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#510856 - 12/15/07 10:17 AM Bachlor of arts
TheMadMan86 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 341
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
What can the Bachlor in Arts of music degree get you job wise after college?

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#510857 - 12/15/07 10:22 AM Re: Bachlor of arts
computerpro3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/04
Posts: 367
Loc: Connecticut/Cincinnati
a Grad degree \:\)

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#510858 - 12/15/07 10:56 AM Re: Bachlor of arts
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17670
Loc: Victoria, BC
A BA with a major in music will get you a diploma saying "Bachelor of Arts" which is an undergraduate degree. Computerpro3's observation notwithstanding, it won't guarantee you a graduate degree.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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#510859 - 12/15/07 11:38 AM Re: Bachlor of arts
epf Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 658
Loc: Central Texas
Frankly, and undergraduate degree in music will, if you are lucky, get you a job as a music teacher, or perhaps work as an accompanist or working in church music (perhaps even as a music director). If you really want to work in music you need a graduate degree -- and even then things are difficult and salaries are not terribly high.

I don't mean to discourage you, but my father shared the same comments with me (and he was right). Unless you are both very talented and very lucky it's nearly impossible to make a rich living as a musician. You can get by, and can even make a decent salary, but even that takes a lot of self-promotion to get noticed and to get work.

I eventually decided to minor in music (I still wanted to be able to know music and to play it) but it turns out that I'm not good enough to make a living in music as a performer.

BTW, my father was a professional church organist and paid his way through college as a musician, so I know that he knew what he was speaking about! After graduation he played only for family and friends.

Ed
_________________________
"...a man ... should engage himself with the causes of the harmonious combination of sounds, and with the composition of music." Anatolius of Alexandria

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#510860 - 12/15/07 12:41 PM Re: Bachlor of arts
pianist.ame Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/07
Posts: 1164
Loc: Singapore
it depends where. If you live in US or Canada, alot of musicians have at least a Master's or Doctorates degree.

for that reason I will be movig back to singapore to pursue my career.

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#510861 - 12/15/07 01:23 PM Re: Bachlor of arts
tomasino Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 2039
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota
This isn't only true of music though. What undergraduate degree will get you a job in the same field? Very few.

Tomasino
_________________________
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10


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#510862 - 12/15/07 02:19 PM Re: Bachlor of arts
BB Player Offline


Registered: 11/17/06
Posts: 2510
Loc: Not in Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by tomasino:
This isn't only true of music though. What undergraduate degree will get you a job in the same field? Very few.

Tomasino [/b]
Very true, I think. A bachelors degree is the new high school diploma.
_________________________
Greg

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#510863 - 12/15/07 02:40 PM Re: Bachlor of arts
PoStTeNeBrAsLuX Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 2618
Loc: Geneva, Switzerland
C7 Player:
A bachelors degree is the new high school diploma.

Perhaps in the US. However a Bachelors degree from many a European university institution is certainly a reasonable springboard towards many successful careers, without the need for formal postgraduate study. Due to high tuition costs, the scarcity of post-graduate funding, as well as local economic conditions and employment practices which provide far fewer jobs for students to "work their way through college" than there are in the US, I believe that many more students leave European universities with a first degree only. However anecdotal evidence I have heard/read over the years would suggest that the level and quality of such a qualification might perhaps be equivalent to a Masters from a US institution in any case.

-Michael B.
_________________________
There are two rules to success in life: Rule #1. Don't tell people everything you know.

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#510864 - 12/15/07 02:59 PM Re: Bachlor of arts
BB Player Offline


Registered: 11/17/06
Posts: 2510
Loc: Not in Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by PoStTeNeBrAsLuX:
However anecdotal evidence I have heard/read over the years would suggest that the level and quality of such a qualification might perhaps be equivalent to a Masters from a US institution in any case.

