What is music?

Music is an arrangement of sounds and instruments, organized into a collection that utilizes various elements of melody, rhythm, timbre, tone and harmony to produce a unified whole.

What should I look for in an online music school?

The best online music schools should possess either regional or national accreditation from an accrediting body that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

In addition, you can often recognize top online music schools based on:

  • The school’s name and status
  • The school’s history
  • Teacher credentials
  • Alumni network
In choosing the best online music school for you, you should consider the following factors:
  • Admission requirements
  • Residency requirements
  • Class and teaching style
  • Testing methods used
  • Course content and presentation
  • Program length
  • Class size
  • Student-teacher interaction
  • Technology use
  • Tuition and financial aid
  • Transferability of credits
  • Availability of a dedicated administration team and resources

What levels of online music programs are available?

The following levels of Music degree online programs are available:

  • Online Music Certificate Programs
  • Online Associates in Music
  • Online Bachelor in Music
  • Online Masters in Music
  • Online PhD in Music

How long does it take to get an online music degree?

The amount of time it takes a student to earn an accredited online music degree depends on the level of music degree being pursued and the pace of the student.

Typically, the breakdown is as follows:

  • Online Music Certification Programs – 6 months to 1 year
  • Online Music Associates Degree – 2 years
  • Online Music Bachelor Degree – 4 years
  • Online Music Masters – 2 years
  • Online Music PhD – 2 to 5 years

What are some examples of online music courses?

The best online music degrees combine elements of style and function to prepare music majors from accredited online music schools for jobs in education, composition, performance, or production. Courses in top online music programs vary by specialization, but include foundational classes such as:

  • Music Theory
    A fundamental course in how music works, what elements comprise different kinds of musical pieces and the mathematical concepts of how musical elements fit together for a holistic sound experience.
  • Teaching Methods in Music
    This is one in a series of courses for music educators on the proper steps of how to teach music theory, as well as practical music skills in classrooms or private lessons.
  • Songwriting and Composition
    Composition courses focus on how to combine the elements of a composition including the flow, themes and professional scoring to create multi-instrument music pieces.
  • Music Production and Engineering
    This course focuses on the sound technology of music production, including critical listening, using mixers and soundboard equipment and recording instruments for professional music production.
  • History of Music
    Several music history classes will in turn focus on different time periods of music history such as classical, baroque, romantic, and modern, studying the including popular styles, composers and developments in music from one era to the next.

What areas of music specialization are available?

The field of music is very broad, accounting for musicians who are performers, engineers or managers. Popular online music schools feature specializations in:

  • Music Education
  • Music Production
  • Music Business and Management
  • Composition and Theory
  • Conducting
  • Performance (Instrument-specific)
  • Music History
  • Musicology
  • Music Therapy

What can I do with a music degree?

Careers in music are as diverse as the types of music that exist. Music jobs may involve performing, composing or working in other aspects of the professional music industry. Online music schools’ graduates most commonly pursue the following jobs:

  • Classical or Orchestral Musician
  • Music Composer
  • Music Teacher
  • Sound Engineer
  • Record Producer
  • Musician Manager/Agent
  • Music Professor
  • Music Historian
  • Pop/Rock/Popular Music Performer
  • Music Therapist
  • Disc Jockey

What is a musician?

A musician is a person who understands the theory of creating music and either performs original or pre-written pieces of music in public venues. Music producers focus on the business or technological aspects of recording, mixing, and distributing musicians’ works.

What does a musician do?

A musician may start as an individual songwriter or composer, creating, revising and performing original pieces of music for others. Orchestral musicians audition for positions with worldwide orchestral groups or symphonies, playing already written classical and modern music pieces in combination with other musicians of complementary instruments. Pop and rock musicians join or start bands for recording, touring and performing live songs in public venues. Jazz musicians may play in smaller ensembles in clubs, halls or bars using musical theory to create on-the-spot improvisational music pieces.

