A Music Degree? Is it Worth It? One Music Exec Says “Absolutely”

When it comes to entering the music industry, there are countless doors. Even so, one often-overlooked way to break into the music industry is through education. However, a music degree isn’t for everyone. For instance, earning a degree in a music discipline may not be conducive to your goals if you simply enjoy playing music.

On the other hand, if you are passionate about music and intent on pursuing a career, a music degree can be an excellent way to differentiate yourself and master your craft. And few people know this better than Martin Backhausen. With more than three decades of experience and a Master of Music in Music Production under his belt, Backhausen has seen both sides of the coin. He is a veteran within the industry and offers a unique perspective on the value of a music degree. Continue reading for the three reasons why Martin Backhausen suggests a music degree is more than worth the cost and effort.

Set Yourself Apart & Open (Even More) Industry Doors

In the music industry, there is no shortage of talent. Whether in Nashville or Atlanta, you’ll likely encounter musicians and music professionals with unique skills. If your goal is to stand out and differentiate yourself from everyone else, a music degree can do just that. Martin Backhausen explains, “If you’re interviewing or trying out for some type of opportunity, having a degree in music can demonstrate your commitment to your craft. While each applicant may be able to play an instrument or use Pro Tools, only the individual with the degree is likely to have studied music theory, music composition, and music history. This could be the criteria that set you apart.”

Specialize in a Unique Area & Gain Valuable Soft Skills

When you earn a degree in music, you can choose the area of concentration based on your unique interests. At the same time, you will learn more about areas that you may not have considered, such as:

  • Sound engineer
  • Sound designer
  • Sound technician
  • School music teacher
  • Private music teacher
  • Composer
  • Music producer
  • Music arranger
  • Music agent
  • Film scoring
  • And more

“In addition to expanding your professional versatility, a degree in music involves learning vital soft skills that may not come naturally, such as teamwork, problem-solving, project management, planning, communication, leadership, and more. While often overlooked, these soft skills can be instrumental in a successful music career. In fact, when 80 graduates from a popular music degree program were surveyed, the consensus was that the soft skills learned through the curriculum are crucial in navigating the uncertainties of the industry and career.” says Martin Backhausen.

Extend Your Network and Make Connections

Undoubtedly, the unsung hero of earning a music degree is the connections you can make. Martin Backhausen explains, “In the music industry, it’s not what you know — but who. This means it’s all about building and fostering relationships and connections. And few places are more conducive to building valuable lifelong relationships than college.” He continues, “You never know how the person you meet today can influence your career tomorrow. I have a close friend who is a music executive. Whenever he needs specific talent, one of the first places he turns to is his own personal network.” Pursuing a music degree will expose you to a melting pot of like-minded professionals who may directly or indirectly represent the break you want.