So You Want To Work In The Music Industry
Many people dream of working within the music industry, but not everyone dreams of the typical performer position with the celebrity status that sometimes comes along with it. There are many positions available that don’t even require you to perform or ever step foot on a stage. They offer various levels of public involvement, some of which require little professional training necessary.
Recording Engineer: The recording engineer, also called a sound engineer, is the person for recording and editing a musician’s studio performance. Studio time is expensive, so it is up to the engineer to ensure the studio is ready for performers when they arrive. Often times, different instruments and vocal performances will be recorded separately to insure all aspects are at the proper volumes. Their recording methods will produce the final outcome and sound of the recording, so it is important they’re comfortable using all of the equipment and computer software available within the studio. Formal education is not necessary although it may solidify a career.
Music Therapist: Music therapy is not the direction people generally think of when inferring about careers in the music industry. Music therapy is a form of psychological therapy that uses music as a means of evaluation and treatment. Music therapists may consult with psychologists and psychiatrists regarding the treatment of a patient who could range from small children to senior citizens. The therapist may compose music and should probably be able to play various instruments, although piano and guitar are most often used. To become a music therapist, one must complete undergraduate studies at an accredited college or university and fulfill clinical hours before an exam is administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapist and certification is provided.
A&R Representative: The Artists & Repertoire Representative is often considered the talent scout of the music world. This person is responsible for finding new artists that a label may want to sign. This can be done through various means, including live performances, demo recordings received by mail or referral, or simply searching the internet. A&R reps may also be responsible for locating music used within movies, television shows, or commercials. The A&R rep is typically responsible for finding songs for an artist to record also, so they often work hand in hand with songwriters.
Songwriter: Songwriters are often the behind the scene artist behind a song. Some performers write their own music, but others seek the assistance of songwriters who may or may not perform as well. As TuneCore points out, the songwriter maintains composition copyrights and ownership and often receives a payment as well as a percentage of the profits received for any songs they write. This process is often overseen by a music publisher who insuresall of the proper licenses are issued and all involved parties are paid.
Concert Promoter: A concert promoter may work with particular artists or a label or they may work with a specific venue. They are the person responsible for finding when and where a performance will be held as well as any additional factors like who will headline and fulfilling opening act slots. The promoter is responsible for maintaining a budget and making sure all necessary staff are hired for the event. Most importantly, they are in charge of drawing attention to the event whether that be through radio advertisements, billboards, online ads, or other means. If the event is not promoted properly, the event may not be profitable and the promoter may lose money.
Producer: The producer is often one of the most coveted positions in the music industry. The producer works alongside the recording engineer to ensure the final outcome of the album is satisfactory. Often times, the producer’s style is a contributing factor to the final sound of an album and may entice other artists to work with the producer. The producers are responsible for selecting which songs will make it onto an album and which songs should be released as singles. Some producers work directly for a record label while others fill in on a freelance basis. It’s not necessary to have a college degree, but since the job is highly sought after, college is recommended to enhance career options.
Studio Artist / Touring Musician: Since performance work can be intermittent, the “holy grail” for musicians is a continuous stream of income. This is often fulfilled by recording instrumentals or background vocals in studio or touring with an artist as they perform live for fans. These artists are often the nameless faces of the music industry but are integral and very vital to the survival of any performance.
While some may prefer the limelight of performing in front of an audience there are many jobs available that do not require being on stage. Find the path that works best for you and seek the proper education so that you can succeed. A dream job in music is possible if you commit yourself to the challenge.