Performing Arts Schools Enriching a Passion for the Arts with a Solid Education

Establishing a career in performing arts requires special training. Even though some talents are innate, honing those talents is crucial to establish a career in the competitive world of performing arts. As a result, many schools have been established to teach students the specialized skills in singing, dancing, acting and other various forms of expression. This guide will provide an in-depth background for students on what to expect, as well as expert advice on attending a performing arts school.

Performing Arts Snapshot

The Julliard School is one of the worlds’ most preeminent performing art schools. Famous names such as John Williams, Val Kilmer, Kevin Spacey, and Wynton Marsalis honed their talents at Julliard.

Performing arts includes more than just acting and singing; it is involves all forms of artistic expression such as opera, ballet, circus, ventriloquism, stand-up comedy, theater, motion pictures, orchestra and magic.

Actors, on average, have a higher level of education than the standard US worker. Between 2011 and 2013, more than 33% of actors had a bachelor’s degree.

Best Performing Arts Schools and Degrees: 2017

While many who pursue careers in the performing arts are born with innate talent, to truly master their field a degree from an institute of higher learning is essential. A good performing arts program will allow students to work toward perfecting their craft; a great one will offer supportive services, financial aid and program specializations as well. We’ve ranked the top online and on-campus art programs for 2017. Find the school that will allow you to make the most of your performing arts education below.

RankSchool Title Net Price Financial Aid Total Programs Student-Teacher ratioRanking Score School Description Additional Benefits: Placement Services Counseling Services Credit for Experience
1 Casper College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
42%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 99.82
Read more

At Casper College, students can earn an associate degree from the Theatre and Dance Department in theatre performance, musical theatre performance, theatre technology, or dance performance. These programs prepare students to move forward and pursue careers in the performing arts. The career services center is available for students as a resource to use while searching for a job after graduation, or on campus jobs during their time at Casper College. There are many student run clubs and organizations on campus to provide extracurricular activities. If students need medical attention for physical injuries, illnesses, or mental health, they can go to the Wellness Center on campus.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
2 Central Wyoming College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
67%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 99.52
Read more

Students at Central Wyoming college can pursue an associate of arts degree in theatre. This program helps students learn about all aspects of theatre, including performing, directing, and all the technical aspects. Free counseling services are available to all students on campus to promote good mental health and wellness on campus. To help with the job search, practice interviews, and receive resume advice, students can use the career services center on campus. Student clubs and organizations ranging from chess, to rock climbing, to criminal justice are also available for students to join and participate in.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
3 GateWay Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
32%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 98.62
Read more

GateWay Community College offers an associate in arts degree that focuses on different subjects including, theatre, film, and art history. The clubs and organizations on campus give students an opportunity to get involved and enhance their educational experience. The GateWay to the Arts program brings diverse lineups of performances to the campus every year for students to enjoy. Academic tutoring is available to all students for free through the learning center. The tutoring includes in person, online via Skype, and an online writing center for help writing papers. Counseling services are also available on campus for those who are struggling.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
4 Independence Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
85%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 98.29
Read more

The theatre arts program at Independence Community College offers an associate degree in theatre. The program offers students more direct contact with professional guest artists than any other university in Kansas. Free in person tutoring is available to all students through appointments. Personal counseling is also available to students who are in need. Career services are also available for students to practice for interviews, get feedback on their resume, and help searching for careers. For students who want to participate in extracurricular activities, there are clubs and organizations ranging from pep band, to forensics and debate, and athletics.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
5 Estrella Mountain Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
26%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 98.27
Read more

