Difficulties For Pursuing Careers In Music
The business side of music is not always as glamorous as the performances. That might be a problem if youre not familiar with the day-to-day of your field.
You may realize partway into the job that you dont want to do this anymore, McCutcheon said.
The work might be more making phone calls and filling out paperwork than following your passion, and that could be discouraging. This is why internships and job shadowing are important parts of the process. They give you the chance to experience the work and uncover the parts you dont like.
Earning the music business degree itself is no walk in the park either.
You need resilience, Miller said. When youre looking at the business side or hope to run your own company or label, that requires focus, work ethic, and working hard in some areas that dont come so easy to the student.
Music Job : Concert Promoter
A concert promoter works with bands, artists and booking agents, helping to coordinate their relationship with venues. They book bands and organise shows â including the financial aspects and making sure the bands are catered for. They will also often work at the gigs, managing people and making sure everything runs smoothly.
Adam Lavender has worked as a concert promoter for Kerrang! Radio DJ Emma Scott and Wolverhampton Civic Halls, and used to run his own promotions company. He suggests that networking is really important as a large part of being successful in the business side of music comes down to who you know. Itâs a good idea to start by carrying out any form of work at a local venue, getting to know bands and their promoters, and making yourself available to help out in any music-related jobs. Emailing local promotions companies about opportunities to gain work experience is another good way to gain skills.
Start Your Music Career Today
Now that you know about the different careers in the music industry, its time to plan your next steps.
If youre unsure where to start, consider pursuing an online degree in music or a related field. Online degrees can give you the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in the music industry.
You may also want to consider interning at a music label, music production company, or another type of music organization. Internships provide first-hand experience in the industry and help you network with potential employers.
Whatever you decide to do, remember that the most important thing is to follow your passion. If you love music, theres no reason you cant have a successful career in the industry. Just be sure to put in the hard work and never give up on your dreams.
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How To Get Started In The Music Industry As A Performer
If you want to be a performer, perform! It’s that simple. Whether your dreams involve singing or playing an instrument, you start a music career by finding opportunities to get your music heard. When you’re just starting out, no chance to perform should be considered too small. In fact, some of the best jobs for musicians who are new to performing can be found at schools, community events, and parties. After all, you never know who may be in attendance, even at a small gathering.
Plus, the growing importance of social media has opened up even more opportunities. You’ve probably heard some of the stories. For example, Justin Bieber’s career started when his mom posted videos for his relatives to watch on YouTube. The Weeknd was also discovered on YouTube . And Adele was signed to a record label after a demo she made was posted on MySpace.
But you’ll need to create your own path to success because there aren’t any straightforward “rules” about what it takes to be discovered. To pursue music as a career, you need to learn from your favorite artists, but you shouldn’t copy them and expect the same results. For better or worse, there’s an element of luck in the music industry.
How can you increase your odds of success? Again, you won’t find a simple formula. But here are some general tips:
Video And Sound Engineers
Video and sound engineers have one of the highest-paying jobs in the music industry. In this role, youre responsible for mapping the sound and voice effects for video games. Equally lucrative positions within this niche include recording and score composers. All of these jobs have a hand in the overall sound and feel of the game. Video and sound engineers are also useful in television and film production.
Median salary: $40,000 to over $120,000
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Be Patient & Persistent
Patience is a virtue, it is said, and this saying could not be truer. Patience and persistence are the key to success.
You will not become famous or successful overnight, so you must be patient with your process and work towards your success over time. Do not give up if you dont get anywhere for a while. Keep on trying, and you will eventually succeed.
The only way you can fail at your dreams is to give up on them. When the going gets tough, keep going, because it is worth it in the end. Determination will always pay off.
Prepare yourself at the start for the long haul in this career. It can be so easy to get discouraged in this industry. It is a tough career to choose, and there is a lot of competition.
However, do not feel down because your first song only received a few downloads. Think about it this way: your FIRST song had downloads!
Seeing the positive side in even the smallest of accomplishments will help you climb higher.
Over time you will get turned down, you will not always get a response, you will experience rejections and perhaps even ridicule. But when it comes down to it, it is all worth it when you finally get where you want to be.
So, before you start up your journey, make sure you are in the right mindset to take this journey.
Try To Make Connections Within The Industry
Inside all of the creative industries, success is not based solely on what you know, on on your talent, your skill, or your knowledge of the field.
