The Yale School of Music, an elite tuition-free program for performers, composers, music historians and other musical specialists, recently convened a symposium on music education in schools. The result was a statement that the School published, “Declaration on Equity in Music for City Students.” Two sections of that declaration are, “We call for every student in every city to have access to a robust and active music life” and, “We call for changes in the development, training, and support of music educators and teaching artists.”

To quote from the report, “Every student in every school in America deserves opportunities to make and learn music. A student’s access to an active music life should not be dependent on zip code, socioeconomic status, racial or ethnic background, country of birth, or language spoken at home.”

Those are lofty beliefs that remind us that a music degree can lead not just to a career as a performer, but to a variety of other musical professions as well. If you are teaching or counseling students who might want to major in music in college, here are some other possible careers they might be able to pursue after graduating . . .

  • Artist representation
  • Arts administration, including the planning of local music festivals and concerts
  • Blogging about music
  • Broadcast engineering
  • College and conservatory administration
  • Event and wedding planning and management
  • Music arranging
  • Music education
  • Music journalism
  • Music therapy
  • Musical instrument repairs and sales
  • Operating smaller music schools
  • Orchestra management and orchestral librarian work
  • Radio and broadcast work
  • Recording technology and audio engineering
  • Theater and performing arts center management

So the message is, there is more to pursuing a music degree than stepping out on stage to perform. If you have students who are drawn to music, be sure to assess their interests and skills and help them discover and explore the many professions they can enter with a degree in music.

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