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How to Start a Career in the Music Business

rock starCan you sit for hours playing guitar or other instrument? Already tasted fame while singing in a local church or school group? Always dreamed about competing on American Idol?

Then a career in the music industry could be the perfect way to turn a musical hobby in to a satisfying and lucrative career.

The music business, like most creative fields, is an extremely competitive one. And, like most who pursue creative careers, musicians must dedicate a great deal of time towards practice to achieve their goals. Although popular stories may exaggerate a popular music artist's "overnight success", there's still a lot of truth in the old show business joke:

"How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" "Practice!"

Besides musical skill, dedication and motivation, good business and promotional skills are also usually necessary to be successful. The music business means business, so knowing how to get heard in the right venues, and making the right contacts, can only help launch an unknown music or singing career.

Those considering a career in the music industry should also know that musicians typically work nights and weekends, and practice during the down time.

Employment can also be intermittent, and rejection, especially for newer, unestablished acts can be a regular occurrence.

While some musicians may feel that training is not necessary, practicing in a formal setting with feedback and advice from a trained professional can only add to the valuable hours spent in developing performance skills.

Some musical careers such as composer, conductor, or musical director will require, if not school and formal training, then at least an apprenticeship before striking out on their own.

Realistically, the job outlook for the music industry is expected to be about average in the coming years, and competition for work will likely remain just as high as it has always been.

The average earnings for musicians who work for an employer, such as a religious organization or a performing arts company is about $20 an hour, while for more skilled musical directors, the average yearly income is roughly $40,000. For freelance musicians, earnings typically reflect the number of shows they perform, the musician's reputation, as well as the venue.

A successful career in the music industry is not an easy thing to achieve, but with a lot of hard work - and maybe a little luck - a dedicated amateur can have the musical career they've always dreamed about.

also see in Art & Culture -> Music Therapy

More about music careers around the Web:

Music Careers - Welcome to the business of launching a music career, including tips & advice on industry basics, promotion, and information on typical album release costs.

Music - Community site offering helpful advice in feature articles, complete list of industry business terms and buzzwords, and music industry blog postings.

Planning Your Music Career, One Step at a Time - Step-by-step guide to starting out in the industry with tips on career planning, developing a business plan, publicity and promotion, using booking agents and related advice.


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