Artists and Musicians Talk About Their College Degrees.

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There is no shortage of artists and musicians endorsing the importance of higher education to encourage their fans. However, despite the growing awareness, there is still a huge misconception surrounding life as a musician, particularly when it comes to college degrees.

Many still believe that you don’t need to pursue higher education to have an amazing career in music. A number of professional musicians and artists recently spoke out to further debunk this myth.

Kyle James Hauser

Kyle James Hauser is a songwriter musician who has produced two albums and a number of great songs over the years. His music was also used in a couple of MTV programs, Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant, along with several movie titles and other productions.

Kyle graduated Berkley College of Music with a music degree, majoring in songwriting. He repeatedly said in the past that his college degree was one of the most valuable assets he has throughout his career.

“As a professional recording artist and teacher, my degree in music has been invaluable to me,” said Kyle. “It’s informed my playing, writing, and teaching in a thorough and elegant way.”

Douglas Jenkins of the Portland Cello Project

Douglas Jenkins never finished his music degree from the University of Hawaii, but he earned a degree in English from the University of Oregon before continuing his studies at the Lewis and Clark College. It wasn’t long before he acquired his masters of education in teaching from L&C.

His English degree actually helped him with his music career a lot. Writing and communication are big parts of the music industry, especially the business side of it. He also finds his English communication skills to be useful when promoting his work on Twitter.

Learning music theory helped, too. Today, it is possible to pursue a music degree such as an online masters in music from reputable names like Kent State University without actually attending offline classes. The online MME degree is as valuable, but the course is easier to handle. Jenkins finds online education of today to be an additional reason why pursuing a higher degree is a must.

Damian Kulash

The lead singer of OK Go, Damian Kulash, actually has a degree in art/semiotics from Brown University. As he looks back to his college days, he remembers his History of Independent Cinema course as one of his favorite classes.

“I’ve always been driven to make stuff, but I definitely learned to think about the things I make in a very different way while I was in school,” according to Kulash. The whole experience of completing college can be very helpful in shaping your mind, especially in terms of making it more used to critical and creative thinking.

His career with OK Go may not require him to have an art degree, but that doesn’t mean college isn’t important.

“There’s no question that the general mode of thinking—the project of looking at how art fits into and changes the world around it—was transformative for me.”


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