Music Career Inside Scoop – Your Five Best Routes Into This Rewarding Business

If you have always wanted a music career, you may watch American Idol, and dream of being there, launching your career in front of millions. You also know how close to impossible such a scenario is. Well, surprise! Real music careers, where you don’t have to sign your life away, are easier to launch than you think. Check out these five music careers option you may not have considered.

1 – Become a Music Teacher. If you can play some instrument (or sing) pretty well, and have a little patience, being a music teacher is one of the easiest music careers to start up. You can become a good private teacher, for instance, if you simply have a good sense of time, pitch, and rhythm, and have the fundamentals of your instrument down. Private teaching, by the way, has a reputation for not paying well, but that’s because teaachers are doing it wrong. Don’t just teach a solid string of private lessons — students need interaction and example, too. (A little competition never hurts, either.) Teach individually the first week, then teach all your students together in a group lesson the next (called a “master class”), and keep alternating back and forth. That will seriously cut down the time you take to teach, yet keep you in the same amount of money. That way, if you want, you can take on more students, and really rake it in. And if you don’t mind some extra college time, you can teach at a college or university with a doctorate, or sometimes a terminal masters degree. The benefits are usually nice, and the hours are fairly flexible.

2 – You can be a Music Producer if your skills are up, and you learn how to manage people. You see, there are lots of music recordings going on all the time. For many of them, the artist could use a producer. This is someone who coordinates the project and brings it all about at its highest level. Kind of a boss, really. Study up on styles, recording techniques, music arranging, and the capabilities, timbres (tones), and ranges of the various instruments, and you could step into this role. This author has been making a decent living as a producer-composer-arranger for almost 25 years now. It is doable, and you don’t have to be in L.A. to succeed.

3 – Recording Session Musician. If playing an instrument is your thing, and the idea of producing or teaching doesn’t appeal, then give being a session player a try. Many recording sessions need performers. If you get your skills up, that can be you. Session players can earn anywhere from $40/hour up to $150/hour and beyond, depending on their market, what they play, and how good they are. That beats flipping burgers, right? Necessary skills can include: reading music, reading chord charts or lead sheets, a great sense of groove and time (so you don’t rush the beat), a great sense of tuning, and enough ear training that you can keep up.

4 – If playing or producing is not your thing, but you absolutely love recording gear, and great sound, then maybe you could look into Sound Engineer jobs. Sound engineers are responsible for capture, or recording, the music in the cleanest, most accurate way, manipulating it after recording, “mixing” it so that the song is fun to hear, and crystal clear (instead of muddy or dense sounding), and “mastering” it for the various media (AAC or MP3 download, CD, soundtrack for a movie, etc.) that it will be released on. If you love tech stuff, and you consider yourself a discriminating listener, then you might make a good sound engineer.

5 – Finally, what if your skills and talents just won’t improve enough to make you a producer, studio musician, sound engineer, or teacher? No worries! You can take a support role like Music Equipment Salesperson. That way, you can be around music all day.

In closing, there’s no need to hope for a lightning strike like American Idol; you can earn your living in music in one of the teaching, producing, playing, or sound engineer jobs, or even just sell those people their instruments and gear — and be immersed in music every day of your life in one of these enjoyable music careers!

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About the Author

Check out this link for more no-cost information about music careers in part two of this article. Author Arlen Cardis still a music producer, media composer, and recording session player, even after almost 25 years.

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