10 Alternative Ways to Use Your Music School Degree in the Real World

music teacher at the blackboard

+ Take your modern jazz piano and hip-hop beat making to new heights with Soundfly’s new course, Elijah Fox: Impressionist Piano & Production!

When most musicians go to college to advance their craft, they typically have a few career goals in mind. Most often, performing is at the top of the list. And even more often, teaching is something almost everyone ends up doing in one way or another at some point in their career, if not as the end game.

But there are so many different avenues you can explore when figuring out how to put your music degree to work.

Incorporating music into one’s living is a dream come true for so many of us, and sometimes that dream is achieved through a path less traveled that you didn’t even know existed! Here are 10 occupations you have immediate access to with a degree from a higher-education music institution.

1. Sound Designer

Use your musical ear and prowess to create the aural atmosphere of various performance venues! Sound designers work in traditional performance locations and can also work on films or in interactive media like video games (see below) or operating systems to help curate and create the auditory elements involved.

2. Music Therapist

Looking for a fulfilling music career? Working in music therapy may be the path for you! Use your musical abilities and performance experience to help those who need it most in a variety of healthcare settings. Music is being more and more accepted as an alternative form of treatment to ailing patients, and research is increasingly demonstrating the benefits it has on overall human healing and wellbeing. Being able to make a difference with the thing you love the most? Now what could be better than that?!

+ Read more on Flypaper: “7 Transferable Music Skills That Companies Want.”

3. Accompanist

Good accompanists are always in demand for leading performers, ensembles, music schools, churches, theaters, rehearsal facilities, and more. It’s a great way to keep your chops strong and earn doing something you enjoy, while also making great contacts!

4. Cruise Ship Performer

Cruise gigs are a fun (and lucrative) way to see the world and perform (at sea!). You don’t need to worry about standard “room and board” expenses, get access to incredible amenities, and visit the most beautiful places on Earth. Plus the crowd is always out and ready to enjoy what you have to offer every single show!

5. Online Music Teacher

Whether you want to work for yourself as your business, or bring on additional team members to help you grow, opening your own online music school is a great idea for entrepreneurially-equipped individuals. Set your own schedule, design a curriculum around your individual creativity, enjoy all the benefits that come with small business ownership, and have the opportunity to create the optimal music education experience you wish you had to inspire the next generation of musicians!

+ Learn how to marry theory, improvisation, and beat making to become a better pianist and producer, with Grammy-winner Kiefer’s Keys, Chords, & Beats.

Kiefer: Keys, Chords, and Beats

6. Military Band Performer

Bet you didn’t expect to see this one on here! A very fun (and noble!) job, being a military band performer allows you to have steady employment with lots of perks like housing and food allowances, serious tax deductions, and competitive pay.

7. Music Administrator or Advisor

Want to use music in a more corporate-style setting? Consider being a music administrator, where you have the opportunity to work with all different types of organizations to help musicians prosper through providing steady technical and administrative support for both for and nonprofit entities.

+ Read more on Flypaper: “The 6 Biggest Obstacles to Wellness for Freelancers

8. Session Musician

As you grow your professional network in the music industry, session work can become extremely profitable and steady. Become a sought-after talent in your local area, and you’ll get to be in the mix with the best of them playing for different artists, labels, studios, tours, and more, soon enough.

9. Video Game Music Composer

Scoring for any time of media is an exciting job, but in films and TV it tends to get a bit competitive in this small subset of the industry. On the other hand, global entertainment companies are always in need of the soundtracks for their video games and digital media content.

So, you can use your musical knowledge and ability to enhance the gameplay and theatrical experiences of the user, while earning a sweet check in the process! What’s more; most video game composers get to work remotely as an independent contractor, making their own schedules and working as much (or as little) as they’d like from virtually anywhere they want.

10. Music Supervisor

The person behind every music placement choice you see through all types of visual media every day. Being a music supervisor immerses you in both new music releases and great library tracks all day long while you oversee the purchase options for TV shows, films, advertisements, and the like.

Not a bad way to spend your day as a music lover!

Play Your Heart Out!

Continue your learning adventure on Soundfly with modern, creative courses on songwriting, mixing, production, composing, synths, beats, and more by artists like KieferKimbraCom TruiseJlinRyan Lott, RJD2, and our newly launched Elijah Fox: Impressionist Piano & Production.

Jlin: Rhythm, Variation, & Vulnerability

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