Career Tips for Music Major Graduates
Did you recently graduate from your dream music school? Ready to face the real world? Here are some career tips for music major graduates to tackle the first few years out of school:
Watch Your Professors
The cool thing about going to music school is most, if not all of your professors are current musicians who are pursuing their passions. Whether you are currently in music school or you just graduated, do your best to maintain your relationships with professors. Find out what gigs they are playing and pick their brain on how they land said gigs.
Take advantage of the people who have paved the way before you! If you have graduated from a music program, be sure to visit the career development/alumni office and use their services. They should be able to connect you with former students who are navigating their own music careers. Meet them for coffee and you are guaranteed to be inspired by their own personal journey.
Get Out There
Being social and putting yourself out there can be intimidating. However, making yourself vulnerable in the pursuit of networking is essential. If people don’t know who you are – they can’t hire you! Go to friend’s shows, go to random concerts and force yourself to meet people outside your typical circle. The more people you connect with in the industry, the more likely someone is to ask you to join a gig or a jam session.
Never Stop Learning
Just because you graduated from a top music program does not mean you are exempt from learning! Continue to take lessons, try to follow the same practice schedule you had during school and take master classes with musicians you admire when they come to town. I promise that other people will be pushing themselves to continue growing – so don’t fall into the lazy trap and let your skills slide.
Put Away Cash For Auditions
Auditions can actually cost a musician money. Many times you will have to travel for an audition…and it adds up. Between rental cars, hotel rooms and food – you will need to have a sufficient amount stashed away to do these auditions comfortably. When budgeting, remember to include this necessary expense.
Once you graduate, it’s time to become business savvy and professional. The worst thing you can be labeled as is unreliable – so now is the time to organize your inbox and work on responding to emails/phone calls in a timely fashion! This industry moves quick, so if you aren’t responsive, chances are people will find someone else to fill the gig. Also, give every audition, rehearsal and performance an equal amount of energy. Show your peers and employers that you give your all to every opportunity.
Know What You Want
Want to be signed to a label or work with a well-regarded music producer? Then make sure you know who is out there! Talk with friends, past professors and any influencers in your life about who they work with and what they like about them. Be as well informed before you even think about working with anyone exclusively. Don’t be in a rush to sign without having done your research first on who would be the best fit for you. And shoot for the moon! Make a list of your dream music producers and managers – you never know!