Transferable Music Skills — You Can Take Them with You

Even if you end up deciding not to pursue a career in music, the transferable music skills you’ll gain as a music major will provide you with the background necessary to enter many other fields as well as graduate programs:

1.  Ability to be creative and think outside the box

Think: improvising; composing innovative music; dealing with myriad challenges that crop up before or during performances.

2.  Ability to plan ahead

Think: learning the music in advance of performances; juggling your schedule; knowing what it takes to look your best at concerts.

3. Ability to take responsibility

Think: scheduling and getting to lessons and rehearsals; learning your part for a group performance; leading a section of the orchestra or a band.

4. Ability to collaborate and work effectively with others to meet goals

Think: being part of an ensemble, orchestra or chorus.

5. Ability to think and understand in patterns

Think: learning and performing music.

6. Ability to manage time well and handle several projects at once

Think: juggling school with performing, practicing and the rest of your life to succeed at majoring in music.

Also read: Transferable Skills Music Majors Gain for Any Career


  1. T

    Absolutely, I recently completed an MBA and my undergrad was a Bachelor of Music Degree. It was interesting being in a class made up predominantly of business students; bringing an understanding of music, sociology etc to the class was certainly valuable because I approached problems from an entirely different lens. It was great, I scored A grades in qualitative papers and approached things from but on the other I struggled my way through Finance, Economics and Accounting. The thing that was fantastic was the diversity of skills. I learned more from the quants than I did from the poets and vice versa (class was 85% quants). Highly recommend if they let you in. Also when I go for jobs people love the diversity in qualifications!

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to comment on this article. Great to hear that your background in music has been serving you well as you’ve shifted gears in another direction. All the best!

  2. Rory

    I am currently studying a Bachelor’s Degree in Ethnomusicology (Although it is titled “BA Music”), but I really want to study a Master’s Degree in International Business.

    The course I wish to do is not specific on Bachelors Degree requirements, only that you obtain a
    high/good grade average. I’m very passionate about Business on an International Level and Entrepreneurship and I would like to feel that my Degree will be just as good as any other in applying for a place.

    Would the skills and experience of being a Music Graduate be appealing to a Business Course at postgraduate level?

    Also, is there anything else you’d recommend I do in addition to doing well at Bachelors Degree level?

    • By learning how to talk about the transferable skills you gain as a music major, you’ll be better able to apply them to any other field. There are several articles on that talk about this; by putting “transferable skills” into the search bar, you’ll find them. Here’s another: Majoring in Music: The Big Picture. Getting some entrepreneurship skills and practice under your belt as an undergraduate would benefit you if this is a direction in which you want to head.

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