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music degree-have you done one..what have you done afterwards?

(28 Posts)
brimfull Mon 01-Dec-08 19:38:26

dd thinking of this now as really really enjoying A level music.She's not interested in the performance side of things though but would like to be behind the scenes /management.composition type thing.

ANyone any experience to share?

twentypence Mon 01-Dec-08 19:44:39

I have a music degree and a masters in music. I went to music college about 15 years ago (goodness me, where did that time go?)

I am impressed she is enjoying A level music - I hated it - just a means to an end for me.

After my Masters I was fed up of performance and a little burnt out. Sold pianos, then moved into marketing for a musical instrument manufacturer, then moved to NZ and got a straight marketing job - but was given the corporate sponsorship of an orchestra as one of my tasks.

Then I had ds - left marketing job and started teaching at home, as he got older I expanded this and am now a music education specialist - basically I go into schools and childcare centres and teach the kids the curriculum that the everyday teachers are scared to teach. I also do some work with people recovering from brain injury, some work in the community with families and some instrumental teaching.

Some of my college peers went on to be composers, one is moderately famous (if you are interested in modern composers).

brimfull Mon 01-Dec-08 19:46:29

wow thank that's very interesting
do you mind me asking where you studied?
what do you play?

MaryMotherOfCheeses Mon 01-Dec-08 19:46:53

Hello. I've got half a music degree (other half was in something else and I wasn't very good at performance either). However, studying composition is more akin to performance. The analysis, history and criticism of music is more akin to studying history or literature. Or that's how I found it anyway.

I've worked for various arts organisations on the pr / marketing / fundraising side of things and a combination of music knowledge and management / marketing skills are definitely useful.

Best thing I'd suggest for her though is to get some work experience or volunteer with a range of arts festivals or something. Do lots and lots of practical stuff to put on the CV, that's almost more helpful than the degree.

Smithagain Mon 01-Dec-08 19:48:19

I don't have one, but some of my friends do.

One teaches piano, rather predictably.

One is a Vicar, who has maintained a handy sideline as a performing solo singer.

Another teaches music and runs a choir.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Mon 01-Dec-08 19:49:10

I went to Leeds Uni - music and english. Then a post grad in marketing, which was the really useful bit I think, at Manchester poly.

brimfull Mon 01-Dec-08 19:50:43

we were hoping to be able to find a degree that incorporated music and business or marketing or something

littlerach Mon 01-Dec-08 19:55:18

My frind has a degree in music and teaches singing and a couple of instruments.

twentypence Mon 01-Dec-08 20:02:41

I did my postgrad marketing paid for by my second employer.

My marketing experience really helped by 1) providing a nice 9-5 job that paid the mortgage in my twenties meaning I can spend my 30s being more flexible around ds. 2) gave me all I needed to run my own business, sort out tax advertise myself etc.

hannahsaunt Mon 01-Dec-08 20:03:26

You would want to look for a University that had a flexible curriculum - where there are core subjects (ie allied to your stated degree intention) and subjects to choose - most Scottish Universities, because they have a 4 year degree structure, enable you to take music and ... You can decide at the end of year 2 if you want to make it a joint degree, a major/minor degree or concentrate on your principal subject.

One of my good friend's dh did music, PhD then pg qual in librarianship and now has a very eminent job indeed but if I told you he (and they) would be instantly identifiable and that may not be fair.

TigerFeet Mon 01-Dec-08 20:05:24

I had two friends at university who studied Music - one single honours and the other Music and English. The single honours student now plays professionally with an orchestra, the other is a primary school teacher - presumably the one who plays the piano at assembly!

EachPeachPearMum Mon 01-Dec-08 20:07:28

I know 3 people who did music degrees-
1 taught music, though at primary level
1 is a singer, who teaches as well as performs
1 is an opera singer who freelances as a computer programmer (trust me- he's very good at both!)
They are all much older than your dd though, so I'm sure there are many more degrees available these days that combine subject areas.

marialuisa Mon 01-Dec-08 20:14:10

I know several people with music degrees working in HE/NHS management....so roles where any degree will do!

brimfull Mon 01-Dec-08 20:14:45

thanks everyone
very useful info

IdrisTheDragon Mon 01-Dec-08 20:18:38

My DH did a music degree - he is a development manager for a small charity.

