Majoring in music is difficult, but you can be successful in school. But being able to start your music career is a different story. You need to know what you want to do and how to do it.
Starting any career can be tough. But the music industry is even harder, with orchestras shutting down and university jobs requiring more and more experience.
Keep reading to learn how to start your music career!
Consider Your Interests
The first thing you should do when looking to start your music career is to consider what you want to do. Think about how music affects you and what you want to do with it.
If you’re studying music education, odds are you want to teach. And if you’re studying a particular instrument, you probably really like playing music.
But you don’t just have to play or teach. During my bachelors and masters degrees, I realized the best path for me involved music journalism and digital press.
There are tons of music careers you can pursue. So consider what you love about music and if there’s something unique about then. Then, you can find the right path for you.
Get Experience ASAP
Whether you’re in school or just graduated, try to get some experience in your area of interest. The sooner you start your music career, the sooner it will take off and you can make a good living from it.
If you want to teach private lessons, start looking for students. You can post about your lessons online, or you can hang flyers around your community.
Aspiring performers can look for local auditions or competitions. And since everything is currently online, you may be able to audition for jobs or competitions in other cities or countries without having to travel.
You can get a decent amount of experience online. So when things do open back up, you can show what you’ve done over the past few months to build your career.
Get on Social Media
One of the best ways to start your music career during these times is to have a social media presence. You can interact with other musicians and meet new people.
I’ve found out about a few professional gigs and continuing education opportunities from social media. Before COVID, I got a performance gig at a church because of being on Facebook.
Social media can consume your life, so you should be careful. You don’t have to be on every social platform or spend all of your time online. But consider getting a Facebook and/or an Instagram account.
Those two sites are some of the best for musicians. You can grow an audience and build your network. Then, you may be able to get more private students or connect with potential clients.
Keep an Open Mind
You probably won’t land your dream music job at first. When you start your music career, you may need to take less desirable gigs to get experience and make a bit of money.
You may not be able to get a ton of private students quickly. And you probably won’t have a full performance schedule when starting out. So keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to try a few things out.
You may realize that you enjoy arts administration. I found out that I enjoy music journalism and marketing. Had I only set my sights on private teaching and performing, I wouldn’t have found that other interest.
Even if you do have a plan for your future career, know you may need to do a lot to get there. Your career probably won’t be a straight line, but it can be exciting.
Don’t Stop Learning
Even if you’re out of school, keep learning. Read books about music or your instrument. Take online courses covering music and marketing. Look for a career mentor or take a few private lessons from a local teacher.
As a musician, you need to stay up to date on your playing, teaching methods, or other relevant skills. Since I’m a digital journalist, I need to follow digital marketing trends and practice writing.
That way, I can do a good job for my clients. If I do take some time off, I make sure I spend time learning when I do come back to writing. Being able to follow trends and keep learning is essential no matter what you do with music.
Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to learn something. You don’t have to pay a lot for an advanced degree, and you can learn from anywhere. Spend a bit of time each day or week learning as you start your music career.
Know It May Take Time
When you first start your music career, you may want to be successful as soon as possible. But for most musicians, that doesn’t happen. It can take a few years from when you start working before you have a full-time career and income.
That’s why it’s so important to start your career during school if you can. By the time you graduate, you can have enough work lined up so that you don’t have to scramble to find work.
But if you’re out of school, it’s not too late to start a music career. You may need to work a part-time job to support yourself, but you can still start working in the music industry.
As long as you keep building your skills and meeting new people, you can be successful. There are so many music career options out there, so there’s something for everyone. You just have to find it.
Do you need someone to help you start your music career? Consider investing in some digital press to help promote yourself!