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A Guide to Vocal Performance Degrees Abroad

By now, you can probably sing your country’s national anthem while sleeping, in five-part harmony, by yourself. If it’s time to expand your repertoire, voice performance degrees abroad are calling! By traveling with a vocal instrument (it can fill an entire auditorium, yet doesn’t require packing space), you can train wherever your song-filled heart desires. Give an impromptu performance amongst amphitheater ruins in Greece or practice classical pronunciation during workshops in Paris. Wherever you decide to earn your vocal performance degree abroad, get ready to be introduced to a world that will both take your breath away and add to your vocal abilities.

Why Earn Your Degree Abroad

Singing is found everywhere and anywhere, so the world is literally your oyster when it comes to earning a degree in vocal performance abroad. What an opportunity! No matter if you’re a soprano or baritone, earning a vocal performance degree abroad opens your learning to a unique culture, history, and expression. 

Vocal performance has roots tracing back to our earliest ancestors, so earning a degree abroad will allow you to deepen your understanding and connection with the history of the art form; great training for those looking to teach in the future. You will also be able to blend vocal forms as you intertwine history and present-day culture in your work. Your specific form of expression will evolve and be shaped both by studies in your home country and by your outside-the-box study in an international setting.

The exposure to international vocalists, professors, and ensembles extends your education beyond the classroom and into a community of professionals and opportunities. Take the chance to audition for local choirs and a cappella groups and learn from the cross-cultural experience. You will not only be training your voice, but will also be networking and gaining business and practical skills for a life-long career. Practice makes you pitch-perfect in the field. 

Talk about a standout performer! Your diversified training will attract attention at auditions, and your new life experiences will provide stories and inspiration to share through your work.


Whether it be a dash across the globe or a skip to a neighboring country, run as Fa as you want to obtain your vocal performance degree abroad. Finding the right harmony of what you are looking for both during and after your degree will help determine which location is the right venue for your studies. 

From Elton John to Adele, England is a hot spot for the study of music. There is a variety of schools to choose from, from liberal arts universities to focused music academies. The vibrant and history-rich city of London plays host to numerous auditions, performances, and networking opportunities. Not only will you get to take a photo on the infamous Abbey Road, you will be immersed into a melodious cacophony of music genres and styles. Musicians flock to London to perform, so when you need some inspiration before your next rehearsal, it will be easy to find a latin, rock, or “open-mic-night” concert to attend. 

With country in Texas and Tennessee, jazz in New Orleans, the blues in Chicago, and a little bit of everything in New York, the United States is another popular choice for singers and songwriters alike. The States are teeming with music talent, and record labels and producers are always on the hunt for the next big star. If your focus is on contemporary or popular music, this is the place to go. While you visit the Grand Canyon, Great American Music Hall, and Statue of Liberty on holidays, be sure to carry your pitch pipe juuuuust in case your moment to shine presents itself. 

If it’s classical music that makes you croon, Italy is a perfect place to obtain your vocal performance degree abroad. The birthplace of opera, you will get to practice your arias by day and visit famous opera houses by night. Perfect your Italian, sip Tuscan wine, and fine-tune your falsetto, all in one place. 

Vocal Performance Degree Programs

You can bet your bottom dollar that earning a degree in vocal performance abroad is much more than a bunch of jazz squares and scales. Whatever your niche, you will get ample studio time, make connections, and be well prepared for your career ahead.

At the undergraduate level, a variety of bachelor degrees offer a concentration in voice performance. The most common, a bachelor of music (BM) in vocal performance, prepares students for a career in classical performance, such as opera or as a professional recitalist, or vocal instruction (so you can be a coach on The Voice, too).

More and more music schools are also offering a BM in jazz vocals, popular music, and contemporary commercial music. A bachelor of arts (BA) in music enables students to pair their focus in voice with another area of study, such as foreign language, history, or business. Other undergraduate vocal performance degree options include a bachelor of music education for teaching in a school or choral setting, a bachelor of fine arts for musical theater, and a bachelor of music therapy for those interested in combining their vocal talents with science or medicine. 

While many contemporary, education, and musical theater majors are ready for the stage right after their undergraduate years, graduate school is a great opportunity for those looking to build different skills and allow their voice to mature. Aspiring opera and classical singers, songwriters, and advanced educators often attend graduate school to enhance their career opportunities. Additionally, graduate students can work in the school as a professor’s assistant or private teacher to gain experience while paying their tuition.

If a four-year degree isn’t in your timeframe, a music academy will offer an accelerated vocal performance degree in two years. Unlike a university’s application process, which includes applying online and a potential interview, a music academy may also require an audition. A music academy prepares students for live performance, fosters connections with industry contacts, and provides ample touring experience. 

No matter which academic route you take, a degree abroad in vocal performance will not only open doors to the green room, it will also make you a hirable “creative” for businesses of all kinds. 

Benefits & Challenges

Exposure & Networking. Connections are important in the music industry. Earning a degree in vocal performance abroad will get you in touch with local and international companies, not to mention once-in-a-lifetime auditions. Who knows…your voice teacher in Europe could just get you that call back in L.A. 

Competition is a challenge, and singers know this all too well. If you thought your All-State Choir contest was hard, put yourself in a different country, with different styles, techniques, etiquette, and audition practices, and you can find yourself overcoming an even bigger learning curve. Embrace the pre-show jitters and remember: every experience makes you stronger!

Whether you’re off to the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow or the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, you may find a style of voice that fits you better than any other or a teacher that pushes you to a level you didn’t know you had in you. The universality of singing makes it a passion and study too easy to take abroad and too good to pass up. Take a full diaphragm breathe in, and let your voice take you away. 

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Banner Report 2018

A Guide To
Vocal Performance Degrees Abroad


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