Posts tagged “Career

Industry Tips & Advice: Top Five Parent Questions about Music Industry by Heather McDonald,

Your child wants to work in the music industry – now what? Many parents worry about their children hitching their wagons to the music industry because they’re concerned they won’t find secure jobs, make enough money to support themselves or get serious about life. The reason for many of these concerns is that the music industry is a great unknown to many parents. When your child tells you they want to work in the music business, your mental picture may go to Spinal Tap-esque stereotypes and not much else.

The good news is that the music industry can be a viable goal for your child if they are dedicated to working hard. With your support, they can thrive there as they would in any other industry. Check out these common questions parents ask when their kids want to work in music for the answers to some of your biggest concerns.
1. What Kind of Education Does My Child Need?

This topic is a tricky one. In terms of getting a job in the music industry, experience is what really matters, and it is true that many people working in the music industry don’t have a college degree. That isn’t a hard and fast rule – some industry jobs do require a degree, such as working for a major label. On one hand, the question of college comes down to what exactly your child’s goals are. It may not be required.

That is, it may not be required to get certain industry jobs, but it might be required by you, and that is OK. A college degree offers a good back-up plan and gives your child something to fall back on while they are trying to break into the industry. In terms of the music industry, the major doesn’t matter so much, but subject areas in the arts or business related courses can both be helpful.

What about music business degree programs? These can be good as well, but judge the programs carefully. Look for schools that have a strong track record of internship placements and have faculty with actual industry experience. These programs will be most valuable to your child.

While in school, encourage your child to get as much hands-on experience as possible. Encourage internships plus getting involved with the music community on their college campus. These are the things that will make their resumes strong. A degree alone will not cut it.

2. Can My Child Make Money in the Music Industry?

The music industry is highly competitive, and your child will likely face having to work for free or for very low pay to get a foot in the door. That is the reality – however, remember, that experience isn’t exclusive to the music industry. Many people who are trying to break into the music industry work second jobs to support themselves while they are paying their dues and looking for a good music related opportunity, so have a conversation with your child about their ability to commit to that kind of schedule.

However, once they DO get into the business, sure, they can make money. There is a vast middle class in the music business – people who don’t make millions but make enough money to support themselves and their families. Like any industry, the music business is subject to highs and lows based on any number of internal and external economic factors, and these highs and lows can affect employment and wages.
3. What Kind of Resume Do You Need in the Music Industry?

To work on the business side of the music industry, there’s one thing that trumps all else – experience. As previously stated, employers may or may not require a college degree, but experience always carries the most weight.

If your child is intent on working in a specific role in the industry – for instance, they know they want to be a manager – then of course experience like interning with a manager is a great thing for them to have under their belt. However, any and all experience is a good thing – working at the college radio station, promoting shows for the local club, being a runner at a label – it all counts.

Why does experience count so much? The music industry is highly competitive, but many people trying to gain entrance have a skewed idea about what music industry work is like. They aren’t prepared for the long hours and hard work that is really required to succeed – they buy into the “swimming pools and movie stars” Hollywood version of the story. That means that companies are always bringing people on board who aren’t really there to work – and that costs them time and money. The more experience your child can put on your resume, the more that resume will say, “I get what it means to work in music, and I really want to do this.”

If you live in a place where music industry experience isn’t forthcoming, encourage your child to get active creating their own opportunities. They can contact to local paper to see if they can do some music reviews, organize a battle of the bands showcase, approach local musicians and volunteer to run their social networking sites – this kind of ingenuity and self-starter attitude is prized in the music industry and will look great on their resumes.

4. How Can My Child Find Music Industry Employment?

Here’s the tough part – finding the job. In this competitive industry, your child will need to have several irons in the fire at once when it comes time for them to seek their first job. Here are a few things they should be doing:

Monitor company websites for job openings
Monitor music industry specific job portals, like Music Jobs, for openings
If they go to college, using their university job placement center, internship center and/or professors. Even if they didn’t do a music specific degree, they should approach professors in the music department for advice.
Asking contacts made through work experience/internships for advice about any openings and for referrals to companies who may need help.

In many ways, applying for a music job isn’t different from applying for any first job. However, word of mouth goes far in the music business – another reason experience matters so much. Those contacts can be invaluable.

If your child reaches the point where they need to apply for jobs and they don’t have any contacts, now is the time to start making some. They can start by introducing themselves to anyone local who is involved in music, and they should also reach out to music industry professionals online via email or social networking sites. They won’t always get a response, but it just takes one person to take interest to make a difference.
5. Is The Music Industry REALLY a Serious Career Choice for My Child?

