Careers in the music industry



Throughout every genre there are thousands of people who are behind making the artist who they are or whom they are to become. Solo artists are seen as one person, they do all the interviews, the PR and the photo shoots but in reality they have a full band, managers, assistants and most probably drivers with them in most situations. I’m not too sure about other genres but in country music solo artists are great at crediting the people behind them, especially their bands. The fans get to know them along with the artist. I mean in my personal experience I have only heard artists in other genres introduce their bands at a concert but maybe that’s because when I was going to other concerts social media wasn’t a thing!!


There are obviously a certain number of jobs which require the correct qualifications and experience. In a very heavily competitive field having the correct accolades will certainly be beneficial in helping to secure a permanent position. If you are interested in any of the following careers www.prospects.ac.uk has a great list of the courses, under grad and post grad, which will earn you a music degree and help you take that first step. So which career might be for you?


A&R (artists and repertoire) manager - As an A&R manager you are responsible for finding new talent and signing them to a record label, some labels may even have an in-house A&R manager if that is something of interest. You will help artists to develop and grow within the business and develop their sound through overseeing the completion of recordings. This role requires strong business skills and a solid understanding of the music scene.


Concert promoter - If you love live music and have excellent communication skills, this job might be for you! As a concert promoter your job will be to spread the word about upcoming live music events, something we all want to hear about right now(!), and ensure that it results in strong ticket sales. You’ll be working directly with agents/artist managers, recording artists, club/concert venues (to book shows), publicise events to media and set up advertising campaigns.


Music magazine Journalist - if you enjoy writing and are exceptionally skilled at it then you may have already considered a job as a Journalist, however if you have a strong interest in music then a career in music magazine journalism may just be for you. This role could include reporting on music industry news, interview artists and musicians, and review albums and concerts. These can either be for specialist print or for online publication.


Music producer - producers write, arrange, produce and record songs for artists or for their own personal projects. The hours can be long and you’ll spend the majority of your time in a studio setting. You’ll collaborate with recording artists, recording/sound engineers, session musicians and singers, as well as A&R managers and record company executives.


Other careers within the music industry are (but not limited too);

● Background singer

● Blogger

● Booking agent

● Composer

● DJ

● Event manager

● Instrument technician

● Live sound technician

● Music PR

● Music teacher

● Music therapist

● Musical director

● Musician

● Radio producer

● Recording engineer

● Songwriter

● Tour manager


Not all of these jobs require a degree in music, many you can apply for work experience in or approach the right people who will point you in the right direction.


If you want to apply for work experience, depending on the type of work you wish to do, there are specific places you can look.


The blog ‘Music industry internships’ at www.lastminutemusicians.com highlights the pros and cons of internships, paid and unpaid. It gives a detailed view into what an intern is required to do as well as great links to 12 month internships at some top companies, such as Universal music, Sony music and Live Nation (Although an internship at these companies will require a music degree).


For those wishing to undertake a music degree and complete work experience the BIMM institute (www.bimm.ac.uk) is a great option. It spans over 8 locations, 5 of which are in England. They offer the chance to partake in work experience in a wide range of areas with some of the music industries leading companies. They offer courses in Music Business, Music marketing, event management as well as songwriting, music production and various instruments.


If, like me, you have no idea where to start but know you can’t do a degree, you can always reach out to the music communities on social media. During lockdown many bloggers, podcasters and artists have been hosting livestreams and zoom meetings. These are open to everyone and are very inclusive. I have met some fantastic people through these, been introduced to amazing artists and have been lucky enough to secure valuable work experience. Whatever your interest or career goals there is someone who will be more than happy to point you in the right direction or to a person who can.


Over the coming months we will be delving further into the large variety of career choices within the music industry, talking with key industry people and getting an insight into the ‘Day in the life of….’. If there are any careers mentioned here, or any others you find of interest, that you would like us to cover in our careers series or any questions you would like answering please let us know!


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