The key to success in the creative industries is in who you know. Who you know can open multiple doorways to success. This means that networking is a primary factor in success.
Your industry network is your net worth. As such, one of the most important goals to prioritize is to develop relationships in your local community and in the music scene in which you are interested.
Social media groups are perfect for this. These network communities are also useful as a kind of support group to help you stay motivated while you are establishing yourself.
The internet has been highly useful in the development of new networking schemes. You just need to know how to approach your networking opportunities online.
Dont just go around sending people your music. Spamming is not the way to gain a following.
Instead, find relevant online communities in which you can be active, collaborate with other artists, and build relationships.
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Prepare For The Process
It’s important to understand that getting into the music industry takes time. Becoming a famous music artist requires patience, incredible talent, good business instincts and a unique personality.
It is a competitive industry. Some of the most popular artists of all time have faced rejection from major record labels, only to find success later. It’s common for people who are waiting for their first record deal to have other jobs to support themselves while they wait for their opportunity.
Music Industry Job #: A& r
What Does An A& R Do?
A& Rs work at labels and choose the music that will be released on the label.
Often, they will work with an artist to help finish the artists music before signing it to the label and turn a great demo into a phenomenal release. Even though a label A& R isnt formally a member of your team, they are often an essential sounding board for creative ideas and have as much input on the artists creative direction as anyone else.
Average A& R’s will simple accept or reject your demos, but the truly amazing ones will help give valuable feedback and insights into the direction of your music and artist project as a whole.
How Much Does The Artist Pay The A& R?
The artist doesnt pay the A& R. The A& R is paid by the label they work for.
But adding on to this little bit oftentimes if you’ve released on single label consistently, moving up into an A& R position at said label can be a great way to get your foot in the door and start building up some industry experience .
When Should You Work With An A& R?
As soon as possible! I advocate for sharing your music early and often. A& Rs will help you improve your music and ultimately get it out to a larger audience through label releases.
Even if you music doesn’t get signed to the label that they work at, sending demos to them can be a good way to keep your name in their ear. A& Rs want to invest in artists that are constantly improving, and sending new and better demos can be a great way to show them you’re committed.
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Music Job : Tour Manager
Having also worked as a tour manager, Adam Lavender suggests that thereâs a lot of overlap between the roles of concert promoter and a tour manager: âThe only difference really is that instead of working in one venue, youâre in multipleâ. Organisation is key for both roles: Adam made sure he had a detailed tour itinerary for every day, which he went through with the band members on the bus each morning.
Music Job : Booking Agent
Working for a booking agency, a booking agentâs role is to secure concerts for music artists and to negotiate contracts for them. They will often coordinate with the concert promoter to make sure the venue provides what the musicians ask for. They may provide help with the organisational side of things, too â for instance, by planning the route to gigs. Gaining relevant work experience, particularly through an internship, will bolster your chances of securing a job as a booking agent.
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Go To Open Mics Performances & Community Events
Unless youre in Nowheresville, USA , there should be live music events happening in your locality. Its a good idea to begin attending them and making a few connections.
Regardless of what capacity you intend to be involved in the music industry, you must realize that there would be no industry without music.
So, getting to know artists, hosts, venue owners and event organizers is ultimately to your benefit. If you’re planning to be a musician, then the benefits should be clear this is how you improve as a musician and get gigs.
Dont overlook or ignore events just because they are small. Realistically, youre probably not going to be able to connect with key people at stadium events. People at pubs, bars, clubs, community halls and coffeehouses are much more accessible.
Even if all you do is engage in a bit of preliminary research by asking musicians and hosts some basic questions around what challenges theyre experiencing and what theyd like to accomplish in their careers, youll learn a lot.
I have a friend who regularly attended singer-songwriter events in my locality of Calgary, Alberta. He was known as one of the greatest supporters of the community, hosting events and offering valuable tips to musicians who were looking to grow their careers. I dont think he ultimately made a career out of that, but he nevertheless rose to the level of an important influencer in the local market.
Music Job : Studio Sound Engineer
As a studio sound engineer, youâll work with record producers and music artists, focusing on producing the best â and most popular â sound. This will involve setting up and operating recording equipment, adding effects, recording instruments and vocals onto tracks and mixing tracks to produce a âmasterâ track. Starting as a studio assistant and working your way up from there is the route that many people take. A related degree or college course is likely to help you to progress in this field.
