#1
I have been putting a lot of thought in what I want to do since last year when I was a freshman in high school. I love music. I love writing it, I love recording it, and I love playing guitar. I want to go to Berklee to be a major in my music but my whole family is begging me not to do it. Now, I know that I love music but I would rather have a steady job for the rest of my life rather than scraping by. What kind of well-paying options are there for music majors? I know not everything is about money but I do want a good job. So what are some jobs you music majors want to pursue?
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#2
I can't think of anything besides teaching and scoring when it comes to pay or making a living.
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#4
You could go to school to be a recording engineer...
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#5
honestly man, if you want a steady job just go to uiniversity for like compsci or engineering or whatever, and in your spare time play guitar. you will have MORE than enough time to get awesome at guitar. I started playing after my 2nd year and I'm in my last year now
#6
sound technition?
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#7
Teaching isn't necessarily a well-paying job, but it's steady and you'll have a decent income.

As a session player you would probably make quite a good wage, but I'm not so sure on how steady your work would be (unless you've got all the connections and are a phenomenal player).

You could probably do good work in a recording studio somewhere. That would probably put you more into the technical side rather than the playing/performing.

You could also look into something like music law, something on the business side and work for a record company somewhere.

If you can make it as a performer, then you're set forever pretty much.
#8
Definitely get some kind of music tech/production/recording/synthesis, as far as I know owning a studio pays well and is also awesome in general
#9
im a guitar performance major. i went to berklee for awhile and im going back next year.
it will allow me to do alot. research
#10
I know someone with a degree in music (he plays piano) who's in an Orchestra, but there aren't many places for an electric guitar. A lot of regular jobs would take you anyway, just because you had a degree. You could also get into sound engineering with something like that though, if that's what you'd prefer.
#11
Major in English and/or Communication-- depending on your school's program-- and minor in music and you can hit up a job in the studios, or in record companies, etc. Or you can look up work elsewhere, often the school will have a Career Center where you can ask about what positions you may find and how to adjust your education to get in.
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#12
Well, I plan on taking Music Education and Music Production just so a I have a couple music-related fallbacks if the whole musician thing doesn't work out. Go for something like that I guess. It's gonna take some research though.
#13
Quote by chea_man
im a guitar performance major. i went to berklee for awhile and im going back next year.
it will allow me to do alot. research

Uh... what?

I've talked to many professional (classical) musicians, and they pretty much all agree- a music performance degree is pretty much a piece of paper that says "I practiced real hard for 4 years and can play well now". It doesn't open up many different job opportunities aside from performing.
#14
Quote by Dimebag Dave
I can't think of anything besides teaching and scoring when it comes to pay or making a living.
I think that's overly cynical. Everything from Studio owner, concert promoter, session musician(a good one makes $600 an hr), music publisher, agent, even a position working at Harry Fox(if you want to sell your soul) are ways of making a living. Unfortunately it's dependant on 2 things. Talent and drive. You'll have to have both to distinguish yourself from all the other "follow my heart" musicians.

My advice: DEFINITELY take the summer guitar course at Berklee. See if you like it.

I know two people who make a living off of guitar. And NO, there are not homeless. One is a teacher, composer, grandfather(daughter's a lawyer )...and the other one is the lead guitarist for Richie Havens and just got married.

also...performance degree NOT recommended
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#15
My major is political science and I'm working on a minor in music (assuming the workload doesn't kill me). I will be going to law school with a focus on copyright law after I take my BA.

To major in music requires ridiculous amounts of work and, to be honest, the end product isn't that great (very LOW expected utility)>
#16
First, think about whether or not you can get in. Music institutions, especially Berklee, demand extremely dedicated and practiced musicians. The professors at the school don't want to waste their time with someone who's not a great musician. Music school is meant to take a great player and make him or her a master.

If you think you are good enough and want to give it a shot, it is always a good idea, but don't think that Berklee is the only place to do it. Berklee is expensive. There is probably a university offering a great music program in your area and for a much cheaper price.

