Majoring in Music: Convincing Your Parents

If you need help convincing your parents (or anyone else in your life) that majoring in music is a worthy goal, here are several  suggestions to help you out:

1. Check out the variety of careers for people with music degrees.

Your parents want you to be successful and financially independent. However, unless they’ve gone to music school, they probably won’t fully comprehend the passion behind your decision to major in music, nor will they understand all that it takes to pursue a degree in music. They may be worried that a music degree will only prepare you to perform, that jobs for performers are harder to come by these days, that few performers earn a steady income, and that you’ll end up getting a low paying job in a completely different field.

Your job is to help educate them about why pursuing music is important to you. You also need to show them the list of career options for people with music degrees in “What Can You Do with a Music Degree.” Whether or not your goal is to become a famous singer or instrumentalist, there are all kinds of opportunities to make a good living in a fulfilling, musically-based career and performing is just one of them.

2. Show your parents the list of transferable skills majoring in music offers you.

Read “Transferable Skills: You Can Take Them with You” and share them with your parents. It’s pretty awesome to know that majoring in music also prepares you well to compete for jobs in other professions and to apply for many grad school programs.

3. Consider double or dual degrees.

Getting a double degree may open more doors to careers. Remember that no two schools offer the same opportunities regarding double or dual degrees, so be sure to check out this option carefully. Consider the pros and cons of double degrees  (see “Music Degrees: Reviewing the Options”). And look for schools that can offer you the flexibility to make changes if you embark on this path and find it doesn’t work for you.

 4. Invite your parents to read

It will open up a new world to them, answer many of their questions, and hopefully calm their fears and help them catch some of your excitement. Make sure they read the links in this article.

5. Keep a level head when you talk with your parents.

This is an important decision and needs to be discussed as calmly and rationally as possible. Parents will be more likely to respect and trust your choices if you show them you’ve put some serious thought into your plan to major in music.

6. Get some help.

Ask a music teacher or current music major who supports your dreams to talk with you and your parents about majoring in music.

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