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Internships And Applied Learning Opportunities
Internshipsfoster hands-on learning and skill building. They also help students make connections and network with potential employers.
You can use FREDNetwork, the CDOs job and internship database, to find internship opportunities! Schedule an appointment with a CDO career counselor for more information and advice.
Music Job : Live Sound Engineer
A live sound engineer in the music industry will work at concerts, making sure the highest quality sound reaches the audience. In this role, youâll use a mixing desk to balance the sound coming from each instrument and add any effects. Other responsibilities might include monitoring the sound that band members hear by sending individual mixes to them and setting up equipment.
Gaining formal training â through an apprenticeship, college course or university degree â will improve your chances of getting a position, and youâre likely to be expected to have some related work experience.
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Music Industry Job #: Booking Agent
What Does A Booking Agent Do?
An agent works with an artist to coordinate all performances for said artist. Agents typically have a network of promoters in various cities, and they negotiate with the organizers of events to book the artist they represent. An agents goal is to maximize touring revenue while simultaneously growing the artists fan base in many cities.
Essentially, their primary goal is to get the artist out of the studio and onto the stage. The booking agent often works directly with the artist manager to plan out tours, identify different markets in which the artist is most popular, and helps determine the artist schedule overall.
How Much Does The Artist Pay The Agent?
The artist pays the agent a percentage of all the revenue generated from performances only. This generally ranges from 10-15% of all performance revenue equity somewhere between $20k-$50k for agents booking developing artists.
When Should You Get An Agent?
You should get an agent when you are starting to get interest from promoters in performing in markets outside of your home city. If you are only playing locally, try to book yourself and develop personal relationships with promoters. Agents are helpful when you need to negotiate deals with promoters in other cities and break into new markets.
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Career In Music: Summary
There are tons of job options in the music industry and all of them can be extremely rewarding. But it is not the easiest industry to work your way into.
Choosing which area of this industry is best for you can be difficult. The best place to start is to look at your passions and your strengths, and find which of the many career options inside the music industry fits your skill set and your passions the most.
Do not be afraid to take your time to figure it all out, and remember that nothing happens right away. Success, true success, is built up slowly over time. With patience and dedication, you will get there.
So now, it is time for you to head out into the world, start creating some music and making your way up the music industry ladder. We will see you at the top!
Have A Steady Income To Make A Living
Any part of the creative industries is difficult, and music is no different. As you start up your career it wont be easy.
You need an income in order to survive and afford the things you need to chase down your dreams. You will need to have a way to gain that income.
The best option for most is to pursue their music career and have a day job on the side that pays their bills and funds their passion.
You might think that going all in and relying on the pressure to survive as motivation is the best way to go. This does work for some people, so it is a personal choice.
But it does not always work. In fact, it can make it harder, especially in certain areas of the music industry where you will need to afford equipment. And you cannot afford equipment without a decent income.
Just remember that having a day job does not mean that you are neglecting your music career. A majority of now-famous musicians started exactly where you are now.
Whatever aspect of the music industry you are aiming for, starting here with a day job to pay your bills is the normal way to start.
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Music Industry Job #: Educator
What does an Educator do?
Educators, well educate. These are the folks that amass all the music production knowledge out there and make it accessible to artists. Educators are often overlooked by many artists who think theyve got it all figured out it is a critical mistake to think you dont need help learning more about music production.
Just like how doctors take classes throughout their careers and college professors always read the latest books, working with educators like our team at the Hyperbits Masterclass to stay up to date on the tools and techniques of making music is essential.
How Much Does The Artist Pay The Educator?
Educators are typically paid for one-off services, such as a lesson or a masterclass. Some products are cheap, while bespoke 1-on-1 training and high-quality masterclasses can cost thousands of dollars.
When Should You Work With An Educator?
Start today and never stop! The most successful people in any field are lifelong learners, you should be too.
What I personally think is so cool about music is that there is absolutely no cap on how good you can get at it. So striving to be the best is a lifelong pursuit that will keep you busy from now until the end of time if you let it. It’s legit why I made my Masterclass come with lifetime access, because I’m still learning high-level production tricks that would be a disservice not to update my courses with. And when I learn them, so do my students.