Music graduates, like degree holders in other subjects, often experience difficulty in gaining employment, regardless of whether they wish to work in a music-related career or try something different.

Yet, many music graduates do not regret making the decision to study music at degree level.

A music degree combines several learning approaches, both academic and practical, and these may help music graduates in various other lines of work, now or in the future.

A person doing a music degree will normally study at least one musical instrument (or voice) to a high standard, although students may opt to study composition, or combine the two.

All students continue developing some level of ear training; this is extremely helpful for foreign language learning (as I’ve discovered for myself).

The academic side of the degree involves intense analytical training in a wide repertoire of works, alongside a separate study of twentieth-century music.

Some of the analysis requires an understanding of mathematics, and discussions on aesthetics and an understanding of twentieth- century general history play an integral role in the later stages of the training.

My own music degree finals consisted of:

hosting a recital of my own compositions, submitting a 12,000-word dissertation on Music Psychology, sitting a three-hour examination on twentieth-century music, providing a technical analysis of a work over a period of eight hours, and submitting a folio of compositions to the examiners.

As one can see, the humble music degree is exacting, requiring all sorts of skills that ought to help graduates as they take their places in the workplace. Or simply for pleasure.

Just a few of my thoughts.


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