David Cutler, former Duquesne University music professor, now director of Music Entrepreneurship at University of South Carolina, and author of “The Savvy Musician,” wrote a blogpost in 2009 on his Savvy Musician website, about one of the most important questions prospective music majors should ask all the schools they’re considering: “What kind of career training do you offer?” Cutler went on to describe how disappointed he was to find that, based on extensive research, not enough was being done in music schools around the country to prepare students for careers in music.
Since then, excellent career-oriented support programs have developed or have been enhanced at many of the music schools we’ve talked with. From entrepreneurship centers and classes, to mentoring programs linking students with well-connected music industry professionals, more music schools are doing a better job at preparing students for what happens after they graduate.
But it’s not just up to the schools. We urge students to be assertive and ask about the nature and availability of career support services and opportunities at the schools they’re interested in before applying and certainly before accepting an offer. And regardless of how plentiful the opportunities are, students need to be proactive in seeking the specific training, experiences, and mentors they’ll need to prepare for the future.
If you’ve found a school with great career development resources for music majors, let us know! In the meantime, be sure to visit Music as a Career here on MajoringInMusic.com.