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A musician performs for the purpose of entertaining.

The nature of a musician's work can vary considerably, depending on the field of specialization:
- composers write or improvise musical compositions, thus translating their own creations of melody and harmony into musical signs and symbols for others;
- the performer studies and rehearses music scores carefully until they can be played perfectly, before appearing in public as a soloist, accompanist or member of an orchestra. A performer is also required to tune an instrument to the proper pitch and may play from memory or from sheet music;
- the conductor studies the selected music and prepares to conduct a band or orchestra;
- the music teacher gives lessons either at a training institution such as a school or privately.

Musicians may specialize in the type of music played, such as classical or popular music. They may also specialize in the type of instrument or instruments played. Some musicians perform solo while others play in a group or orchestra. Some musicians specialize in teaching.

Satisfying Aspects
- the opportunity to be creative through music
- working in different settings
- the opportunity to travel
- the appreciation of audiences

Demanding aspects
- working irregular hours
- intense competition for jobs
- being away from home for long periods of time

A musician should:
- have musical aptitude and ability and enjoy music;
- be creative and versatile and have initiative;
- have manual dexterity;
- be willing to spend many hours practising;
- have physical stamina and be able to concentrate for long periods of time;
- be self-disciplined and patient;
- be willing to travel sometimes.

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course

Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.

Compulsory Subjects: Music
Recommended Subjects: Visual Arts

Grade 6 or 7 in Practical Music, according to the examinations laid down by UNISA, the Associated Board of Royal School of Music or the Trinity College of Music.

Study of an instrument should begin at an early age. This early training can be acquired through private lessons or through school.

Degree: BMusic, BA Music or BMusic Musicology - UP, NMMU, UNISA, UFS, US, NWU, UCT, UV, RU, Wits.

The BMus degree takes 4 years to complete and the BA(Music) degree takes 3 years to complete. Musicians interested in teaching careers can combine educational training with music. by following a BMus(Ed) degree.

Diploma: N.Dip: Music - TUT
The duration of these courses is 3 years full-time study.

Certificate: Popular Music - SW Gauteng TVET

Various bands provide in-service training provided that the person can play an instrument and read music. An audition would be necessary for admission.

No special licensing is required as only well-trained and qualified musicians would be considered for teaching posts in schools, universities of technology, colleges, universities and conservatories. Musical career opportunities for qualified and talented people are also offered by the National Symphony Orchestra in Johannesburg, and the Durban and Cape Town Orchestras. The Councils for Performing Arts also offer good opportunities for such musicians.

- Military bands of the Defence Force, Police, Prisons Services
- Provincial Councils for Performing Arts
- Television, broadcasting and film companies
- Symphony orchestras and other musical ensembles
- Recording companies
- Colleges and universities (as lecturers)
- Restaurants
- Self-employed

South African Society of Music Teachers
P O Box 35242
Menlo Park, 0102
Tel. (087) 808-4945 / 082 673-0532