A music class with two people playing guitars, a student singing, and four students listening

Careers you can have with music and music therapy degrees

Blog | 03.03.2021

Music is a complete world within our society. With the different talents that can come with music, many people find fulfillment in it being a part of their everyday lives. With a value of the arts, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) is well known for both music and music therapy programs. With real life application, graduates have found careers in this field that are very rewarding. At SMWC, it’s important that students are aware of the paths they can take when entering the workforce after graduation. Here are eight careers you can have with a music degree and more information about being a music therapist.


1. Professional choir member

As a member of a professional choir, you must have good time management as you will be performing throughout the year. Flexibility is vital in this career as there’s potential for song selections to be changed and for you to be assigned to different voice parts. As a member of a professional choir, you will take part in trips, tours and visits to schools and colleges. There’s not a specific daily routine in this career, but once you get into a groove, the routine will start to take shape.

2. Symphony orchestra member

The sound of live music is always heart-warming. By being a team player, you could play a part in creating beautiful music. Being in a symphony orchestra requires high-quality focus. Multitasking is an ability that is necessary for this career as you will have to read your music, watch your conductor as well as listen to those around you to ensure you are creating a well-rounded sound.

3. Freelance performer

Freelance performing comes with a wide range of possible tasks such as performing in local artist showcases to having weekly gigs in coffee shops. As a freelance performer, you are in charge of your own career. Many freelance performers put on shows at local community events and some even travel. There are endless possibilities in this profession.

4. Private studio owner

Being the owner of a private studio is an exciting step to take in life. From having your own staff to teaching music on your own, there are numerous possibilities. By having your own studio, you’re able to create a brand of your own and build relationships with people throughout your community while displaying your love for music.

5. Music retailer

In the music retail business, there’s a wide range of factors that will vary your day to day experience. From arranging instruments to potentially teaching music lessons, it will always be an exciting time at work in this career. Customer engagement is high in this field, so it’s important that you have strong communication skills both publicly and one-on-one.

6. Elementary music director

Your class might be the one that students look forward to every week. By displaying your passion for music, you have the opportunity to help students see if they have a passion for music all while educating them. From putting on choir shows to teaching students how to read music, you’ll be able to help students learn more about themselves and give them exposure to the history of music and how it plays a part in their everyday lives.

7. High school choir director

Engaging students in a higher level of music than primary school ages will enhance your opportunities for teaching. Teaching students specific topics within music will be a part of your daily routine. Assisting students in learning choral pieces for shows and concerts will be a constant part of your routine. As a high school choir director, there’s the possibility that you could have different levels of choirs based on music skills and abilities. At the high school level, there could be opportunities to enter your choirs in singing contests and competitions, expanding their experience in the music world.

8. Arts administration

Whether you’re working for an agency or a not-for-profit, having a career in arts administration can be rewarding. Maintaining the daily operations of your company will be a constant task. Depending on your place of work, you might take care of financial aspects such as grants and other fundraising. You must be well organized and be a strong planner as you will be in charge of planning events and concerts.

Music Therapy

SMWC has become well-known for its music therapy program. With a wide range of potential tasks, you can use your creativity to create songs and implement different techniques to help patients as a music therapist. Having a drive and want to help others is vital in this career. As a music therapist, you have the opportunity to work with patients of all ages. This comes with the need to adapt to how each patient learns and what their personality is. This career involves a lot of dedication, but the relationships built are very worthwhile.


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