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Music Careers | Open College of the Arts | Qualifications for Music Careers
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Music Careers

Looking to pursue a career in music?

There are so many options out there if you’re interested in pursuing music professionally.

While it can be very competitive, a career in music can be exciting, creative, dynamic, and take you all around the globe. Classical music composition opens many doors, from working with an orchestra on stage, to composing scores for TV and film. It’s common for musicians to combine a portfolio career with regular employment; use your ear to be a sound technician, or take on roles at a music production company to gain insights.

Prospects have guides on where your music career can take you. The National Careers Service have a specific guide on routes as a classical musician. In order to get exposure and have your music heard, you could access BBC Introducing, and the Musicians Union have advice and networking opportunities. Mandy is a good site to join and create your own profile.

Employers will be looking for musical talent and experience. Whether you go into music production, performance, composition, teaching, or any of the many exciting career paths in the field of music – you’ll need a strong technical foundation that can be really enhanced by a qualification in music.

What qualifications do you need for a career in music?

Unless you pursue a music career in certain fields – like therapy or teaching – there aren’t necessarily any required qualifications. However, there are courses that can help develop your technical skills, enhance your creativity, and help you gain the experience to open doors along your career path.

If you’re considering teaching and find yourself wondering what qualifications you need to be a music teacher, this depends on what level you’re looking to teach – but the majority of jobs in music education will require similar qualifications as a starting point.

So, what qualifications does a music teacher need? Most teacher training courses require you to have a degree relevant to the subject you’re looking to teach, so if you want to become a music teacher, a bachelor’s degree in music is a great place to start.

If you want to start a career in therapy and you’re thinking about what qualifications are needed to be a music therapist, you’ll need to hold a master’s degree in music therapy. To take a master’s course like this, you’ll need to have completed a bachelor’s degree such as music and may also need to have experience working with vulnerable people.

Music qualifications such as BA (Hons) Music, Open Foundation Music, or a combined bachelor’s like a BA (Hons) in Creative Arts are fantastic ways to improve your skills and gain recognised qualifications enabling you to take the next steps in your music career. OCA’s courses are open access, meaning anyone can enrol regardless of previous qualifications.

Learn about OCA's foundation and degree-level music courses
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