-Michael B. [/b]
I've head and read the same thing (so it must be true!). In the U.S. there's increasing pressure on what is euphemistically referred to as "improving graduation rates" i.e., decreasing the average length of time it takes to get a degree (to quote my niece who is in college now, "5 is the new 4"). That, coupled with a lot of other factors, is reducing the quality of a college education and consequently the value of a degree.
_________________________
Greg

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#510865 - 12/15/07 08:36 PM Re: Bachlor of arts
kissyana Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/07
Posts: 199
Loc: Northeast Illinois
I got a B.A. in Music, emphasis in piano ped. I have a full time office job to pay the bills and I teach part time. Soon I will be starting a home studio, which I hope to do full time down the road. That's what it's gotten me. I'm pretty happy with that because I can actually afford to have my own house and I just purchased a lovely Baldwin grand. And the health insurance and 401K don't hurt, either ;\)

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#510866 - 12/16/07 10:40 AM Re: Bachlor of arts
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13706
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Same as most other degrees:

Whatever you make of it.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#510867 - 12/16/07 07:10 PM Re: Bachlor of arts
thepianist2008 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/06
Posts: 191
Loc: NY
This is what I was told:

After you get you BA (or BM, Bachelor's in Music, you should really look into that), if you got it in Music Ed, you would go for your exam to get your teacher's certificate (at least in New York), and then you can teach high school with the stipulation that you must earn your Masters in a set amount of time (like 5 years). I plan to see school through the whole way and get a BM, MM, and hopefully DM/DA. Of course, I really want to teach piano at the university level, but I wouldn't mind training a chorus.
_________________________
Piano Hero Encore Rocks the 1800s!

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I'm going to Ithaca! Yay!!!

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#510868 - 12/17/07 11:35 AM Re: Bachlor of arts
Gabe Racz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/03/07
Posts: 119
Loc: Denver, Colorado, USA
Right, there's an important distinction between a BA in music and a BM degree. The BM degree typically has 3/4 of your coursework in music (so 90 out of 120 credits where I went to school) while a BA degree typically has 1/4 of your coursework in music and the rest in electives and "distribution" classes.

A BA in music is a more "well rounded" education, that's for sure. I got a BM, and whenever I get to math problems I tell people that all I learned in college was how to count to 4. When (musically knowledgeable) people ask, what about 6/8 time, I say that's just two 3s. \:D
_________________________
Schimmel 190E EP 103330

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#510869 - 12/17/07 01:36 PM Re: Bachlor of arts
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13706
Loc: Iowa City, IA
It's important to note that BA and BM - Performance degrees are not vocational. They provide, in very different ways, a musical education, but neither comes with any kind of certificate or credential that is vocationally relevant.

Music education and music therapy degrees do set one up for a more obvious vocational path.

As for what one can do with a BA/BM performance, I know people who went into sales/marketing, editing/publishing, recording, performing, arts administration, music ministry, composition/arranging, and private teaching with those degrees, but all had to make it happen. None of them got their jobs from classified ads, Monster.com, or job fairs. The jobs are out there, but the path to get them is not obvious and usually based on connections forged while seeking the degree. (Through freelance work, internships, word of mouth, or a variety of other means...)
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#510870 - 12/17/07 02:06 PM Re: Bachlor of arts
Eternal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/06
Posts: 1285
Loc: Posts: 80,372
 Quote:
Originally posted by C7 Player:
 Quote:
Originally posted by PoStTeNeBrAsLuX:
However anecdotal evidence I have heard/read over the years would suggest that the level and quality of such a qualification might perhaps be equivalent to a Masters from a US institution in any case.

-Michael B. [/b]
I've head and read the same thing (so it must be true!). In the U.S. there's increasing pressure on what is euphemistically referred to as "improving graduation rates" i.e., decreasing the average length of time it takes to get a degree (to quote my niece who is in college now, "5 is the new 4"). That, coupled with a lot of other factors, is reducing the quality of a college education and consequently the value of a degree. [/b]
I can't agree with that - at least not in the engineering/technical field. U.S. engineering schools are considered to be some of the best in the world. You won't see many American students in the colleges in Europe, or Asia, but you'll see plenty of foreigners (Europeans, Indians, Chinese) coming to the U.S. for their Master's and Doctoral Degrees.

