I would like to pursue a career in music. However, my parents feel it has no scope. Please guide me on this.

It is not unusual for parents and students to differ on the prospects and career options offered by a programme in fine arts. While it is admirable for students to pursue their passion, parents will understandably baulk at the risk involved in pursuing niche programmes wherein the opportunities are limited.

A first step would be to do a psychometric test to ensure your skill sets match your passion. It is very easy to be passionate about music, drama, films, sport, but your passion should be supported not only by skills but the willingness to practise relentlessly. You should be guided by the 10,000-hour rule. It’s a theory made popular by the Canadian author Malcolm Gladwell, that it takes 10,000 hours of practise to truly master a talent, and music falls in this framework. To keep it in perspective, convert this number into hours/days and years. Passion and even skill, though necessary, are not sufficient to make a career. Leveraging your talent into a successful career requires commitment, dedication and continuous practice.

Performing in front of an audience would undoubtedly be very glamorous, but there are hosts of other careers that would be equally satisfying for a person with a passion in music. Music is a hugely diverse industry, with areas ranging from producing and mixing to performance and orchestration. The wide spectrum of careers in this industry would range from a song writer, DJ, technician in the recording industry, music producer, music composer, music journalist or music trainer.

Understanding sound systems software and recording music could be a career choice. You could be a music producer managing the production of music or you could be a music composer and your talent will be solicited by digital media, radio, theatre and film. As a music journalist you would be required to review the music, music events, music performers and not only write about them but also pass judgments. In the event industry there is a need to curate music suitable for the event, setting the right tone and mood.

A bachelor’s degree in music would bring in-depth knowledge and understanding of its professional application. While there may be many schools with music programmes there are only a handful with excellent reputations and deemed to be leaders in the field. These would include Juilliard, Yale, Thornton, Curtis, Royal Academy of music, Royal College of Music and Berklee College. These institutes teach various verticals including dance, acting, direction and music, for which they are best known. Another aspect that you should check with the university is the prospect of employability after graduation. Being a niche programme this aspect must be thoroughly verified before applying.

Sanjeev Verma is an international education counsellor. got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.