Estrella Mountain Community College offers an associate in arts degree in performing arts and theatre. During their time, students will learn about presentation, staging, theatre etiquette, and industry language. Free career services are available on campus that include mock interviews, job search techniques, and resume and cover letter critiques. Free online tutoring is available 24/7 through the Smarthinking platform, and free in person tutoring is also available in group and individual settings. Any students who are looking for counseling services to improve their mental health, can also seek help in areas including personal counseling, educational planning, and career assessment.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
6 Western Wyoming Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
39%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 97.88
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
7 South Mountain Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
28%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 97.58
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
8 Paradise Valley Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
35%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 97.55
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
9 Metropolitan Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
20%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 97.39
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
10 East Mississippi Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
78%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 97.28
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
11 Mesa Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
25%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 97.23
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
12 Western Nebraska Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
60%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 97.07
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
13 Northwest College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
80%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 97.07
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
14 Santa Rosa Junior College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
21%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
4
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 96.94
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
15 Cape Cod Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
26%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 96.87
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
16 Andrew College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 96.82
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
17 Allen County Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
68%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 96.80
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
18 Chandler-Gilbert Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
22%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 96.79
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
19 Scottsdale Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
23%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 96.45
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
20 Barton County Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
71%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 96.31
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
21 Western Texas College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
35%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 96.15
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
22 Howard College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
38%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 96.09
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
23 Glendale Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
25%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 96.03
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
24 Napa Valley College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
7%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 96.00
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
25 Garden City Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
76%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 95.85
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
26 Cochise College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
22%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 95.72
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
27 Hutchinson Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
59%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 95.67
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
28 Tulsa Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
39%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 95.63
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
29 Rio Salado College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
4%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 95.61
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
30 Sheridan College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
54%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 95.57
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
31 Itawamba Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
52%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 95.44
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
32 North Idaho College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
28%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 95.41
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
33 Arizona Western College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
20%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 95.38
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
34 Northern Oklahoma College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
25%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 95.35
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
35 Grayson College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
20%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 95.31
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
36 Eastern Arizona College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
26%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 95.28
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
37 Hinds Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
22%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 95.27
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
38 Butte College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
13%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 95.23
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
39 Lansing Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
10%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 95.14
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
40 Sinclair College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
28%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 95.05
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
41 Clarendon College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
55%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 95.00
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
42 Chaffey College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
5%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 94.99
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
43 Solano Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
4%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 94.98
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
44 College of the Mainland Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
27%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 94.94
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
45 San Juan College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
28%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 94.88
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
46 American Academy of Dramatic Arts-New York Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
90%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 94.85
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
47 Owens Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
12%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 94.84
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
48 Bossier Parish Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
12%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
4
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 94.82
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
RankSchool Title Net Price Financial Aid Total Programs Student-Teacher ratioGrad RateRanking Score School Description Additional Benefits: Placement Services Counseling Services Credit for Experience
1 Nazareth College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
73%
Ranking SCORE 99.79
Read more

Through the Theatre and Dance Department at Nazareth College, students can earn bachelor in fine arts degree in acting, musical theatre, and technical production. Students can earn a bachelor in science in dance studies and theatre arts with childhood education, and a bachelor in arts in theatre arts. Minors in dance, musical theatre, technical production, and theatre arts is also available. Any student who wants to get more involved can participate in student run clubs and organizations including theatre and dance, recreation, and science. Free in person tutoring is available to all students at Nazareth College, and is typically run by graduate students.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
2 Converse College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
54%
Ranking SCORE 99.70
Read more

At Converse College, students can earn a bachelor in arts in theatre and musical theatre, as well as minors in theatre and arts management. After graduating with a degree in the performing arts, students will be able to pursue careers in acting, directing, and education. The Wellness Center on campus provides students with a place to seek medical attention and help for physical illness, injuries and mental issues. Free in-person tutoring is available to all students at Converse College in most subjects. Students can find networking opportunities, resume advice, and mock interviews at the career services center.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
3 William Jewell College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
69%
Ranking SCORE 99.65
Read more

Students at William Jewell College can pursue a bachelor in arts degree in music, speech/theatre education, studio art, and theatre, as well as a bachelor in science in music and music education. The Jewell Theatre Company gives students an outlet to practice their performing by hosting a handful of shows every year. To help students find a pursue careers, the career services center assists students in the job hunt, assessing student interests and resume advice. Many student organizations are also available to students to expand their academic experience including academic societies, multicultural clubs, and spiritual clubs.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
4 University of North Carolina School of the Arts Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
69%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
62%
Ranking SCORE 99.48
Read more

