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What degree do I need to be a singer?

There are few things that can bring as much joy to the world as singing and music, and the thrill and reward of performing live music for a living is almost unparalleled. You don't have to be discovered while singing on the subway (a real long shot): a formal college degree, particularly for classical music, can be a help. However, traditionally, there are no formal educational requirements for those who want to perform popular music or make their way into the world.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a bachelor's degree in music theory or music performance is generally required to work as a singer in formal classical settings, such as opera. Music is a competitive field, and to be accepted into a bachelor's degree programs for music, applicants are typically required to submit recordings or audition in person -- and sometimes both. Some universities require separate admission applications for their music programs beyond the general college admission. Undergraduate music degree programs typically include a variety of classes, such as music history, musical expression and classes on improving instrumental and vocal technique. Singers can also choose to pursue a master's degree in fine arts or music. They can enroll in classes taught by leaders in their field or pursue fellowships to improve their skills even further.


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