If you’ve always had a passion for music you may want to consider making it your profession. There are lots of opportunities for keen musicians in playing, recording or writing; no matter what style you prefer. While it isn’t always necessary to hold a degree or other qualification in music in order to become a professional musician, studying it formally will help expand your knowledge and allow you to prove your ability to potential employers. This article aims to give an overview of the subject as a whole, while more specialised careers paths are explained elsewhere on the site.
Depending on what style of music, and the instrument you play, you can choose from a variety of courses offered at many different institutions. If you like modern music and can see yourself as the next rock star, producer or band manager you could study one of the many courses in popular music. If, however, you prefer classical or orchestral music and want to be the best player or composer you can be, you could study a bachelor degree at a university, college or conservatoire where you can hone your skills before joining an orchestra anywhere in the world.
In order to study a degree in popular or orchestral music you will first need at least five GCSEs graded A*-C including ones in maths, English and science. You will also need either A levels or a B-TEC in music; grades of which vary from institution to institution. Some universities and conservatoires also require you to hold a certain grade on your primary instrument and will ask you to complete an audition and/or a music theory exam.
If you are interested in music you will probably have at least some experience in performing in public and this may have led to experience in other things such as recording, promotion, sound design or musical directing. Gaining experience in professional musicianship will help you feel more comfortable at university as well as making you more attractive than other candidates during the selection process.
Career pathways aster graduation
While at university you will be able to choose precisely which area you wish to specialise in. This will give you a better idea of what you want to do after university and what opportunities are available. You may want to work for an organisation or company as an orchestral musician or as a producer for a record label, or you may want to become self employed as a session musician or sound engineer which offers both freedom and excitement.