singers
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education
Sound Engineering Technicians
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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