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How much does it cost to become a music major?

I want to become a music major. But, i don't know how difficult/ expensive.

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Where's’s Answer

Well it depends on how fast you want to get there. To reach success in the entertainment/music industry one must invest themselves in numerous areas that take time, energy, money and requires sacrifice. Don't forget you won't get paid for your work right away either. If it were easy everyone would do it
Thank you comment icon Great insight, Keith! What are some of the areas Jackson should consider investing in to support career growth and success? Sharyn Grose, Admin
Thank you comment icon I would suggest investing in branding. Those who stick out get noticed. Developing your own unique style is relatively inexpensive and will make those who recognize you remember you. Also invest in your own network of like minded individuals as it takes a team to make things happen. "Show me your friends, and I'll show you your future" . Where's Waldoe
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Chloe’s Answer

Hi there, Pranay!

I would first assess whether or not going to a University is right for you. What are your goals in music as a career? Do you want to be a music educator in the public school system? Do you want to play professionally for an orchestra? Are you passionate about gigging with a band, doing covers and writing music? Depending on your answer, that will determine if a music degree is right for you.

I went to college and on for a graduate in music and both have served me well as I am a music educator! That being said, college/university is quite expensive depending on where you attend. If you attend the state university that you live in, the tuition will be discounted as opposed to an out-of-state school or a private school. The latter will be more expensive.

I would recommend listing what your goals are and finding a school that aligns with those goals. Then, narrow your search by scholarship opportunities and tuition/dorm comparisons.

Good luck!
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Deborah’s Answer

the thing about being in anything that is considered the arts is this: you will learn how to work with other people; you will learn how to commit to memory choreography and music. You will learn how to be part of a unit, how to contribute your strengths and learn more to bolster your weaknesses. And all of this doesn't even touch on the joy of creating music! Studies show that being a part of the arts in any form make you a better person. As long as you enjoy being in marching band and music, and can put in enough practice time to be a good member of the team, then do it. You can always change your mind later if your priorities change. But at your age, this is a chance to be part of a group playing music and not have to worry about everything issues like paying rent and trying to make rehearsals while having a regular job.

As to the expense: yes, school can cost. So make it your job to look into scholarships. Not only from the school you want to go to, but in your community. Are there local groups who give scholarships based on your parents' careers, your need, sometimes even your ethnic background? Look at service organizations to see if they offer scholarships. And no amount is too small. Get as many as you can. Check if your college offers work/study programs. Did your folks go to college? Maybe they have some connections you could use as well.


So good for you. I say go for it.
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Karin’s Answer

Hi Jackson,

There are many different options for music degrees and many different careers you could persue.

I gave you two links below for Berklee College of Music in Boston as an example. They have 15 different music majors including different branches of music, music production, teaching and music management.

The second link gives information about tuition, financial aid and scholarships at Berkelee.

I hope this helps! Good luck!

KP

Karin recommends the following next steps:

https://college.berklee.edu/majors
https://www.berklee.edu/student-accounts/tuition-and-related-costs
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Gerald’s Answer

The cost can vary, starting from as low as $5,000 and reaching up to $100,000, based on the path you choose. Certification programs offered by institutes and colleges are generally more budget-friendly. On the other hand, universities and colleges providing degrees might require a higher investment, but they also come with the advantage of offering more resources. Remember, every choice you make is a step towards your bright future!
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Pranay’s Answer

It costs around 0 - $9000 if u live in usa it might be cheaper if u just do it in other countries
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Suzie’s Answer

Hello Pranay,
It's hard to give you a definitive answer to how much it will cost you to go to a University as a Music Major. I would suggest you contact Universities that have good programs such as Berklee College of Music, The Juilliard School, University of the Arts School of Music, Boston Conservatory, Curtis Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music to name just a few. Reach out to their admissions team and have your questions ready on a sheet of paper.
Hope this helps!
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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Jackson,

Embarking on a journey as a music major can entail a wide range of expenses, depending on the educational institution and specific program you opt for. Here are some key aspects to contemplate while assessing the financial implications of pursuing a music major:

Educational Costs: The annual tuition and fees for a music major can fluctuate from a couple of thousand dollars at public schools to several tens of thousands at private universities. Certain music programs may also impose extra charges for elements like private tutoring, group performance participation, or instrument hire.

Living Expenses: If you're considering on-campus living, remember to account for room and board costs, which can differ based on the school's location and your housing preference.

Study Materials: As a music major, you'll likely need specific books, sheet music, and equipment, which can increase the total program cost.

Instrument Expenses: If you're an instrumentalist, you might need to buy or lease an instrument for your course. The price of instruments can greatly vary, depending on their type and quality.

Financial Support: Numerous schools provide scholarships and financial aid packages for music majors. Make sure to explore and apply for any potential opportunities to alleviate your educational expenses.

Extra Costs: Don't overlook other costs such as transportation, performance clothing, and any additional activities or events linked to your music education.

In summary, while a music major can be a costly endeavor, it's possible to control expenses through scholarships, financial aid, and meticulous planning.

Top 3 Credible Sources Used:

The College Board: This organization offers invaluable details about college expenses, financial aid alternatives, and scholarship opportunities for students aiming for higher education.

National Association for Music Education (NAfME): NAfME is a respected entity that provides resources and insights into music education programs, including details on costs related to pursuing a music major.

U.S. Department of Education: The official website of the U.S. Department of Education provides information on college affordability, financial aid programs, and advice on managing college expenses, which can be beneficial for aspiring music majors seeking financial support.

