Volume 18 Number 29 June 25, 2017

Music Alumni Play a Different Tune: Reflections on Acquired Skills and Career Outcomes

Angie L. Miller
Indiana University Bloomington, USA

Amber D. Dumford
University of South Florida, USA

William R. Johnson
Juilliard School, USA

Citation: Miller, A. L., Dumford, A. D., & Johnson, W. R. (2017). Music alumni play a different tune: Reflections on acquired skills and career outcomes. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 18(29). Retrieved from http://www.ijea.org/v18n29/.


This study explores how a variety of music alumni perceive the skills that they learned at their institutions in comparison to their diverse career outcomes using data from the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP). Focusing on alumni with music education, music theory, and music performance majors (16,317 respondents from 105 different arts undergraduate and graduate colleges or arts programs within larger universities), the study demonstrates how a survey of skills learned and career outcomes is a meaningful way of measuring student achievement and skill. Similarities and differences between these three majors are further investigated using inferential statistical analyses. There is also further discussion suggesting that equating “value” in education solely with alumni income may not be the most appropriate for the arts, and that value instead could be expanded to include various skills and components of job satisfaction in understanding alumni success.

Visual Abstract

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