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College course choice

  • 29-12-2022 12:24pm
    Registered Users Posts: 23

    OK, we are in the what course conundrum at the moment. My daughter is in fifth year, always had great grades, in the high80s and 90s. She was not sure what area she'd like but knows she'd like nice job, well paid, Monday to Friday etc. In the last 18 months, she has taken up guitar herself, self taught and it now playing with some friends at weekends etc. She now shown an interest in pursuing ba in music , saying she'd like to do the course. Alarm bells are blaring in my ears, what type of career she could have. She's no way interested in teaching. She's been advised that she has grade 4 approx ability. Whilst I have not issues with her pursuing music, I would have thought she'd do a business or science degree as she wanted and of course , keep up the music if she likes and play with band at weekend and gigs too? So please has anyone advice about how to help her choose, or do I leave her choose herself ( where I know she'll choose music) and see what way that pans out. BTW, I know that she could be lucky and make a career out of music but on the other hand, so little people, get there and 'make it'. I'm just worried she will regret in years to come, not having gotten a 'back up' career(has shown great interest in law (loved work experience) or other subjects are chemistry abd Accounting) and also being able to enjoy her music playing in her spare time.

    Or after all that explained to you, do I sit back, shut up and keep all the above to myself and just advise when asked?

    If any parents of teenagers have experienced similar situations


    If there are anyone that has been in a similar situation and completed the BA in music and has any advice on what type of job my daughter could obtain when her main interests are playing the guitar and in a band.

    Thank you so much for taking time to read this long post. Any advice most welcome.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,894 Mod ✭✭✭✭shesty

    Couple of queries - does she do music for LC?Are there degree courses in Music available that do not require music if so?Many will require an audition on an instrument to a certain Grade level.

    Haven't done the BA myself but I have friends who have (and I have a musical background myself).The people I know who have done music have mainly gone down the teaching route.Either private lessons, or music in secondary schools.Some play wedding bands or do wedding music.Some teach a specific in instrument in a music school, and gig aswell.

    Not Monday to Friday jobs, they tend to be afternoons into evenings (unless she teaches in a secondary school), often they have one or two jobs on the go, and the salary is generally only ok.Some have done the BA, then gone back to do another qualification, which then becomes their career.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,578 ✭✭✭JDD

    Put the onus back on her. She's a smart kid by all accounts, she may well come to her own conclusions. The problem is she's 16/17 and we all felt like we needed to make our own life decisions at that stage. You need to help her to feel that this was her decision rather than yours. Otherwise she won't be motivated in law/science or whatever alternative course she ends up in.

    Presuming she actually meets the course requirements (I don't think Grade 4 would be enough for the ones who look for an audition), ask her to contact the college providing the course (Dundalk? Waterford? UCC?) and ask to speak to the course co-ordinator regarding career prospects. Get her to come back to you with a list of possible careers, including those that graduates of that course have actually gone on to work in. All colleges keep this type of information. Get her to do her online research regarding starting pay and pay after ten years for each of these careers - e.g. sound mixer/engineer, freelance teacher, teacher within a school, professional musician etc. There are recruitment agencies for nearly all sectors and they do regular industry surveys.

    Ask her what her plan is regarding continuing with the band she loves playing in, if she is away in a college that's more than a couple of hours drive away. Is she going to dump her new college friends to come up to Dublin or Wexford or whatever to play a gig or to practice? What if it's a Wednesday night? Does she have a car? Is she going to get a part time job to pay for the petrol?

    Once she comes back to you with her research, tell her three things. One - she only gets one "free" college degree and if she changes her mind and want to do law/accounting/science/whatever, she'll be paying for it herself - which will be in the region of €15-€18k, something that will be difficult to save when her pay is in the lower brackets. Two - if the career is low to middle-ish pay, it is likely she will be renting for all her life, even when she has a family. Just ask her to consider that. And three - tell her that if she still decides she want to do this music course you will 100% support her, but you have an alternative for her to consider. If she completes a course in something that is actually likely to give her a good career, and she is still yearning to work in music, you will subsidise her to go to a post-graduate course in music.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3 Yuanli

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  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,953 Mod ✭✭✭✭Moonbeam

    Grade 4 standard in 18 months from nothing is very good .

    Music as a subject is hard , there is so much theory and other stuff involved and she would need to pass the practical test for entry .

    Maybe encouraging her to do music theory at grade 4 level or LC music might help.

    A degree is a degree and if it is her passion it is hers to pursue , she might never work in the area but a degree itself opens doors incl masters etc