Career Opportunities After Graduation

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Musicians are creative workers, resourceful performers, and quality problem-solvers. These are all good characteristics to have in any job, but they are also traits that enable a person to get a job in the first place. After graduation, Frost School of Music alumni find themselves in a wide range of positions, from professionally performing to teaching new students to running community organizations. As a musician, what are your career opportunities? It all depends on your personal interests and prior experiences.

What Can I Do During My Degree to Improve My Job Prospects After I Graduate?

One of the best ways to optimize your job prospects before graduation is to garner as much real-world experience as possible. Internships, collaborative ensemble work, and conference presentations are three ways to build up your resume in unique ways while you are still a student. At this point, taking classes alone is not enough. There are far too many graduates who already have a basic degree. Standing out is all about the extra things you do: the extracurriculars you participate in, the original field research you conduct for written projects, and the performance competitions you win. These are the characteristics that can set you apart in the competitive field of work throughout your career.

What is the Job Market Like for Recent Keyboard Grads?

The good news is that the field of music is growing and there are more interested students than ever before. Although competitions continue to remain cut-throat and winning spots are few, there are many other ways for recent keyboard grads to forge a career and make money. Teaching, arts administration, and music directing are just a few of the ripe opportunities in the current job market. Talking to current faculty and other recent graduates of the program is one way to learn more about what kinds of opportunities are available in your region. Working professionally as any kind of artist, musical or otherwise, is all about resourcefulness. Think about the range of skills you have. What do you want to spend your days doing? How can you do that creatively?

Will A Keyboard Degree Make Me a Better Performer?

A keyboard degree will absolutely make you a better performer. There is no replacement for the level of attention and quantity of time you will receive as a keyboard student. You will be uniquely positioned to improve your craft significantly in a short amount of time. There are many musical skills you can learn yourself, but receiving feedback from world-class faculty can help you work to improve weak areas of your performances you had not previously been aware of. Additionally, a keyboard degree can open doors to performance opportunities you would not have had access to as a non-student. The risks are too great to forego a degree. If you can attain a degree, you should.

Will A Keyboard Degree Prepare Me to Teach?

Many teaching opportunities are available to keyboard students. Whether you take on private students, garner an assistantship, or get to teach in a community context, each experience teaches you something about what it means to instruct others. The best way to learn how to teach is by doing it. Additionally, your teaching opportunities in the future may be improved if you already have had the chance to work from the instructor’s side of the classroom. Reach out to your program faculty and the school’s career center to see what kinds of opportunities may be available to you while you are still a student.

Besides Teaching, What Jobs are Available to Recent Keyboard Graduates?

Some recent keyboard grads aren’t interested in teaching, and that’s okay. If you haven’t reached the level yet where you can perform full time, but you don’t want to teach, a range of jobs are open to you including the following:

  • Administration at a music school
  • Arts administration at a musical nonprofit
  • Accompanying and gigging
  • Working in music promotions and advertising
  • Working as an entertainment law paralegal
  • Basic sound engineering and technical assistance
  • Instrument repair
  • Further education

There are as many music careers as there are musicians. Your school’s alumni network and career services office can be a valuable resource if you’re unsure about what career move to make next.

What If I Want to Enter Another Music-Related Area Like Entertainment Law or Music Therapy?

A keyboard degree is a great foundation for students who may want to focus on one area of a music-related field in the future. Entertainment law, music therapy, and other degrees all require advanced study. That being said, you’ll need to get a bachelor’s degree first. A keyboard degree works well for those students who want to get an M.S., an M.M., a J.D., or a music-related master’s certificate later on. Consulting with both departments—your bachelor’s departmental home base and the office of your intended master’s program—is a good idea. You’ll be able to plan ahead and be fully prepared for what is to come.


How Do I Figure Out Which Degree Will Prepare Me For My Career?

These days, there is a wider variety of music-related degrees than ever before. Some students feel simply overwhelmed with all of the choices. If you don’t know exactly what you want to be doing in ten years, should you start a degree now? The answer is yes. If you know you want to do something in a musical field, but you don’t know what, college is one way to get some experience in figuring out what you want. This is especially true if funding is available. The Frost School provides students with state-of-the-art facilities, world-class faculty, and a cohort of motivated peers who are passionate about music. Career opportunities after graduation are waiting for new alumni who’ve built momentum over the course of their degrees.