A college degree obviously isn’t required to become a Singer or a Background Singer, but it can help. For those who want to be Opera Singers or Musical Theatre Actors, an academic training program is absolutely essential.
No matter what type of singing you’re interested in, taking the time to buckle down and focus on your craft through regular lessons in vocal performance, pedagogy and music theory will lead you to becoming a stronger, more knowledgeable performer. Many people say they want to be Singers; a visible commitment and dedication to furthering your musical education will set you apart from the pack professionally.
Additionally, attending a music degree program will give you insider knowledge of auditions for operas, performance companies, and musical theatre Producers. As we’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, being an active part of a supportive music community is necessary for growth and success as an artist. College is where you’ll start building this community.
You’d be hard pressed to find a university Music Department that didn’t offer a program in vocal performance, but the different types of degrees and courses of study can vary. While a Music Performance degree is standard, you can also find programs in Popular Music, Vocal Jazz, and Contemporary Music, among others.
Some common degree options you’ll find are the B.M. (Bachelor of Music), which focuses intensely on the performance aspect, the B.A. (Bachelor of Arts), which allows students to dedicate their studies to music within a liberal arts context (read: a more general degree, but with wider applications in the world outside of music school) and the B.F.A., another degree with a strict music focus. Generally speaking, students do not have to audition for B.A. programs; they will for a B.F.A. or B.M. program.