Research and Career Pathways in the arts
Case Study: Koji Kondo
Careers in music
There are lots of different careers in the music industry. Here are five of them:
- Music Producer
- Recording Engineer
- Tour Manager
- Music Arranger
- Booking Agent
And there are loads of university courses that focus on music too. The UCAS website shows courses in:
- Creative Music Technology
- Commercial Music
- Music Industries
You can get qualifications from the Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) and Trinity College in all different instruments up to grade 8. You can also learn music direction with them.
Case Study: Music Producer
- Most music producers work on an hourly basis, with fees starting at around £25 to £55 per hour.
- Experienced music producers can charge up to £200 per hour, depending on their previous work and level of skill.
- If you’re a music producer on live events, salaries may be more fixed. The BBC, for example, employs producers on its music programmes and live events. An entry level salary for this kind of role ranges from approximately £18,000 to £25,000.
Qualifications needed for this job?
- music production
- sound engineering
- Listening to an artist’s demo tapes and working with artists to produce the sound they require
- deciding on an appropriate studio for an artist’s music and equipment
- advising on album songs
- operating technical equipment including mixing desks
- technical work including audio editing, sound design and ghost production
- helping artists to achieve the sounds they’re striving for
- working with organisations, venues and artists involved in live events
- finding and booking suitable venues
- planning event schedules, timings and performances
- making logistical arrangements for artists
- ensuring the arrangement of other facilities, such as catering, toilets, entertainment, and insurance
- working with marketing teams to prepare printed material.
- creative flair
- a love for music and a good working knowledge of the industry
- the ability to network and build relationships with a wide variety of people in the industry to build up your profile
- the ability to put artists at ease
- strong communication skills and the ability to demonstrate and communicate your ideas to artists and other relevant people
- technical understanding and ability, both musical and digital
- organisation and planning skills
- patience and resilience
- the ability to cope well under pressure
- adaptability and flexibility
- drive and perseverance.
Good work experience for this job.
As with most jobs in the music industry, competition is fierce. Music production is an area that people are working in for the love of what they do. Getting involved with music production at an early stage will greatly benefit you, whether you’re producing your own work or working on remixes of other artists, getting involved in student societies, music and sound production for theatre and film, or working with local artists. A broad and open-minded approach to obtaining work experience will help you build a portfolio and find out which area of production you’d like to pursue.
Practical experience is essential. You can gain this by producing your own music or by learning through a paid or voluntary role work experience role. Better still, both.
Get into a recording studio as soon as possible and start learning how everything works and if you’re producing your own work ensure you’ve got an online presence by using sites such as SoundCloud.
Networking is key, as opportunities often come through the people you meet via word of mouth, so be sure to build a network of contacts in the music and creative industries.
Experience in producing live events can be obtained by volunteering at music festivals and gigs, securing an entry-level role as an events assistant or by working with organisations such as Sofar Sounds to see what goes into producing a live music event.
This job sounds really tough and I am not sure I would like to do it. I think I would rather do a job where I got to play music or edit music like I did in my unit one project.
5 top tips for people who want to work in music.
- Don’t be afraid to start at the bottom. As with performance careers, climbing the music-business ladder requires some patience. …
- Treat Yourself Like a Business
- Take a music business course (or hire a consultant).
- Mentally Prepare Yourself for How Extremely Difficult This Business Is.
- Become well-versed in multiple recording technologies and develop file management skills.
Sharing my ideas
I shared my career pathways investigation in the school magazine: