If you aspire to become a professional dancer, musician or actor you will always benefit from a good education. In some cases, such as ballet or mastering an instrument, it is almost mandatory that you get an early start already in childhood. In these areas it is also accepted, that in order to move on in your career, you will require instruction at a highly regarded school of performing arts, which offers programs in your chosen area. In the case of acting, this is not always as clear. Many want to make it without the education - and although this is by all means possible - it will make your way to the top a harder fight.
Higher Education in Acting
With an education such as a Bachelor of Arts, Fine arts or a Master of Arts in acting for screen or stage - you will gain not only a degree but also give yourself the time to learn the craft of acting from professionals. You may think that this is unnecessary and that you will get by on talent alone - but even the professionals already in the business are all for a good performing arts education. It will give you not only a greater credibility to recommend you on your resumé but also contacts with fellow students that may get you jobs in the future. In addition, should your plan for the stage or screen fail - a degree will give you a second option. With a good education, you have a much greater credibility and a platform to start an alternate career in for example teaching.
Performing Art of Dancing
If dancing is your heart's desire - the same rules largely apply. Here, as with acting there are lots of options of taking spread out courses or separate instruction. However, attending a school of higher education will not only give you a wider view of dancing and the chance to try different styles but will also give you contacts, which are vital for a future career.
Unless your passion is ballet, in which case attending higher education at a prestigious institution has probably been a long term goal, you may be considering a career without the formal education. You may however want to rethink. As a contemporary dancer, you will need to be versatile. If you have been dancing hip hop or jazz for years, you are probably great at it. For a professional career however you will need to be able to dance far more than one style. And your technique will need to be great in all of them as competition is tough. Also worth remembering is that dancers are prone to injuries which may make your career shorter than planned. With a college or university education to back you up you have far more to fall back on in the future.
Performing Arts Degrees for Musicians
For those of you aspiring for a career in music - a Bachelor of Music can be your entryway into a wide variety of careers. A Bachelor of Music can be awarded for Music Performance, Music Education, composition, Music Theory, Music Technology, Music Production and much more. Some schools also offer new programs in for example Music Composition with Technology where the craft of studio production is added to the traditional theory and musicology coursework.
As you see, a Bachelor of Music offers far more options than just performance in areas such as arranging, composing, conducting, education, entertainment law, music journalism, music therapy, performance, radio/TV and the recording industry.
Choosing the Right Performing Arts Education
To make your choice where and at what school or university you want to study, there are a few points you should consider. What are the best schools that offer the specialty you seek. You should also consider weeding out those that teach a too narrow course as that will limit you in the future. Make sure you will be taught strong fundamentals as well as the specific skills you seek. When you have a list of finalists apply to at least five of your finalists. Where in the world you choose to study is up to you. You will find good education in the performing arts all over the world.