Studying music is just as good for a musician as studying chemistry is for a chemist. It's what you want to do. If music institutions didn't give students the skills they were looking for, they wouldn't exist. Remember that employers hire people, not degrees. Education is an asset, and the fact that you attended university and got your BMus is more than enough to get a well paying job, even if it's not in the music field.

I say if you want to study music, and are passionate about your instrument, do it.
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#17
If you want to be a performer, I'd recommend Berklee. But, from what I've hear, there are better music schools if you want to be something more steady. Really, all careers music-related have some risk.
#18
Really ALL CAREERS have risk. Just because you have a degree in anything doesn't guaranty you to get a job especially in your field of study.
#19
I'm a lot like you (to the threadstarter). Music is what I really care about, but I'm very good in school (straight a's in accelerated classes). I'm very best at math and science, and my parents want me to be an engineer, but I really want to stick with music. So, I decided to split it in half so we would both be satisfied, and I'll major in electrical engineering, and probably minor in music, and for a career I'll either build amplifiers/effects for a company or I'll start my own amp/effect company that is handled over the internet; like Avatarspeakers.com
#20
yea, my dad was trying to tell me to be things such as a guitarsalesman (I know a guy who sell guitars to the stars, he has sold guitars to people such as Brad Pasley, John Mayer , etc.) or maybe a luthier for a guitar company. I would really love making guitars and amps as a living. That would just kick ass but where do I start?
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Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue
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MXR Carbon Copy
Keeley Modded TS9
Korg Pitchblack
Schecter Omen 6
Dean Performer Acoustic

#22
Quote by WlCmToTheJungle
I have been putting a lot of thought in what I want to do since last year when I was a freshman in high school. I love music. I love writing it, I love recording it, and I love playing guitar. I want to go to Berklee to be a major in my music but my whole family is begging me not to do it. Now, I know that I love music but I would rather have a steady job for the rest of my life rather than scraping by. What kind of well-paying options are there for music majors? I know not everything is about money but I do want a good job. So what are some jobs you music majors want to pursue?



Before you attempt applying or even thinking about going to a music college, make sure you have a steady background in writing reading and sight reading sheet music, also lots of theory and technical stuff. I started lessons about 5 months ago its going well, and i have already been playing for 2 years and had several bands.

I am a junior and my parents are pretty wary about me applying to musical schools i.e Berklee. They are worried about job security, start investing in a compound savings account in the bank whilst doing summer jobs. IT ALL ADDS UP. You can get grants and financial aid to. Also, you can give guitar lessons and teach music at an elementary school or something, also commercial jingles and music etc. companies are willing to pay good money for that stuff. You can do studio work for bands, soundtracks for video games movies tv etc. Theres a lot out there you just need to know where to look. It also doesn't hurt to get a minor in something very useful math or recording engineer or English. College is college and there are a lot of people who don't go, just going into a college and getting that education already puts you ahead of everyone else who hasn't. Just keep following what you want to do, my parents have given up on convinces me on anything else, its music or culinary school, amke sure you have a backup plan as well too.
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#23
Quote by dudey5691
you could major in music, while at the same time getting a degree in music engineering and technology.

That way you get the best of both worlds, money, and the chance at owning a studio later in life.

my $.03



haha, sums up my majors.
#24
It seems as though everyone on this forum who wants to study music in College wants to go to Berklee. Berklee is NOT the be all to end all of music schools. The tuition is very expensive, and there are plenty of other music schools were you can get just as good instruction as Berklee. Look around at any College with a music program to see if it would be the right fit. My advice, talk to your Guidance Counselor at school. I am a junior, and considering going into College for jazz guitar performance, and my Guidance Counselor basically told me if I find a school I want to go to, he and the school could give me substantial money to be able to afford it. You should do the same thing.
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#25
^^I agree. I'm going to San Francisco State University to Major in Piano Performance, and something in composition, I can't decide yet. Gonna be a free lancer pianist, and my teacher, who has a Bachelor's AND Master's in Piano Performance, said you can make a living off playing piano, at least $500 a show, taking every job you can get, wherever. Sounds like fun to me.

The current situation now is working on my audition pieces, so I can even GET into the music classes I want. I'm so mad I couldn't get my practice, today. And when I'm going around making money as a free lance pianist, I'm gonna start a band, and maybe we could do the clubs downtown. I don't plan on starting a family...sooo there you go. Just sex, drugs, and rock & roll. (after degree, can't **** around in college.)

