For more advanced music careers, earning an online Master’s degree in music is imperative. Although you can always pursue a Doctoral degree as well, at the Master’s level is an abundance of rewarding career opportunities. Today, there is a growing number of people choosing to complete higher education online because this method is convenient and often, more affordable.
Top-Rated Schools Offering Online Music Masters Degrees
Earning an online Master’s degree in music has become so popular that incredible colleges and universities are located throughout the country. However, you will need to search for schools that offer programs for the preferred area of specialization. Other considerations include instructor style and experience, classroom connectivity, overall program outline, and cost. Of course, the most important criterion is that the school has appropriate accreditation through the National Association of Schools of Music.
Below are a few of the colleges and universities that make earning an online Master’s degree in music possible.
Anderson University – This school is located in South Carolina and ranks high for its Master of Music Education program. In addition to convenient online education, on-campus workshops are also available.
Boston University – Since 1872, this university has been providing students with music education. Today, programs are diverse, well-rounded, and taught by world-renown educators, scholars, and performers.
California State University – The Master’s degree program through CSU is nationally recognized. While there are different emphases, the Master of Music Therapy is considered one of the best available.
Kent State University – Using a practical approach, online students have the ability to join in with real time classroom instruction, which is based on innovative and research-based applications.
University of Florida – Yet another great choice for earning an online Master’s degree in music, this school offers diversity, flexibility, and affordability.
University of West Georgia – For advanced music education and training, the Master of Music Education program is ranked among one of the best. All instruction is provided by faculty with regional, national, and even international reputation for excellence.
A Master of Music is the first graduate degree specific to music that combines advanced studies within an applied area of specialty such as composition or performance, as well as academic study in a variety of subjects to include pedagogy, history, and theory, among others. One important note is that a Master’s degree in music theory, ethnomusicology, and musicology is usually the Master of Arts degree but it is of the same caliber and carries the same weight when it comes to career options.
Based on the area of specialization, you can earn any one of the following degrees:
Master of Music Composition
Master of Music Education
Master of Music History and Literature
Master of Music Instrumental / Vocal Performance
Master of Music Theory
Master of Music Therapy
Whether earning an online Master’s degree in music or one through a more traditional college or university, this program usually takes two to three years to complete although it can take longer. Remember, to be accepted into a Master’s degree program, you must have a Bachelor’s degree and most educational institutions require a B average or higher.
If interested in earning an online Master’s degree in music with emphasis on instrumental and/or performance, some colleges and universities require you to audition. If you want to pursue a degree with emphasis in conducting, a video recording that features live performances or rehearsals may also be mandatory for admission into the program. Finally, for a Master of Music in Composition, be prepared to submit a portfolio consisting of compositions, live performance recordings, and scores.
While not something that all online colleges and universities require, sometimes a Master’s degree program mandates a sub-specialization within a cognate area of music that contributes to the area of specialization. However, there are also some educational institutions that allow a sub-specialization outside of the music field to be chosen but only if it supports both academic and professional goals.
Recitals and comprehensive examinations are also common components of earning an online Master’s degree in music. Although advanced pieces are usually required for recitals, each college and university has specific criteria. Another aspect of recitals for some schools is known as the “lecture-recital”, which consists of giving a lecture for each recital piece played or performed. As far as examinations, some schools also require testing for the area of specialization.
Because studies associated with this degree are more advanced than those for a Bachelor’s degree, you will ultimately have more career opportunities. As a general rule, to teach music, you need a Master of Music degree at minimum. However, earning an online Master’s degree in music allows you to focus on a specific area of interest, which then opens unique career possibilities accordingly.
For example, having completed a Master of Music degree program, you will possess the knowledge and skills needed to perform, conduct, compose, arrange, research, teach, and so on. There are opportunities in other fields as well to include medicine. With a Master of Music Therapy, you can work alongside doctors and therapists in caring for patients through music therapy but with a Doctoral degree, you would be able to take the lead regarding patient care.
There are even career opportunities within the United States government, for non-profit organizations, and within both private and public colleges and universities by having a Master’s degree in music. While many people go into teaching or become professional performers, there are other positions to include a music reference librarian, music historian, or music research specialists.