Music is good for employability – as well as gaining subject-specific knowledge, and we will help you develop transferable skills which are valuable for any workplace.
You might wonder what benefit being able to analyse a Piano Sonata by Mozart or understanding the ways in which a film score conveys dramatic meaning has in terms of employment. There are, obviously, a range of music-related careers, such as performing, teaching, and music therapy, but studying music also develops a range of transferable skills that are useful and highly valued in careers that may have nothing to do with music at all. This Guardian article from 2013 summarises some research on the skills that music students bring to their jobs, highlighting the ability to handle complex information precisely as just one example. NAMHE (The National Association for Music in Higher Education), of which the OU is a member, has recently produced three videos in which music graduates discuss the ways in which their studies helped them to develop a wide range of skills.
In A224 Inside Music, you’ll develop these fine analytical skills as you examine musical scores and recordings in detail. In A342 Central Questions in the Study of Music and the MA in Music, you’ll develop valuable skills as an independent researcher, as you learn how to find and evaluate source materials and also to present your findings in a clear, organised way. In particular, Part 2 of the MA concludes with a substantial dissertation, which demonstrates not only the depth of your knowledge in your chosen area, but also the ability to work independently on a lengthy piece of work and to respond to feedback. In all our modules, you’ll be part of a tutor group, and will be encouraged to share in discussion with your fellow students and tutor, allowing you to develop important skills in verbal presentation, listening and debating ideas.
The OU’s Careers Advisory Service helps students to identify and articulate these transferable skills to maximise their potential when applying for jobs.