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How SFCM's Bachelor of Music Concentrations Prepare Modern Musicians for the Future

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SFCM offers optional concentrations in arts leadership, technology, and teaching, preparing students to understand entertainment law, build their own studios, plan music festivals, and navigate careers in the modern music industry.

September 6, 2023 by Mark Taylor

Creating a career in music requires more than just hitting all the right notes. It's one of the reasons SFCM offers optional bachelor of music concentrations in several areas including arts leadership, teaching, and technology. The new programs, along with SFCM’s educational experiences informed by Opus 3, Pentatone and Askonas Holt alliances, offer students unique opportunities that bridge their studies to their future in the field. 

SFCM students in class.

SFCM students in class.

"When people are thinking about music school, they are thinking about just heading in there and practicing, but there is so much more to it," said Director of Professional Development and Engagement Kristen Klehr. "With adding in a BM concentration it really sets the student up for success when they start interviewing or auditioning," Klehr added. 

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SFCM strives to educate students to succeed in any path they choose as artists, intellectuals, professionals, and individuals. These concentrations serve as an opportunity for students to focus on an area of interest and build a larger skill set in the musical economy of today. Once completed, concentrations will be indicated on transcripts and visible to future employers and graduate programs. 

These classes prepare students to do everything from managing music contacts, understanding entertainment law, running a recording session, and even planning a music festival. "The musicians that are succeeding and navigating in successful careers, regardless of the genre, are the ones that have these added skill sets," Klehr said. 

SFCM's Studio G.

A recording session inside Studio G.

Current SFCM clarinet player Melissa Everson ('25) is pursuing a concentration in technology because of her passion for audio and studio work. "A BM concentration has allowed me to expand my musical toolbox," Everson continued."I know it can help me on the job market and make me a well-rounded and accountable musician.” With this concentration Everson will take extra classes on topics like sound recording, sound design, and computer science.

Studio H

A student works inside the state-of-the art Studio H, in tandem with Studio G.

Bassoon player Lillian Gleason ('25) is currently pursuing a concentration in teaching. "I decided to add a concentration in teaching because I have always been interested in it, and considered a music education degree before committing to SFCM. I also love teaching, so I thought it would be a good idea." Gleason said. With a teaching concentration Gleason will take extra classes in teaching artistry, training the musical brain and building a private teaching studio.

A concentration in arts leadership will have a student taking classes on topics like musical startups, business for the media composer, introduction to festival management, and building your digital presence. 

Right now the majority of SFCM graduates secure a job within six months, and 86% of them work in the arts. From life on the stage, in the studio, or however a student wants to create a career in music, for Klehr, having these skills in your back pocket can be the key to success: "That's what sets modern musicians apart, is understanding the ecosystem." 

Learn more about SFCM's Bachelor of Music Concentrations.