Ohh, if I don't do so well on my audition recital, I get a Grad Student teaching me, instead of an actual faculty member....fuuck...though it's not that bad. A grad student will show you just as well.
#26
Jesus don't you have any interests other than music? I mean music is probably my number one hobby, but I'm still into english lit and politics and history and majoring in one of those would appear to be much more practical than majoring in music.
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#27
The only steady job you can get out of music is education. Still not a bad job though. If you made it up through the ranks and were a senior band director at a prep school, I'd imagine you'd be making a pretty good living. And if you're a composer, you'd have a large pool of volunteer musicians to perform your works .
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#28
I'm in your same boat...I'm a junior.
I really want to make music for a living, and if I don't, then I want to be an artist. (fyi: This is the worst backup plan. Ever.) I'm pretty sure I'll be going to art school, though, as I hear that a degree in the performance arts doesn't mean much.
#29
Quote by pumpkins_rule
Jesus don't you have any interests other than music? I mean music is probably my number one hobby, but I'm still into english lit and politics and history and majoring in one of those would appear to be much more practical than majoring in music.

Well with that background they're not that many options, probably the same as a music major. English Majors? They are mostly going to be teachers, writers, or some type of editor. Politics? Well your not likely to find a job as a politician, so maybe a columnist or somewhere you share your opinions on politics. And History is more along the lines of a teacher, or something as well. All the good jobs are in the engineering field IMO.

But anyways, I would like to do the same thing with music. But it is so hard to be better than everyone else. So who knows what I will do....
#30
You could be a recording engineer, or teach music, and then you could be in a band and/or compose music at the same time. You can get a LOT of dough teaching music. Some places charge $45 for a half an hour lesson. If you work that full time, that's a great deal of money.
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#31
Quote by gibsonpenguin
Uh... what?

I've talked to many professional (classical) musicians, and they pretty much all agree- a music performance degree is pretty much a piece of paper that says "I practiced real hard for 4 years and can play well now". It doesn't open up many different job opportunities aside from performing.

yeah dumbass, you dont get performance degree to do anything other than perform. what, do you a doctor wonders why he cant teach law?
#32
Quote by Metallica rulz
Well with that background they're not that many options, probably the same as a music major. English Majors? They are mostly going to be teachers, writers, or some type of editor. Politics? Well your not likely to find a job as a politician, so maybe a columnist or somewhere you share your opinions on politics. And History is more along the lines of a teacher, or something as well. All the good jobs are in the engineering field IMO.

But anyways, I would like to do the same thing with music. But it is so hard to be better than everyone else. So who knows what I will do....


Well I am planning on becoming a teacher. Honestly come up to Canada, teachers up here make pretty good money.
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#34
Quote by WlCmToTheJungle
yea, my dad was trying to tell me to be things such as a guitarsalesman (I know a guy who sell guitars to the stars, he has sold guitars to people such as Brad Pasley, John Mayer , etc.) or maybe a luthier for a guitar company. I would really love making guitars and amps as a living. That would just kick ass but where do I start?

like it has been said, this isn't the most reliable job in the world, but if you wanted to be a luthier, the best place to start is:

buy a squier strat and some BYOC pedals. Learn everything you can. Buy books. Take apart the strat and put it back together. Make mods with the pedals, see how/why they work. Experiment!
go for it.
#35
Quote by colin617
Actually, most poli sci/ history majors go to law school.

And a hell of a large percentage of English majors too, as was added to the supposedly "useless" trio above.

Do well in poli sci and English and you're sitting pretty in applying for law school (if your LSAT is ok of course).

Honestly, music programs are so saturated as is that it's more realistic than cynical to think most music degrees will take you no where, especially performance (though music business degrees are over crowded too) Following your dream is great and all, but you better damn well make sure you can compete before you get a degree that most recipiants don't end up using in their long term career.
#36
^Exactly. When I was considering being a music performer, my private teachers warned me that it was just as, if not more competitive than attempting to be a professional athlete. And they were right.