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How do I Choose the Best Postgraduate Music Program?

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  • Written By: Robert Ferguson
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2016
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Choosing the best postgraduate music program may often seem challenging. The type of musical career desired, and the location and cost of the school are a few of the many decisions an undergraduate must make. Narrowing down these options with research and comparison will provide the student with the important information needed to choose a postgraduate music program that suits his or her needs.

What type of musical career the undergraduate student desires can play a major role in deciding which postgraduate music program is best. Most programs are designed to prepare the student for a specific career in music. For example, the student can choose a program that prepares him or her for a career in musical education, performance, or composition. In addition, while most programs offer a wide variety of musical studies, some programs are specific to only one field of music. It is best to choose a school that specializes in the desired program of study.

The location of the program can be a deciding factor for some students. There are both national and international programs for postgraduate music studies. Always keep in mind the desired career; for example, a student interested in musical performance may want to research schools located in places where performance is popular. New York, San Francisco, and Paris, France, are considered home to some of the most elite and well-known music performance programs available.

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The cost of a postgraduate music program depends on the school and program of study chosen. The school’s location and accreditation can both influence the cost of tuition significantly. In addition to tuition, the postgraduate should also consider the costs of textbooks, room and board, and instruments or costume design if applicable to his or her program of study. While some students are able to pay for their education by working throughout the semester, most take out student loans, receive scholarships, and acquire grants. The amount of financial assistance received is usually based on the student’s financial need and academic success.

Researching and comparing available postgraduate music programs is an important process in making a decision. The student's research should provide him or her with the information needed to choose a program successfully and with confidence. Failure to get sufficient details about postgraduate music programs may result in the student choosing a program that is not suited to his or her needs. Comparing all available options based on career choice, location, and cost is a way to process and eliminate programs that are not compatible with the student’s desires.

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