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How to Make a Career in the Music Industry

How to Make a Career in the Music Industry

How to Make a Career in the Music Industry

2022/12/02

If you’ve got a passion for music, then you might have considered joining the millions of people who’ve attempted to make money out of their love. Most of these people aren’t megastar performers or composers, to be sure: the industry offers an impressive breadth of rewarding occupations to people with a flair for music.

What careers are available?

Let’s take a quick tour through some of the careers available.

Performing musician

These are the people who get up on stage and create the music, either in a live setting or a recording studio. If you’re versatile enough and you have the technical chops, you might earn a respectable living as a session musician.

Certain kinds of musician will want to specialise as early as possible to remain competitive. If you want to perform classical music, for example, then you’ll want to pick up your chosen instrument and get practising as early as possible. If you prefer jazz improvisation, then it’s better to sample more broadly, develop an ear, and specialise late.

If you’re working at this level, then you’ll need to invest accordingly in a quality instrument, and skills needed to maintain it. When it comes to insurance, it’s best to go for a specialised product – fortunately, there are plenty of musical instrument insurance products available.

Composer

There’s no shortage of media out there that needs to be soundtracked: films, television shows, Youtube channels and video games might all require original music. If you’re able to compose it, then you might feasibly earn a considerable amount.

Music teacher

Young musicians need guidance if they’re to avoid developing bad habits. You might teach in a school, in a music shop, or independently. You’ll be at liberty to set the syllabus, but bear in mind that many students will be looking to work their way through the ABRSM grades.

Engineer

If you’d prefer to work with recording and broadcast technology, then a career as a studio or live engineer might appeal. You’ll need a good ear and a good knowledge of how the technology actually works, since you’ll be spending a lot of time troubleshooting.

Bear in mind here that you needn’t commit to one path early on: many of the most successful film composers have actually started life as DJs and bedroom producers. Moreover, if you find that your chosen specialisation doesn’t appeal as much as you thought it did, you might have picked up many of the skills you need to switch.

What are the upsides and downsides?

For many music professionals, inconsistent pay can be a big problem. You’re often paid on a per-project basis, and you’ll be freelancing most of the time. You might also fall victim to crunch, and be forced to work long, hard hours when a deadline is looming. You’ll also need to be dedicated to your craft to stand apart from the crowd – this is a highly competitive industry.

On the other hand, music can be hugely rewarding in a non-financial sense. You’ll get creative liberty, and spend most of your day working with music. If this is something that you love to do anyway, then the career might seem like an obvious choice.

Laura Bartlett

Laura Bartlett

Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.