Hello Colleen, how many ways can I utilize a degree in music? I am finishing my AA, and desperately want to get a BA in some kind of musical training. I love to sing and perform but can’t decide if I should go for what I love, or what will “pay”? Please give me some hope!
Even though a BA may not offer guaranteed work, it is now a baseline requirement for most opportunities. I don’t find this reality entirely motivational but all the same, it’s true. That aside, I feel the most important reason to get a BA is self development. A BA will expand you in every direction. You will gain a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses and how those relate to your passions. You will be challenged and stretched in every direction. We can continue learning for life…but often it is our BA that really teaches us how to learn. We grow our brain, increasing our capacity for learning. Our world view and view of ourselves expand. It’s the best! I highly recommend getting a BA and studying what you love!
What we gain from a BA may not initially be quantifiable. After all, the most important benefit of education is self enrichment, which is not exactly a skill per se. But, to be sure, you will learn skills at college, and everything you learn you will utilize one way or another! An education can be expensive and it is natural to be concerned about money, but I encourage you to place that concern lower on your totem pole for now. Even without the assurance of guaranteed work after you finish your BA, as long as you’re in it 100% it will be worth every penny. Earn a BA because you love yourself and you love to learn! How you utilize the skills you gain at college will be up to you!
When we pay for a BA we are not only paying for the classes but also for the environment. The people you meet and are surrounded by are at least 50% of the education and that percentage is even higher for continued study. When choosing a program it is really important to get a feel for the other students and the general vibe because the people you meet in your BA program will be your future colleagues, as well as continued sources of support and inspiration. This has been especially true for me from my masters program. I am now part of a huge network of amazing self-actualized people who are working musicians and creative artists. Some have branched out from their degree focus and are now doing what is more authentically their own thing. It’s incredibly inspiring to see what everyone is doing and how we are all growing.
If you do enroll in a full time bachelor’s program, know that full time study can be difficult if you have other family obligations or have to work too much. It is important to be in a position to immerse yourself into your studies. It’s a gift to have the time to focus on your own growth. If you enroll in a full time BA program, it would be best to not work anymore than 10 hours per week. Not working at all is preferable so that all of your energy can be focused on either yourself related to your schooling or on your family. This is enough. Balance and focus are both critical in getting the most out of an education. Choose a school and a major that you are really excited about. The excitement will motivate you along the way.
Now, About Money: Money is a common worry for everyone and especially creative artists. Part two addresses our concerns about money and challenges how we think of money! …Continue to Part 2: Money
College is part 1 of a 4 part series addressing the question at the top of this post:
How many ways can I utilize a degree in music? I am finishing my AA, and desperately want to get a BA in some kind of musical training. I love to sing and perform but can’t decide if I should go for what I love, or what will “pay”? Please give me some hope!