Music Programs In America
Areas of Study
The study of any of the performing arts, including music, provides a wide variety of educational and career options for artistic students. You can enter the first year of the bachelor's program at a secular or Christian university or 4-year college directly from high school and take a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (BM), Bachelor of Musical Arts (BMA), Bachelor of Science (BS) in Music or Music Education, or a Bachelor of Music Education (BMEd). The latter qualifies you for K-12 teacher certification in all US states upon graduation. In general, music programs range from liberal arts studies in music to professional performance programs. A five-year double major in music education and performance may also be available.
There are many instruments-including your own voice--and some programs will have you specialize in one, while others may train you in as many as 17! You may even learn how to repair instruments along the way. Specialization options in the BA in Music or Bachelor of Music usually include composition, performance, sacred music, choir/ voice, theory, jazz studies, music education, and many other areas. And within these there may be further specialization such as opera or choir for those studying voice. And don't forget to check out honors, double major, minor and interdisciplinary studies options. Some universities and 4-year colleges have specific Conservatories, Colleges or Schools devoted to music or various specific facets of music. Both secular and Christian liberal arts colleges in particular often offer arts programs like music, and there are also specialty colleges devoted exclusively to the arts, so make sure you look around!
Most university- and 4-year college-level programs in music combine theoretical, historical and cultural learning with practical, applied studio work, and often include public performances. In many cases, students are required to participate in a certain number of school ensembles or groups. Field trips and cultural outings expose students to various musical working situations "live." Class sizes are usually small, thereby giving students an intimate and personal education that encourages exploration and development of their talents. A degree in music is a good start to a career, or as a step towards a master's degree. Christian college music programs also prepare students for work in ministry or seminary studies.
Many community, technical and career colleges offer more technical music-related programs, with some colleges dedicated solely to this field. Their programs are usually 2-year associate's degrees-such as Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Fine Arts (AFA) and Associate of Applied Science (AAS). At these schools you can study audio recording and engineering in both analog and digital media, as well as music business. 1- to 3-year diplomas or certificates that prepare students for employment or provide professional certification may also be offered. These schools often maintain close ties with individuals and companies in the industry, and internships may be part of the curriculum.
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