Vocal Performance, B.Mus.

Program Overview

Do you love the feeling of performing music for others? Are you excited about the idea of elevating your performance skills? If so, a degree in vocal performance may be perfect for you.

PLNU's vocal performance program is built on a foundation that ensures you will become well versed in written theory, aural skills, and music history, but also offers a specialized curriculum to help you develop expert-level applied music skills in your primary performance area. Your degree will culminate during your junior and senior year recitals.

Students of vocal performance at PLNU are well-positioned to succeed as church soloists, choir section leaders, opera singers, and more! You will have the chance to strengthen your vocal skills and expand your range through the nearly endless opportunities to refine and perform your skills. From auditioning for solos at the annual Cider Celebration to choral internships and professional Christmas caroling, there are plenty of ways to get involved on campus and in the local community.

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Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

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Career Opportunities

With a degree from PLNU’s music program, you will be well prepared to pursue both graduate studies and an array of career options that will allow you to live out your passion for music while making a lasting impact in the lives of those who hear it.

A Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance can lead to careers such as:

  • Vocalist
  • Singer/Songwriter
  • Opera or classical singer
  • Music teacher
  • Music therapist
  • Music producer
  • Music publisher
  • Music editor

What do music jobs look like post-graduation?

Jobs in the music industry will remain steady, but competitive. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of musicians and singers is projected to grow 1% from 2019 to 2029. However, with the knowledge you’ll gain from your music studies, you’ll be prepared for many jobs within the music industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of broadcast, sound, and video technicians is projected to grow 9% from 2019 to 2029. 

What can I do with a degree in vocal performance?

If you are passionate about music and ready to dedicate your life to it, once you graduate PLNU with a vocal performance degree, you will be prepared to seek out a musically centered career that suits you, your interests, and specializations. 

The following are examples of positions people with degrees in vocal performance may hold: 

Opera or Classical Singer

Salary typically ranges between $30,000 and $80,000 per year and depends on the level of education of the opera singer and how prestigious the opera house is. Opera or classical singers perform pieces and are usually accompanied by an orchestra. Opera singers often are in performances with ornate costumes, scenery, stage acting, and sometimes dancing. The opera season lasts from September through May.

What it takes to be an opera or classical singer: 

  • Trained sound and breath control 
  • Healthy technique
  • Vocal endurance
  • Language knowledge
  • General knowledge of classical music periods and names 

Music Teacher 

2020 Median annual salary $47,997

Music teachers have a wide array of workplace opportunities such as: schools, community centers, music shops, and public institutions, like hospitals and prisons. Also, music teachers often do freelance work for a more flexible schedule. Music teachers' primary responsibilities are to teach people how to read music, understand music theory, and to recognize scales and musical techniques. Music teachers may also help prepare clients for music examinations, auditions, and live performances. 

Singer/Songwriter 

2020 Median annual salary $52,752

Singer/songwriters are talented and dedicated musicians that play one or more musical instruments or sing. They read, write, perform, and record their music in a variety of environments, such as live performances, on-air broadcasting, or for sound or video recording.  

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following are the industries with the highest levels of employment of musicians and singers:

  • Performing arts companies
  • Religious organizations
  • Elementary and secondary schools
  • Colleges, universities, and professional schools
  • Independent artists, writers, and performers

Alumni listed the following skills as the top strengths they acquired as a vocal performance student at PLNU:

  • Audio engineering
  • Booking (Sales)
  • Alternative investments
  • Financial planning
  • Brand strategy

What are PLNU Department of Music alumni doing now?

Many PLNU students have successfully completed graduate school. Many are now successful teachers, and some are university professors. Some music department alumni have gone on to be performing artists, including professional opera singers and studio session musicians, while others are commercial music composers.

Vocal performance beyond university

Being surrounded by like-minded, music-loving students in PLNU’s vocal performance program is a wonderful and colorful experience that will prepare you for the music and performance industry where you can choose to make a career and build a name for yourself as a musician.

Start off on a strong note, and apply to PLNU today. To learn more, get connected with one of our counselors for additional support and to answer any questions you may have.

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