The majority of Eastman undergraduates graduate with a Bachelor of Music in Applied Music, Music Education or both. The likelihood is that these graduates will seek employment in either performance or education. It is no secret, however, that there are a limited number of job openings in the field of music, especially music performance.
Music conservatory graduates develop skills that can be applicable to many career fields including those in and outside of music. Teamwork and communication skills are cultivated through ensemble work, private lessons and performances. Musicians learn to be flexible and self-disciplined in order to attain the high standards imposed on them by their program of study. Finally, musicians must develop first-rate time management skills to balance the demands of academic study, practicing, ensembles and performance.
Several options directly related to music degrees – outside of performing and teaching – include music therapist, editorial assistant, journalist and librarian. Music Therapists use music to treat, educate and rehabilitate people with mental, emotional or physical problems.
Editorial assistants assist in the production of music manuscripts and textbooks. For those interested in a performance career with an additional part-time job, many publishing companies offer freelance work for proofreaders. Librarians are responsible for the acquisition and promotion of library music resources within an educational, organizational or neighborhood community. Organizations such as professional orchestras have their own libraries and need librarians to maintain them. The largest music libraries are found in radio broadcasting companies.
Because of the skills that music conservatory students acquire, they are qualified for employment outside of their field of study. Arts administrator, film and video production manager, community arts worker and museum curator are all positions that recipients of music degrees have filled.
UR and Eastman offer many opportunities for students to explore possible career fields. The career center at Eastman is located inside of the Student Living Center and is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Their Web site, http://www.rochester.edu/Eastman/careerservices, includes a job vacancy board, information about competitions and music programs at other schools.
The River Campus’ career center is more comprehensive than Eastman’s. The office is located on the third floor of Meliora Hall and is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. Like Eastman, the River Campus’ career center Web site, http://www.rochester.edu/careercenter, contains job posting information. It also includes information about career and internship opportunities.
Students can make an appointment at the River Campus career center to meet with a career counselor to discuss career opportunities, fine-tune rsums, find internships and browse its well-kept career library. The career center’s counselors help students find careers that are applicable to students’ general interests.
Eastman Institute for Music Leadership also offers opportunities for students looking to explore career options. In 1999, Eastman formed a partnership with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra to form the Orchestra Studies Diploma in Strings.
This program aims to give students an edge as they compete for jobs in the orchestral marketplace. Students accepted into the program gain on-stage professional playing experience by performing six to 10 weeks during the orchestra’s regular classical subscription concerts. In addition to the benefits of playing with a professional orchestra, students learn the business side of the orchestra.
They enroll in classes taught by Eastman faculty as well as RPO musicians and staff. In addition, students complete an internship in the RPO’s administrative offices. This program is open to students who have or are in the process of completing a Bachelor of Music and are enrolled at Eastman in a Master of Music or Doctorate of Musical Arts program.
Undergraduate and graduate students are also encouraged to apply for the institute’s Arts Leadership Program. This program offers students the opportunity to receive a musical education that goes beyond performing. The program consists of a six credit program that includes two credits of paid local and summer internships. Participants of ALP have the opportunity to meet with alumni for advising, networking and career advising.
As with many arts related degrees, there are a limited number of well-defined career routes for musicians other than performing and teaching.
Fortunately, the study of music develops self-discipline, creative and reliant individuals, capable of entering a wide range of career fields.
Gorode can be reached at