Majoring in Music – what kind of degree should I pursue?
Do you want a specialized conservatory style program that focuses on the training needed for a professional performance career? Then look at BM programs. Do you want to have more career options after you graduate? Then look at BA degrees where you will be required to take more general liberal arts classes and may be allowed to double major or even double degree with another subject. Although, it may be challenging to complete double programs in four years without taking classes in the summer.
Here is a brief description of music degree options:
- BM (Bachelor of Music). This is a conservatory style performance degree and can focus on training in classical, jazz, and contemporary music. BM graduates become free-lance performers and recording artists and members of orchestras and chamber groups. Many graduates may choose to go to graduate programs to continue to build skills and develop their artistry.
- BA (Bachelor of Arts) in Music. A BA gives students the flexibility to study music as well as other areas of interest. About one third of classes are in music. allowing space for a concentration or minor in a related or separate field which can lead to more career opportunities after graduation.
Music business or arts management are very popular related options.
- BME (Bachelor of Music Education). This is a music degree for elementary or secondary vocal music teachers and choir and directors and graduates are trained to go right into classroom music teaching and ensemble conducting.
- BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) This degree is offered at some universities for Music Theater. BFA/BA Music Theater graduates audition for and may be hired by regional theater companies, touring companies, cruise ships, theme parks, and maybe even Broadway.
- BMT (Bachelor of Music Therapy) This degree combines talent and interest in music with medicine and working with patients. BMT majors often apply for internships at medical clinics and residential facilities.
Research schools and programs thoroughly before applying.