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How Can I Get a Job in the Music Industry?


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Question: How Can I Get a Job in the Music Industry?


Ah, how to get a job in the music industry. It's the million dollar question, really, and unfortunately, it doesn't have an answer. Despite what some people may try to sell you (usually online for a big price), no one can really tell you exactly how to get a job in the business. Sad, but true. There are, however, things to you can to INCREASE your chances of landing your music biz dream job. Consider the following:

  • Create a Job - Many people get their start in the music industry just by doing their own thing. Let's say you want to be a promoter. Don't wait around for a promotion company to hire you. Find some local musicians, arrange a few shows for them, do a good job promoting them and wait for your phone to start ringing off the hook with calls from other local bands who want the same treatment. From there, it's your choice if you want to keep doing the indie thing or if you want to parlay your experience into a good resume to send to a larger promotion company. And yes, this course of action can be repeated for just about any music career.

  • Be Flexible - Ok, so you want to be a promoter (why break our theme?). You can't find any promotion work, and no one in town is playing any music you can convince people to buy a ticket to see. There is, however, a record store that needs a product buyer for the genre of music you know the best. Go for it. While working at the record store, you will get to know label reps and local music scene types. These contacts could help you get to the job you really want. Plus, any job you do in the music industry helps you to understand the overall functioning of the business better, which will help you whether you end up starting your own business or getting a job with another company.

  • Internships - Internships are another great way to learn the ropes and make contacts who can help you get a music industry job. Some large music companies make internships available only to college students, but don't think your chances are over if you're not hitting the books. You can find internships that are open to all applicants, of course, but another method that works especially well with indie music companies is to approach them and offer your services. Some companies may have never thought about hiring an intern and may let you come by and make some coffee and stuff some envelopes just to see what it is like. Work hard, pay attention, and this could be your big break. You can learn more about finding internships here.

  • Job Listings - Many music industry jobs are filled through word of mouth, but you can find out about job openings and how to apply on company websites

Hard work and creativity is required to be successful in the music industry, which may be why those very traits are required to get a foot in the door. Make music industry contacts when you can, never be too proud to get ANY kind of music industry experience, and be a student of how the business works, and the chances are good you will find your spot in the industry. To learn more about the various music industry careers that await you, read Choosing a Music Career 101.


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