Other people I know who did music degrees are:

-afetr having done a PHd in music, now training to be a secondary school music teacher
-college lecturers x 2
-a librarian
-work with various people with special needs of one sort or another, and do some work in schools as a music therapist
-primary school teacher

asdmumandteacher Mon 01-Dec-08 21:04:07

Hello I am a music teacher and i have a music degree and a PGCE

yup i am a teacher! (secondary) but out of the 25 or so that took the degree in my year (early 90's) only 2 of us are teachers (the other is primary) - my other classmates went into A and R, arts admin, working for orchestras, investment banking, IT, and a couple as session musicians

asdmumandteacher Mon 01-Dec-08 21:05:26

my degree had arts admin module on it and also music therapy (very interesting particularly given my circumstances now with a disabled child)

brimfull Mon 01-Dec-08 23:05:07

thanks..loads of opportunities

it's so hard at her age trying to decide what to study..am thankful she has decided on something she enjoys

Littlefish Tue 02-Dec-08 22:06:42

I have a performing diploma, rather than a music degree.

I studied for 3 years at one of the London Music Colleges.

I went on to work for a music agency, then a marketing company, then an IT company. I then re-trained as a teacher (primary) and went on to be a Depty Head. Am now a class teacher again so I can spend more time with dd.

frannikin Wed 03-Dec-08 13:09:55

I have a BMus and am now a governess, but I'm a bad example because I needed the degree on top of qualifying as a nanny to be taken seriously for governess posts.

Of my contemporaries (graduated July this year) too many to count have gone onto postgrads, including teaching, 3 have gone into arts administration, 5 are professional performers, 9 sold out and went onto graduate schemes with people like Deloittes and PWC, 1 is doing a law conversion, 2 are unemployed, 3 are on gap years/travelling/volunteering in various places and 1 is working in university administration. I don't know about the others.

If your DD wants to chat about what one does in a music degree nowadays I'm more than happy. Certainly at Birmingham you could take a Module Outside Main Discpline in your first year and doubtless the business school offer something.

FWIW I was rubbish at performance too. I dropped it after 1st year when it stopped being compulsory.

brimfull Wed 03-Dec-08 18:01:55

frannikin-a governess?!?!?

didn't know they still existed..do you mean Mary Poppin like ???

onwardandoutward Wed 03-Dec-08 18:12:23

ggirl yes, I did. I went on to do a PhD and am now a university lecturer in music...

So I have known many many people do music degrees.

I would say the most important thing is to find a music degree course which is in tune with the kind of music she likes. If she's really into jazz, then don't go somewhere which has no modules in jazz, yk? And also, look for a course structure which doesn't demand that she should do performance, because some of them do. She'll want to look quite carefully at syllabuses. And she'll want to go to as many open days as possible, just to get a sense of the vibe of each place - there's no substitute for meeting some lecturers and students and thinking "yes, this is my sort of place" or "oh my God, I hate all these people".

As for what people do afterwards... truly, a music degree at a good university can be seen as just another humanities degree. I've known students go on to become lawyers and accountants and bankers. I've known people go into school teaching, both primary and secondary. I've known people go into sales for all sorts of companies. I've known people work in music shops. I've known a lot of people go into arts admin in various guises. Also publishing, either connected to music or not. I've known people go and work for the associated board.

But music can also be a vocational degree, and of course lots of students end up in the music business one way or another, as freelance musicians or salaried orchestral musicians (for the really really talented and lucky ones), as instrumental teachers, as singers in professional choirs.

Getting work experience at music festivals and such would be a very smart move if she's interested in arts admin for the future. But really, I think it's a question of doing a music degree because she can't bear not to know more about how music works

frannikin Wed 03-Dec-08 19:25:51

Slightly OT but ggirl:

Not exactly Mary Poppins. We do indeed still exist, and are quite in vogue either for people who want their children home-schooled OR want extra academic support OR want their children schooled in one language and doing academic work in a second (usually English). I have more of a combined nanny/governess role with a lot of proxy-parenting when both parents travel on business and do the academic work in English while charge attends a French school but when I interviewed I had things as diverse as full-time schooling for a 4 and 6 year old as children did films (parents were industry already....), teaching British etiquette to Saudi royals and total immersion English plus some education including French and Latin for a Turkish 4 year old who was down the prep school to get him into the prep school to get him into Eton when he was 6 (or something, I forget, it didn't interest me much).

It's like being a nanny/tutor/plus for older children really.

So yes...you can always do that with a music degree! In fact musicians are highly prized because we can help excessively talented children with their music practice.

ggirlsbells Fri 05-Dec-08 10:02:02

thanks
frannklin-sounds a fascinating job

smartiejake Fri 05-Dec-08 10:41:02

I have a BSc in Music (more common now but quite unusual when I was at Uni) I trained as a teacher (PGCE)on finishing my degree and then after a few years experience trained to be a teacher of the deaf. I am also a music teacher in the junior school where I work. I have also taught music privately.

ASdmumandteacher- did you go to City University?- My music degree had music therapy and arts admin modules too.

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