I went to an engineering school, and there was a running joke about Art Degrees. I guess it was just the result of engineering students being jealous of the huge women-to-men ratio the Art places enjoyed. Here's the joke:

The graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work?" The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, "How does it work?" The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?" The graduate with an Arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"

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#510871 - 12/17/07 02:17 PM Re: Bachlor of arts
I. Bruton Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/04
Posts: 861
Loc: Raleigh
TheMadMan86;

Since I have obviously been down the path you are considering, I will be very "upfront" with you.

As my signature line reads, I do hold a B.A. Degree in Music Composition. I hold two jobs, one as a church music director, and one as a high school choral director. The knowledge that I gained as a composition major has more than prepared me for the tasks for which I am responsible on a daily basis. I work about 65 hours per week.

As for the argument about not making much money: I was approached on Saturday night after I conducted my church's Christmas Cantata (with orchestral accompaniment..you should have been there!). A pastor from another church, who's son I hired to play percussion asked me some relevant questions. He was concerned that his young musician would not be able to make it financially after graduation from college. I very frankly told him the same thing I'm about to tell you.

Making Music on a professional level does, in fact provide a pretty decent standard of living. I have a new home, two brand new cars, money in the bank, and a nice retirement package. Now, I obviously don't make physician's pay, but I like to think that I'm doing pretty well. Besides, I'm still relatively young. Like my father once said, I'm making the least amount of money that I ever will right now. So, if you want a career in music, and you're good enough as a performer and as a leader...then yes, you'll do fine. Just remember that there is a lot of competition for good jobs.

I should point out that I will be pursuing a Master's degree in the fall of '08. Also, you should consider getting national board certification if you go in to music education. In North Carolina, it amounts to a 12% pay increase. Hope this helps.
_________________________
I. Bruton
B.A. Music Composition
M.M. Music Education
High School Choral Director
Church Music Director
Pianos owned: Yamaha C3
Pianos at work: Yamaha P22, Kawai K3, Steinway B

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#510872 - 12/17/07 05:14 PM Re: Bachlor of arts
PoStTeNeBrAsLuX Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 2618
Loc: Geneva, Switzerland
Eternal:
but you'll see plenty of foreigners (Europeans, Indians, Chinese) coming to the U.S. for their Master's and Doctoral Degrees.

That's probably because they didn't get the grades to get into European post-grad courses \:D .

Joking aside, I am merely repeating countless anecdotal statements by both US and European graduate students/teachers who have experience both side of the pond, and those involved in graduate recruitment here. For many positions a European Bachelors degree is considered sufficient, but for a US student a Masters would be required. Make of that what you will... my postgraduate degree was from neither a US nor a European institution, so I don't really have a dog in this fight anyway \:\)

-Michael B.
_________________________
There are two rules to success in life: Rule #1. Don't tell people everything you know.

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#510873 - 12/17/07 07:27 PM Re: Bachlor of arts
Eternal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/06
Posts: 1285
Loc: Posts: 80,372
 Quote:
Originally posted by PoStTeNeBrAsLuX:
Eternal:
but you'll see plenty of foreigners (Europeans, Indians, Chinese) coming to the U.S. for their Master's and Doctoral Degrees.

That's probably because they didn't get the grades to get into European post-grad courses \:D .

Joking aside, I am merely repeating countless anecdotal statements by both US and European graduate students/teachers who have experience both side of the pond, and those involved in graduate recruitment here. For many positions a European Bachelors degree is considered sufficient, but for a US student a Masters would be required. Make of that what you will... my postgraduate degree was from neither a US nor a European institution, so I don't really have a dog in this fight anyway \:\)

-Michael B. [/b]
I was only talking about Engineering degrees (first hand experience, as someone who immigrated from Europe to the U.S. specifically to be able to get one here). My guess is that Europe would have better Humanities/Arts departments, but as far as innovation and technology the U.S. has been a leader for a long time, and will be for a little longer (until Asia takes over).

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#510874 - 12/17/07 08:26 PM Re: Bachlor of arts
soccer_daemon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/30/07
Posts: 128
This is an interesting discussion. While a
Bachelor of X may not get one in a job/career in
industry X. However, for
computer/networking/internet related
industries, one can quite easily get a job without
even a relevant degree at all. Go figure.

