To Pursue a Music Degree or Not To

Posted By Rachel Ware Carlton On April 14, 2016


Choosing your undergraduate degree does not always come with ease. You may have a plethora of interests, all of which have the potential to lead you down different paths. It could be that you may not know if you’re passionate enough to immerse yourself in a subject that will be a part of you for the rest of your life.

This especially holds true for those contemplating whether or not to pursue a music degree.

Are you someone who loves music and wants to go to school to study it?

Are you hesitant because you’re unsure if it will be worth the investment?  

We’ve compiled a list of reasons that will help you decide whether or not to pursue a music degree.

A music degree is for you if ...

1. You’re willing to spend long hours practicing.
Muscle formation takes practice. You may even find yourself taking private music lessons. Most of the time, you will be a part of multiple performance groups and having to attend regular rehearsals for each of them.

2. You’re interested in reading about musical traditions worldwide.
Music has a beautiful culture attached to it. There are many genres and sounds. The music produced in the United States of America varies from that in Peru. You have an appreciation for the musical traditions worldwide and are open to learning about what makes each tradition different.

3. You’re able to identify chords by both sight and ear.
You’re a boss at sight reading. You can listen to a song and are able to tell if it’s a B major triad or a B diminished triad. These skills are a breeze for you.

4. You’re capable of performing solo recitals in front of a jury of professors.
The entire room is quiet and the spotlight is on you -- and you’re fine with that! Music majors often face solo recitals, especially toward graduation. But, it’s nothing that you can’t handle!

A music degree isn’t for you if ...

1. You’re not self-disciplined.
Obtaining a music degree requires time for practice outside of class. However, no one is going to tell you to practice. It’s all on you. You have to be motivated enough to devote extra time to your music study.

2. You don’t take criticism well.
In music, you are continually perfecting your skills. Professors will be giving you constant feedback. This isn’t meant to be completely taken personally, but rather, it is given to you to improve your skills as a musician.

3. You aren’t comfortable performing in front of a crowd.
You will have many performances, from solo recitals to group performances. A lot of the time, your performances will be in front of your peers in the classroom. As a music major, you have to get used to and be okay with performing in front of people.

There are particular attributes a music major must possess. If you don’t find that you have these qualities, you should be open to change -- whether it’s making sacrifices to meet the demands of pursuing a music degree or putting your efforts into another degree. Whatever degree you choose, you are in for an amazing college experience.

If you are interested in learning more, talk to our admissions staff.

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Topics: Music Education

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About This Blog

Deciding where, when and by what means to go to college can be a difficult decision process. We want to help! The Silver Lake Blog is intended to be a resource as you navigate these choices, from what type of school to choose to how to finance your education. Watch this space for helpful tips. 

For free, downloadable resources for those considering graduate or undergraduate studies, visit our resource library!

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