Bachelor of Music

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A Bachelor of Music graduate at her graduation ceremony.

Bachelor of Music is an academic degree awarded by a college, university, or conservatory upon completion of program of study in music. In the United States, it is a professional degree, and the majority of work consists of prescribed music courses and study in applied music, usually requiring proficiency in performing an instrument, voice, or conducting. In Canada, the B.Mus. is often considered an undergraduate degree. Programs typically last from three to four and a half years.

The degree may be awarded for music performance, music education, composition, music theory, musicology / music history (musicology degrees may be a Bachelor of Arts (BA) rather than a BMus) music technology, music therapy, music ministry/sacred music, music business/music industry, music entertainment, music production or jazz studies. In the 2010s, some universities have begun offering degrees in Music Composition with Technology, which includes traditional theory and musicology courses and sound recording and composition courses using digital technologies.

In the United Kingdom, the Bachelor of Music – often referred to in speech as a BMus /ˌb ˈmjuz/[by whom?] – is generally a first degree lasting three years (or four years in Scotland) and consisting of a wide range of areas of study (normally including music performance, composition, music theory, musicology/music history), but at the University of Oxford[1] and the University of Cambridge[2] it is a one-year postgraduate degree which can only be read (taken) if a student is a graduate in music with honours at those universities; the undergraduate course is in the Faculty of Arts and leads to the degree of Bachelor of Arts (and subsequently to the degree of Master of Arts (Oxbridge)).

Abbreviations[edit]

After a degree holder's name, as on a business card or a CV, the degree is abbreviated in various ways, including: B.M., B.Mus, Mus.B, Mus.Bac, BM or BMus. Some recipients add an abbreviation for the name of the institution which granted the degree as well, e.g., "Susan Bhattara, B.Mus. (Oxon)"; Oxon being the Latin abbreviation for Oxford University.

Post-graduation options[edit]

Graduates may apply for music jobs in performance, teaching, or arts administration. As well, graduates can apply for jobs which require a bachelor's degree in every subject, such as some entry-level jobs in banking, insurance, sales and administration. Graduates with an interest in teaching in the school system may go on to complete a teaching degree or diploma. Graduates who have achieved a high standard on their instrument, voice or another musical specialization such as composition or conducting may be eligible to apply for a Master of Music (MMus) degree, if their grades are high enough (a B+ or A- average is typically required). BMus graduates can also apply to a range of graduate programs outside of music, such as library science programs, business administration or public administration programs; a B+ or A- average is typically required. Some programs may require BMus graduates to complete preparatory or make up courses in the field of the master's degree. As well, some programs require the GRE or GMAT (standardized tests). BMus graduates in some fields, such as composition, music theory or musicology may be able to apply directly to Ph.D programs, if they have a high average and strong recommendation letters.

References[edit]