Postgraduate courses in Music

We all love to turn on a tune and sing our hearts out, be it in the shower or on a long car drive. Music is one way to feed the soul and that cannot be denied.

For good reason, many people desire a career in music. There are plenty of routes you can take in doing so let’s begin your search to a postgraduate degree right here!

What work can I do?

In music, there are different routes you can take. There are quite a few different options so to give you an idea of roles, here is a music teaching career broken down into their specific roles and duties. There is a list of other options below but for now, let’s look at this example. Duties carried out daily may vary. 

Music Teacher (private)

  • Teach musical instruments 
  • Plan classes ahead of time 
  • Teach techniques, scales, music theory 
  • Prepare students for exams
  • Prepare students for auditions and live performances
  • Update parents on child’s progress

Music Teacher (school)

  • Teach different genres of music
  • Teach music theory 
  • Prepare students for practical exams
  • Plan and implement teaching programme into lessons
  • Liaise with students and their parents on students progress
  • Teach singing to students from all levels – beginners to advanced

Courses

There are quite a number of music courses to choose from across the UK. Some courses offer the opportunity to study part time and full time and under current Covid-19 restriction, some universities may have their own plans. It is important to research a specific course in full. Examples of courses on offer are:

PGCE Secondary Music

If you’re looking to go down the route of teaching then these courses are for you. Students will develop their own knowledge and skills in music in order to pass on their expertise to music students. Courses in this area prepare you to teach students from ages 11-18 and will usually include a school placement period. 

Audio Technology

These courses are generally aimed at those with a degree in Music Technology, Sound Production, Creative Computing and Interactive Media courses. Key focuses include music production, music computing and creativity. Students will gain experience and knowledge in techniques such as recording and mixing/mastering, audio programming and musical interference development.

Music Performance

This is the perfect for those who hope to reach the highest level of music performance they can. Often in courses like this, students will receive one-to-one instrumental or vocal sessions. As well as improving their performance skills, those who take a course like this will also develop their research skills, collaborative skills, ensemble and publicity skills.

There are also courses available in areas such as Sound Production, Sound Design, Songwriting, Composition, Applied Psychology of Music, Music and Wellbeing and Music and Management, to name a few. 

Entry Requirements

Each course may differ in their specific entry requirements, however, most require an honours  degree (2.2 or above). Some courses may prefer a 2.1 honours degree while others require a 2.1. Some will also request an honours degree in a relevant field such as Music while others will accept any form of an honours degree.

Each individual course requirements can be found on course overviews or on University websites. 

Salary expectation

Your salary will depend on the direction you take. For example, as a music teacher, your average annual gross salary would be around £37,000. Music therapists can earn between £30,000 to £37,000 working with the NHS and can earn a higher salary with experience. Location can also play a role in these salaries. Sound engineers earn an average of £25,500.

Job options 

There are a few directions you can take with a music degree. Some examples are:

  • Music teacher – schools or private
  • Musician
  • Music producer
  • Sound engineer 

Help to produce recording or assist with live performances in balancing and changing sound sources using audio effects by mixing, manipulating and reproduce sound 

  • Music therapist 

Design music for individuals based on their needs -assess emotional well being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities and cognitive skills through music responses

Potential Employers

Potential employers of music graduates include:

  • Education – schools, colleges
  • Music production companies
  • Music retailers
  • Orchestras
  • Summer camps

Skills and requirements

  • Confident in own ability
  • Strong communication skills
  • Strong concentration
  • Creative
  • Good memory
  • Self discipline 
  • Critical thinker 
  • Work well with others
  • Good planning skills
  • Organisation skills

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