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UMM Home > Career Services > Career Planning & Decision Making > What can I do with a Major in... > Music


Description of Major
Students become familiar with the traditions of Western and non-Western music through theoretical analysis, research, performance, and historical survey. The curriculum fosters the development of the critical ability necessary to understand those traditions. Students experience the unique relationship between research and performance in music. Theoretical and practical courses that provide a sound academic background in music are available for those who intend to pursue graduate study, teach, or fulfill general education requirements.

A liberal arts education and study in a particular major will lead to the acquisition of a group of skills which enable one to solve problems, communicate effectively, and perform complicated tasks. These skills are essential in any career. The following is a list of important and commonly agreed upon career skills identified by UMM music faculty as a part of the project to Improve Public Understanding of Liberal Learning (IMPULL). The skills are those which all or most students studying music are likely to acquire through classroom instruction, co-curricular or extra-curricular activities.

Leadership/Management Skills:
- conceptualizing
- ability to work self-directedly
- directing others
- setting goals
- analyzing
- managing time, energy and resources
- analyzing the behavior of self and others
in a group
- using tact, diplomacy, and discretion
- applying data
- unwillingness to automatically accept the
status quo
- making decisions
- motivating people
- understanding the feelings of others
- making commitments to others and
following through
- making and keeping a schedule


Communication/Writing Skills:
- comprehending written material
- speaking effectively to another individual
- describing objects or events with a
minimum of factual errors
- translating written materials
- listening objectively
- expressing one's feeling appropriately
- articulateness
- dealing with the public
- speaking effectively to groups
- coordinating or directing others in a
group performance
- critiquing, editing, proofreading
- identifying and communicating value
judgments effectively
- understanding the feeling of others


Instructing/Educational Skills:
-discussion group leadership
-training someone in something
-organizing and administering training programs
-coaching advising
-group dynamics
-designing educational events
teaching a skill, concept or principle to others


Research/Analytical Skills:
- sorting data and objects
- cataloging information
- understanding and using organizing
- analyzing and evaluating ideas and
- reading
- calculating
- gathering information
- perceiving and defining cause and effect
- analyzing the interrelationships of
events and ideas from several perspectives
- compiling and selecting information
- applying information creatively to solve
specific problems
- evaluating information against
appropriate standards
- using library and research facilities
- editing
- organizing and classifying
- breaking down principles into parts
- using a variety of sources of information


Artistic/Creative Skills:
- composing music
- singing
- sensitivity to and appreciation of beauty
in the environment
- skill in symbol formation
- playing musical instruments
- dealing creatively with symbols or
- aware of the value of symbolism
- directing a performance


Technical/Manual Skills:
- setting up
- muscular coordination
- doing detailed and accurate work
- playing musical instruments


Jobs Obtained by UMM Music Graduates
Studies conducted by the UMM Career Center have shown that graduates obtain jobs that are both related to their major and jobs that may not be formally related to the major. Over 68% of the music graduates from 1964-1998 said their job was in the same field or related to their undergraduate major. Other studies have shown that liberal arts graduates find employment that makes use of their skills, special knowledge, values, and interests, even though the employment field may not be related to their academic major. Listed below are some jobs obtained by UMM music graduates:

Adolescent Treatment Center Educator
Band Director
Business Owner
Children’s Ministry Lay Professional
Choir Director
Church Musician
Civil Engineer
College Administrator
College Professor
Community Education Director
Composer/Technical Writer
Computer Programmer
Daycare Provider
Executive Secretary
Financial Advisor
International Trade Specialist
LAN Administrator
Liturgy and Music Director
Music Administrator
Music and Worship Ministry Associate
Music Publisher
Music Publishing Production Editor
Music Specialist/Choral
Music Teacher
Non-Profit Music/Dance School Executive Director
Office Assistant
Optics Technician
Personal Assistant
President - Music Technologies Co.
Private Music Instructor
Real Estate Company Owner
Registered Nurse
Registrar/Ministry Assistant
Resource/Special Education Teacher
Retail Management
Software Project Lead
Speaking Coordinator
Testing and Assembly Technician


There are many occupations that do not require a specific undergraduate major; they are often learned as a result of one-the-job training rather than prior education. What is sought among prospective employees is the development of certain sills and abilities that can be developed not only through an academic major but through courses taken as part of one’s general education, and through internships, directed studies, tutorials, seminars, study abroad, work-study and summer employment, and volunteer experiences.

Music (Adobe Acrobat Supplement)
Graduate/Professional Schools in Music
Links to Music Jobs