The University of North Carolina of the Arts offers students the opportunity to pursue a bachelor in fine arts degree in design and production, dance, film, music, and drama. The university also offers a bachelor in music degree. Free tutoring is available through drop ins or by appointment to all students to help students succeed. The wellness center on campus offers medical treatment to all students for physical injuries and illnesses. Counseling services are also available to any student who is seeking help or mental issues. The Office of Career Development helps students find and pursue careers that they are interested in.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
5 Nebraska Wesleyan University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
65%
Ranking SCORE 98.86
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
6 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
47%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
91%
Ranking SCORE 98.70
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
7 Viterbo University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
4
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
53%
Ranking SCORE 98.70
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
8 Principia College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
98%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
77%
Ranking SCORE 98.61
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
9 Clarke University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
99%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
63%
Ranking SCORE 98.56
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
10 Baldwin Wallace University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
4
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
68%
Ranking SCORE 98.46
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
11 Transylvania University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
74%
Ranking SCORE 98.30
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
12 LaGrange College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
43%
Ranking SCORE 98.20
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
13 Marywood University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
99%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
68%
Ranking SCORE 98.18
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
14 Webster University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
94%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
64%
Ranking SCORE 98.16
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
15 Purdue University-Main Campus Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
47%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
70%
Ranking SCORE 98.11
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
16 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
45%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
89%
Ranking SCORE 98.02
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
17 West Virginia Wesleyan College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
58%
Ranking SCORE 97.94
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
18 Messiah College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
76%
Ranking SCORE 97.87
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
19 Southwestern College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
95%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
51%
Ranking SCORE 97.85
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
20 Bradley University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
98%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
78%
Ranking SCORE 97.72
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
21 University of Iowa Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
59%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
7
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
70%
Ranking SCORE 97.70
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
22 Doane College-Crete Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
99%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
64%
Ranking SCORE 97.67
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
23 Goshen College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
71%
Ranking SCORE 97.66
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
24 Samford University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
97%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
71%
Ranking SCORE 97.50
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
25 University at Buffalo Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
61%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
71%
Ranking SCORE 97.43
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
26 Lipscomb University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
56%
Ranking SCORE 97.43
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
27 Millikin University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
99%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
55%
Ranking SCORE 97.43
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
28 Ouachita Baptist University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
59%
Ranking SCORE 97.42
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
29 Augustana College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
66%
Ranking SCORE 97.41
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
30 Siena College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
97%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
73%
Ranking SCORE 97.40
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
31 Westminster College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
78%
Ranking SCORE 97.40
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
32 Drake University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
99%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
72%
Ranking SCORE 97.39
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Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
33 The College of Idaho Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
64%
Ranking SCORE 97.38
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
34 Concordia College at Moorhead Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
68%
Ranking SCORE 97.31
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
35 Piedmont College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
52%
Ranking SCORE 97.30
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
36 Bethany College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
98%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
49%
Ranking SCORE 97.28
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Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
37 Aquinas College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
53%
Ranking SCORE 97.25
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
38 St Mary's College of Maryland Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
63%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
81%
Ranking SCORE 97.21
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
39 Augsburg College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
99%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
60%
Ranking SCORE 97.17
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
40 Mary Baldwin College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
49%
Ranking SCORE 97.15
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
41 Temple University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
76%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
66%
Ranking SCORE 97.15
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
42 Emory & Henry College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
4
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
46%
Ranking SCORE 97.11
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
43 Alfred University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
63%
Ranking SCORE 96.93
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
44 McPherson College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
52%
Ranking SCORE 96.88
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
45 University of Connecticut Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
64%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
82%
Ranking SCORE 96.86
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo

Performing Arts Schools and Programs

A performing arts education can be obtained at a wide variety of educational institutions. Even though completing a program or obtaining a degree from a performing arts school isn’t usually a requirement to work in the arts, it can be extremely helpful in establishing a career and negotiating higher pay. Not only will students receive training and instruction in the performing arts, they will also be surrounded by fellow creative minds and mentors in the field. The section below lists a few performing arts school possibilities and what students can expect from a particular type of school.

