Choosing to become a music major, or allowing your child to become a music major, does not need to be nearly as hard as you may think.

Don’t believe what the world says about not being able to make a living in music.

Here’s the real truth; not only is it very possible to make a living in music, but you also have the option to choose to do something else with your life after being a music major too.

photo by JeyMeydad via Wikimedia Commons

Plenty of music majors go onto successful careers in the arts, and plenty of others use the skills they learn in college for other careers they fall in love with.

I have a message for parents and for students…

Parents, if you know your child has a burning desire for music, and it is what they love to do all day, listen to the following…

If you tell them that they are not allowed to major in music, you are essentially saying to them, “I know you love it, and are fairly good at it, but you just aren’t good enough to make a living at it.”

Can you imagine how it would feel to hear this as a child?

For students, if you feel you want to do music more than anything else, however you are still allowing fear to tell you that your future should be in something “more stable,” you risk looking back on your life and saying “What if I went for it? What if I did what I wanted to do?”

Here’s another way to think about it…

How many people do you think are not doing something they absolutely love in this world?

The answer is clearly too many.

Is life really worth living if you are not pursuing the only thing that even matters to you?

Look, I’m not saying majoring in music, and having a successful career, is easy.

But, here’s the truth…

If it were easy, it would never have felt worth it in the first place.

Being a music major does not make you unemployable; in fact, it provides you with lots of skills foundational to success in any field.

Here are 10 amazing reasons you should major in music.

10. Music Majors Feel the Power of Focus

One time, Bill Gates’ father asked both his son as well as Warren Buffett to write down, on separate pieces of paper in separate rooms, what the key to success is.

Funny, these two mega-successful magnates both wrote just one word at the same exact time: Focus.

Walk through any conservatory practice hall, and you can be sure that the students you witness have been practicing those same scales…at the same hours…every day…for many years…possibly a couple decades…

Why do they do this?

It sharpens technique, intonation, musicianship, the foundations of excellence.

But it’s also an effort of improving focus.

This is the kind of discipline it takes to taste true success in the real world, be it a career in music or something completely different.


9. Music Majors Understand the Power of Groups

Music is indisputably a social art.

Musicians coordinate schedules, convey their needs to other musicians, work collaboratively with multidisciplinary artists, communicate with studio engineers…

They also have to play well with each other in their own ensembles.

And this is very challenging…

For the person who has never been trained in music.

You might be surprised just how powerful musicians can be when placed into groups.

And working well in groups…

This is important whether you plan to be a musician or go out into the real world in any profession.


8. Music Majors Develop an “Inner Tough”

Even though I was a music major, I am still amazed by students who:

Wake up at 7am everyday…

Practice 4 hours in a row…

Ace all their classes…

Thrive in school orchestra/band/choir…

Study for their music exams…

Win music competitions…

Travel for performances…

AND, still have healthy social lives…

Honestly, the non-music majors seem like major slackers in comparison to these studs!

All they have to do is study and pass their exams!

Being a music major means developing a certain sense of inner toughness, a skill that, along with focus and teamwork, are essential to success.