Even before "American Idol," you knew that your talent--or lack thereof--could make or break your music career. But raw talent usually isn't enough. For most music careers, formal training with an accomplished musician is necessary. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 50 percent of musicians have some college training.
Your choice of career dictates the type of education or music degree you need. For example, if you choose to be a music teacher at the college level, you'll need at least a two-year master's degree if not a Ph.D. in music. If you are interested in a career as a music composer or performer, a two-year associate or four-year bachelor's degree program in music can help you develop your talent and include music courses in theory, performance, composition, interpretation and exposure to various styles of music.
See the world beyond your neighborhood bar
Many professional musicians and singers make their living performing in bars and nightclubs and working special events, such as weddings. You can turn your music career into a vacation by pursuing one of many different music positions aboard a cruise ship. Cruise ship musicians typically get free travel, room and board, have loads of free time and get to see some of the most beautiful places in the world.
Music performance isn't your only career option. People who can carry a tune or play an instrument can choose careers in music education, music composition and arrangement, instrument tuning and repair, music direction, sound or recording engineering, and more with the right education.