Vocational Schools

Most performing arts programs found at vocational schools are at the high school level. Open to high school students, these vocational programs prepare them to continue their performing arts education at the post-secondary level, although some focus on training students to enter the performing arts workforce immediately upon graduation.

The typical curriculum focuses on college prep, honors and/or college level classes in order to provide a complete high school education and prepare students for continuing study at a two- or four-year college. These vocational schools are usually tuition free, as they are affiliated with public high schools serving a given geographical area. However, acceptance is not guaranteed; students must go through a competitive admission process that includes an audition.

Art Schools

Performing arts are typically seen as those that include dance, music, acting and the like. However, some art schools – those that cater to aspiring graphic designers, fashion designers, illustrators, and animators– also offer degrees or certificates in the performance-based arts. These schools offer students the unique opportunity to hone their skills in performing arts while obtaining the skills and knowledge they might use to enhance their future career. For instance, an actor might learn about theater and voice projection, but might also take courses in film editing and scene composition.

Community Colleges

Many community colleges offer associate degrees in subjects related to performing arts, such as drama, music, dance, and theater. Depending on the school, the associate degree can focus on one area of performing arts, such as theater, or take a broader approach and train students in various areas of the arts genres.

The typical associate degree in performing arts takes about two years to complete if attending full-time and consists of approximately 60 credits. Most classes are major-oriented, such as music theory, introduction to acting, and contemporary dance. However, some core classes are still required, such as English composition and physical science. Depending on the curriculum, students can be prepared to move into the workforce immediately upon graduation, or use their degree as a stepping stone to the bachelor’s program.

4-Year Schools

Obtaining a performing arts degree from a four-year college or university usually means graduating with a bachelor’s degree. A large number of colleges and universities offer a four-year bachelor’s degree in performing arts related subjects like dance, theatre, and music. Some also have a degree program dedicated to performing arts; students can specialize in one particular arts genre.

Most bachelor’s degrees take four years (or eight semesters) to complete if attending full-time. Accelerated programs might cut down on the time required. Depending on the school, most bachelor’s degrees take about 120 credit hours to complete with a mix of major related courses and foundational classes required for all students.

Performing Arts Schools

Schools that specialize in performing arts can be referred to as conservatories, especially if they focus on music or dance. The Julliard School is a very well-known example of a school that focuses on performing arts only; in the case of Julliard, the focus is on dance, drama, and music.

Depending on the school, a bachelor’s or master’s degree is awarded upon completion of the program. Other non-degree possibilities include a diploma, certificate, or simply reaching a certain level of proficiency. For example, some dance schools do not award degrees, but instead have the goal of students reaching a certain level of expertise in their specialty.

In order to be admitted, prospective students must submit an application, which requires an audition or submission of a portfolio. The vast majority of consideration for admission focuses on the prospective student’s desire to pursue the performing arts and their level of talent and future potential. As a result, most performing arts schools place only a little (or no) emphasis on traditional academic metrics, such as standardized test scores and GPAs.

Advice from a Performing Artist

The degree means nothing if you cannot play!

The best part – the gig, the music, the performance and all that jazz is the easy part! It’s getting there that’s tough. If you are ready for that, then you should look into schools.

For the actual schools, go where your field is at the forefront. Do not blindly walk into a school which has a good name but a weak department for your path. Don’t apply to a school renowned for music theory and education if you want to go for jazz performance. Do not look to a school that has an amazing composition program if you’re only looking to do opera.

