Launching a Career in Music

Jenny writes:
Hi I am 17 and hope to do a degree in music. Have you any suggestions for
music careers outside the field of education aiming more toward the performance/entertainment
industry? Are there any good web links or books where I could go for advice. How would I know if
I have chosen the right career for me?

The Career Doctor responds:
There are numerous avenues to pursue for someone who has a passion for music although
you could probably categorize them into: education performance and management.
Music education. An extremely rewarding though perhaps at times frustrating career path.
A career in this area could include teaching music at the primary secondary or post-secondary
levels. . .or involve private lessons and tutoring. Educational institutions vary by type size location
resources and more. College students would want to take education courses in addition to
their music courses for this career path.
Music performance. If you are an extremely gifted musician performance can be a great
though challenging and demanding career path. But being gifted is no guarantee of success
as a performer; it depends on luck timing and demand for your specialty. The success ratio
for musicians following this path is low. College students would need to concentrate on perfecting
their skills and work closely with professors in building contacts within the industry.
Music management. For musicians with a passion for the arts but perhaps not quite as strongly
gifted (or simply more realistic about chances for a career as a performer) a career in music
management can be quite rewarding. Jobs in this area include association management
facility management and talent management. College students would want to take some
business classes in addition to their music courses for this career path.
Once you get to college meet with your adviser in the music school and begin talking about
career paths. Your adviser should be able to work with you in assessing your skills and abilities
and helping you find your best career path.
Finally for help with finding choosing or getting accepted into colleges and universities please
visit the College Planning Resources
for Teens
section of Quintessential Careers.