Starting a career in music: What options are available

One of the easiest parts about starting a career in music is deciding that you want to pursue a career in music.

The challenging part is knowing what aspect of music that you want to have a career in. Are you wanting to be a musician, DJ, radio presenter, do you want to work in the studio, become a songwriter, a teacher or be part of the touring crew – there are various careers within music to choose from.

If you are lucky to know which area of music you want to go into, the next steps are making connections and getting your name out into the industry. Networking and dedication combined can help in your process of becoming a name in the music industry. 

However, for those that are not entirely certain about which area of music to go into, here are a few career options available that might help you in making choices about what path you should take.

Be a session musician 

A session musician allows you the chance to be back up and perform on another musician’s album, or even perform various artists on stage. Being a session musician allows you the freedom to try different styles, genres, and sounds – helping you to diversify your portfolio for future jobs.

It is also a great way to meet and establish relationships with fellow musicians from various genres, allowing you to learn techniques on how to play certain instruments. With these strong relationships you build, you might be asked to contribute to a recording session, or even better, asked to join a band on tour.

Being extremely proficient with the instrument you play is one of the best ways to create a career as a successful session musician. If you are fortunate, it could lead to you having your solo career.

Begin your label 

You may have uncovered numerous artists that have yet to be discovered, some that you feel deserve to have more people listening to their music. And, if you are passionate about music, how an artist is treated and helping them to succeed, creating your music label may have crossed your mind more than once.

The thought of how to start a music label is more common than you may have initially thought. Many people looking to get into music have started their label, and have since found it a rewarding experience, one which they do not regret taking. 

Thankfully, those who have undergone the process of starting their music label have shared in great detail what steps you need to consider if you are looking to go down the same path. For example, Pirate Studios have provided an in-depth guide on how to start a record label, highlighting key questions you should ask yourself, as well as areas that you need to consider before moving forward.

Consider teaching or music therapy

If you are someone who studied music at college, you may be looking at what areas of music you can go into with your degree. Two of the most common areas that many people use their music degree towards is teaching and more recently, music therapy.

Teaching music can be a rewarding career choice, as you are supporting and encouraging future musicians during some of the most important years of their life. It could be teaching music in school or teaching someone how to play an instrument. Regardless of which option you take, both will allow you the chance to teach a person a new skill, one that could help them express themselves more freely.

Aside from teaching, music therapy is another excellent way to use your music degree. Those who work in music therapy use music creatively as a way to help their clients to address any social, emotional, or physical difficulties that they might be experiencing. Whilst they will not teach clients how to play an instrument, like a teacher would, music therapists will use music as a form of communication. It can also be used as a tool to support clients and facilitate positive changes in their behavior, communication, and wellbeing.

Being either a music therapist or a teacher is both rewarding jobs as either role will allow you the opportunity to make a positive and lasting impact in the lives of many people, from various backgrounds and of different ages.

Put plans into motion

When looking at how to start a music career, the most common steps to take include knowing exactly what it is you want to achieve, networking, treating your goal of being part of the music industry seriously and constantly improving your craft.

Being in music is an exciting career, one that is filled with endless possibilities. Once you have found the route that is best suited for you, the next stages will find you experiencing unique opportunities and meeting other like-minded individuals who love and appreciate music as much as you do.

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