As you go through life and everything around you changes, you will find that the only constant is music. Who would not want a career in this exciting, dynamic field?
There are a number of options available, but all take some planning, skill, and experience. Read on to find our 7 must-know careers in music and how to get started with them.
- Careers in Music as a Musician
Oddly, a musician is often an overlooked job. From street artist buskers to world-conquering rap artists, the job of a musician is rewarding but tough.
You can often find jobs advertised, particularly if you are working in classical orchestras and theatre. However, most jobs come through word of mouth and your reputation. Start off with your own group, and build a reputation so that you are called upon when the time comes.
You do need to be a great player, so will need to start lessons and book into a music school. Places such as the Sloan School of Music offer classes in all disciplines.
- Music Producer
Becoming a music producer is so much more than just recording the instruments and vocals to a song. The producer is responsible for the overall feel of the track. Will it be a low key, synth-driven ambient track or a jangling, indie guitar pop song?
Very often, a music producer will have more creative input in a song than the person who wrote it. A successful producer can even be just as famous as the artists themselves, such as Mark Ronson, The Neptunes, and others. It involves an in-depth knowledge of technology, science, music theory, and a very good ear.
Top music producers can work very long hours, often towards tight deadlines. It is a very satisfying music career, especially if you manage to open your own studio.
- Concert Promoter
The job of a concert promoter involves juggling a lot of tasks at once. You will be responsible for putting on the shows of artists and bands, from aspiring musicians to stadium rockers. The success of the whole event could lie on your shoulders.
As music has turned digital and artists make less money from physical sales, doing concerts and promoting them has become a job that brings in lots of revenue. In addition, summer festivals have become huge, drawing mass crowds to events. All of these are put on by concert promoters.
Backgrounds in music, marketing, event organizing, finance, and logistics will all help you get into concert promoting. While it can be competitive due to the monopolization of the industry by large companies, you can carve out a niche in your local area and build from there.
- Music Teacher
Music teaching has two very distinct paths that you can take. The first is to teach instrument lessons. The second is to teach music at a school or in further education.
Both have advantages and disadvantages. Teaching instrument lessons will allow you the freedom to be your own boss. Very often, it can be combined with other part-time activities, such as gigging and writing music.
The only downside is that work is not frequent. Clients can pull out of lessons, you can become sick, have to cancel and not get paid, and many other problems that afflict self-employed workers.
Teaching music as a subject will require a teaching certificate from the relevant board. The advantages of this method of teaching are that you have a regular salary with the attached benefits. Bringing the joy of music to others can also be very rewarding.
The downside is that very often, you have to do a lot of hours. On top of the normal routine of a teacher, you will be expected to organize performances and concerts for the children. Weekends will vanish and late nights will become a standard.
Home entertainment is constantly looking for new products, be it television shows for streaming or video games for download. All of these need music, and that is created by a composer. While composing is a fiercely competitive field to get into, it has a lot of opportunities to diversify, and you must be able to adapt your composition styles.
Video game composers work in companies, some large, some small. You can apply to compose for them when they have vacancies on their website. Before applying, you will need to have a built a portfolio so make sure you have a home studio or recordings done on your laptop.
For composition in other entertainment forms, such as television, you will also need a portfolio. Start by contacting smaller production companies, and aim for low budget movies and television. This will help you build a reputation and increase your experience before aiming for the larger projects.
- Music Business Lawyer or Accountant
While people who study law and accountancy can go into it in a general way, you can also specialize in very specific industry areas. The music business requires the use of specialists, as it has very particular laws, regulations, and income streams. Lawyers and accountants with music business specialisms are few and far between but are in high demand.
To pursue a career you will need to go through the normal channels for accountancy and law degrees. However, make sure you specialize in the area at every chance you get, in assignments and projects.
- Artist Manager
Bands and musicians need someone who can collate the different facets of their business. This involves liaising with marketing companies, tour operators and promoters, accountants, lawyers, and record companies. Doing this themself can take the focus from creating music, and that is where the manager comes in.
If you want to become an artist manager, focus on music and business in your studies. Start small, and try to shadow an existing music manager to build your experience.
Start with a Love for Music
Above all, when considering these careers in music, you must start with a love for the art form. Working in music is not all glitz and glamour. It can be tough, hard work with long hours, but is always rewarding.
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