How much does a musician earn?

Because music is a broad field, music jobs offer a broad salary range depending on where in the music world a musician works. Performing musician salaries vary from $16,750 to $63,000 annually. Music teachers, music therapists and music professors all earn within a range of $47,100 to $69,000 annually. Music jobs of all types are expected to continue to increase by 13% to 32% until 2018, but also provide significant competition for positions based on skills and the number of available musicians.

How do I become a musician?

The dream of how to become a musician begins to happen when one chooses a top online school of music with possible specializations in education, composition, production, business, or performance. After completing the courses at an accredited music degree program online, compose a music resume that includes details of one's training, performance history and specialization. For compositions and performance musician jobs, individuals need to seek auditions to showcase their skills. Music production and business music jobs may come via internships. Music educators may seek additional Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) certification. The Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) offers professional certification for music therapists.

Music Schools (Campus)

School Certificate Associates Bachelors Masters PhD
Arizona State University
1151 S Forest Ave
Tempe, AZ, 85287
http://www.asu.edu/
X X X
Miami Dade College
300 NE 2nd Ave.
Miami, FL, 33132
http://www.mdc.edu/main/
X
Ohio State University-Main Campus
190 N. Oval Mall
Columbus, OH, 43210
http://www.osu.edu
X X X
University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Blvd
Orlando, FL, 32816
http://www.ucf.edu/
X
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
100 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN, 55455
http://www1.umn.edu/twincities/index.php
X X X
The University of Texas at Austin
2608 Whitis Ave
Austin, TX, 78712
http://www.utexas.edu
X X X
University of Florida
355 Tigert Hall
Gainesville, FL, 32611
http://www.ufl.edu/
X X X
Texas A & M University
112 M T Harrington Ctr
College Station, TX, 77843
http://www.tamu.edu
X
Michigan State University
100 Library
East Lansing, MI, 48824
http://www.msu.edu
X X X
Lone Star College System
5000 Research Forest Drive
The Woodlands, TX, 77381
http://www.lonestar.edu
X
Liberty University
1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA, 24502
http://www.liberty.edu
X
University of Washington-Seattle Campus
1400 NE Campus Parkway
Seattle, WA, 98195
http://www.washington.edu
X X
Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
201 Old Main
State College, PA, 16802
http://www.psu.edu/
X
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
601 E John Street
Champaign, IL, 61820
http://www.illinois.edu/
X X X
New York University
70 Washington Sq South
New York, NY, 10012
http://www.nyu.edu
X X X
Indiana University-Bloomington
107 South Indiana Ave.
Bloomington, IN, 47405
http://www.iub.edu
X X
College of Southern Nevada
6375 W. Charleston Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV, 89146
http://www.csn.edu
X
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
440 Church Street
Ann Arbor, MI, 48109
http://www.umich.edu
X
University of Wisconsin-Madison
500 Lincoln Dr
Madison, WI, 53706
http://www.wisc.edu
X X X
Austin Community College District
5930 Middle Fiskville Rd
Austin, TX, 78752
http://www.austincc.edu
X
Florida State University
211 Westcott Bldg
Tallahassee, FL, 32306
http://www.fsu.edu
X X
Florida International University
11200 S. W. 8 Street
Miami, FL, 33199
http://www.fiu.edu
X X
Valencia Community College
190 South Orange Avenue
Orlando, FL, 32801
http://valenciacc.edu
X X
University of Arizona
