Suppose you have an undergraduate degree in a STEM field and you want to get a graduate degree (MM) in music performance. Let’s also assume you haven’t taken any music courses and you’re not great at your instrument.

It won’t be easy, but you can do it.

First, you don’t need an undergrad degree in music. That’s just gatekeeping nonsense. The school may have minimum requirements, but an undergrad degree in music isn’t one of them.

Second, you can learn what you need to know by reading books and taking lessons. Music theory is much easier than math. Music history is a joke compared to any of the STEM courses you’ve taken. Ear training is hard, but you don’t need to be all that good at it.

Third, you don’t need to be “good” at your instrument. You only need to be “good enough”.

Here are 9 steps to follow (do steps 1-4 simultaneously):

  1. Read about music theory and get good at it.
  2. Read about music history and get good at it.
  3. Read about ear training and get good at it.
  4. Take lessons.
  5. Pick a school you want to go to.
  6. Ask what the minimum requirements are for admission without an undergrad degree in music.
  7. If the gatekeepers give you an attitude, be persistent.
  8. Satisfy those minimum requirements and apply.

It worked for me, so I know it’s doable. Good luck.

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