Also, the bit of comment that seems to come up
over and over again to make it successful in
music, one must be the 0.01% talented plus some
good luck which kind of make me feel good and bad
about it.

Good for I know that I won't be going down this
path to pursue a performing career and I will
mostly do it as self enjoyment.

Bad that I know I will never make it ....

For now just enjoy learning everyday! 8-)

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#510875 - 12/18/07 01:46 PM Re: Bachlor of arts
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17670
Loc: Victoria, BC
Fair warning : Off-topic soapbox rant!

We seem to be continuing this off-topic discussion, although it may be (indirectly) relevant to the original poster's question.

If one does think that US BA degrees are less substantive than those of European colleges and universities, there can be some explanation for that phenomenon. It also may be true that the following observations apply to trends in Europe as well. Perhaps one of our European colleagues can address the issue from his perspective.

The "me-generation" syndrome of the 80s led to many school administrations adopting a "lets-make-them-feel-good-about-themselves" policy in the 90s wherein every effort, however modest, was encouraged with kudos and no challenge was to be too strong for even the weaker students to meet. In other words, it resulted in a severe "dumbing-down" of academic curricula.

It is documented that this led many US Colleges and Universities in the 90s
1) to severly criticize the role of US high schools,
2) to observe that in-coming college freshmen could neither write nor spell in their native language, and
3) to instigate remedial English courses as a requirement for all in-coming students (in some colleges).

While many college students therefore had to spend some of their college time honing their English skills - particularly their writing skills - this meant that they had less time for more advanced work. It has been reported that some business and professionals hiring new college graduates regard the current BA degree as not much more than the equivalent of a good high school diploma of a couple of generations ago.

There seems to be little doubt that in some areas, particularly that of English language instruction, general trends - at least until the first few years of the current decade - were easing of college graduation requirements. The hue and cry from the business world, then, about the inability of many college graduates to write coherently is understandable.

One needs not go very far to see evidence of poor spelling, poor syntax, limited vocabulary use and a general lack of command of the mechanics of writing, even among those who are currently in college or who are recent college graduates.

Writers often excuse their poor skills by saying that "I was in a hurry, or, it was only a posting on the Internet; it wasn't a college paper that I was writing." The problem with this attitude is that carelessness and lack of attention to detail become habits that eventually characterize more and more of an individual's writing.

(Soapbox herewith relinquished)

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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#510876 - 12/18/07 02:52 PM Re: Bachlor of arts
kissyana Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/07
Posts: 199
Loc: Northeast Illinois
Kreisler has it right- the degree will get you whatever you make of it. All I have to say is if you decide to go for a degree, try your best. My only regret in my education is that I could have tried harder.

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#510877 - 12/18/07 02:52 PM Re: Bachlor of arts
drumour Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/05
Posts: 829
Loc: Scotland
No bragging about the British (English or Scottish) education system here. During the 1990s the maths dept at Cambridge(!) University dropped their entry qualifications twice. At some time during the '90s my old teacher (one of the university recommended private teachers) said that my generation knew more going into university than the present lot know on graduating - and she meant that in no glib sense. In the 90s an assistant teacher (B.Mus Hon 2/1)in the school music dept I headed was uncomfortable with creating musical arrangements for use with younger classes. And it will not surprise some people that I am embarrassed by the standard of English evidenced on internet forums by some of my compatriots.


John
_________________________
Vasa inania multum strepunt.

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#510878 - 12/18/07 03:23 PM Re: Bachlor of arts
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
 Quote:
Originally posted by PoStTeNeBrAsLuX:
Eternal:
but you'll see plenty of foreigners (Europeans, Indians, Chinese) coming to the U.S. for their Master's and Doctoral Degrees.

That's probably because they didn't get the grades to get into European post-grad courses \:D .[/b]
That's no doubt true of some, even if you don't admit it. The rest go because the US has all the money, and they want to plant themselves there. Finnish tertiary education has been claimed the best in the world by the World Economic Forum. Yet if you want to carry out some intricate research you'll need money.

The liberal remodeling of society hasn't caused much destruction here in Finland, because we are all white, and we have only one word for he/she. There hasn't been much "oppression" to get rid of by dumbing down education and turning the media into a tool of propaganda.

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