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Studying music is a challenging and enriching experience. Students choose to study music for many different reasons, and it’s likely that you will have already demonstrated some interest (or maybe even passion!) and achievement in music. While many young people come to music through the development of performing skills, there are many different aspects to musical engagement, and you may have interests other than performance. Undergraduate music programmes across the various institutions vary considerably, so it is important to find the right one for you. You may choose a general music course, or seek one that is more specialized. Most institutions offer programmes leading to a degree in music. Another choice to consider is whether you want to study Music on its own or take it with another subject.
Why study music? This question could be rephrased by asking ‘what is the value in studying Music to degree level?’ Perhaps the most obvious answer would be to point to the academic, professional and inspirational aspects of deepening your knowledge, skills and understanding in various aspects of musical experience, whatever your chosen areas of interest. It’s understandable that school leavers have difficult choices to make when applying to colleges and universities, so a good question to ask yourself is whether you have a strong interest or passion for a particular subject or course. Those who base their choices on strong interest or passion are more likely to do well in their degree, once they remain committed and engaged, and this is especially true in the case of Music. In addition to developing your knowledge, skills, and understanding of musical experience to a high standard, a degree in Music enables the development of many transferable skills along with broader individual and group values. Transferable skills include: creativity and self-expression; public exposure, confidence building and communication skills; listening skills; teamwork and leadership; planning and logistical organization; analytic skills and problem-solving; reading/writing and critical inquiry; research and presentation skills. Studying Music to degree level also enables self-fulfillment and self-esteem, strengthens a lifelong engagement with music in everyday situations, and empowers graduates to inspire others and, in some cases, to transform lives through engagement with Music.
Once you are a graduate: There are many employment opportunities for music graduates in addition to a range of taught and research postgraduate programmes which offer further specialized training. Music graduates are employed across a varied range of fields, in Ireland and internationally. Many work in creative roles, as with ensemble/band members, solo performers and composers/songwriters/arrangers while others become involved in music management, technology, film and media production, publishing, editing, broadcasting, communications and marketing, education, research, journalism and arts administration. Other music graduates go on to be employed in professional areas such as finance, human resources, community development, charities and other non-government organizations, engineering, banking, politics and law.