How to Use Your Music Degree

Are you in music school and trying to decide what career or job to pursue? You can use your music degree in many ways, probably more ways than you’d think.

How to Use Your Music Degree | Hannah B Flute

Whether you want to play in a symphony or be an entrepreneur, you can make that happen. Keep reading for some ideas on how to use your degree.

The “Traditional” Ways

For a while, there were a couple of ways most music students would end up using their degree. If you majored in performance, you could get a job in an orchestra or some other ensemble, or you could perform solo.

Musicians who wanted to teach (but not in a K-12 school) could teach privately or teach at the college level. And of course, you could use a music degree to pursue an even higher music degree.

Non-Traditional Ways

While it’s important to consider some of the more traditional ways to use your degree, they aren’t your only options. Instead, you can find many music-related careers.

That way, you can still use music in your work, but you don’t have to worry about the increasing competition to get one of those coveted orchestral jobs or professor positions.

Consider a few options for a music-related career.

Arts Administration

Arts administration involves helping arts organizations with the non-artistic side of things. You can focus on things like programming or other day-to-day tasks that help the organization run.

This is a great field to get into if you like working with music but don’t want to teach or practice all day. You’ll get to work with musicians and other creatives, but it can be a bit more stable than some freelance type work.


If you like writing, consider going into music or arts journalism. You can start freelancing for different publications before you even graduate. Then, you can set yourself up for a successful writing career.

Even if you’re out of school, you can start doing this on the side or as your main gig. You can even focus on writing music blogs or other content. Music journalism is a very flexible career, so there’s something for everyone.


Music entrepreneurship is another option, and it can mean a lot of things. Of course, it can mean something similar to traditional performing or private teaching. But you can build a business that combines music with another interest or skill.

For example, I have this website where I sell digital downloads to help busy musicians manage their time and career. I know other musicians who have businesses that focus on body mapping, mindset, or performance anxiety.

Pursuing a Non-Music Career

Just because you have a music degree, you don’t have to do anything in music as a career. Whether you realize that a music career isn’t for you or you want to try something else, you can do so.

But you don’t have to feel like you aren’t using your degree in your work. In fact, music school can give you a lot of soft skills that work in almost any job.

Consider some soft skills you’ve learned.

Time Management

Time management is crucial in a lot of jobs because you have a lot to do in a short period. As a music student, you have a lot of classes, rehearsals, and lessons to manage. If you can’t take control of your time, you’ll have problems in both situations.

Now, if you still struggle with time management, feel free to schedule a consultation with me. I can help you figure out the problem so that you can use this skill whether you pursue a music career or not.

Project Management

In music school, you have to juggle solo music, ensemble music, and studying for academic classes. And once you reach your junior and senior years, you’ll have to give a recital.

Think of each of your pieces as a project. You have to manage them so that you can get them performance ready by a concert or recital date. In a lot of jobs, you’ll have the same thing with project deadlines.


Another beneficial skill is discipline, and that can also apply to most jobs. In music school, you will still need to practice, even when you don’t want to. So you need to make sure you have the ability to do something without motivation.

When you start working a job, you may also need discipline. After all, you have to be the one to get yourself up and ready for work in the morning. If you work for yourself, you’ll also have to be the one to make yourself do your work.


The experience you get playing in ensembles can help you with teamwork in various settings. If you need to work with someone else on a client project, you need to make sure you’re on the same page.

Working with others is also important when working within the company. That way, you can get things done while minimizing any conflict or drama. And that is super important.


Even if you don’t work on a team, you probably have to talk to people in your work. As you work with students and faculty during your music degree, you’ll have to learn how to communicate.

Not only does that mean knowing how to write and send an email, but it also can mean how to communicate in person. And if you can communicate well, you can probably do well in almost any job.

Using Your Music Degree

Whether you want to pursue a more traditional music career or not do anything related to music, you can use your music degree. Music school is tough, and it takes a lot of work. But it does offer some benefits no matter what you do after graduation.

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