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In-Depth Jobs

Issue no 16, 16 - 22 JULY 2022

Perks Of Pursuing Performing Arts

Nidhhi Prasad

Performing Arts is a term encompassing the form of an art that combines visuals with dramatic performances. Music, dance and acting are all examples of the Performing Arts. The performing artists express themselves through their facial expressions, vocals and gestures. Aspirants can pursue their career as musicians, singers, dancers, and actors. Apart from the basic academic requirement, a person should be interested in the particular art form along with enough talent and skills to pursue it as a career. A career in performing arts requires arduous training which can be quite fascinating as it puts you at the center stage.

With many youngsters dreaming of the glamour world, this career path is very competitive. It is of utmost importance that you are confident of your talent and skills. Talent can take you a long way, but you will also need attributes like confidence, resilience, and selfreflection, along with skills like teamwork, creativity, analytical mind, and quick learning. There are many prestigious universities that provide education in performing arts at certificate level, diploma level, bachelor's and master's level. Courses in performing arts engage the creative side of the brain, they also regulate one's study patterns and aid academic learning. These programs promote novelty and non-linear thinking, skills that can be useful in both academic and professional settings. Beyond academics and personality development, these activities arm students with a sense of independence that helps them combat anxiety, unhappiness, and other negative emotions. Indeed, a study of the arts is a nourishing and enjoyable journey.

Various Courses offered in Performing Arts are:

·         B.A. Music (Vocal)

·         B.A. Music (Instrumental)

·         B.A. Performing Arts

·         Diploma in theatre

Top colleges offering undergraduate/postgraduate courses in performing arts, drama, and music:

·         Christ University, Bengaluru 

·         Krea University, Andhra Pradesh

·         Jain University, Bengaluru

·         Flame University, Pune

·         Banaras Hindu University, Uttar Pradesh

·         Amity University, Uttar Pradesh

·         University of Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh

·         Juilliard School, United States 

·         University of Music and Performing Arts, Australia

·         Royal College of Music, United Kingdom


All candidates who have completed their class 12th with at least 50% - 60% aggregate marks fulfill eligibility criteria for pursuing a bachelor's degree in Performing Arts.

Colleges seek students who have achievements beyond their academics. A lot of liberal arts colleges in India, inspired by renowned universities in the West, are now adopting profilebased admissions. Some examples are Flame University, Ashoka University, Krea University, and Azim Premji University. The applications to such sought-after universities entail comprehensive records of the applicant's academics, extracurricular, research endeavors, and leadership activities. Therefore, it is imperative to build a holistic profile in order to obtain admission to such institutions.

Difference Between Visual Arts & Performing Arts

Visual arts give a way to express feeling, emotion, opinion, or taste through visual means, for instance, photography, painting, sculpting, and drawing, etc. On the other hand, Performing Arts have ways to express an opinion, emotion, feeling, or taste, through means of performance, like, theatre, public speech, dance, music, etc.

Types of Performing Arts

Music: Music consists of various elements like singing, composing original music, playing musical instruments etc. Singers use their knowledge of voice production, melody, and harmony to interpret music and text. They perform in their own individual styles.

Musicians create music. They compose, conduct, sing, perform music in different styles. They are skilled artists who dedicate their life to music and its composition by playing a variety of instruments. They may work on their own, as freelancers or in collaboration with others. Competition in the field of music is high and musicians need to dedicate hours of practice to maintain and develop their skill, whatever their preferred style.

For a career in music, one must have an inborn talent to sing or play instruments along with zeal for regular practice. Training in music should ideally begin early in life, under a trained instructor.

Nowadays, almost every state has institutions for professional training in music. Many of them are recognized or are affiliated to recognized bodies such as the Prayag Sangeet Samiti in Allahabad. To encourage aspirants, the Department of Culture (under the Ministry of HRD) awards scholarships for advanced training in this field. Besides, numerous private bodies too aid through scholarships for advanced training in music. A person interested to start a career in music should have a genuine love for music, besides a sense of rhythm, versatility, creative ability and stage confidence.

Career opportunities are plenty in this field just as there is plethora of music forms like classical, folk, jazz, pop, fusion etc. Besides becoming a performer (vocal or instrumental) or a teacher, one can opt for roles ranging from a composer/ song writer, music publisher, music journalist, Disc Jockeys/ Video Jockeys to Music Therapist and Artist Manager/PR. Today, with the advent of digital media era along with the growing popularity of music channels and corporate sponsorship of musical events, music has become a huge industry with immense potential.

 Acting & Theatre

The entertainment that we seek is practically filled by the actors - portraying various characters in movies, television, or theatre. Actors wield power to leave a remarkable impression on their audience. But the power does not come easy. The life of an actor is full of hard work and tight schedules. When most people think of actors, they see them as someone with a lot of fame and money but misses to see the abundance of hard work, dedication and determination that goes into the making of an actor.

A theatre artist is an actor who uses the stage for performance. They use songs, musicals, poems, drama, dance, speech to exhibit their art. Theatre encompasses the collaboration of many job roles, some of them working behind the scenes, to give an everlasting impression of their hard work to the audience.

 How to Formally Pursue Acting?

 The two most popular exams to get enrolled into acting courses in India are the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Entrance Exam and National School of Drama (NSD) Screening Test. The Bachelor's courses for acting and theatre are designed to explore the artistic creation of characterisation. The program prepares candidates to communicate dramatic information, ideas and feelings through the making and production of films and videos. During the programme, the candidates gain a comprehensive understanding of pragmatic production skills that focus on creative development, writing, acting, and editing.

