The KU School of Music offers a BA, BM, and BFA in several academic disciplines, including brass and percussion, jazz, music theory and composition, musicology, organ, piano, strings, theatre and voice, voice, woodwinds, and music business.
Sample of Related Skills
- Hear, identify, and work with musical elements: rhythm, pitch, harmony, structure, timbre, texture
- Read and realize musical notation fluently
- Recognize and articulate an understanding of compositional process and musical style with reference to artists, technologies, events, and cultural forces through the major periods of music history
- Use research tools and analysis independently to develop, defend, and write musical judgments
- Demonstrate technical, musical, and interpretive skill in solo and ensemble performance, in a variety of formal and informal settings
- Develop familiarity with an appropriately representative body of solo and ensemble music literature, and an awareness of applicable performance practices
- Perform capably as a soloist and within an ensemble
- Organize the sounds of music through basic composition
Popular Career Paths
Performance: Involves conducting, playing an instrument, and/or singing.
Business: Includes managing artists, negotiating contracts, and arranging events/performances for musicians.
Education: Could involve private instruction and/or teaching music in a school setting.
Explore More Career Paths
- American Musicological Society - professional organization that provides music related career information
Jobs to Consider
Places to Seek Employment
Armed Forces Bands and Orchestras
Clubs and Restaurants
Community Choral Groups
Radio, Television, and Motion Picture Industries
Rock or Jazz Groups
Self-Employed/Small Business Owner
View specific employers by state.
- Identify the area of music performance that interests you most and pursue courses and experiences that allow you to explore these interests further.
- Develop skills and knowledge in composition, harmony, arranging, and theory as well as computer and desktop publishing experience.
- Become familiar with the required professional qualifications (i.e., Advanced degrees, licensure and/or certifications) for occupations you are considering.
- Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent study, internships, part-time jobs, student organization involvement, or volunteering.
- Register for KU Career Connections and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
- Join professional associations related to music performance and, if possible, attend local and/or regional music conferences and workshops to make connections with professionals in your field.
- Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant to your career goals.
- Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional school.
- Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your area of interest, such as: KU Band, Composers Guild at The University of Kansas, Genuine Imitation A Cappella Group, Music Mentors, KU Percussion Club, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, School of Music Ambassador's Club, or Telharmonium.
- Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest: sample resume (pdf).
Job and Internship Search Resources
- Acoustical Society of America - society dedicated to increasing knowledge of acoustics and its applications. Offers a job search function, as well as graduate school information.
- American Federation of Musicians Career Corner - association representing professional musicians. Offers a comprehensive career information for emerging musicians, as well as other scholarship information
- Chorus America - non-profit organization for choral music. Promotes professional, volunteer, and youth choruses. Provides a listing of choral industry job openings
- Entertainment Careers.net - search for jobs and internships at studios, networks, production companies, record companies, TV and radio stations, VFX, animation, and broadcasting
- League of American Orchestras - search for internships in the music performance field
- Media Web Source - search for music jobs and other related careers
- Musical Chairs - search for performance, teaching, and administration jobs in classical music
- Music Job - search for music jobs in the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, and the United States
- Music Resources on the Internet - provides a list of links to music related careers such as classical, commercial, folk, and jazz resources
- MusicianWages.com - search for job vacancies such as pianists, guitarists, drummers, bassists, bands, music teacher, horns, and more. Also provides information on musician resumes, business cards, and how to obtain a job on a cruise ship
- MyMusicJob.com - search for jobs in music across the United States
- Orchestral Jobs - search for orchestral jobs around the world
- ShowBizJobs.com - job search function for finding a job in the entertainment business
The quick link for this page is career.ku.edu/performance.
Go back to Careers & KU Majors homepage.