1401 E University
Tucson, AZ, 85721
http://www.arizona.edu
X X X
University of California-Los Angeles
405 Hilgard Ave
Los Angeles, CA, 90095
http://www.ucla.edu/
X X X X
Rutgers University-New Brunswick
83 Somerset St
New Brunswick, NJ, 8901
http://www.rutgers.edu/
X X X
University of Maryland-College Park
1101 Main Administration BL
College Park, MD, 20742
http://www.umd.edu
X X X
University of Houston
212 E. Cullen Building
Houston, TX, 77204
http://www.uh.edu
X X
Riverside Community College
4800 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA, 92506
http://www.rcc.edu/
X
Temple University
1801 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19122
http://WWW.TEMPLE.EDU
X X
California State University-Fullerton
800 N State College Blvd
Fullerton, CA, 92831
http://www.fullerton.edu
X X
University of California-Berkeley
Gayley Rd & Stadium Rim Way
Berkeley, CA, 94720
http://www.berkeley.edu
X X X
California State University-Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Blvd
Long Beach, CA, 90840
http://www.csulb.edu
X X
American River College
4700 College Oak Dr
Sacramento, CA, 95841
http://www.arc.losrios.edu/
X
California State University-Northridge
18111 Nordhoff St
Los Angeles, CA, 91330
http://www.csun.edu
X X
University of North Texas
Chestnut Ave.
Denton, TX, 76203
http://www.unt.edu
X X X
Salt Lake Community College
4600 S Redwood Rd
Salt Lake City, UT, 84123
http://www.slcc.edu
X
University of Georgia
125 Cedar St.
Athens, GA, 30602
http://www.uga.edu
X X X
University of Southern California
University Park
Los Angeles, CA, 90089
http://www.usc.edu/
X X X
Excelsior College
7 Columbia Cir
Albany, NY, 12203
http://www.excelsior.edu
X
Brigham Young University
Main Campus
Provo, UT, 84602
http://www.byu.edu
X
University of Colorado at Boulder
Regent Drive at Broadway
Boulder, CO, 80309
http://www.colorado.edu
X
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Dr
San Diego, CA, 92182
http://www.sdsu.edu
X
Santa Monica College
1900 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica, CA, 90405
http://www.smc.edu
X
George Mason University
4400 University Dr
Fairfax, VA, 22030
http://www.gmu.edu
X
Boston University
One Silber Way
Boston, MA, 2215
http://www.bu.edu
X X
Wayne State University
656 West Kirby Street
Detroit, MI, 48202
http://www.wayne.edu
X X
San Jose State University
1 Washington Sq
San Jose, CA, 95192
http://www.sjsu.edu
X X
University of California-Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA, 95616
http://www.ucdavis.edu
X X
University of Missouri-Columbia
105 Jesse Hall
Columbia, MO, 65211
http://www.missouri.edu/
X X
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus
2624 Clifton Avenue
Cincinnati, OH, 45221
http://www.uc.edu
X
Santa Ana College
1530 W. 17th Street
Santa Ana, CA, 92706
http://www.sac.edu
X
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
2265 Kraft Dr
Blacksburg, VA, 24061
http://WWW.VT.EDU
X
Texas State University-San Marcos
601 University Dr
San Marcos, TX, 78666
http://www.txstate.edu
X X
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Ave
San Francisco, CA, 94132
http://www.sfsu.edu
X X
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
2200 E Kenwood Blvd
Milwaukee, WI, 53201
http://www.uwm.edu
X X
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis
425 University Blvd
Indianapolis, IN, 46202
http://www.iupui.edu
X
Texas Tech University
Broadway and University Avenue
Lubbock, TX, 79409
http://www.ttu.edu
X X X
Mt San Antonio College
1100 N Grand Ave
Walnut, CA, 91789
http://www.mtsac.edu
X
The University of Tennessee
527 Andy Holt Tower
Knoxville, TN, 37996
http://www.tennessee.edu
X X
Troy University
University Avenue
Troy, AL, 36082
http://www.troy.edu
X
University of Utah
201 Presidents Circle
Salt Lake City, UT, 84112
http://www.utah.edu
