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5 Offbeat Music Degrees

If you talk in the language of rhythm and cadence, trebles and measures, and carry a metronome in your pocket, a music degree might be just the ticket. But not just any music degree. Let's take a closer look at five offbeat music degrees.

Sep 6, 2023
  • Education
5 Offbeat Music Degrees

If you talk in the language of rhythm and cadence, trebles and measures, and carry a metronome in your pocket, a music degree might be just the concert ticket. But not just any music degree -- and not just any concert.

Interested in preserving the ancient art of yodeling? You can earn a degree from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences in yodeling technique and history.

According to a recent Nordic Business Insider article, Nadja Räss, an award-winning Swiss yodeler with her own academy in Zurich, says yodeling is experiencing a renaissance, especially in Switzerland.

Räss reportedly told the Tribune de Geneve, “As well as having good vocal technique, students must be taught about different styles and voices to expand their repertoire. The whole yodeling scene will benefit from their new skills.”

Yes, there’s a yodeling scene. And you can be a part of it.

What are some other music degrees that might pique your interest? Let’s take a closer look.

1. Bagpiping

If the loudness and history of the bagpipe intrigue you, you can earn a music degree in bagpiping.

Carnegie Mellon University offers the US’s only bagpipe major, where you can get thoroughly grounded in studio, history, and theory of bagpiping. The bagpiping tradition dates back to the university’s founder, Andrew Carnegie, who employed his own personal piper.

Earn the UK’s only bagpiping degree from The National Piping Centre. Bring your bagpiping skills to the next level by immersing yourself in the music and social traditions of the bagpipe.

2. The Beatles

“There's nothing you can do that can't be done / Nothing you can sing that can't be sung / Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game / It's easy / All you need is love” … and a Beatles degree.

If you want to be a Beatles historian or popular music specialist, check out Liverpool Hope University, the world’s only university that offers an MA in the Beatles. Explore the role of popular music over the last half-century and get one of the most unique music degrees in the world.

If you’re not quite ready for the degree, you can take courses in Beatles history and philosophy at Skidmore College, the University of Southern California, and Indiana University.

3. Music and Technology

Of all the industries technology has changed, the music industry has endured a transformation. With the advent of the internet and online music files and sharing, the music industry has changed how it does business.

Into music and the internet? There’s a degree for that.

Carnegie Mellon University’s music and technology program offers an interdisciplinary major from three schools: the School of Music, School of Computer Science, and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Students at both undergraduate and graduate levels produce capstone projects that they can use as their launching off points for their careers in music technology. Cool, right?

4. Sociology of Miley Cyrus

For real.

And it’s better than you think. Miley Cyrus was a child star and young celebrity. Traditionally, some child stars have less successful adult careers.

The Skidmore College course looks at intersectional identities and the co-opting of other cultures -- which leads to a broad view of American culture, and yes, twerking. Learn about the music industry -- and how to manipulate the media.

5. Music and Business

If you love both, study both. This interdisciplinary degree will give you a strong background in the music industry with the business backbone required to make it in the industry.

If you want to manage a performing arts facility, run a music school, create a radio station, or make your love of music more marketable, study music and business.