Conservatory career: 7 elements to consider

If music is your passion and you feel happy only with one instrument in hand, then a conservatory career might be the best choice for you. Career opportunities at the conservatory are something that every musician considers when embarking on their professional career.

Important elements for a career in the conservatory

What should I specialize in, how can I find a job? How can I make myself known? These are all questions that can begin to overwhelm students who have yet to graduate and enter an industry where the competition is high and tough. In this article, we will show you 7 things you should consider when thinking about your future conservatory career.

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  1. It’s a competitive field, so you’ll need to start building your resume as soon as possible.
  2. Many conservatories offer summer programs for high school students that can help you decide if music is the right career path for you.
  3. You will be competing with other musicians for a limited number of seats in orchestras, opera companies and bands, so it is important to be able to play more than one instrument or sing if you are a classical musician.
  4. The top 5 music colleges, conservatoires and universities for performing arts (accordingly to 2021 QS World University Rankings) are: The Juilliard School (New York), Royal College of Music (London), Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Royal Academy of Music (London).
  5. If you are interested in teaching or performing outside of an orchestra, it may be worth looking for programs that focus on chamber music or solo performance.
  6. The music industry is constantly evolving, which means you will have to adapt too – whether that means learning new tools or finding new ways to connect with audiences digitally through social media platforms like Instagram and videos uploaded to YouTube
  7. Becoming a professional musician takes dedication and hard work – it’s not always glamorous! But if that’s something you truly love doing, then there is.

But what is a conservatory?

A conservatory is an educational institution dedicated to the teaching and learning of music. Some conservatories put  a special emphasis on classical music, others may focus on specific genres, such as jazz or musical theater. The art training offered by a conservatory can prepare students for interesting careers in music and related fields.

Basically, the conservatory is a music university where you enter with the same requirements that are needed to enroll at the university: the baccalaureate and passing an exam. To study music before graduating, you can attend the local high school.

Some of the most famous conservatories in the world include Juilliard, Berklee College of Music, Curtis Institute of Music, and Manhattan School of Music. These institutions tend to specialize in classical and jazz music, but some also offer programs in other genres such as musical theater and popular music.

Many people think of conservatories as graduate schools for aspiring professional musicians, but they actually offer many different types of programs at all levels of education. In fact, the conservatory does not consist only in learning an instrument or simply in music theory; the study experience in the conservatory is total and also concerns other fields of study, in the constant search for personal and educational improvement.

Is the conservatory right for you?

Conservatory degrees can be expensive, and they don’t guarantee you’ll make a career out of it. Make sure you are realistic before applying. Conservatives are best for students who have a good idea of what they want to do with their career and have already reached a certain level of education. Also, keep in mind that if your goal is to be an actor or performer, there will be many years of low-paid or unpaid work after your graduation.

Conservatory degrees are best for:

  • focus solely on their craft
  • quickly enter the professional world
  • have a clear idea of what they want to do with their career

What types of conservatories are there?

There are two main types of conservatories: self-contained departments within universities and independent schools offering four-year BFA programs. Autonomous schools offer greater focus and intensity but lack the diversity of a university campus.

For example, Carnegie Mellon University’s theater school is part of its broader arts program, which includes theater design, film production, lighting design, and other specialties. Some independent schools such as New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts offer programs in different areas.

The conservatory career also allows you to undertake stays abroad with the Erasmus program, in other conservatories in Europe. For a general overview of the Erasmus program and the endless possibilities it has, we recommend that you take a look at our tips.

Life after graduation

The conservatory is a place where we can develop our talent, enjoy our favorite instruments and learn more about music. But what about life after graduation? How do you start working in the world of music? What are the career options for an aspiring musician? Remember that, whatever path you decide to take, you can find here some tips on how to create your CV highlighting your strengths.

There is a great wealth of work for conservatory graduates. It is possible to jump straight into their career. With the master’s degree you can pursue a musical or vocal career (even at high levels) or become:

  • orchestra conductor;
  • choir director;
  • enter the compositional or executive sector (after specializing in an instrument).

Not only that, with the master’s degree you can also undertake a job always inherent in music as a sound technician or music teacher.

The variety of careers in the conservatory is limitless. The faculty and staff members are a diverse group of individuals who have chosen their careers with music as their primary passion. And many of them started in this institution as students in one of the departments.

With any luck, one day you will find yourself in the same position as these alumni who have found a rewarding career that they are passionate about!

Regardless of what the future holds and the possible career path, to take this path it is necessary to love music without borders!

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