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2022 Music Performance Degree Guide

#103 Most Popular Major
7.3k Degrees Awarded
0.6% Increase in Graduates

In 2019-2020, music performance was the 103rd most popular major nationwide with 7,348 degrees awarded. This represents a small change of only 0.6% from the prior year's total of 7,301 music performance degrees awarded.

There are 511 schools offering degrees in music performance in the United States. This year's Best Music Performance Schools ranking compares 302 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of music performance programs later in this article.

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Music Performance

When studying Music Performance, you’ll learn that talking to others to convey information effectively will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs. Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times and teaching others how to do something are all required skills for careers related to this major.

Getting Accepted Into a Music Performance Program

music performance degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. Specific music performance careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Music Performance Degree Types

There are various different levels of music performance degrees. Music Performance programs offered by schools range from a to a , which is the highest music performance degree you can get. How long it takes to complete some common music performance degree levels is shown below.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A master's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to music performance, with approximately 31.6% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to music performance tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Master’s Degree 34.5%
Doctoral Degree 26.7%
Bachelor’s Degree 25.3%
High School Diploma 4.2%
Some College Courses 2.6%

61.0% of music performance workers have at least a master's. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in music performance careers have.


The education level required is different depending on the music performance career you are seeking.

Career Opportunities for Music Performance Majors

Average Number of Jobs
71.2k Avg. Related Jobs Salary
8% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Growth Projected for Music Performance Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your music performance degree? Music Performance careers are expected to grow 8.0% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to music performance.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Musicians and Singers 182,800 6.0%
Art, Drama, and Music Professors 137,200 12.0%
Music Directors and Composers 79,100 5.7%

Music Performance Degree Salary Potential

As you might expect, salaries for music performance graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.

Highest Paid Music Performance Careers

Salaries for music performance graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers music performance grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Art, Drama, and Music Professors $82,560
Music Directors and Composers $59,790

Getting Your Music Performance Degree

With over 733 different music performance degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased music performance school rankings to help you with this.

One of 16 majors within the Music area of study, Music Performance has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
General Music 11,379
Music Technology 1,493
Other Music 1,235
Music Theory & Composition 1,094
Voice Performance 670

View All Music Performance Related Majors >


More about our data sources and methodologies.

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