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Do we have to have all good grades to get in?

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Elisabetta’s Answer

Hi Jeffrey, I am not an expert on careers in music but I hope you will still find my answer useful. Generally, for highly-ranked schools and colleges, it's true that among the requirements to get in, you generally need to have good grades. This is because as they receive so many requests from students that they need to filter it down to a lower number of students that will get admitted to study there. Also, as they are prestigious schools they aim to admit students with a good record of grades, to higher chances of having cohort of students that perform well (and keep the high reputation of the school). This is for your background information. What you should keep in mind, most importantly, is that having good grades doesn't guarantee you will do good at life. I know there is pressure out there to get the best grades among your peers to succeed in life, but the equation "good grades = will earn a lot = will do great in life" doesn't always apply. It's about sticking to what makes you passionate, being consistent with studying and always being curious to learn: this will get you far. You still should apply to the best schools for what interests you (i.e. music) and do your best to get good grades. The message I am trying to convey is that you can have the best music career you can wish for, even if you don't attend the best schools and don't have the best grades.

Elisabetta recommends the following next steps:

Study what you LIKE and ENJOY
If you don't get the best grades ever, don't beat yourself up
It's about passion, commitment & curiosity, your grades don't define/decide your future!

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Robbin’s Answer

In music, it all depends on what you want to do. If you wish to go into music performance, then the audition is probably the most important admissions aspect of your application. If you wish to pursue a career in the music industry, then experiences such as internships, as well as grades, will also factor in your choice of program. A career in music is a very broad category. Focus on a specific career goal and then research the necessary requirements to meet this goal.

Robbin recommends the following next steps:

Research every area in a music career.
Narrow your options and focus on the training requirements. Do you want to be a jazz performer, a hip hop producer, play with a classical music ensemble?

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Vineeth’s Answer

Being a musician can mean many things.

Obviously you don’t need any qualification to learn to play an instrument - many of the worlds best musicians don’t have one.

If you want to play in a band then you just need to be able to do what’s required. If the band is recording then you may need to understand how studio work is done and may need to be able to read music scores. Many gigging musicians cannot read music and just learn to play everything by ear.

If you want to be a session musician then it’s pretty much a requirement that you can sight-read music and perform very well.

If you want to work in the music industry then depending on the role you may or may not need such a qualification. If you want to be a music teacher at a school or academy they may require it.

So - the answer is - yes and no, depending on the circumstances.

You definitely can have a great career as a musician without any qualifications if you have the ability to play well for the situations required.