I’m not offended you ask. My parents wonder(ed?) the same thing. But in a word – YES! The job description may include things that might seem like social occassions – going to shows, going to the studio, going on tour – but being involved in these things from a work perspective is much different from having a night out. The music industry is a business – period. Whether your child ends up working in the independent music world or the major label music world, they will be expected to work long hours in a highly competitive work environment and to achieve measurable successes under difficult circumstances. They may get to wear jeans and Converse to work, but they doesn’t mean they are working any less their friends who have to wear a suit and tie.

The product may be music, but ultimately, your child will experience working life like anyone else. They’ll have long hours, the potential for advancement if they perform well, the potential for dismissal if they don’t, good bosses, bad bosses, troublesome clients – you know, standard stuff. They will definitely get some cool perks, but trust me, they’ll earn them.

Music and/or working with music is a legitimate talent. If your child has it, then the music industry has a legitimate, serious career for them.



Industry Tips & Advice: How to start a career in radio and get music on the radio

LWO Magazine presents 102 JAMZ radio personality Shelly Flash. Take a look at this interview if you want a career in radio or want to know how to get you music on-air.

Industry Tips & Advice: How to Become a DJ at a Club – Important First Lessons by John Newcomb

DJing is a difficult industry to break into. You may know all the technical aspects of DJing and may even be able to teach others how to become a DJ, but success may still elude you because of the tough competition.

The first thing you need to know is that unless you are phenomenally talented, it will take a long time to get a well paying gig at a good club. You will initially have to begin by freelancing. Freelance DJs are at the very bottom of the DJ industry and do face certain scorn from professionals. The irony is that even the professionals started out as freelancers.

Freelance DJs can usually be found playing at weddings, birthday parties, and small, local events such as school dances. I know this sounds like DJ hell, but this is a very important stage for a DJ – it teaches you how to play music for a very diverse crowd. More importantly, small gigs like these help you pick up the nuances of DJing – charisma, gauging the mood of the crowd, etc. while still getting some all important practice.

These gigs are also good for networking. As any professional DJ will tell you, DJing is a lot about knowing the right people. Try to get to know people whereever you are playing, even if its a wedding. Who knows you may just catch the eye of the right person and land yourself a good gig at a club.

The night club scene is, of course, where all the action is. Before you graduate to this level, you would have hopefully played in smaller gigs several times and have a firm grip on the technical as well as non-technical aspects of DJing. Night club gigs are often make-or-break opportunities (unless you happen to know the owner of the club, of course), and all your experience will come handy at moments like these.

The most important thing for a good DJ is to have a style that is unique to him. This can only be created through extensive practice. At the night club level, having your own unique sound will help set you apart from the others and hopefully open up doors for even more lucrative gigs.

Moral of the story: as a DJ, you should never shirk from any sort of gig, no matter how small it may be. The best DJs started out playing at weddings and school dances. These are valuable practice grounds and you should take up these opportunities whenever you get them.



Industry Tips & Advice: What Is Needed to Become a Radio Personality? by Keith Evans

Radio personalities seem to have a dream job; they get paid to talk, exhibit their best one-liners and witty banter, and always seem to have fun. Becoming an on-air personality is serious business, though, and some basic skills are required simply to land an interview.

A Good Radio Voice
A good radio voice is not too deep or too high, and generally free of regional inflections (accents), except in specific radio genres or local broadcasts. A radio personality should always properly enunciate words.
A Sharp Mind
Radio personalities are renowned for their sharp wit and ability to quickly respond to subtle cues. These traits are not inherent to all individuals, and a very sharp mind is required to keep up with on-air requirements.
The Ability to Censor
Radio personalities must refrain from vulgarities, profanity and even seemingly subtle allusions to comply with federal broadcast regulations. Not only does a radio personality have to know the rules, he must have the self-discipline to follow them.
The Ability to Read with Emphasis
Radio personalities frequently read news bulletins, advertising copy and scripts on air, but always sound as if they are speaking off the top of the head. An ability to read copy while sounding natural and spontaneous is a hallmark of a successful radio personality.
Familiarity with the Industry
Many popular and famous radio personalities started as unpaid interns, working for free, simply to gain an understanding of the industry. Serious potential personalities must be willing to enter the industry through whatever means necessary.




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