INDUSTRIES / JUN. 13, 2014
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Career Opportunities in the Music Industry

making music

The music business is one of the most profitable industries in the world. Every year, this industry churns out billions of dollars in profits. If you are talented in or passionate about music, these are some of the career options you could consider:

1. Studio musician

Also referred to as session musicians, these are artists who are hired to play for different studio projects. This could be playing wind instruments on a movie soundtrack or backup piano on a jazz artist’s track. Studio musicians are therefore a very important element of the music recording industry. Pursuing a career as a session musician also offers a good opportunity to build networks and eventually secure your own recording contract.

2. Accompanist

If you prefer being on stage to being in the studio, then you consider becoming an accompanist. This kind of artist backs up other performers during auditions, rehearsals or live performances. However, an accompanist can also double up as a session musician.

3. Orchestra musician

If you are talented in playing classical music, you could consider joining the local orchestra. However, you will need to work very hard to qualify since orchestra positions are very competitive. Pursuing a career as a orchestral musician offers you the chance to hone your skills, as well as travel widely playing music.

4. Background vocalist  

If you have a talent in singing, you could consider becoming a background vocalist. Such vocalists offer support to major artists during live stage performances, as well as in studio recording sessions. In addition, background vocalists could also make some extra cash singing on advertising jingles.

Besides being a performer, you could consider the following alternative careers in the music industry:

5. Songwriter

This is one of the most viable careers in the music industry. Many famous artists rely on professional songwriters to pen the lyrics to their songs. Besides being contracted by production companies and record labels, songwriters can find work writing for television and radio jingles.

6. Concert promoter

This is an ideal career for people who love organizing events. A concert promoter can organize small nightclub gigs, road shows for companies or large concerts at individual venues.

7. Talent agent

Also known as publicists, talent agents act as representatives for bands or individual artists. These agents help their musicians establish a name in the industry, find performances and negotiate fees on their behalf. To succeed in a career as a talent agent, you need to be an individual who can aggressively network in the competitive music industry.    

8. Music journalist

If you are passionate about music and a good writer, music journalism could be the ideal career for you. There are many local and international publications which are looking to hire freelance or permanent music journalists and critics. It would also be viable to launch your own music blog to reach the large online audience.

9. Music teacher

Teaching offers you a great opportunity to disseminate your passion for music. One of the best ways of sharing your knowledge is by offering personal lessons and private tutoring to individuals and groups. Alternatively, if you have the relevant certification, you could find a teaching job at an elementary or secondary school. With higher qualifications, you can even become a university music educator.  

Other career options you could consider include booking agent, record producer, sound engineer, instrument repair specialist, stage manager, music therapist or record store owner. Take time to carry out extensive research to find out what each of these careers entails. This will give you a better idea of how you can progress from where you are to where you want to be.

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