The music industry has always been challenging to enter and thrive in, across all genres. Several artists are competing for attention and opportunities to perform. Not to mention the added obstacles of finding artistic inspiration for new songs, feeling out what sound you want to be known for, and searching for the right personality fit between band mates.
The whole process can be overwhelming and there is no such thing as “overnight success.” It takes passion, planning, and persistence. Here are some actions you can take TODAY to work towards your long-term goal of establishing yourself as a professional in the music industry.
What career options are out there for professional musicians?
A few choices are:
- Music Teachers
- Sound Engineers
The most sought after and competitive career path listed, performing music as a job is a dream for many. Whether you want to join a band and tour internationally, land a spot as a cruise ship performer, hear your songs on the radio, or headline the biggest music festivals, becoming a professional performer requires a lot of rehearsal, planning, commitment, and reputation building.
Some artists write their own songs, but many perform pieces that were written by professional songwriters.
As you might have guessed, it takes more than musical and lyrical talent to make it in this line of work. Selling your songs to performers can be competitive, and sometimes complicated, so taking music-business classes would give you a great advantage.
It is also good to keep in mind that many songwriters promote their music through demo tapes, so having the technical knowledge and tools to record high-quality demos can help you stand out. Songwriters often work with music publishers or agents to get their music in front of performers.
Have you thought about making a career of teaching music? Every day, someone chooses to learn music, either as a child for the first time, or an adult who maybe played a little when they were still in school and now want to take it more seriously. You can be the one to help them gain momentum in their new skill set and see themselves as an actual musician!
At one award-winning music school, Sage Music, teachers are hired as employees, instead of contractors, and continuously trained on the latest science-backed methods for teaching music. Sage Music helps you to set a consistent teaching schedule and fill their studios with thriving students.
Unlike other schools in this industry, Sage Music believes that a professional teacher who treats teaching music as a career should have a good income, security and stability. They found a new paradigm that allows this industry to become a real career and a real future, with health benefits, retirement plans, and more.
If you have a strong pull towards music and are also skilled with tech, becoming a sound engineer may be the right career move for you! Help create the best audio experiences possible, at concerts, in the studio, or for TV entertainment.
You’ll need to have a very trained ear to listen out for every single small detail happening throughout a track.
Teamwork is also a large part of working this closely with artists and bands who feel their music is a part of them and may be sensitive to feedback, they will need to heavily trust your instincts and intentions for their art.
An eagerness for continued education is essential in this role since it relies majorly on tech and tech is always changing.
Are any of these options calling to you? Here are a few crucial moves you can make to further your chances of scoring a job in such an in-demand industry.
Stay in the Loop
The music world has drastically changed in the past few years; a person interested in a music career no longer needs to deal with an already established or famous label to become successful. Staying up to date on platforms or music channels such as YouTube, Sound Cloud, Spotify, and Instagram helps you to promote your music and reach a worldwide audience.
Build connections in the Industry
If you are interested in making music as a career, network with other people in the music industry, attend more music events, and connect with people who host shows and opportunities for live concerts. Get to know the musicians, the music event organizers, and spend time in a recording studio to gain experience. It is a very competitive industry. Even popular artists have sometimes faced rejection from famous music labels. If you are very passionate about making a career in music, having more like-minded connections can help lead you on the right path and can make a big difference in boosting your music career.
Apply for Internships
You can invest in your future as a musician by applying for internships at music-related businesses such as a music venue or a recording studio. These valuable opportunities will enhance your skills and help you gain insight into the work and lifestyle of a music industry professional. Some employers use internships to test out the required skills in employees and will hire you if impressed by your work and skill set. Internships allow you to gain experience under professionals who can introduce you to different options for building your career. Some music internships are not publicly advertised, so call around to music-related businesses and inquire about current opportunities.
Invest in Your Future with Private Music Lessons
In many career fields, ongoing training is very important and usually required. The best mindset to carry on a professional journey like this is the mindset that there always room for improvement. As mentioned above, Sage Music is a great place for music teachers to work and can be an even better place for someone to grow musically. Sage Music has worked with Emmy- Award winners, Broadway performers, and SNL cast members! They use a personalized and science-backed approach to learning music and have seen results in hundreds of students, as demonstrated by 100+ 5-star reviews.
Know Your Competitive Advantage
As a person interested in a music career, you’ll be an incredible improviser, always prepared to walk onstage pitching a song you’ve been writing or grab your guitar. You should notice what makes you different from others, whether at a music event or rehearsing in a band for a performance. Recognize the importance of being both a leader and a team player. Tell the world who you are, what you do, and explicitly shed light on your unique combination of skills, experience, and presence. Your specialization becomes a competitive advantage in the market.
- Promote your music offline and online on the proper channels.
Open yourself up to the online market and choose the right platforms to reach your ideal audience. It is a bonus to be active on social media and to take advantage of music channels such as Spotify. Spotify is dominating the online music industry. Others will follow if you can get your Guitar lessons / voice lessons into one person’s playlist. Marketing yourself online can help reach a large audience, but building a tight-knit community and following locally is still an essential piece of the puzzle.