Study Instrumental Music

Study Instrumental Music Abroad

Playing the guitar like Jimi Hendrix, the violin eliciting notes like Jascha Heifetz – many amateur musicians dream of mastering their instrument as virtuously as their famous role models. So it’s no wonder that instrumental music has been the most popular artistic field of study for years . This may also be due to the huge breadth of the subject: instrumental music encompasses almost all musical instruments and styles of music. Students can play tuba as well as drums and specialize in classical, jazz or pop music.

The study of instrumental music

Most music colleges offer courses in the field of instrumental music . Before starting your studies, you have to decide on a main instrument and a musical genre and choose the course accordingly. The main instrument is the focus of the course in the following years. At most universities, the piano is used as a second instrument. However, students can also choose another instrument and study it as a supplementary subject.


At the beginning of the bachelor’s degree, students acquire a lot of theoretical knowledge , for example in music theory or instrument studies. You will also deal with the physiological basics of making music and train your hearing.

Of course, most of the course is taken up by practical experience. The students practice playing their instruments and get to know different musical styles and eras. At most universities, they have the opportunity in the higher semesters to specialize in an artistic or educational focus .

The artistic focus continues to focus on working with the instrument. The students develop their own projects and appear in public in order to gain security and train the stage presence. Courses such as copyright and contract law prepare you for your future career as an artist.

According to, students with an artistic-pedagogical focus acquire didactic and methodological skills in order to later work as music teachers. Internships in music colleges give them the opportunity to put their theoretical knowledge into practice.


The bachelor’s degree enables direct entry into the profession. However, those who have particular artistic aptitude also have the opportunity to gain further qualifications as part of a master’s degree. The students refine their instrumental techniques and concentrate on a focus such as chamber music or orchestral music .

The master’s degree is a prerequisite for the concert exam . This is the highest degree awarded by conservatoires. Highly talented students receive a solid education in four semesters that turns them into soloists ready for concerts.

Studying instrumental music: requirements

Anyone who wants to make playing an instrument their profession during their studies has to prove their artistic aptitude in a lengthy application process . The universities check how well the applicants have already mastered their instrument and how well trained their piano skills are. Depending on the university, further tests are carried out, for example for ear training or music theory.

Applicants should be aware that they have to meet high standards in their studies. The universities require that the students practice several hours every day in addition to their studies. This not only requires a love of the respective instrument, but also a lot of discipline .

Career opportunities after graduation

Most of the graduates of the instrumental music course later work freelance . They develop their own pieces and perform them or interpret the works of famous composers. Also opera houses, theaters or media organizations engage instrumentalists for individual productions. Permanent positions are also possible in individual cases.

Graduates with an artistic-educational focus later work as music teachers at music schools or in the private sector. Other employers for graduates in both areas are artist and event agencies or music publishers . The master’s degree can also be the starting signal for an academic career at the conservatoire.

Advantages of international experience for instrumental musicians

The music industry is more international than almost any other. Anyone who would like to get an insight into other musical cultures and traditions during their studies should consider studying abroad. A semester or two in another country doesn’t just expand your own musical repertoire. A stay abroad also helps you develop your own style and enables initial contacts in the international music business . In addition, a stay abroad also contributes to personal development and trains both foreign language skills and soft skills such as flexibility and assertiveness.

Study Instrumental Music