Enrich Your Soul and Career with a Degree in Music

Achievement of a degree in music not only develops your talents and enriches your soul, but can also open numerous professional opportunities. A music curriculum is rigorous, requiring you to excel in your chosen instrument or vocal technique, as well as aspects of theory, performance and production.

Naturally, those earning a degree in music may decide to pursue a career as a professional musician. For others, a music education can serve as a necessary foundation for a career in the music industry more generally. Finally, music majors are likely to excel in careers at arts and cultural institutions.

Noire, Spelman College contemporary popular music group

Spelman College

Music is a broad major that has a few distinct subcategories. Universities may have a wide range of majors depending on the makeup of their program and faculty. However, most music programs will encompass aspects of the following branches:

  • Music Performance: Performance is the primary craft of musicians. Being able to perform for an audience or within a studio is of utmost importance.
  • Music Theory: Music theory is the study of music itself. You’ll train your ears and eyes to understand music at its most abstract and structural level.
  • Composition: This field describes the process of writing and arranging music. 
  • Production: Good music production can elevate an artist to new heights. This field is focused on honing the processes of recording, mixing and other technical aspects of the creative process.
Shaw Univ. music student playing trupet

Shaw University

Careers in Music

  • Sound Engineer: Whether at a live show or in the studio, sound engineers ensure all of the wires are connected and the music is mixed properly. Depending on your level of experience, sound engineers can make a substantial living. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for sound engineers is $53,520.
  • Music Teacher: A degree in music will give you valuable skills that you can teach to others. Many music teachers are able to freelance as individual tutors, or take more established positions within schools.
  • Production Assistant: A degree in music will familiarize you with other performative arts such as theater or film. As such, you’ll have experience being in these settings and the work they require. Production assistants ensure that everything runs smoothly on film sets, theaters, studios, live venues or anywhere else art is being performed.
  • Music Therapist: Located at the intersection of music and psychology, music therapists help patients heal through music.

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How to Prepare for Success

Music majors should have a proficiency in at least one instrument and/or develop their voice. You should also have the ability to read music.

UNCF Schools to Consider

Twenty-one UNCF-member schools offer programs for students wishing to work in the field of music, including:

Professional Organizations

There are thousands of organizations in various fields of biology that offer more insight into working in those fields. A sample list includes:

Scholarships Available

Several scholarships are available through UNCF. The UNCF General Scholarship Awards are an excellent opportunity for any student going to a UNCF-member college, regardless of their major. The Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program awards a $10,000 scholarship to one exceptional HBCU senior each year who has demonstrated high academic achievement, strong leadership skills, commitment to community service and unmet financial need.

Regional scholarships are also available via UNCF, such as the AFLAC Foundation Scholarship, available to certain Georgia residents.

Students should also check with each college or university to see if there are additional scholarships available to study music.

Ask UNCF for guidance by submitting a major interest form if you are interested in a career in music. Submit the form on our website to get started. And follow us on UNCF social media channels to receive notifications about our scholarships and member HBCUs. Reach out today!