If you do not know what you want to do, be it theory, opera, jazz, composition, etc., then you need to find a school that has something attractive to you and the credibility to teach it. I made the mistake of going to school A with a good reputation when I need school B without the glamorous name. For example, you must know a degree in music education means you will teach K-12 but you cannot teach at University, unless you want to teach Music Education.”

Kunal Singh, Jazz Musician

Choosing the Right Performing Arts Program

Choosing the right performing arts school can be a difficult task. There are many options available, whether it’s to attend a traditional four-year college or university or enroll in a more specialized performing arts school. The following is a list of questions to consider when choosing a performing arts program.

Does the school offer a particular type of technique or method in the performing arts genre?

While most schools offer a wide range of methods and techniques, some schools tend to prefer one over the other or have a stronger reputation in one over the other. Students with a preference should do research to find which schools can accommodate their learning needs.

Which is more important: a traditional college experience or the advancement of talents?

Some students may be interested in a career in the performing arts, but would like to live on campus, join Greek life, attend college football games, etc. For those who crave the college experience, attending a traditional four-year college or university may be a better decision than attending a specialized performing arts school or conservatory.

How certain is a career in the performing arts?

Entering a conservatory can be considered as going “all-in” for performing arts. If a student changes their mind or wants a back-up career option, choices may become limited. However, by going to a traditional four-year college, students can double major, with the second major unrelated to performing arts.

What is the school’s geographic location?

For performing arts, urban schools tend to be more ideal, all else being equal. This is due to the fact that more performing arts facilities, such as theatres, symphonies, and the like are focused in urban locations. This translates to closer and more numerous opportunities for performers.

What are the faculty like?

Faculty bios can tell a lot about the instructors and how renowned they are. However, all of that means little if the faculty can’t connect with students. Therefore, potential applicants should visit the school and talk with as many professors as possible. Then do some research: How active are the faculty members in their respective areas? The more active they are, the more likely they’ll have up-to-date industry information and connections that can help students with their future performing arts career.

What kind of performing opportunities does the school have?

Most performing arts schools are bound to have events where students can perform. However, more well-established programs are going to have a greater number of opportunities, both domestic and internationally.

Is the school accredited?

Most schools will be accredited, whether it’s by a regional organization, such as the Middle States Commission on Higher Education or a national organization, such as the National Association of Schools of Music. Accreditation is important because it shows a given school has met a certain level of quality as confirmed by an independent third party.

Who are some of the recent guest lecturers or performers at the school?

The more recognizable and frequent the number of guest performers or lecturers at the school, the more opportunities to network. Additionally, schools with greater recognition, clout, and alumni networks are more likely to have well-known guest lecturers and performers.

Performing Arts Degrees and Certificates

For those seeking a performing arts degree or certification, there are several options available: from certificate or associate up to doctorate. Of the bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate level degrees, there are several options of each type.

Performing Arts Certificates

Performing arts certificates provide an opportunity to students to gain training, instruction, and information about the performing arts without obtaining a formal degree. At most schools, especially conventional four-year colleges and universities, the certificate must be obtained concurrently with another degree, such as a bachelor’s. At performing arts schools, the certificate may be a standalone program that graduates can use to obtain additional professional training and become more marketable.

There are prerequisites for most certificate programs; however, these prerequisites are applied to the particular classes taken and not the program as a whole. There are usually no electives offered in a performing arts certificate curriculum. Instead, students will choose three or four related classes from a larger pool of classes.

Each school has its own requirements, but a typical performing arts certificate consists of 10 to 25 credit hours. The typical curriculum includes a variety of performing arts classes in order to impart a general level of knowledge in performing arts.

Lastly, there are undergraduate and graduate diplomas that allow students to pursue further education in performing arts without committing to a full degree. Depending on the school, students need to complete 25 to 75 credits to earn the diploma. Graduate diplomas usually require fewer credits that undergraduate diplomas.

Examples of Real-Life Certificate Level Courses
Introduction to Theatre

The three components of theatre are analyzed: directing, design and acting. The history of plays will also be examined.

