What To Study If You Want A Degree (And A Career) In The Music Industry

If you’re reading this, it’s probably too late to ‘save’ you from becoming a music lifer. Not that we’d ever want to do that anyway. Music is literally, the best thing, ever. So if like us, you’re already too far gone down the music rabbit hole and you’ve got the niche genre knowledge to prove it, then it makes sense to find a way to turn that love and expertise into a fancy qualification that’ll make your parents proud and open doors to a career in the music industry. The best way to do exactly that is to study.

Thanks to a curriculum that blends significant hands-on industry experience with the required specialist theory, a degree from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) at Edith Cowan University will leave you better prepared for a career in the music industry than you’ve ever been for anything in your life. Meaning that you can make music your life.

The best news is that you don’t have to be a musical prodigy to make it happen either, so if you suffer from a level of tone-deafness only rivalled by that overcooked unit mangling ‘Horses’ at the local pub (or Marge Simpson singing ‘Hurt’) then don’t despair, there’s a stack of degrees on offer at WAAPA that can lead you to a rewarding life in the music industry without you ever having to hit a single note. Yes, if you do happen to be one of the musically talented ones, well, WAAPA has what you need too.

Ahead of WAAPA’s open day on 18 April, we’ve put together a list of programs you can study at if you want a degree (and a career) in the music industry

What to study if you want to be a Manager

Bachelor of Arts Management

Every successful artist needs a good artist manager who knows how to make things happen.

Thanks to the Bachelor of Arts Management at WAAPA that person could be you. This three year, full-time degree provides you with practical business skills for the arts. You’ll study all aspects of arts management, from communications, marketing, law, finance, project management and production to art criticism, cultural policy, leadership and entrepreneurship.

You’ll also be given the opportunity for regular engagement with industry professionals offering intensive learning and networking opportunities, as well as internships in local, national and international arts companies. All of this means that by the time you graduate you’ll possess all of the management and human resources skills, business acumen, networking contacts and specialist arts knowledge required to make a career in artist management. With a strong track record of employment for graduates, including notable alumni working in places as esteemed as the Sydney Opera House, West Australian Opera, Disney and London’s ‘We Are The Fair’ it is clear that WAAPA knows how to equip you with the know-how to establish a career in arts management.

What to Study if You Want to Be a Backstage Boss and Production Pro

Production and Design Specialisations

Behind every great live performance, is a team of speciality production and design staff that made it so. They are the often unsung, but true heroes, the real MVPs, the superstars of staging, deserving of all the hope and praise we can lavish upon them. Without them, the show cannot go on. If you fancy becoming one of these legendary folk, then WAAPA’s collection of specialist production and design specialisation Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas and Bachelor of Performing Arts (Production and Design) are what you need to study to help bring music to our ears and delights to our eyes. WAAPA’s Production and Design students are provided with the greatest diversity of ‘on-the-job’ experiences around, with access to simulated industry training in design, construction and management of WAAPA’s 35+ productions annually. This exposure gives experience across seven diverse on-campus performance venues, as well as a swag of external spaces.

With a professionally staffed and equipped workshop, wardrobe facilities, state-of-the-art lighting and sound studios and pretty much anything else your little budding production and design heart could desire, WAAPA gives you the access and experience you need to make your mark in the production and design world. With opportunities to work with national and international directors, teaches and supervisors, and alumni working for everyone from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds to Cirque Du Soleil, Muriel’s Wedding – The Musical, and beyond WAAPA is clearly the place to study to become a backstage boss. The only choice left is what discipline to specialise in. With speciality disciplines in Costume, Design, Lighting, Props and Scenery, Sound and Stage Management, you’ll find that WAAPA’s Production and Design courses have just the right fit for you.

What to Study if You Want to Be the Next Broadway Star

Bachelor of Arts (Music Theatre)

Musical theatre is the truest form of acting and performance. If you agree with that sentence, then chances are, you fancy yourself the next big Broadway star. If after dazzling audiences with your Tony Award-worthy performances in high-school plays and spending countless hours studying the songbooks and scripts of every musical known to man, you’re lost as to where to go to take that next step in your musical theatre career, then WAAPA’s Bachelor of Arts (Music Theatre) is here to help you find your wings and ensure you’ll be ‘defying gravity in no-time.

WAAPA’s Music Theatre course provides graduates with the skills and experience required to engage in professional theatre practice. As a student, you’ll work closely with WAAPA’s world-class teaching staff and specialist tutors, who will share the knowledge and skills they have gained through professional performance careers. The three-year full-time degree provides intensive technical training in singing, dancing and acting to help you become a ‘triple threat’ performer. In addition to these core skills, you’ll be instructed in film, television and radio techniques to ready you for a range of roles in the performing arts. Better yet there’s also a focus on preparing you for auditions, making sure that when you get the call, you can step up and nail it. All of this hands-on training is combined with studies of dramatic literature, music theatre, and arts management, as well as performance training via classroom presentations, workshops, chamber music threat and full-scale musical productions! To be honest, it sounds like heaven for the musical theatre geek inside all of us. With alumni including Eddie Perfect, Lisa McCune, Simon Gleeson, Lucy Durack and Ainsley Melham, WAAPA’s Music Theatre program has considerable acclaim, so don’t delay, enrol today, your Tony awaits you.

What to Study if You’re Reading This Because You Want to Make Your Musical Talent Your Degree Field + Career

Bachelor of Music

ICYMI we already covered the Bachelor of Music here. So give that a read and if you’re keen, head to the WAAPA open day on 18 April to learn more. Catch all open day details here.

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