Schools Offering Online Music Programs

Music degree holders often go on to pursue a career in education or performance arts. This degree can also be used to compose music or enable a person to work with studios and artists. While a bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement for many jobs, a master's degree can open opportunities and further your understanding of music theory and composition. The following is a list of some of the best online music degrees and related programs.

Full Sail University BS in Music Business BS in Music Production Full Sail University – The BS in Music Business degree at Full Sail University prepares graduates to enter the exciting world of the music business. The curriculum teaches the fundamentals of the business, including marketing, advertising, finance, intellectual property, artist and product management, publishing and distribution. For those students interested in the recording process, a BS in Production is also offered.
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Liberty University MA in Worship/Ethnomusicology Liberty University – The Master of Arts in Worship/Ethnomusicology from Liberty University provides students a Christ-centered look at how music is an integral component of culture, worship, and society. The curriculum focuses on general principles of ethnomusicology, music in the Church, and music in missionary work. Graduates work as musicians, worship pastors, and music ministers.
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Kent State University Master of Music in Music Education Kent State University – The Master of Music Education program at Kent State University is a comprehensive, online program that provides music educators with new tools to further their ability to teach music to the next generation. The innovative curriculum focuses on choral, instrumental, and general music education in the K-12 context.
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Boston University MA in Music Education Boston University – The MA in Music Education from Boston University is known worldwide as one of the top music education institutions. Founded in 1872, for decades the Boston University School of Music has produced some of the best minds in music today. Working professionals who want to explore their passion of music have the opportunity with Boston's immersive curriculum.
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Minnesota State University Certificate in Music Minnesota State University – The Minnesota State University Certificate in Music provides students the opportunity to earn a comprehensive education in the business component of the music industry. With classes including Music Marketing, Music Industry Entrepreneurship, Music Business Law and Contracts, and Music Publishing, this program offers you the tools you need to succeed in the music business.
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An online music degree is quickly becoming a sought after degree for those who want to work in music or teach music. For those who have an informal background in music, this degree offers a formal certification that may open doors if you already work in the industry. Like many degrees that revolve around the arts, an online music degree only serves as a formality when applying for a job. It does not necessarily open doors when trying to get a job. There are a myriad of online music degrees offered through distance learning programs. Many are legitimate and require the same time commitment and lab hours as studying a conventional music program.

Types of Online Music Degrees

Songwriting Degree

A songwriting degree focuses on both music composition and lyrical songwriting. These are difficult classes in general, but become even more so when taken online. These courses are intended for someone who wishes to pursue a career conducting or creating music. The job opportunities that this degree can lead to are plentiful. Most songwriters have a hefty background in music composition and songwriting before entering a degree program. The majority of songwriting degrees do begin with music theory and basic introduction courses, so if you have no background in music whatsoever, a songwriting degree is still an option.

Music Education Degree

With a music education degree, you typically go on to teach music in some capacity. Depending on the level of degree this is dictates what grade level of music you’ll be able to teach. Music educators for elementary through high school only require a bachelors of arts in music education to qualify for teaching jobs. In addition to a music education degree, you must have be certified to teach in your respective state.

Music History Degree

This gives you the opportunity to teach music or purse a higher degree. Music history is often studied along with music theory, though the two are not mutually exclusive. Music history teaches the history of music, typically focusing on major movements and how politics and culture influenced the music of the times. One may also purse a career in writing with a music history degree, either commentating or observing musical genres, artists or reviewing albums.

Music Therapy Degree

This is one of the more limited music degrees available online. A music therapy degree allows you to work on music and how it helps heal people and cope with their problems. Though this is a difficult field to get started in, it is an industry that’s set to grow in coming decades. Nearly all forms of art therapy are on the rise. There are opportunities to purse a bachelors, masters or doctorate in music therapy. Many with a music therapy degree go on to become licensed in their state to practice this therapy with patients. Music aiding mental illness dates back to the 17th century and is now works in conjunction with traditional mental health therapy.

Music Production Degree

This degree revolves around bringing music to production. This is a behind-the-scenes job that producers or sound mixers may take to purse a job that involves working in a music studio. This is now this is a technology-driven degree and field and will stay that way. There are many music computer programs to learn when producing music of any sort and a music production degree shows you the ropes of those programs and how to bring ideas and sounds to fruition.

Career Options for Online Music Degree

Music teacher

Many students with an online music degree go on to be music teachers. Music teachers are on a decline as budget cuts often force public schools to do away with music programs. In California, the number of music teachers has declined by 28% in the past few years. Unlike other teaching jobs, music teachers are often hired by a school and stay on board for decades, which means there aren’t the same job opportunities as those for general educators.

Private music tutor

This can be a great job if you reside in an affluent area or are willing to travel for students. Music educators with a background in piano, guitar, violin or the cello, can often make a living tutoring students privately. The rate varies from city to city, but in the suburbs you will often find parents who are willing to pay good money for their child to have a private music tutor hone their skills.

Record producer

You may not end up creating Jay-Z’s latest hit, but record producers are still able to find work. Most record producers work on a contract basis for a project. Even local or up-and-coming artists have to hire a producer to help cultivate their signature sound. This is a difficult job to break into, but it’s all about networking and creating your own opportunities. An online music degree will ensure you’re prepared to answer the call when opportunity knocks.

Music teacher with a company

Instead of running your own private music lessons out of your home or office space, some music teachers are employed by a company that provides such services. This means you get a steady paycheck and do not deal with the marketing or networking to gain new students. You show up at work as anyone else does and teach music in a one-on-one lesson or small group class.

Part-time band member

If you play an instrument, you may be able to gain employment working at a church or with a small band that entertains at events. This is almost always a part-time gig and may require a day job to pay the bills. Some artists do not work with an exclusive band, so if you network or already work in the music industry, you may be able to gain a long term, full-time gig playing an instrument. This may involve working in a studio or touring with an artist.