When you go to music school, you may only hear about becoming a teacher or performer. And if you don’t want either of those music careers, you may feel like you shouldn’t study music.
However, there are plenty of other music careers you can pursue. You don’t have to get an orchestral job or become a professor. It doesn’t matter if you have other interests; you can find the right path for you.
Keep reading to learn about some music careers you may not have considered.
Composing & Arranging
If you enjoy writing original music, you can pursue a career in composing. You can compose concert music, like solos and chamber music. If you’re really into it, you can even write music for larger ensembles like bands and orchestras.
You can also create music through arrangements. This is where you take a piece of music that already exists and you write it for a different instrumentation, or you make some other change. You don’t have to write original melodies, but be sure to follow copyright guidelines.
Arranging music in the public domain is great. Some websites, like Sheet Music Plus, let you publish arrangements of works under copyright. But you won’t be able to sell the arrangements off of that platform.
As a composer and arranger, you can work for yourself and self-publish or work with a traditional publisher. Or you can get a job in film composition or video game composition.
Journalism & Writer
My personal favorite, writing about music is and excellent music career. You can focus specifically on music journalism, or you can write about a lot of things.
And journalism means more than just newspapers. It includes digital media, blogs, videos, and more. You can focus on one type of media for your career, or you can test out a few things.
Music careers in journalism are very flexible. You can work from home or go into an office for a music organization or publication. Freelancing is a great way to get into it, especially if you want to test it out during college.
But if you want to get a staff job, you can do that too! Now, you may need to be in a city with a good music scene (when there isn’t a pandemic), but you don’t have to be in New York or LA.
If you want to support the arts, consider going into arts administration. You can work for a non-profit, an orchestra, or a school. Arts admin careers can vary based on who you work for, so you can find a job that interests you.
You can work as a museum director, a project manager, or an event planner. So consider what you like outside of music. Then, you can combine your interests for one of the best music careers out there.
And if you want to work for yourself, you can be a virtual assistant with a focus on music. You can look for clients who need an assistant, or you can pitch directly to organizations and groups.
Instrument Repair Tech
If you like working with small things and building things, you can be an excellent instrument repair technician. You can learn to repair all instruments or focus on one of a few.
A few schools offer programs in instrument repair, but you can also get an apprenticeship under a local repair tech. You can learn skills on the job, and you can work for a store or start your own business.
If you work for yourself, you can decide what instruments to work on and when. Instrument repair is one of the best music careers because everyone needs to keep their instrument in good condition. You can make good money from repair, but it does take a lot of work.
If you like working with musicians but don’t want to teach, you can go into sales. Music stores and companies need people to help customers find the right instrument.
Now, you don’t always have to sell to your customers. You should know what to look for in instruments and how to help people. Some people may try a dozen flutes but not find any that work for them.
As a sales person, you’ll need to find a balance between selling and advising. If you always make sales, you may have some unsatisfied customers.
Building and maintaining trust is essential. That way, your customers will come back to buy sheet music and instrument accessories.
The Best Music Careers for You
The best career for you is one you enjoy and have interest in. While performing and teaching are “standard” for musicians, they’re not your only options.
If you have interests in other areas, try to find a way to include those passions in with these music careers. Many of these underrated careers are flexible, so you can make them work for you.
And if you can’t decide on one career path, you can do more than one. You can combine instrument repair with sales. Or you can combine composing with performing. You can teach and work in arts admin.
Your career is up to you, so you should consider as many music careers as possible. That way, you can decide on the right career for you.
What music careers interest you the most? Do you need help growing your career with digital press? Contact me for more information!