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Cert/Assoc. Degree
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What is a Musician?

A Musician is a specialized type of Performer. Also known as: Professional Musician, Instrumentalist.

A musician is someone who is talented and skilled in playing one or several musical instruments. A musician could also compose, conduct, sing, perform, orchestrate and arrange music in a variety of different styles. The music can be recorded in a studio or performed live.

A musician will spend a significant amount of time learning and practicing so as to become known within the music world, or to play in a band with other talented musicians. They will also prepare for auditions, attend rehearsals, and learn new pieces of music to extend their repertoire. A musician will often teach music students in order to support their career as a performer.

What does a Musician do?

A musician’s passion is to play music. Musicians may perform as solo artists, in bands, ensembles, choirs, and orchestras either in front of live audiences or in the recording studio. There are many kinds of roles that can come with being a professional musician including: 

A musician’s skill can include performing, singing, composing, conducting, and arranging among a wide range of genres such as alternative, blues, rock, classical, jazz, R&B, indie, hip-hop, country, and many more. The job of a musician varies depending on the genre, circumstance, and goals of the individual. Whether it is producing albums, going on tours, or playing in local bars, the job can change at anytime. Many musicians have a second part time job to help support them in their career.

What is the workplace of a Musician like?

The workplace of a musician can vary. They can work in a studio or play before a live audience. They may work as freelance artists or as salaried musicians for orchestras, choirs, theatres or musical bands. Many musicians also teach music to students, either in schools, colleges or universities, or one-on-one out of their home or a music store. Teaching often supplements a musician's income as a performer.

How can I become a Musician?

Many musicians begin at a very young age by taking music lessons; the most common being the guitar, drums, piano, violin or singing. By taking private lessons, or group lessons, young musicians learn what musical style they prefer, gain experience and acquire some degree of formal training. Some young musicians also join a school band in order to gain experience with working and collaborating alongside others. Although it is not required that a musician have formal education, a music degree will help the musician to better understand musical composition as well as the fundamentals of music.

An associate’s degree usually takes two years to complete. It will provide the musical theory and ear training needed, and the student will be able to apply it to all types of music, including classical, jazz and rock. As well, there will be coursework on music composition and production, and an introduction to music history. There will be many opportunities to work with other musicians and mentors during and after instrumental instruction, and the musician will gain valuable insight as to what skills and requirements are needed to work with production companies, symphonies, or music groups.

A bachelor’s degree usually takes four years to complete. It will provide the student with advanced musical composition, advanced musical theory, conducting, production, and classical music training. If pursuing a career in classical music, it is advisable to pursue a bachelor’s degree in music. The student will then focus on one specific genre of music as well as one specific type of instrument.

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