Interested in Studying Music? A Guide To Finding Your Path

Ball State University Jazz Combo

You’ve made the choice: you love music and want to pursue a career in the music industry! Great! So now what? At this point you need to determine which University, music program, and major are right for you. There are more music degrees than just performance or music education. Other music degrees include: Music production or recording technology, music therapy, music business, arts administration, music history, and music theory/composition. Some universities collaborate with local businesses to help offer a degree in popular music theory, analysis and composition. When researching your potential future, you have several resources at your disposal to find out information and some of the work can even be done at home with your parent/guardian.

Search online for information

This is the easiest way to get information about schools including tuition and audition information. This will mainly include program info and audition dates and materials. You may also find information or media of your potential future professor, wind ensemble or orchestra performances to see if you enjoy their thoughts and style.

Visit the campus

Most students visit college campuses during their decision process. Schedule a time to visit campus. Also consider contacting the music department and see if you can shadow a student from your potential future studio for a day while they attend classes, rehearsals, perhaps even a lesson or studio class to see how your future classmates sound and perform.

Take a lesson with a professor!

This is one of the most important pieces of advice you can receive. If you are working on your solo for state contest, or audition materials, prepare them to an acceptable point and take them to a lesson. This gives you a chance to see first-hand how you interact with the professor. I you liked the first lesson, I personally suggest taking a second lesson with that professor to make sure the chemistry is there.

Discover the work that students are putting out

While on campus for either a visit or a lesson, watch a band, orchestra, or choral ensemble concert. Or, attend a recital by composition students to see if you enjoy their work! Try to observe a music education class to get an idea about the philosophies the faculty teach. Actually experiencing what the students and faculty are doing will give you one more piece of information about whether or not this really is a school you want to attend.

Above all else:

Keep an open mind

You may not like a certain aspect of a school. But if the dorm is a mile away from the music building or they don’t have a pizza night in the dining hall, is that really a reason to cut a school from your list if you like everything else about it? Probably not.

Good luck in your search and auditions for schools. Should you ever need any additional advice or knowledge about a school program feel free to reach out to the professor or email us here at Paige’s Music and we will do everything we can to assist you in your musical journey.

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