creative arts, music education
Source: Bemidji State University

If you have great talent and love the creative arts, a degree in this discipline may help your skills shine brighter. A recent survey found a greater number of creative arts graduates find jobs in a shorter amount of time than those in law and the sciences. Creative arts industries are also predicted to grow faster than the overall UK economy.

A key reason for this may lie in how the creative arts train students better in soft skills, such as time management, collaboration, and communication skills — all of which are useful not just for artists, painters and musicians, but also managers and entrepreneurs.

At the same time, an excellent degree should give you the necessary guidance to support you in what you like doing best, in this case, honing your artistic talents. Some of the important things to look for in an all-round degree program in the creative arts, particularly for music, are: mentorship from faculty who are experienced industry professionals, experiential course offerings and solid facilities.

If you decide to embark on the creative arts degree route, these four US universities are worth checking out:

Bemidji State University

If you seek an excellent music education and performance experience at the best value available in higher education, head to the Department of Music at Bemidji State University.

It offers the following programs:

Your lessons will come to life with opportunities to perform in a myriad of ensembles, including Band, Choir, Opera, and String Ensembles. Along with your classroom studies, you may also get to perform with talented faculty. You can see some of them perform here

Located in Minnesota’s beautiful and calming Northwoods, this destination Midwest university has one of the best facilities in all of the Minnesota State Colleges and Minnesota State System. The department is an All-Steinway School, an honor that only a limited number worldwide have.

A music degree here can be a pathway to graduate school or careers in related fields.  Graduates of programs here have gone on to become music professors at major universities, the Director for Public Relations for the Minnesota Orchestra, and the former Director of the Minnesota Opera Company.

If you are a musically talented international student with proficient English language skills,  desiring a quality music education in the US, or come from a funded international university exchange program, the Department of Music at Bemidji State University warmly welcomes you.

Baylor University, School of Music

Baylor University Wind Ensemble in an evening performance. Source: Baylor University School of Music Facebook

creative arts, music education

Baylor University Wind Ensemble in an evening performance. Source: Baylor University School of Music Facebook

Baylor University School of Music offers 14 diverse areas of music that range from Brass, Church Music to Music Education and Musicology at bachelor, master and even doctoral levels. The experienced faculty, a strong focus on musical excellence, the Christian community environment and a small class ratio mean you get one of the best music education in the US yet still have personalised attention.

As the faculty are active musicians of different music genres, you stand to benefit from their specialties in research, composition and performance. Under their expert guidance, you can conduct research via the traditional way like books, journal articles and conference presentations; new artistic creations are also possible – for example, an original musical piece or collaborations that reinvent music.

Your learning for both academics and vocal, ensemble and orchestra practice can be carried out at the superb facilities which include concert and recital halls for performances, practice rooms, its very own Opera Theatre, libraries, resource centre, labs and musical instruments such as Steinway pianos and organs.

For both undergraduate and graduate program applications, you may be required to attend an audition, interview or even showcase your musical portfolio.

University of California Berkeley School of Music

With 160 majors such as music composition, ethnomusicology and music history at the UC Berkeley’s Department of Music, students can pursue bachelor, master and doctoral programs. Instead of an audition, new students demonstrate their musical competency through the Musicianship Placement Exam.

creative arts, music education

The University of California Berkeley’s Department of Music is world-famous. Source: UC Berkeley Department of Music

The internationally renowned 20 full-time faculty and rotating Bay Area artists are famed for excellent teaching and ensuring all students become musically competent while gaining a deep appreciation for historical and cultural studies, music theory and performance.

In fact, every semester at Hertz Hall sees new music compositions, departmental ensembles and concerts in orchestral, choral and chamber works; diverse students and faculty work and perform together — giving true meaning to a broad and flexible education in the arts and humanities at UC Berkeley’s Department of Music.

The Centre for New Music and Audio Technologies allows students to learn and connect music with emerging technologies through multidisciplinary research — other Departments such as the Department of Film and Media partner with this Centre.

Although students are required to undertake performances for at least three semesters, numerous performing opportunities at departmental ensemble concerts and the university orchestra are also available.

Dalhousie University – Fountain School of Performing Arts

Music students come together in a performance of song and orchestra music. Source: Fountain School of Performing Arts, Dalhousie University

creative arts, music education

Music students come together in a performance of song and orchestra music. Source: Fountain School of Performing Arts, Dalhousie University

At Dalhousie University’s Fountain School of Performing Arts which combines both Departments of Music and Theatre, Halifax, Canada, Music students can avail of many learning and performing opportunities. You can attend an elective class in music and sound technology, music and film or even popular music among others; audition for instrument or voice elective classes as well as ensembles including choirs, jazz band and opera.

Music students are highly encouraged to present and participate in public performances, a major part of Dalhousie’s programs; the faculty will provide support. Students plan rehearsal and performance schedules ahead; and can go for weekly studio lessons in voice, orchestra and band instruments.

Noon-hour recitals, concert series, invitations by the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra and Symphony Nova Scotia, the annual Faculty Chamber Recital Series and annual opera give talented students opportunity to display their talents in solo pieces. Fourth-year students can apply and audition for the full credit SNS Apprenticeship where they can both earn money and obtain professional work experience.

Music programs offered here include the Bachelor of Music, andBachelor of Arts, Music. Students interested in graduate studies can take up the Master of Arts in Musicology that can prepare them for future doctoral work.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International