Professional musicians are not simply talented artists that are passionate about music; they are also dedicated, disciplined, and determined individuals who understand they also need to develop a business savvy that enables them to build a great career, earn a good living, and make a positive difference in people's lives.
The musical world is composed of a broad and diverse range of musical styles (e.g., classical, pop/rock, jazz, country, world, R&B, country, folk, avant-garde, Latin, New Aged, rap, electronic). Likewise, professional musicians must have a broad understanding of music (theoretical, historical, and practical), perform at a high level consistently, be comfortable arranging and working with different instruments and technologies, and be able to present music in a variety of professional settings.
The KPU music program offers students three credentials:
- Bachelor of Music in Musical Arts. This is a bachelor's degree program consisting of 122 credits of coursework.
- Music Diploma. A two-year diploma is embedded within the degree. It allows students to have an optional exit point after completion of lower-level requirements. The Diploma has six concentrations: General Studies, Comprehensive Studies, Guitar Performance, Orchestral Instrument Performance, Piano Performance and Vocal Performance.
- Associate of Arts Degree. A two-year Associate of Arts Degree with a Specialization in Music prepares students to pursue a number of music-related careers. Students take a variety of general education courses in conjunction with several music-related classes, which provides them a well-rounded and versatile education.
It is highly recommended that prospective music students attend a music information session where all program and application procedures will be explained. For more information, please visit kpu.ca/music
In this section
Individuals who do well in the music industry are creative, confident, and adventurous. They are fully committed to the field and understand it is important to educate themselves in the many different aspects of professional music-making. Those who excel in this field are also fully aware that professional and personal success requires sustained effort and a passion that inspires them to work on their craft daily. Finally, professional musicians are creative at generating income; they don't wait for opportunities to come to them – they seek them out or generate them themselves.
Successful musicians employ a wide range of skills in their professional life. Trained professionals not only devote themselves to developing a primary musical skill, they also cultivate a unique set of secondary musical and non-musical skills. Professional musicians not only perform, compose, or teach, they must also manage finances, network with various sectors within the industry, develop marketing skills, teach, and problem solve. Individuals who pursue this field must also be able to work and communicate well with a variety of people, such as managers, promoters, recording engineers, conductors, students, and other musicians.
Bachelor of Music (in Musical Arts) students are high school graduates, transfer students, and adult learners. All entering students require rudimentary knowledge of music theory, basic aural and rhythm skills, and practical performance skills at a university-entrance level In addition, good writing and research skills will be beneficial in all music history courses.
A curriculum that supports an entrepreneurial spirit in the cultural marketplace is an important focus of the KPU music degree. The program opens multiple pathways to career options including performance, studio pedagogy, music education, music health, recording, interdisciplinary arts, and arts management.
Graduates of the Bachelor of Music (in Musical Arts) degree will be able to access post-baccalaureate studies in music education or in graduate music programs emphasizing performance, studio pedagogy, music composition, arranging, theory, the record industry, or musicology at universities across North America.
Through a judicious choice of courses and/or further study, Bachelor of Music (in Musical Arts) students may also pursue music-related careers in the areas of music services (e.g., music librarian, music therapy), science and technology (e.g., audio engineering, digital audio editor), management (e.g., arts administration, concert promotion), advertising (e.g., music critic, jingle writer), business (music wholesaler/distributor, merchandising, entertainment business lawyer), and music production in the related fields of film, theatre, and television.