First, please understand that there is a 99+% chance that you will not be able to support yourself with singing right out of college, and probably something like a 98% chance that that will never happen. So, the way I see it, there are four basic approaches to going to college if you are a musician of some kind who wants a degree:
1. Major in something that will help you support yourself, and do performance as a double major, a minor, or on the side. Majoring in something nonmusical which doesn’t require too much physical labor or hours of talking every day, can complement a singing career quite well. It can pay for your coaching, auditions, and other expenses with some left over for sustaining life. Being able to afford life as soon after college as possible will be much more pleasant than the alternative.
2. Major in music education leading to a certificate. Keep in mind that teaching music in the public schools requires much time, energy, and vocal effort, and doesn’t pay as well as most other jobs. Although there is much overlap between a choral music certificate program and a voice degree, it requires a lot of hours in education courses and student teaching, and is challenging to complete within four years. If you want to double major in performance and education, you will likely need more than four years to finish. Please, only go into teaching if you like to teach. The first few years are exhausting and you will not make it if you do not like it. Try to get some field experience by your second year of school so that you can see what the environment is like.
3. Major in something non-musical, and participate in a musical ensemble for fun. Pursue music seriously after graduation if you still feel the need.
4. Major in vocal performance (or musical theatre, or whatever art), and concentrate on that to the best of your ability. This might be the only four-year stretch in your life when you can focus 100% on developing your musical skills. Once again, if you are a classical singer, take as much foreign language as possible. Study well, practice well, absorb everything you can about the art and the industry. After graduation, you will either be that fraction of 1% that gets a gig, or the vast majority that ask “now what?” and must consider a way to make a living. If you can make peace with that reality, then go ahead and major in performance.
Majoring in performance is not a “bad” choice. It might be a very good choice. It may be a very rich artistic time in your life and set the stage for wonderful things to come. As technology and the pace of change in general keeps speeding up, even a computer science degree can be largely obsolete by the time you graduate. The exact major is not as important to some employers as whether you have a degree in SOMETHING.
A career in music is extraordinarily difficult even if you make it. Life on the road, low pay, auditioning occasionally for the rest of your career, and getting new material in your brain on a steady basis, are very taxing. And that’s if you’re “lucky”.
If you are like the 99% that do not get a full-time performing job, what are you going to do? How will you pay rent, buy food and clothing, and live a life, financially speaking? The world asks us to be flexible. Most people will have several careers during their working years, sometimes multiple ones simultaneously. This is reality.
In order to become a performer, your major and school are not important compared to how well you actually sing, and whether you have learned things you needed and wanted to learn. Whether you major in music or in engineering, it’s not so black and white as major in X, get a job in X. Life is a lot more twisting and turning than that.
Talk it over with lots of people, and realize that a degree program in performance is no guarantee of anything.