Introduction to Dance

The historical and theoretical aspects of dance are studied in this course. How dance conveys artistic information will be reviewed as well.

Orchestra

Various types of music and instruments will be studied. This class also includes instruction and public performance.

Performing Arts Associate Degrees

The typical associate in arts program is approximately 60 credits and takes two years to complete when attending full-time. Community colleges typically offer two types of associate degrees: the applied degree and the general degree. Those who earn the applied degree in performing arts take more targeted classes that prepare students for immediate work in the performing arts industry. Those who earn the general degree take a variety of performing arts classes as well as general education courses, and are prepared to move into their bachelor’s degree program upon completion.

Many associate degree programs have no prerequisites beyond that of earning a high school diploma. However, some programs, such as dance or music, require students to take basic dance or music classes before starting their associate in arts curriculum, or demonstrate a certain level of proficiency in their performing arts category.

Examples of Real-Life Associate Degree Courses
Ballet I

A progression from basic dance, this course teaches students the fundamentals of classical ballet, including theory and technique.

Music Theory II

This course is intended for students with prior musical knowledge and will expand on theoretical concepts such as harmony and chord identification. Musical instruments and musical composition will also be introduced.

Theatre I

An entry level course, the use of the human body and voice to convey information is studied. Acting and improvisation concepts will also be taught.

Dance in America

How dance has developed and evolved within the 20th and 21st century is explained. Political and cultural influences, as well as influential dance figures will be discussed.

Performing Arts Bachelor’s Degrees

Performing arts bachelor’s degrees come in three primary flavors: Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (BM) or Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). For music related subjects, students can usually choose between a BM or BA. For other performing arts subjects, students can generally choose between a BA or BFA.

Compared to a BA, the BFA or BM degrees tend to be more performance or studio-oriented and are designed for those who want to become a professional performing artist. The BFA and BM degree also have a smaller liberal arts component compared to the BA degree. In short, BA degrees can be thought of as a liberal arts degree with a major or concentration in performing arts. BM and BFA degrees can be thought of as professional degrees.

While most bachelor’s degrees in fine arts don’t have formal prerequisites, most departments require an audition in order to be accepted. The typical four-year bachelor’s program requires 125 to 165 credits to complete the degree. Also, most traditional colleges and universities have general education requirements.

Examples of Real-Life Bachelor’s Degree Courses
Music History and Literature

This course examines musical styles and practices from the Baroque era to present day,

Harmony and Form

Music theory concepts of harmony and musical structure will be covered in this class.

Jazz Theory

This class looks in detail at the background of jazz and the form and style that makes this genre unique.

Performing Arts Master’s Degrees

For those seeking a master’s degree in performing arts, there are three main possibilities: Master of Music (MM), Master of Fine Arts (MFA) or Master of Arts (MA). Similar to the bachelor’s degrees, a MM or MFA degree is more performance or technically-oriented while the MA is more academically or scholarly-oriented. There’s also a Master of Music Education (MME) for those who desire an even more academically-oriented master’s degree in the field of music.

Most master’s degrees take two to three years to complete and consist of 30 to 60 credits. Depending on the program, there is also a performance and/or thesis requirement. As with most other graduate programs, there are no general education class requirements, only classes related to the performing arts specialty.

Examples of Real-Life Master’s Degree Courses
Art of Combat for Actors

In order to provide believable fights scenes, students learn safe, effective techniques for multiple acting contexts including film, television and stage.

Popular Arranging

Popular melodies and common chord progressions and methods of arrangement are reviewed in this class

Directing Methods

The basics of stage directing are provided, along with steps taken to develop a theatre production from start to finish.

Performing Arts PhD or Dual Degrees

At the doctorate level, the predominant degree in the performing arts is the PhD. A PhD can usually be obtained in a variety of areas, including theatre, musicology, music theory, and music education.

Another doctorate level performing arts degree is the Doctor of Musical Arts. Compared to a PhD in music, the Doctor of Music Arts is generally more practical or performance-oriented, while the PhD is more research-oriented. However, depending on the school, this distinction may be minimal.