The students are required to successfully complete the 12th standard with a minimum of 60 per cent aggregate with a recognized board from India.

Popular Undergraduate Courses

·         B.A Film Studies 

·         B.Sc. Visual Media

·         Bachelor of Cinematography

·         B.A. Communication Design

·         B.Sc. Visual Communication

·         B. Sc in Film Making

Post Graduate Programmes

·         M. Sc in Acting

·         PG Diploma in Cinema Studies

·         MA in Cinema and Television

·         PG Diploma in Art Direction and Production Design

·         MA in Filmmaking

·         PG Certificate Course in Feature Film and Screenplay Writing

·         PG Diploma in Film Making

·         PG Diploma in Documentary Film Production  

·         G Diploma in Electronic Cinematography

·          PG Diploma in Film Acting

Dance: Dance is the rhythmic movement of body in sync with the background sound and music. The art of creating a dance is called choreography. Individuals who opt for a career as a choreographer create and direct original dances, in addition to developing interpretations of existing dances. Students can pursue a BPA (Bachelor of Performing Arts), Master of Performing Arts, Bachelor of Dance and Music, or Master of Performing Arts in order to pursue a career as a choreographer.

Choreographers are highly in demand in the film industry and beyond. They may have a bright career in teaching dance for various cultural programmes, events or theatres. There are several choreographer roles with varying job titles and responsibilities that you may take up while progressing in the career as choreographer.

Dance Instructor: A dance instructor is responsible for training students in dance technique and dramatic skills. They often specialize in types of choreography such as ballet, jazz or tap. Dance Teacher: Dance teachers are responsible for leading dance classes for individuals or groups of people. Their duties are closely related to teaching various types of choreography.

Artistic Director: The person with overall responsibility for the selection and interpretation of the works performed by a theatre, ballet, or opera company.

Rehearsal Director: The rehearsal director is generally responsible for coordinating and supervising the rehearsals within a company. They may be known as the choreographer's righthand and it is usually their responsibility to ensure that the dancers know and are able to interpret the work as set by the choreographer.

Dance Critic: Dance critics are responsible for attending live dance performances and publishing or broadcasting reviews of those dance performances.

Stage Performers: In the performing arts, a performance generally comprises an event in which a performer or group of performers present one or more works of art to an audience.

Dance Therapist: Dance Therapy is the psychotherapeutic use of movement and dance to support the intellectual, emotional, and motor functions of the body.

What Students Learn from Studying Art, Drama, And Music?


·         Improved learning skills

·         Enhanced social skills

·         Creativity z Discipline

·         Attention to detail

·         Communication  

·         Teamwork

Studying the arts can hone one's emotional intelligence; educational theorists are increasingly emphasizing the importance of high emotional intelligence in the development of a creative mind and a nimble flexible thought process.

 Furthermore, students come to appreciate constructive feedback, thereby nurturing a growth mindset. Drama, for example, equips theatrics with the ability to perceive real-life situations with a broad range of perspectives. Thus, students can use such creative techniques to excel in their coursework as well. The confidence that one gains through such experiences permeates other areas of their life as well.

Group activities foster eloquent communication and allow students to exhibit and strengthen their cultural leadership as they explore new cultures and viewpoints. Apart from sharpening their focus, memory, and critical thinking abilities, students also become more accepting and liberal citizens. Such programs encourage students to be creative and use their imagination, which in turn helps them contextualize their environment and their role in society.

Skills Required

In addition to having natural talent in your chosen discipline, it takes the right experience and qualifications to be successful as a performing artist. Some of the skills and traits that candidates should possess to pursue the course are:

·         Time management skills

·         Organisation skills

·         Self-presentation

·          Commitment to the entertainment industry

·         Innovation

·         Passion

·         Observing power

·         Ability to express

·         Visualisation skills

·         Creativity

Your skills will also be valuable in a range of other careers, especially if you're able to effectively combine creative talent with the practical aspects of self-promotion and arts management.


The performance arts industry is a huge and diverse field, offering many different opportunities for individuals looking to make a living through their creativity. After completing an undergraduate course in performing arts, candidates will have a number of choices to pursue a career in the field of performing arts. One can be placed in theatre groups, entertainment companies, television, as well as the film industry or work independently as freelancers.

 Some of the job options with a performing arts degree include the following:

·         Arts administrator  

·         Broadcast presenter  

·         Film Director  

·         Actor

·         Musician

·         Singer  

·         Dancer

·         Director

·         Producer

·         Screenwriter

·         Choreographer

·         Set designer

·         Sound designer  

·         Lighting designer

·         Teaching  

·         Therapist:Dance- music- or drama- therapist

Performing arts are an integral part of society. Whether you're a big fan of musical theatre, opera, ballet, or jazz, the arts form part of our culture and add an enormous value to it.

These performing arts jobs allow you to use your love of the dance, music or drama to help individuals of all ages overcome personal difficulties. Dramatherapists use activities such as group work or roleplay to encourage people to come to terms with their emotions and express themselves, helping them to overcome or progress on their social or personal difficulties.

Similarly, music therapists use music to help people deal with feelings they can't put into words. You'll use music creatively to establish a shared musical experience and aim for therapeutic goals. Dance therapists use movement and dance within a therapeutic atmosphere to help people who are facing physical, psychological, emotional or mental problems.

(The author is Counseling Psychologist & Career Consultant. She can be reached at nidhiprasadcs@ gmail.com)

Views expressed are personal.