May God bless you!
James Constantine.
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Charles’s Answer

FYI: I currently work in the IT/Cybersecurity field, but I have a Bachelor's Degree in Music. IT is my 'second career.'

There are many different reasons to go to college, with even more pros/cons to choosing a school and a major. Because college is expensive (and you specifically asked about that) I'm going to start there. A music degree is going to be about the same cost as any other college degree. There are costs beyond the tuition, various University fees, and room/board if living there. When I was in school, Music majors also had to take private lessons with University approved teachers that added several hundred dollars to the costs per semester. This was covered as a 'class' in the program. It is also common to have to attend various concerts (typically classical groups) as well. You mention singing so this may not apply, but my instrument was required to participate in the University Band and perform each semester as well as at mid/year-end graduation. I needed to wear a tuxedo for those events, and buying an inexpensive one early on is cheaper than renting for 4+ years.

For anyone considering college, I recommend they try to figure out what they want to do before starting school. Sometimes it's nice to try a bunch of different classes to see what you become more interested in, but that can be expensive. I changed majors multiple times and not all the credits counted for the degree I decided on, but I still had to pay the student loans on them. In my case, when I graduated I had enough credits by number to equal a Bachelor's and Master's, but because many of the classes were duplicates from an 'elective standpoint' they didn't help me.

Another reason to know what you want to do before starting college is because not all jobs/careers need a college degree. If you want to teach music in a public school, you eventually need a Master's degree. If you want to perform professionally, a degree isn't a formal requirement. It's best to understand what you really need to know to get started so you can plan the best way for you to get there. Also try to find out how much you can make with/without a degree to see if it even makes sense. If going to college/getting a degree will only get you $10,000/yr more than not having it, and the degree is going to cost you $100,000 it will take you 10 years to 'break even' on that investment (not counting the years salary you could be making if you were working instead of attending school.) If you can get $50,000/yr more with the degree, or just getting a few classes will get you the job, then it makes a lot more sense.

One of the reasons to consider majoring in Music if the degree isn't required is that you may get the skills/knowledge needed for the role even if the degree itself isn't required. The other is building up contacts and networking with other musicians. The previous post mentions Berklee (a well known school for Musicians.) I've noticed that many professional musicians list attending Berklee but few actually graduate with the degree. They get what they need and stop. You should also be aware that many programs try to put you in the 'core classes' for the first year or two and only start giving you the courses in your major during your junior/senior (3rd/4th) year.

There are many scholarship opportunities out there, and you should apply for EVERYTHING you think you could possibly be qualified for. You'd be surprised how many people don't do this, and that there are scholarships out there where zero people apply. Find them. You can also work with the school for on campus jobs (this could be setting up for school sponsored concerts, playing in the pep/marching bands, tutoring other students, etc.) There are also non-music specific jobs on campus like working in the library, or for other departments. On campus jobs are usually SUPER flexible around your school schedule, and are easy to get to since you're already there, but tend to pay less. Performing at weddings, clubs, parties, teaching k-12 students, being a 'roadie' for other bands, working in a musical instrument store, etc. are other jobs musicians can perform. Try to keep student loans to a minimum.

If you need the degree for the job you want the University you choose may not matter, so you can look for the one in your budget. Teaching in Public schools can be VERY political in the sense of 'who you know' and possibly 'where you went to school'. Some districts are known for playing 'favorites' and even if it shouldn't be that way, it often is. If you want to be a public school teacher, you should talk to as many as you can to get a sense of what they recommend. There are a limited number of these jobs in each school, and once someone is hired they tend to stay for a very long time. You'll notice that some areas/districts hired 'in waves' where there are a lot of music teachers about the same age. If they are close to retirement age when you'll graduate, great. If they are all young, you may need to reconsider where you want to teach. This doesn't mean the positions don't open up (because they do) but that there are going to be fewer opportunities for everyone that you graduate with and that graduated before/after you.

If you're more inclined for being a performance major, you won't need the degree for that, but many musicians need a 'day job' and a degree in anything can be helpful for that. You need to weigh what you need, and what you are going to do to get there. There is a saying that a musician is 'only as good as their next gig.' Figure out what you need to keep getting those 'next gigs.'

I suggest reaching out to anyone you know from your school, friend's schools, etc. You should try to talk to as many teachers as you can if you are interested in becoming a music teacher. The same for performing musicians. You'd be surprised at how many people would welcome the opportunity to speak to you in person after a performance, or if you reach out to them through the school's email. Music teachers in most schools have to have 1-2 concerts with the students each year. Attend the concert and find the teacher after (leaving time for most of the students to leave with their parents.) The teachers tend to be among the last to leave, so you can briefly introduce yourself, comment on the concert and share that you are considering becoming a music teacher, and ask if they would be willing to talk to you in the future about teaching music. If you are respectful and professional in your approach/introduction, you should have many people willing to talk to you. If you ask good questions and are sincere, they'll probably put you in touch with more people in the field. Remember each of them is a potential recommendation, or someone that could end up hiring you in a few years...


PS: Rarely do musician's have 'one job.' Performing, teaching privately, working in music stores/private schools, 'day jobs' unrelated to music, etc. Becoming a 'rock star' is the dream of many musicians, but it is often as much about luck and circumstance as talent. I've met many musicians that are AMAZING and could easily play on any stage in the world, but nobody ever 'heard of them.' This doesn't mean you shouldn't pursue your dream if that's what you really want, but it can be more like the lottery than people realize.
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