Voice and Opera
Degree programs in music with a voice or opera concentration are available at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. While some select schools have a specific program of study for voice or opera, most offer a music degree with a concentration in these subjects. Students interested in careers involving voice or opera will need to gain a great deal of experience and expertise in the field to be competitive for employment.
Inside Voice and Opera
Most universities have students major in music with a concentration in voice for this type of study. Music education is also an option, which often includes a minor in education to provide the student with the appropriate classes to become a teacher. A major in music and a minor in theater can provide an excellent background for the student interested in opera. Some specialized schools offer vocal performance as a separate major and even have programs of study for opera. These are mostly performing arts schools, which have a high competition for open spots in these programs. Most schools require some kind of audition before allowing a student to enter their music program.
Programs of study for a music major who is concentrating in voice will often include voice lessons, music theory, sight singing, and secondary instruments. If a student is studying to become a music teacher, there will often be other instrument instruction required, as a music teacher needs to know at least a little about each instrument. Voice students will also take diction classes in several languages including English, German, Italian, Latin and French. Bachelor's degrees are available, as are master's and doctorate degrees, although the more advanced degrees are usually only required to teach college.
Careers for a voice or opera major include singing in an opera, musical or professional chorus, composing music, conducting choirs or teaching music. Singers use their voices and their own creative interpretation to convey messages in song. They can be solo performers or part of an ensemble or group. They can also actors and be employed playing a role in a musical or opera. Composers use their knowledge of instrumentation and lyrics to create music. A composer will need to have extensive knowledge of the rules and capabilities of each type of instrument and how they work together to create a complete piece of music. Music teachers can be part of a formal education program such as high school choir directors or can be independent vocal coaches for individuals who wish to take lessons.
Because of the glamorous nature of careers in the arts, competition can be very high for professional positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), opportunities should grow by eight percent for musicians, including singers, from 2008 to 2018 (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported the average 2010 salary for directors and composers was $45,970 per year and $42,988 for musicians and singers. Music teachers made an average of $62,040 in 2010.
Learn More About Voice and Opera
Education-Portal.com has information about music schools and careers. Check out these articles for more information.
A student interested in studying voice or opera will most likely major in music with an emphasis on voice or vocal performance. The articles below can help you choose a school and degree program.
Opera singer, vocal performer and teacher are some of the more popular career choices for someone with a background in voice and opera.
Distance Learning Options
There are a variety of online music courses, both free and paid, that can help people learn how to play various instruments. Other online resources include degree programs in music education.
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