Musician Training Programs and Education Requirements

Musician training programs offer advanced study in different musical instruments and musical styles. Writing music and learning music theory are focal points of these programs.

Essential Information

Individuals looking for a career in the music industry should have a background in playing instruments. Formal education is not a requirement for musician training programs, but hands-on training is recommended in order to gain experience and sharpen skills quickly. These programs prepare students to work in many different sectors, including the music industry, entertainment and marketing avenues.

  • Program Levels in Musician Training: Associate's degrees, bachelor's degrees
  • Prerequisites: Although job experience is not required, it does often lead to more opportunities
  • Online Availability: Most schools offer online classes for musician training programs

Associate of Arts in Music

An associate's degree program in music prepares students to work as musicians with music groups, choirs, symphonies or music production companies. Coursework allows students to practice instrumental music and read complex music and music literature. Students learn to apply musical theories to all types of music, including jazz, rock and classical music. Typical courses include:

  • Music theory
  • Music composition and production
  • Ear Training
  • Instrumental instruction
  • Music history

Bachelor of Arts in Music

A bachelor's degree program in music provides advanced coursework in musical theory, composition, production and conducting. Students learn to play various instruments and, if desired, take vocal training courses. A bachelor's degree program in music may include courses on:

  • Advanced musical composition
  • Classical music training
  • Physics of music
  • Applied vocal training
  • Music literature

Popular Career Options

As employment opportunities in the music industry can be inconsistent, many musicians seek part-time jobs in other industries. Musicians have to submit demos or perform auditions to obtain work, and competition is high. Individuals in the music business must also have the physical strength needed to routinely perform on stage. Some job options for individuals with a degree in music include a songwriter, music producer, background singer, session singer, composer, sound designer and show band just to name a few.

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

As of May 2014, musicians and singers make a mean hourly wage of $32.49, according to the BLS. The BLS also states that the job growth in this industry from 2012-2022 is expected to grow by 5%, which is slower than the average for all occupations.

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