Cro, Herbert Grönemeyer, Joy Denalane, die Toten Hosen, Seed and old master Udo Lindenberg – German pop music is booming like never before. In 2012, eight of the ten best-selling albums in Germany were by German artists. Their music has long since had nothing in common with the hits that dominated “music made in Germany” until the 1970s. On the contrary: the artists use a wide variety of musical styles, from reggae to jazz.
Many young musicians dream of being successful with their own music one day. As a rule, however, this does not happen by participating in relevant television shows. Courses in the field of pop music provide targeted training for a career in the pop industry .
An overview of pop music courses
According to jibin123, the subject of pop music is offered by state music colleges and universities as well as private music academies and other institutes. The universities set very different priorities and are aimed at musicians as well as people who want to make a career as producers, managers or music journalists.
The definitions of pop music differ from college to college. As a rule, the term covers different genres such as pop, metal, rock, funk, electro or hip-hop. In some courses it is also possible to combine pop and jazz or pop and classical music.
Degree courses in the artistic and creative field
In the artistic and creative courses, the focus is on instrumental and vocal training . The students choose singing or an instrument as a major and a second instrument or singing as a minor. You will receive both one-to-one lessons and lessons on making music together in a band. They train their hearing and do speaking exercises to further develop their voice. Also, the composing and writing lyrics of songs is on the curriculum.
In addition, the students have lessons in subjects such as music technology, recording or music theory. There is a choice of modules on topics such as music management or marketing . At the public performances at the universities, students have the opportunity to gain their first stage experience.
Degree programs in the field of business administration
The more business-oriented courses are called, for example, music business , music management or music production . In these, the musical training of the students takes place only marginally. As a rule, the focus is on topics such as marketing and event management .
Degree programs in the field of media
Some universities, on the other hand, focus more on conveying pop music through the media : the focus is on content from media and communication studies . The study here is accordingly theoretical.
Degree programs in the field of education
In addition, there are courses in which students have the opportunity to choose an educational focus in the main course. In this case, they deal with pedagogical content and didactic methods that will enable them to work later as a music teacher or music therapist .
The master’s programs in the creative and artistic field give Bachelor graduates the opportunity to consolidate their artistic identity and further develop their musical skills. The focus is on performance, composition and production.
In addition, there are also programs in the master’s area that focus on music education or music business. These courses are also useful for students from the artistic and creative field in order to expand professional opportunities or to cope better in the music industry.
Personal requirements for studying pop music
The conditions for admission are particularly tough in the artistic courses . Applicants must first prove their musical talent by submitting songs they have composed or produced. Those who are convincing will receive an invitation to an extensive written and oral entrance examination . The universities test, for example, ear training, performance or knowledge of music theory. Prospective students should not only love pop music, they should also have experience as musicians.
Applicants for economically oriented courses generally do not need to be proficient in any instrument. However, in addition to a love of music, you should of course be interested in marketing and management .
Opportunities after studying pop music
Most of the graduates of artistic and creative courses work as freelancers after graduation . Quite a few have several jobs at the same time. They composed their own pieces, gave live performances as solo artists or band members and took part in musical or theater projects . Contract work as a studio musician is also possible.
Those who concentrated on production or songwriting during their studies also write songs for films and commercials or produce pieces by other artists.
Graduates with a pedagogical focus will find their field of activity primarily as private teachers or music school teachers for pop music. With additional training in therapy, graduates also have the opportunity to work as music therapists.
Graduates of business studies work in all possible areas of the music business. For example, they work for music labels or publishers , where they are responsible for marketing individual artists. Activities in management, event or promotion agencies or in public institutions are also possible, for example as a pop representative for municipalities.
Graduates with a major in media, work as music and cultural journalists or are active in the areas of PR and marketing. A master’s degree also opens up the possibility of doing a doctorate and pursuing an academic career at the university.
Studying Pop Music Abroad: Benefits
The pop music industry is so huge that it is common to speak of a music industry here. Hardly any other area is as international as music, especially pop music. Studying abroad prepares you for later international work as a pop musician or manager. On the one hand, you will improve your language skills during one or more semesters in another country. On the other hand, you will acquire important intercultural skills , such as the ability to work in international teams. Especially in the artistic and creative courses, the students also benefit from a different cultural environment and different teaching content. In this way they can expand their musical repertoire .