East Coast Music Schools and Music Careers

music student

For music majors, attending one of the top music conservatories can be the start to a lifelong career connected to music. On the West Coast there are some excellent universities with great music programs. Now, it's the East Coast's turn, with a round-up of eight terrific programs of all sorts, from Baltimore's Peabody to Rochester's snowy Eastman, as well as a jazz wonderland in Philadelphia and a university with 207 pianos in Ohio.

Got a would-be ethnomusicologist? There are schools for that, too.

If you've run across the incredibly confusing variety of bachelor's degrees issue - the bachelor of music, bachelor of arts in music or bachelor of science in music - you'll find an explainer here.

To be a musician - a great one - is a wonderful skill and takes a lot of hard work and practice, practice, practice, of course. However, parents of would-be maestros wonder - what can a music degree lead to for a career? Is it worth putting in the time and expense to get a degree in music, only to have to audition constantly and earn very little money?

There are many great ways to utilize a degree in music that go beyond performing. 

Educator: Talk to many music, voice and performance majors and they will tell you that there was at one time or another an educator who gave them the confidence and encouragement to develop their talent.

An educator can literally change the life of a young person, especially an educator who is as passionate about music as his students. 

Composer: If writing music is the primary focus of your student's interest, there are a lot of exciting and interesting ways to take that talent and turn it into a lucrative career.

Every video game, commercial, movie, television show and any other form of entertainment needs music to make it unique and exciting. If your young adult has a passion for gaming as well as music, she will be in a great position to offer her talents to the enormous amount of game developers.

Music Therapist: If helping people is on the radar, becoming a music therapist is a good choice. Using music to treat people with a variety of issues is very popular and can be quite effective. This will require an advanced degree, but it's worth taking a look at if empathy and compassion are strong parts of your young adult's personality.

Publicist: Big time musicians need publicists. If performing is not something your music lover wants to do, but being around music is, becoming a publicist is a good option. Publicists often travel with their clients, attend performances, work with the media and arrange for photo shoots. A good publicist can become an irreplaceable part of a celebrity's team.

Music Historian: For fanatics of music trivia and information, becoming a music historian is a natural fit. Music historians are needed for a variety of projects, ranging from academic textbooks to movies and theater.

If research and lists are among your young adult's favorite things, being a historian is will be a good choice.

Music Producer: Taking a song and giving it the personality and life it needs to reach people's hearts is what a producer does. The producer is the brains of any album, interpreting and tweaking arrangements and notes until every song makes sense to her and the performer.

Entertainment Lawyer: Getting a law degree and combining it with a music degree can give a lawyer a distinct advantage in working with clients in the music industry. Understanding how musicians make money and arranging contracts and deals for shows, licensing, compositions and more can not only be exciting but also very lucrative.

Piano Tuner: While this may sound like something you can do without a degree, the depth of knowledge and a keen ear for music that is on key is crucial to a well-tuned piano.

If a piano tuner develops a good reputation, he can be in great demand by everyone from the family on Main Street to the local symphony orchestra.