Is college what is right for ? is this music degree worth it?

Hi so I’m a senior at an art high school and I major in music there. I have been applying to all my colleges and doing my auditions currently but something I’ve been grappling in 2020 with is whether college is for me in the first place .

I mean I never felt an inclination towards college just teh idea of leaving my state and continuing my music career. And college use to sound like the perfect thing for that, but all that money for four years and I still have to take random classes like math and English. All the people I admire and artists I love just made music and did gigs until they were noticed, I know that’s slim in chance but that’s what seems the most fulfilling for me.

Debt is a real thing and that was my initial concern. But then I started writing and going over my values and I’m like I just want to perform and sing and sure I know I need to get better but for some reason it doesn’t seem like college is necessary or needed for my success. So community college and seems like the best choice but idk if I would actually transfer.

I just want to feel validated in my choices and there are so many things I want to do maybe even just move somewhere like nyc or la ( moneys needed ofc and stable income ) or travel to another country ( money again needed and housing) but yeah so many options and college is the least exciting one.

PSA. School holds so much trauma for me I don’t know if I should go right away but I’m still auditioning and have applied bc maybe my mind will be completely different by this time next year ?

I think that this is going to depend upon your finances and what you want to do.

One option is to take a gap year, and see how things go. You might decide a year or two from now to attend university in music, attend university in an entirely different major, or not attend university.

I do know someone well who is a professor of music. One discussion that he tries to have with all of his students involves what they are going to do for a living. Only a tiny subset will actually make money as a performer – and as you say many of them might not have needed to get a university degree. One of his students became a singer on Broadway, discovered that the pay was bad and New York was expensive, went back to university, got her PhD, and is now a professor at the same university. Another of his students was never all that good at performing, did not really know what they wanted to do, but made decent money while a student fixing other student’s instruments. Oddly enough this person now makes a living fixing instruments. He has had a few students respond to his attempt to discuss “life after university” by responding: “I have four years in university, then I am going back to work on my father’s farm. When he retires it will be my farm”. He is a professor at a public university that the children of farmers can afford to attend.

Making money as a musical performer is a tough way to make a living.

If I were in your situation I would not take on any debt at all to attend university unless I had a very clear idea why I wanted to attend university.


Agree with DadTwoGirls.

If you would like to continue to pursue music, you can always do so through private studio as well.

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