If you chose to study music or just live your life with music as your main goal, chances are you made the choice because you love music, however the question about whether or not it can give you a good job and a stable income, will come from many people around you, yourself included.
As a way to ease that little voice in your head telling you it’s very hard to have a good job through music, here are some examples of career paths in music.
Being a composer can lead you to many different paths when it comes to a job, as it’s not just about music itself, there are so many areas in entertainment and media that needs new original music such as movies, TV shows, videogames, commercials and platforms such as YouTube.
Of course one of the most common dreams is to be a composer and get recognition for your music alone, but this is the hardest path between all of these options, not just because of the fact that it’s harder to get an audience, but there is a lot of investment involved in order to get your product out there, so as a job, being a succesful artist/composer is the most risky.
On the other hand, to compose music for a film or a videogame, means that you just have to do that, make music and give your music so that the full artistic process can be done.
If you love to play music but you don’t want to be a composer, that is also one of the most common jobs, or even if you do compose, it’s a great side job.
Music Producer/Recording Engineer
These types of jobs may be the ones that require a more broad kind of knowledge. Being a producer or a recording engineer it’s not just about being a musician, but having a good understanding about the commercial side of things and in case of recording, a good amount of skills with mixing, editing, and knowing how to use the latest technologies required in music production.
So to summarize, these jobs requires, creativity, music knowledge, commercial knowledge, and being able to use the softwares and technology necessary for music making.
This is a job that some people think it’s reserved for failed musicians, but that couldn’t be further away from the truth.
The thing about being a teacher is that you are not just teaching, you are also learning from the students, and it’s not as if you need to be at least 60 years old to be a music teacher. While still finding yourself as a musician, being a music teacher is a good experience to have.
Mistakes When Looking for a Job
Keith Hatschek, author of “How to Get a Job in the Music Industry” was asked in an interview with Berklee Online, about the mistakes musicians make when looking for a job, he says:
One common mistake I hear about when I coach young professionals is holding out for their “dream job” rather than taking a position at a company or in a role that they don’t see as their top choice. Since the music industry is intrinsically built on relationships, staying out of the game instead of diving in and starting to build a solid reputation as a reliable contributor is a classic mistake. Take the first decent offer at a company that is reputable and build your network from day one. The opportunities to move toward your dream career will come with time.
Another is to mistakenly believe that by spending most of the job hunt on the computer and applying for jobs and internships, you are making your best effort. Getting out and pressing the flesh (shaking hands and meeting people) is exponentially more effective than simply applying for jobs online. I would recommend that job seekers spend roughly 50% of their time in the field (you’re going to need a business card!), meeting people, attending or volunteering at industry events and securing informational interviews; about 30% researching and applying for positions; and the remaining 20% continuing to enhance and expand their skill set.
Weak in HTML? Take a coding class online. Need to brush up on how to best leverage YouTube? Spend a week with the YouTube Creator’s Playbook and then do a video project using your new knowledge to demonstrate proficiency. The industry is moving ahead very quickly, and you need to keep enhancing your skills.
The dream job will naturally come if you keep surrounding yourself with music and work hard towards it, just remember to have an open mind when it comes to jobs.