An Introduction to Performing Arts

You either love to perform, or you don’t. If you do and would like to think of a career in performing arts, then you should know about the branch of study, which is a structured intervention for students with performing skills.

Here's what we'll look at today:

  • What does a degree in performing arts offer?
  • Skills required to master performing arts course
  • Top 10 universities to study performing arts
  • Graduate opportunities
  • The future of performing arts

What does a degree in performing arts offer?

An undergraduate degree in performing is usually a combination course of dance, music and drama. Students choose one area of specialisation or focus equally on all the performing arts areas. This branch of study is created for those who have a flair for theatre, dance, and music.

This degree provides the space for student to sharpen their aesthetic skills and explore the possibilities in the art form that they like. This course will also look at the theoretical part to explore further possibilities. Most universities follow a three-dimensional approach with music, theatre and dance, and other art forms as subsidiaries.

Skills required to master performing arts course

  • Creativity
  • The ability to network and market yourself
  • Self-confidence
  • Resilience and ability to withstand criticism
  • Self-presentation.
  • Teamwork and cooperation
  • Time management and organisational skills
  • Stamina
  • Self-awareness
  • Flexibility
  • Self-discipline
  • Open-Mindedness
  • Ability to think on your feet

Top 10 universities to study performing arts

Here are the top 10 universities globally to study performing arts according to the Q.S. ranking:

Serial No. University Country
1 The Juilliard School New York Campus, United States
2 Royal College of Music London,
United Kingdom
3 Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Formerly Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama) Glasgow, United Kingdom
4 Royal Academy of Music London, United Kingdom
5 Conservatoire national superieur de musique et de danse de Paris (CNSMDP) Paris,
6 New York University (NYU) New York City,
United States
7 Universitat Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien Kunst Wien, Vienna, Austria
8 Norwegian Academy of Music Norway
9 Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki Finland
10 Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Hong Kong SAR China

Many universities offer a master’s program in performing arts ,usually a postgraduate degree in creative fields like dance, drama, music and Cinema. This course is for a duration of two years. Some universities offer PhD programs in performing arts, which are usually research-centered. These programmes explore new ideas and concepts in dance, music, drama and theatre production.

Here’s a look at some key contents that are part of a Performing Arts Curriculum:

  • Scriptwriting
  • Playback theatre
  • Sound recording
  • Tv production lab
  • Body movement and dance
  • Raga studies
  • Socio-cultural foundations of behaviour
  • Stagecraft and design
  • Theory of direction and stagecraft
  • Basic concepts of filmmaking
  • Personal growth
  • World music
  • Film theories
  • Art entrepreneurship
  • Dance on camera
  • Life span development
  • Analytical study of classical music
  • Forms of dancing
  • Movement techniques
  • Theatre practicum
  • Choreography
  • Ecological discourses and practices
  • Tv production
  • Theatre beyond performance

What do performing arts graduates do?

Typical performing arts graduates become actors, dancers, musicians and theatre performers. However, a graduate degree or postgraduate degree in performing arts opens up opportunities in many other fields as well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, in the U.S., the job of actors are predicted to grow 32 per cent from 2020 to 2030, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This is said to create 16,700 opportunities in multiple fields. There is also a growth of 11 per cent projected for musicians and singers, which will create 17,500 new opportunities between 2020 and 2030.

Here are some career options and jobs after graduating in performing arts

  • Actor
  • Dancer
  • Broadcasting presenter
  • Special effects technician
  • Musical theatre performer
  • Theatre director
  • Drama therapist
  • Higher education lecturer
  • Music producer
  • Teacher/higher education lecturer
  • Screenwriter
  • Arts administrator
  • Community arts worker
  • Choreographer
  • Talent agent
  • Music therapist
  • Film director
  • Further education teacher
  • Theatre stage manager

Future of performing arts

The coronavirus crisis has helped the department of performing arts in most universities adopt an entirely new teaching-learning method. As performing arts is a course that relies heavily on face to face interaction, most universities are now conducting online classes and coming up with innovative technics and assignments. Students are getting more time to improvise on their skills and develop new ideas. So if you are passionate about joining a course that will bring out the performer in you and combine your creative talent with practical aspects, then there is no better time to get into the field of performing arts.

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Global Ed


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