If you’re pursuing a career in music, you probably want to attend a school that is focused exclusively on educating musicians. These institutions, also called conservatories, offer a rigorous education with very intense focus on musical performance.
A less intense option is to attend a college that has a very strong music program, often part of the general arts department. These schools tend to be more affordable than the prestigious music conservatories and can be a great option for someone who wants to study music but doesn’t necessarily want to be a professional musician.
Most people choose to study music because they have a passion for it, and a Music School provides an ideal environment to nurture that passion. You’ll be surrounded by people who love music just as much as you do, and the fact that everyone in the room is passionate about their chosen instrument can inspire you to push yourself even harder than you would at any other type of school.
Choosing the right school will depend on your goals for after graduation, and how much you want to spend on your education. You may prefer to attend an expensive private music school that is known for producing world-class performers, or you might be more interested in attending a best value music college where the cost of tuition is balanced out by potential future earnings.
Each week, students meet one-on-one for hour-long lessons with their primary teacher, who teaches them the fundamentals of their instrument. These teachers are typically professional musicians themselves, and their job is to help students develop strong technical skills on their instruments so they can play professionally. Lessons usually start with a warm-up designed to stretch muscles and prepare the body for practice, and then students work on improving their skills through repetition and learning new music.
Musicians also take music history courses, similar to those at a university. These classes are lecture-style and teach students about the social, political, economic, and cultural trends that helped shape musical styles from different eras. In some cases, these classes are centered around specific eras of music-making, such as Renaissance or Romantic.
A music major will also take music theory courses, which are the building blocks of a musician’s knowledge base. These classes help students understand how to create and analyze musical compositions, and they can be a helpful way to gain insights into the inspiration behind the songs we all know and love.
Many colleges offer a Master of Music degree as well, which is a graduate degree in music. This is a degree for those who have already completed a bachelor’s degree in music, and it allows students to study specific areas of musical applications. This degree can be a good choice for those who want to become teachers, or who are interested in audio engineering or sound recording technology. Some of the most popular concentrations in a master’s degree include choral conducting, orchestral performance, and jazz studies.