If you are interested in a career in film, TV or theater, you should work towards a program in performing arts. A degree in this area of study may help you become a performer, set designer, musical director, costume designer, production manager or musician. Employment for musicians and singers looks good with 10% expected job growth from 2010 to 2020 (the Bureau of Labor Statistics). Career outlook for dancers and music directors looks positive as well as employment for these professionals are also expected to grow during the same period.
Performing Arts Programs
Degrees in performing arts are offered at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Students can work towards both bachelor's or master's degrees. The bachelor's program generally takes 4 years to complete while the master's degree can be completed in 1-2 years depending upon the enrollment status of the candidates. These programs provide students with skills in acting, dance, direction and music. Students in these programs go through a general curriculum as well as a core curriculum. They can also choose an area of specialty. Courses in the performing arts degrees may include topics such as dance technique, music performance, musical theatre, theatre history and dramatic literature.
Master in Performing Arts
Masters in performing arts is advanced degrees that can help students explore theatre, music, dance and film in-depth. The programs provide knowledge in costume design, dance, script writing, and dance and voice performance. Candidate may also have to participate in acting workshops. Some of the courses students can pursue are contemporary drama, performance principles, camera acting, marketing, media relations and production design.
Online Degrees in Performing Arts
In addition to traditional schools, some online schools also offer programs in performing arts. The distance learning route can be useful for those who want to study the discipline from the comfort of their home or from any other location. Classes in these programs are managed on the web. This is why students do not have to be physically present in the classroom as in case of campus-based degrees. But these programs require alot of discipline and self-motivation so they may not be suitable for those who cannot stay focused on their own.
Students who want to pursue a degree in performing arts should hold a high school diploma or GED. In addition, they may have to go through an audition process. Candidates may also have to provide a portfolio of their work in addition to a statement of intent and letters of recommendation. Other admissions' factors may vary with schools.
Graduates of performing arts degrees may pursue careers in the entertainment or performing arts industries. They may also find work opportunities in educational services or religious, performing arts companies as well as civic, professional and similar organizations. Other than becoming an actor, dancer or singer, a degree in performing arts may also help candidates qualify as talent managers or film directors. The income of artists, performers and others performing artists is subject to location, area of specialty and experience among other factors. According to BLS, the median hourly wage of musicians and singers was $22.39 while dancers made $13.16 (2010).