That’s a question I get almost on a daily basis and that’s a subject I in fact never talked about, so I figured it was a good idea to give my opinion on it.
Depending on the country you are living in, a lot of factors will influence your decision.
For example, in the US, tuitions are extremely high and most of the students need to have a loan right after High School, which is, in my opinion, an insane thing to have.
Message to parents
Before I start giving any kind of advice on career choices, I want the following message to be passed to parents that decided to have their kid’s path already chosen in their mind:
Please, let them do what they actually want.
Artists and musicians are sensitive people, their art is a way of exteriorizing who they truly are through musical notes.
Music is often part of their DNA, that’s like breathing air.
Whatever the outcome, 100% of them end up doing it anyway, later on. This is not something they can detach themselves from. It is just inside them.
Many people can’t have the talk with their parents, and if only one person, after reading this, could start the discussion and express themselves on who they truly are and what they want to do, the mission would be won, we would have saved a life.
Music is not a “Plan B” for “failed career choices”. Music is an art, your kid is good at it, get over it.
Music school, is that still a thing?
Yes! Yes it is still a thing. What bothers me the most with music schools is the fact that they generally teach you what it is on the paper.
At no moment do they shape you to be the musician, the singer, the music producer, you should be on a daily basis.
They will give you tools to perfect your engineering, your sound, the way you sing, but what’s a diploma in Music?
A diploma to be a teacher?
That’s already a better answer. The diploma could be used in two intelligent ways:
- To be a teacher/coach, so having certifications is important for the end customer
- When it comes to music production and engineering, people like to see them hanging on the wall, it reassures them. For some reasons.
But honestly, past that, I don’t see the point.
Hours of free content
Youtube is filled with, and I mean it, hours of content on how to: sing, play an instrument, mix, master, use a certain software…
If you have the money to get to school and you want to have an organized way of studying, then yes.
But if your goal is to have a diploma because that’s how you are going to be recognized in this world, then forget about it.
Music is one of the rare domains where you can actually be self taught and be the most successful in your field.
Music has never been cheaper and easier to compose, produce, distribute and promote. It is almost free to do all that nowadays and all the knowledge can be grasped online.
That’s something I need to give credit for. Berklee has an online program that lets all students around the world be taught on how to do anything in the Music Industry.
So yes, it is still pretty expensive depending on how much credits you are taking, but their courses are super efficient, tells you to do one thing and only, has no other motives than to make you perfect your art and you can do it from home, where you actually would do it.
That’s incredibly smart because they adapted and understood that it is no longer a matter of following classes, going to a campus, having regular hours, doing it in a community…
That’s, for me, a smart investment.
Nobody will judge you as an artist because of your diploma
That being said, I hope you are aware than nobody is waiting for you to complete a degree to make music and be successful for this.
The end consumer, when it comes to music, couldn’t care less.
If you think one second that Lil Pump or Post Malone or Logic actually rest their success on their nice little university, you’re wrong.
You will learn more by being self-aware and patient than anything.