X X X
University of Kansas
Jayhawk Dr
Lawrence, KS, 66045
http://www.ku.edu
X X X
California State University-Sacramento
6000 J St
Sacramento, CA, 95819
http://www.csus.edu
X
University of Nevada-Las Vegas
4505 S Maryland Pky
Las Vegas, NV, 89154
http://www.unlv.edu
X X X
University of Iowa
101 Jessup Hall
Iowa City, IA, 52242
http://www.uiowa.edu
X X X X
The University of Texas at San Antonio
One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, TX, 78249
http://www.utsa.edu/
X
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
103 South Bldg Cb 9100
Chapel Hill, NC, 27599
http://www.unc.edu
X
Colorado State University
102 Administration Building
Fort Collins, CO, 80523
http://www.colostate.edu
X X
West Virginia University
Stewart Hall University Avenue
Morgantown, WV, 26506
http://www.wvu.edu/
X X X
University at Buffalo
3435 Main Street
Buffalo, NY, 14214
http://www.buffalo.edu
X
Utah Valley University
800 W University Parkway
Orem, UT, 84058
http://www.uvu.edu
X X
The University of Alabama
739 University Blvd
Tuscaloosa, AL, 35487
http://www.ua.edu/
X X X
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College
Tower Dr
Baton Rouge, LA, 70803
http://www.lsu.edu
X X
University of South Carolina-Columbia
514 Main St
Columbia, SC, 29208
http://www.sc.edu/
X X X
University of California-San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr
San Diego, CA, 92093
http://www.ucsd.edu
X X X
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus
4200 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA, 15260
http://www.pitt.edu
X X X
The University of Texas at Arlington
701 S. Nedderman Dr.
Arlington, TX, 76013
http://WWW.UTA.EDU
X
Iowa State University
137 Lynn Ave
Ames, IA, 50011
http://www.iastate.edu
X
Portland State University
724 SW Harrison
Portland, OR, 97201
http://www.pdx.edu
X X
Long Beach City College
4901 E. Carson St.
Long Beach, CA, 90808
http://www.lbcc.edu
X X
Harvard University
Massachusetts Hall
Cambridge, MA, 2138
http://www.harvard.edu/
X X X
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Rd
Boca Raton, FL, 33431
http://www.fau.edu/
X X
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA, 2115
http://www.northeastern.edu
X
Palomar College
1140 W. Mission
San Marcos, CA, 92069
http://WWW.PALOMAR.EDU
X X
Central Michigan University
1200 S Franklin St # 121
Mount Pleasant, MI, 48859
http://www.cmich.edu
X
El Camino Community College District
16007 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA, 90506
http://www.elcamino.edu
X
Sacramento City College
3835 Freeport Blvd
Sacramento, CA, 95822
http://www.scc.losrios.edu/
X
University of California-Irvine
204 Administration
Irvine, CA, 92697
http://www.uci.edu/
X X
University of Massachusetts Amherst
1 Campus Center Way
Amherst Center, MA, 1003
http://www.umass.edu
X
San Jacinto Community College
8060 Spencer Hwy
Pasadena, TX, 77501
http://www.sjcd.edu
X X
University of Illinois at Chicago
601 S Morgan
Chicago, IL, 60607
http://www.uic.edu/index.html/
X
Pasadena City College
1570 E Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA, 91106
http://www.pasadena.edu
X
South Texas College
3201 W Pecan
McAllen, TX, 78502
http://www.southtexascollege.edu
X
University of Kentucky
175 Funkhouser Dr
Lexington, KY, 40506
http://www.uky.edu
X
Washington State University
French Administration Building
Pullman, WA, 99164
http://www.wsu.edu/
X X
Mesa Community College
1833 W Southern Ave
Mesa, AZ, 85202
http://www.mc.maricopa.edu
X X
University of Akron Main Campus
302 Buchtel Common
Akron, OH, 44325
http://www.uakron.edu
X X
University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
660 Parrington Oval
Norman, OK, 73019
http://www.ou.edu
X X
Fresno City College
1101 E. University Ave
Fresno, CA, 93741
http://www.fresnocitycollege.edu
X