Should My Child Get a Music Degree?

Should my child get a music degree

Should my child get a music degreeMusic is a controversial topic, especially when it comes to studying it in college.  It can sometimes even become a family controversy when a child comes to mom and dad with a desire to go to college to major in music and mom and dad aren’t so sure of what to think.

In this post we will discuss if music is a good degree to study, who should study it, some options you as the parent can do if you think your child shouldn’t study music, and what you can do with a music degree after you graduate.

There are many benefits to studying music; there are also a lot of negatives about studying music. What are the benefits and negatives of studying music?

When you are music major, you are required to practice a lot in addition to the surprisingly-for-some heavy academic education required. This takes away a lot of social time from your child. This can also be a huge benefit if your child tends to get in trouble with too much free time.

Music majors in college also tend to create a stronger bond than most other majors in college. They are spending time in ensembles with their fellow classmates; they gig with them, and they have classes with them.  College kids majoring in music just naturally have a built in network of friends, understanding fellow students, and support.

A negative about music degree programs is that they one of the few degrees that a student can be kicked out of half way through if he or she is not good enough.

On the bright side, when you are working on a degree in music, you get to do what you love the most.

Music is a good degree to study as long as you are ok with the negative parts about being a music major.

There is also one other thing parents will find themselves wondering about and perhaps even worrying over, especially if they have never known of someone in the field of music before… Can a person make a living in music?

People make their living in music all the time!  There are thousands of music degree jobs in every city.  A better question might be, is your child good enough at their specialty to make it?   A second question that follows that is, do they have the willingness and determination to earn a living in music even if they need to work outside their music specialty a bit to do so?

If they are a performer, then they will be competing against very good musicians. If they want to study conducting, they will be going up against conductors with 20 years experience. Not everyone is going to make a living in music exactly the way they thought might happen.  Some may not get a music job at all. But many people DO get jobs with a music degree.

Who should get a music degree? Someone who is truly in love with music should get a music degree. If they are not willing to put all their eggs in the music basket, they are not ready to study music.

Being a music major will prepare your child to become a professional musician or at least to work in the music industry.  If they are considering something else, then they are probably not meant to be a professional musician.

What if your child wants to study music even though if appears they shouldn’t?  Are you concerned and think music isn’t the best option for your child?

Why not make a deal with them to get both of your needs met?

You could make a deal that if they study music in college, they will get a double major, or promise to do a masters in something other than music.

Parenting without being considerate of and working with your older high school or college age child can have dangerous relational consequences.  Unless you want your children to blame you later on in life, do not bribe them out of music. Guide them, but do so making sure they are happy. If they were not meant to be a music major, they will find that out on their own.

What can you do with a music degree? There are thousands of options. Probably the most common job in music is teaching, either a band director at a school or private teaching.  A good private teacher can make a lot of money.

Every time you see a band at a restaurant or bar they are getting paid.

Churches hire music ministers that lead the music.

There are instrument repair companies that have luthiers that repair instruments.

There is no shortage of jobs in music.

There are a lot of good and bad things about getting a music degree, and if your child wants to be a music major, it can be one of the most fulfilling things anyone can do.  Just help your child be realistic before jumping into it.  Majoring in music is hard, and so is making a living at it.  Some people are just not made to be music majors, but when they are, that’s a blessing that shouldn’t be wasted.

Guide them in a direction that will make them happy and prepare them for a future in what they want, but also keep them safe in case something goes wrong. There are many jobs, and you can make money in music. Blessings!

A special thanks to Scott Stevens at for this article written for parents on “Should my child get a music degree”.

If you have a budding young musician who is considering a music degree in college, you might direct them to Scott’s other article “Should you get a music degree in college” written to them at has online guitar lessons and also provides related information about earning a living as a musician and music education that will help a guitarist learn his trade at a high level.

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