Careers for Music Performance Majors

Music performance can be a stressful major. But there are plenty of careers for music students after they graduate.

Careers for Music Performance Majors | Hannah B Flute

If you want to plan ahead for your future, consider some career options. Then, you can figure out a plan for how to reach your goals.


Probably one of the most obvious careers for music performance majors is a career on stage. However, you can go a lot of different ways with this. If you play an orchestral instrument, you can audition for orchestras.

Jazz musicians may join or form a jazz group. Other musicians can perform in a chamber group or two. Anyone can perform as a soloist and tour around playing with various orchestras.

Vocalists can join an opera company, instrumentalists can play in pit orchestras. Pianists may decide to focus on collaborative piano. The options are endless, so you can make performing work.

Private Teaching

If you like sharing your knowledge with others, you can start a private studio teaching lessons on your instrument. You can do this by setting up a studio in your home and having students come to you.

Another option is to commute to your students, which does justify charging a higher rate for lessons. Of course, you can also look for a local music studio that hires teachers so that you don’t have to market yourself.

Finally, a lot of music teachers have learned how to teach online. That gives you access to students all over the world. You don’t have to worry about living in an area with a lot of people who want to learn your instrument.

Download the Where to Teach Workbook to learn more!

Collegiate Teaching

If you want a job with the potential for more security (though there’s still no guarantee), you can become a professor. This is one of the more competitive careers for music performance majors.

Oftentimes, you’ll need a doctorate degree. Maybe you can apply with only a master’s but a higher degree can give you an edge. So keep that in mind before you pursue this path because degrees take time and money.

However, if you’re lucky, you may land a tenure track position. Then, you can maintain your job for years and get benefits. Those are things you don’t get in most music careers.

Arts Administration

If you want to learn about the other side of music, consider pursuing a career in arts administration. You can work for an orchestra, a music school, or any other art organization.

That way, you can still be involved in music, but you don’t have to practice all hours of the day. You also have more options regarding where you live since you don’t have to move somewhere specific for an orchestra or college job.

Depending on the job, you may even be able to work remotely. Plus, you’ll have some stability with your schedule and income. You can always perform or teach privately on the side.

Music Entrepreneurship

Music entrepreneurship is more of a path than a specific career. However, it’s a fantastic option for music performance majors. You can do just about anything that involves creating your own opportunities.

Maybe you create an online course for your instrument. Or you might set up an online concert series where you perform over the internet. If you’re like me, you might be interested in starting a blog for your instrument.

Think about any ideas you have for projects. Then, you can set up a website or something to help get them going. Soon enough, you may have enough projects going to make for a full career.

Music Journalism

If you enjoy writing, another one of the best careers for music majors is music journalism. You can work as a freelance writer or try to land a full-time position as a writer or editor.

To work full-time, you may need to focus on the larger area of arts journalism. But you can look for stories as they relate to music. Another option is to start your own publication online where you share news.

You can pitch yourself and your work to editors who may need stories. Now, it can take a while to get this career going. But if you enjoy writing and care about the news, you may enjoy it.

Music Librarianship

Knowing how to read music and knowing about music history can help you become a music librarian. You can work for an orchestra and help organize the sheet music for the ensemble.

Another option is to work in a library itself. You can help customers find the books and resources they need. So you could work in a public library or at a university or college.

This career is great for people who like to read and who like to help others. It also takes a good amount of organizational skills. Plus, you may need to get a degree in library science to break into the field.


Believe it or not, majoring in music performance can help prepare you for a career in medicine. You have to learn how to work with others and how to connect with the people around you.

Medicine can be a difficult field, and it can be hard to get into medical school. But the soft skills you learn in music school can apply to any career. You may need to take some science classes outside of your music courses.

However, the time management and work ethic you develop as a performer will come in handy. You’ll learn how to work well under pressure, which can help you if you decide to become a doctor.

Whatever You Want

You can go into just about any career field you want when you have a performance degree. Of course, some careers will be easier to break into, but you can make your goals happen.

As with medicine, the soft skills you learn as a musician are useful in all industries. So you could get a job at a bank or on a marketing team. This can be good if you want some stability or if you feel burned out by music.

Of course, some careers will require certification. You can’t just become a public school teacher. But music can help you in almost anything you choose to do after graduation.

The Best Careers for Music Majors: In Review

Some of the best careers for music performance majors are obvious. But others may not be as clear, so consider all of your options.

Then, you can find a career that you enjoy doing. Soon enough, you may start to look forward to going to work each day.

Do you want to start a career that involves freelancing? Download The Freelance Solution today!

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