Dual degree options are sometimes available for the bachelor’s degree. A traditional four-year university can partner with a local conservatory so that students may obtain performing arts degree along with an unrelated degree.

Performing Arts Toolbox/Checklist

It takes a lot of talent and hard work to make a career as a performing artist. However, there are other skills and tools to assist anyone pursuing a performing arts career.

  • Persistence

    Not only are thousands of hours of practice required to master a performing arts skill, whether it be dancing, singing, acting or playing a musical instrument, persistence is also needed to get through all the rejection that is often received by performing artists. Even highly talented and gifted performing artists will be rejected more often than accepted.

  • Networking

    Succeeding as a performing artist means getting noticed. Networking provides greater opportunities to perform, which means more eyes and ears will notice, which in turn leads to even more opportunities – it is a constant cycle of building a reputation.

  • Thick Skin

    The arts are highly competitive fields which require a lot of hard work and innovation. Performing artists are bound to fail at times, and that can lead to a great deal of criticism. Being able to handle it and bounce back are very important attributes.

  • Physical Stamina

    Whether standing, speaking or dancing on stage for hours, enduring rigorous stunt scenes or playing an instrument for dozens of songs, physical stamina is required. A performing artist must be in proper physical shape in order to perform for the audience.

  • Good Memory

    From remembering lines, chords in a song or specific footwork, performing artists must be able to remember directions without referring back to notes or a script. If last-minute changes are made, they must be able to remember those changes with little time for rehearsal.

  • The Desire to Learn

    To stay relevant in a highly competitive field, performing artists in all genres must always strive to improve and add to their skills and repertoire. The desire will also facilitate creativity.

  • Creativity

    The performing arts are driven by creativity. Coming up with new routines, shows, acts, melodies or ways of playing a familiar work adds to a performing artist’s chances of professional success. Doing something no one else has can be a huge help in standing out amongst the fierce competition.

Performing Arts Specializations

In order to succeed in performing arts, even the most talented individuals must specialize to some degree. This need for specialization is most pronounced in music.

Notice how Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, and Charlie Daniels are known for playing one instrument (cello, trumpet, and fiddle, respectively). Granted, they can play other instruments, but they have specialized in just one. Even with immense talent, in order to be one of the best, performing artists are forced to limit themselves to a select few areas, whether it’s a musical instrument, type of dance, or comedic style.

Not surprisingly, performing arts schools reflect the drive for specialization, especially in music. For example, a masters or doctorate degree in music can have any number of specializations: keyboard, cello, clarinet, violin, jazz, voice, orchestra, education, music theory, and composition.

Options for acting specialization can refer to where the actor works, such as film, television, or theatre. Dancing specialization can refer to a type of dance or where the dancing takes place, but there is also the opportunity to go into a slightly different area, such as choreography.

Interview with a Performing Artist

Kunal Singh talks about being a professional performer.

Why did you choose music as your profession?

I believe I chose music for all the right reasons. It’s my passion. It is what I enjoy the most in life and it is what I do that also brings the most joy to others around me. I have had a long list of jobs from finance and banking to mechanic and live sound engineer. Music was always calling me.

I chose this life because in all honesty, med school sounded too easy and a cop out. I know that sounds bad, but to me, the challenge of solidifying a career and the unwritten laws have always been more engaging. I say that, as both my father and sister are doctors in one regard or another – like the rest of my family.

Tell us about your performing arts degree.

I was a very non-traditional student. I was older than the rest of the undergraduate students and I was way more experienced, in every sense of the word. I studied music theory and history at Queens College’s Aaron Copland School of Music. It was a very good education. I then transferred to York College where I really dug into performance.

