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Music Doctorate

A Music Doctorate degree, also known as Doctor of Music or Musical Arts, is ideal for those desiring to pursue their musical passion. Core courses usually include music theory and musicology. Graduates often teach music education in universities. Music doctorate programs typically require a minimum of three years to complete.

University Degree Offerings

  • Boston University Doctor of Musical Arts in Musical Education

    The Boston University Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education offers personal and academic enrichment through cultural diversity, innovative learning environments, and varied musical perspectives. The online learning milieu means that our students’ lives will not be interrupted. It also ensures that our students will be able to practice newly learned skills and techniques immediately in their own classrooms.

Music Degrees

Music degrees are available at certificate, associate, bachelor, masters, and doctorate levels. They typically carry the “arts” designation, as in Master of Arts in Music Education or Doctor of Musical Arts.

Certificate programs usually are available as non-degree, undergraduate, or graduate levels. They are often concentrated in areas such as fine arts, musical arts, or applied arts.

At the associate level, students may learn about various types of music, music theory and composition, music production, and an overview of the music business.

Bachelor degree programs for music students usually delve more deeply into the music business, including producing and recording music, as well as allow students to focus on mastering instruments or expanding their singing abilities with voice lessons.

Students in masters degree programs are often actively involved in music performance, as instrumentalists or singers. Their programs may further immerse them into their respective areas of talent, learning more about the music business, or the career path of teaching music education.

Doctorate degrees in music are intended for those students or professional musicians who have the dedication to pursue their musical passion as an intellectual endeavor. Studies are more in-depth and intensive in the areas of music theory, music education, and research and development of original musical compositions.

Why a Music Doctorate Degree online

  • Individuals who desire to pursue their musical passion understand the devotion and commitment required by fine arts.
  • Musicians, composers, conductors, performers, and other academic music connoisseurs can benefit by enhancing their existing knowledge and improving their musical talents.
  • Graduates become qualified to teach university-level music education, fill leadership roles in music schools, provide private music lessons, give recitals and presentations of original musical compositions, or perform professionally in a variety of venues.
  • Salaries for graduates and musicians vary widely, depending on the exact career path; for example, postsecondary music teachers may expect to earn between $62,000 to $75,000 a year, while established music performers may earn in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars a year.

Music Doctorate Courses & Areas of Study

The primary courses in a Music doctorate program usually include:

  • Musicology, the humanistic, scholarly study of music.
  • Ethnomusicology, the study of the cultural and social aspects and influences of various types of music.
  • Music theory and composition.
  • Music literature and history.

Many specializations or concentrations exist, depending on the career focus, including the following:

  • Music pedagogy and education, including methods of teaching music composition, playing different instruments, and ear and voice training.
  • Music performance, either instrumental or vocal.
  • Music recording and production.
  • Music conducting.
  • Music business, including marketing, merchandising, and managing.
  • Specific training to play different instruments, and to develop voice and opera talents.

Music Doctorate Career Opportunities

Graduates with doctorates in music may enjoy a variety of careers. This list gives a brief overview of potential careers:

  • Teachers of music theory and music education in universities and colleges. Annual salaries may range from about $62,000 to $75,000 or more, with a job outlook of 17 percent growth from 2012 to 2020
  • Presidents or directors of music schools or conservatories. Annual salaries may range from about $84,000 to $165,000, with a job outlook of 19 percent growth from 2012 to 2020.
  • Music directors and composers. Annual salaries may range from about $46,000 to $85,000, with a job outlook for growth of 10 percent from 2012 to 2020.

Online Music Doctorate Degrees

Online education offers the kind of flexibility and convenience necessary to balance school and life obligations. An online music doctorate degree program enables serious music students to study at their convenience, while also allowing time to practice their musical skills.

Music Doctorate Education & Admissions Requirements

Students interested in enrolling for music doctorate degrees typically must hold a Master of Arts degree in musicology or music history. They often must also submit writing samples, or even their M.A. theses, to demonstrate proficiency in music analysis and interpretation. Additional requirements typically include statements of purpose for pursuing the doctorate degrees in music; letters of recommendation from professionals or previous instructors familiar with the students and their work; official transcripts; and sometimes, entrance exams and additional coursework in designated music electives.

Music Doctorate Degree Accreditation

It is essential that any Music Doctorate Degree be properly accredited, which typically means regional accreditation, the highest and most reliable type of accreditation in the United States. This ensures the time and effort put into earning the degree will not be wasted. Another important accrediting board for music schools and degree programs is the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), which sets the standards and upholds the credentials for music degree programs.

Top Ranked Music Doctorate Programs

Earning a Music Doctorate Degree from a top-ranked institution makes the degree more credible and prestigious due to name recognition, as well as excellence in the academic program itself. Renowned institutions with music doctorate programs also receive high ranks by such organizations as U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review. Furthermore, many of the nation’s oldest music schools routinely receive prominent awards and some are even historic landmarks.

Music Doctorate Professional Organizations

Music students and graduates can benefit from joining and associating with select professional organizations, such as the following:

American Composers Alliance (ACA): The ACA provides sheet music to individual performers and groups, as well as offers licenses for sheet music for academic and commercial uses alike.

American Musical Instrument Society (AMIS): The AMIS promotes cultural and historical studies of the design and use of musical instruments.

American Musicology Society (AMS): The AMS focuses on research, learning, and scholarship in various fields of music.

College Music Society (CMS): The CMS endeavors to provide leadership for professional activities and career development for musicians and music scholars, as well as addressing issues in higher education’s music programs.

Music Teachers National Association (MTNA): The MTNA endorses the value of music studies, and supports and provides career development opportunities for music education teachers.

National Association of Schools of Music (NASM): In addition to providing accreditation credentials to music schools and programs, NASM also offers professional development opportunities, research findings, and policy analysis.

Society for Music Theory (SMT): The SMT promotes all the various aspects of music theory through published journals, conferences, and an online presence.