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Studies & Degrees in Music

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Music Study Programs

Level: Undergraduate Bachelors     Location: Madrid

Music is a form of art that encourages people to express themselves. While some argue that music is just the vibration in the air that human ears then decipher, there are also those who will go as far as to saying music is their life. Sometimes, music does make life seem better. It has the ability to help a stressed out person to just lay back, relax and let the music do its job. One thing is for sure though, no matter what one’s definition of music is, different groups of people have their own distinct music that distinguishes them from the rest. And that is one of the reasons why there isn’t a single and universal definition of music. What could be soothing sounds for a group of people could be excruciating noise for another. Everyone has their own preferences and sometimes, music can even influence one’s life. That is how big of a deal music really is. While there are people who don’t really take music seriously, it is a well known fact that music is a very basic and integral part of human life. First of all, it distinguishes the human race from animals since people can create more intricate musical patterns, especially with the help of good old electricity and other kinds of technological advancements. And another is that it provides an insight into a person or a group of people’s lives.

As we all know, different generations have spawned lots of different kinds of music. Today, people can jokingly tell your age by asking what kind of music you listen to. Before, – and truthfully, even now, actually – some people can also tell your socioeconomic standing based on your musical preference. If you’re a fan of classical music, then some people can infer that you’re high up on the social strata. But if you like, say, underground punk music, or even indie, then you’re one of those on the lower half. Also, today’s culture dictates that when you like pop (popular) music, then you can probably sympathize more with those belonging to the “low culture”. Basically, low culture is a derogatory term for those who like pop music, current bestselling books and blockbuster movies. But then again, that is just a way of categorizing and dividing people – man’s attempt at a so-called semblance of order.

Despite being seen as less important than for example, mathematics, many people can still see the importance of music; thus there’s a need for studying it and refining the different techniques in connection to it. There are also those who go the extra mile and study music as an undergraduate course and further their studies by undergoing music graduate programs. Graduate degrees include Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts. These people go on to making careers out of producing music, working for different labels who undertake bands or solo artists and sometimes, they go on to even write and perform their own music on different stages across the globe.

Job positions for Music:

Music Therapist

Music therapy is a good way to enrich lives by helping people become more aware of their own selves. It also helps people explore and express their emotions, and, best of all, encourages people to connect with other people. Music therapy is mostly interpersonal and it uses the different facets of music in order to help a person improve one’s self – either physically, emotionally, mentally or even spiritually. A Music Therapist can help people of all ages – from young kids to elderly people.

A Music Therapist can help a child overcome shyness, fear and a string of other negative emotions that can hinder his or her growth. A Music Therapist can do this by encouraging children to be involved in a series of activities that makes use of music. Singing, dancing and learning new instruments can also help children become more attentive, socially adept and well-behaved than children who rarely do those things. A Music Therapist can also do wonders for elderly people who are recovering from surgery or diseases. So in short, a Music Therapist is similar to a psychologist or therapist except that they always make use of music and sounds.

A person who has an innate love for music and at the same time has a genuine desire to help others is a good candidate for a career in music therapy. People who choose music therapy are often inclined to both medicine/psychology and music. So in order to become an excellent music therapist, excellent musicianship is also required. One must be able to fully understand the power of singing, music and other kinds of sounds. It’s also ideal that one is inclined to using instruments such as the guitar and piano since many institutions favor music therapists who can play instruments as well. The ability to sing is also another factor that can be taken into consideration when looking for a music therapist.

There are other requirements that future Music Therapists must also possess. First of all, budding music therapists are often required to undergo therapy in order for them to be of sound mind and body. It is unheard of for a music therapist to have past issues left unresolved. They can only truly help other people when they themselves are healed.
There are many career options for music therapists. They can be practitioners, clinicians, professors and so on. The salary depends on a music therapist’s number of years in the field, experience, expertise and of course, the employer or company. But a typical music therapist could earn US$39,000 a year in the US. It is important to note that governmental institutions can give a higher salary than those from the private sector. But it really depends on the music therapist’s background, experience and so on. But really, the salary is not as important as being able to help others. For those who love both music and helping other people, a music therapist is a dream job that can give a great amount of satisfaction.

Music Journalist

What do you get when you combine a love for music and the written word? What else, but, music journalism. It is a rare talent to have both an ear for good music and the ability to pen words that accurately – and artistically – describe music. So what does a Music Journalist really do? Well, they listen to music, critique it and then write it down for others to read. Since there are lots of new genres of music today, and even more solo artists and bands under each genre, many people prefer to rely on a music journalist’s word and listen to a band or artist that a reliable music journalist applauded.

A music journalist’s work isn’t limited to criticizing new bands. Some music journalists prefer to exclusively write reviews about new albums, tours, concerts, musicals and even instruments. Usually, they either say Yay or Nay; encouraging or discouraging other people to listen to this particular band or artist. But if their reactions are negative, music journalists tend to have a more subtle approach because by disapproving this genre of music or this band, they also put their own careers at stake.

There is also a different kind of Music Journalist who specializes in doing interviews with the people who are directly involved like, the band members or even the manager. This kind of journalist needs to be able to put other people at ease, relate to new people they haven’t met and basically conduct a good interview. This is a difficult job since not everyone can be at ease in other people’s company and at the same time be very knowledgeable about the music industry and be a good interviewer to boot. But of course, there are also those who can combine writing reviews and conducting interviews at the same time.
A Music Journalist can work in different places. The most obvious is to go and work for a music magazine. But many women’s and men’s magazines also do features on new music or instruments. Album reviews are the most common, along with interviews with the band members or artist. Newspapers also cover different kinds of music related news and an interview with a passing touring band is also common. But when it comes to music journalism, the Internet is one of the best places to have an article published.

There are pros and cons when it comes to music journalism. The pros are that one can work closely with one’s favorite musicians, gain access to after parties and concerts and of course, you can hear about the latest music before the rest. The cons are that you have to work really hard in order to produce just one article or interview and the salary hugely depends on your abilities.

Music journalists usually work freelance and that’s the reason why the salary could go way up one day and plummet tomorrow. But journalists working for a publication get a set salary and a bonus for a job well done.