During those years, under the direction of Dr. Tom Zlabinger, the York College Big Band had members from several campuses: City College, Queensborough, Hunter, St. John’s, Queens College, Kingsborough, CW Post, La Guardia, and more. Each campus had a serious music program, but everyone flocked to York. These players all came on their own accord. No one was forced to be there, but everyone had a burning desire to prove themselves in a friendly and competitive spirit. It was an absolute blast and education which I would not trade for anything. We played more shows than any other big band, small ensemble, and combo band (aka the Jazz Ambassadors) than any other school was doing. We hit the streets hard and we played everywhere.

I spent one year at Queensborough Community College and studied under the esteemed Jeff Hest. The man is a living legend, and he was one of the first people I ever realized as a figure that has made a storied career in performance, composition, and education. Jeff Hest is an amazing teacher and incredibly warm-hearted person.

What are the greatest rewards and challenges for you as a musician?

Well, in my case, the challenge is the reward. I love a challenge. I rise to it and I always come out wiser. The challenge for most is getting over the hurdles of performing and getting gigs. I never look at it that way. I believe sharing your craft is the only responsibility you have as an artist. What the craft is worth is up to you. What your time is worth is also up to you.

Aside from a performer, band leader, and all around busy guy, I am also a music teacher. I can tell you this, I love the gig. Gigging is really fun as a band leader. Yes, I’m the first to arrive, the last to leave, and the one with the early mornings, but it’s all worth it. To inspire other great musicians to be part of your band, part of your vision and part of the team is nothing short of amazing.

I love the idea of playing for an audience. You never know who’s listening. It’s so true. You will find that someone had their entire day, week, or life turned around by your playing. It’s a feeling words cannot describe. It’s overwhelming to know your passion and your craft made someone else happy or inspired. In the words of my favorite musician of all time, “It’s a kind of magic.”

After Performing Arts School: What’s Next

Once the certificate or degree is in hand, it’s time to go out into the world with the talent, skills and knowledge gained through education and hard work. Make no mistake: earning an education in the performing arts is much easier than making a career out of it. The best option for those who want to immerse themselves in the music, dance, acting or other performing art is to consistently practice, rehearse, study, and work toward the goal every single day.

Those who do enter the performing arts will need to constantly update their skills and keep honing their craft. The actor on stage should work on his or her memorization skills; the dancer should always strive to stretch farther and move faster. The musician should try out new methods, themes and sounds, taking their time to become as good as they can be.

For those who decide that being on a stage isn’t for them, there are numerous other options that make good use of a performing arts degree. Working as a teacher in a performing arts school, stepping into a management role for a theater or dance company, becoming a talent agent, or even working in booking or merchandise can keep a graduate close to the action but not require them to perform.

  • Actor

    An actor is someone who portrays a character to an audience through various forms of media, such as television, motion picture or theatre. While the final “product” of an actor usually consists of the delivery of certain lines from a script, much of what an actor does includes learning more about the character they’re trying to convey in order to give a more effective portrayal. This can include background research, consulting with the director or fellow actors, and rehearsing.

    Median Salary: $39,640

    Hourly wage: $19.82

    2012-2022 estimated job growth: 4%

    Numbers employed (2014): 59,210

    Minimum education required: There is no formal educational requirement, although many actors have a bachelor’s degree in drama or a related field. Additionally, most actors have at least some form of formal instruction, whether it’s a bachelor’s degree, taking a few classes or completing an acting program at a conservatory.

  • Dancer

    Dancers convey artistry through the physical actions of their bodies, usually accompanied by music. All dancers spend much of their time training and practicing. Depending on the specific type of dance, a dancer can perform in many different contexts, such as with a dance company or for the production of a larger work, like a movie or theatre production.

    Median Salary: $28,620

    Hourly wage: $14.31

    2012-2022 estimated job growth: 6%

    Numbers employed (2014): 11,240

    Minimum education required: Formal training is required. Training usually begins at an early age and continues on through high school. Many dancers receive much of their training during their high school years, either at a school specializing in a dance curriculum or extracurricular programs and classes outside of school. Some dancers may seek additional post-secondary training, although that is usually not required.