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A Life of Music: 8 Careers for the Musician

A Life of Music: 8 Careers for the Musician

When people think about music as a career, they typically imagine an entertainer — either wildly famous or living the “struggling artist” lifestyle. However, there are numerous other career paths in the music industry you can pursue. Not sure which path to take? Consider these career options for musicians.

1. Disc Jockey

Jobs for disk jockeys (DJs) are available in a variety of positions from radio jockeys to self-employed jockeys who manage music at parties and weddings. Job duties include selecting music to play for a specific audience, so understanding the industry and how to cater to an audience’s needs is important, requiring both talent and education.

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Although you don’t need a college degree, competition can be tough, so a bachelor’s degree is preferred for many job positions. If you plan to become a radio DJ, consider getting a degree in broadcast journalism as your job duties will also involve news-related tasks alongside music. DJs earn an average salary of $37,850 per year.

2. Music Store Salesperson

If you have a strong knowledge of music and the instruments used, you’d make a good music store salesperson. Your job will involve educating customers about product features, making recommendations, and selling musical instruments and accessories.

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Educational requirements will vary depending on the store and the position, but you may be able to find a part-time job as a salesperson before graduating high school. Salaries range from $13,000 to $50,000 plus per year.

3. Songwriter

Songwriter opportunities vary drastically, from working with pop artists to composing musical tracks for movies. Higher education is not required since recording studios prefer to focus on your talents. In other words, can you write a song that will sell? However, you may consider pursuing a degree in music if you’d like to expand your knowledge base and learn more about musical theory.

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4. Music Teacher

Music teachers work in public and private schools or offer private lessons. They can teach in both group and one-on-one settings, and may specialize in one area of music, such as concert band or piano. Most music teachers hold a bachelor’s in music or music education, and you may need a teaching license depending on where you teach. Salaries average around $47,000 per year.

5. Music Journalist

A music critic or music journalist critiques musical performances as well as writes about news in the music industry. They can also interview musicians. While a degree is not required, particularly if you’re going to start your own music blog or become a freelance journalist, you may find a competitive advantage by obtaining a bachelor’s in journalism, communications, or a related field, which will help you become a better writer. Consider taking classes in music as well to expand your understanding of music theory. Salaries range from $15,000 to $30,000 or more per year.

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6. Piano Tuner

A piano tuner or technician typically travels to clients’ homes to tune or repair their piano. Piano tuners are typically trained through apprenticeship programs, and their salaries average $33,150 per year.

7. Music Therapist

Music therapy is a field that uses music to aid in treatment and rehabilitation of psychiatric disorders, physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, and more. Music therapists are generally employed by nursing homes, day care centers, schools, and health agencies. Coursework is much more rigorous as a music therapist than most career paths for musicians. Students typically go on to obtain a master’s and must pass certification exams to practice. Music therapists make $50,808 on average.

8. Accompanist

If you love playing music, then you may find a career or side-job as an accompanist incredibly rewarding. Accompanists typically work for schools or private individuals playing accompanying music for various performances. A degree is not as important as skill, although you may find that the skills required to accompany others are developed through postgraduate and master’s level programs.

Featured photo credit: Shutterstock via thumb101.shutterstock.com

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Jennifer Paterson

President of California Music Studios

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Last Updated on September 23, 2020

Do What You Love and Love What You Do to Achieve More

Do What You Love and Love What You Do to Achieve More

Are you waking up each day looking for that perfect thing, activity, or job that will make your life work? Or, maybe you are looking for that perfect relationship. Once you “get” this new thing that will allow you to do what you love, you are sure that you will be happy forever.

In reality, life doesn’t work like that, and we would probably get bored if it did. There is likely no one thing, experience, or activity that will keep you feeling passionate and engaged all the time. What’s important is staying connected to what you love and continuing to grow in the process.

Here, we’ll talk about how to get started doing what you love and achieving more in life through the motivation it brings. Doing this doesn’t have to take a long time; it just takes determination and energy.

Most People Already Know Their Passion

So many people walk around in life “looking for” their passion. They look for it as if true passion is some mysterious thing that is difficult to find and runs away once you find it. However, the problem is rarely lack of passion.

Most of us already know what we love to do. We know what excites us, even if we haven’t done it for years. Instead, we focus on what we think we “must” do.

For example, maybe you love building model cars or painting pet portraits. Yet, each day you work a completely unrelated job and make no time for the activity you already know you love. The truth is you probably don’t need to find your passion; you just need to start doing what you already know you’re passionate about[1].

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No Activity Is Exciting All the Time

Even people who are living their dream lifestyle or working their dream job don’t love it all the time. Every job or lifestyle has parts of it that we won’t like.

Let’s say your dream is to become an actress, and you succeed. You may not enjoy the process of auditioning and facing rejection. You may experience moments of boredom when you practice your lines over and over again. But the overall experience is totally worth it.

Most of life is like that. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by demanding that life be perfect all the time. If things were perfect and easy, you would ultimately stop learning and growing, and life would begin to lack even more meaning in that case.

Be grateful for both the good and bad moments as they are both entirely necessary if you genuinely want to do what you love and love what you do.

Doing What You Love May Not Be Easy

Living a life you love is unlikely to be easy. If it was, you would not grow very much as a person. And, if you think about a great book or movie, the growth of the main character is what matters most.

What if the challenges you meet along your path to living a life you love were designed to make you grow as a person? You may actually start looking forward to challenges instead of dreading them. An easy life hardly ever makes a compelling story.

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If you struggle to overcome challenges, try writing them down each time you encounter one. Then, write down three ways you could tackle it. Try one, and if it doesn’t work, try another. This way, you’ll learn what does and doesn’t work for you.

How to Do What You Love

There are many small steps you can take to ensure you are making time to do the things you love. Start with these, and you’ll likely find that you’re already on the right track.

1. Choose Your Priorities Wisely

Many people claim they want to do something, yet they don’t do it. The truth is they might not really want to do it in the first place[2].

We all end up following through on what matters most to us. We make decisions moment by moment about what we need to focus on. What we choose to do is what we deem most important in our lives.

If there is something you claim you want to do but you don’t do it, try asking yourself how much you really want it or where it’s currently placed on priority list. Are there other things you want more?

Be honest with yourself: what you currently do each day is a reflection of your priorities. Recognize that you can change your priorities at any time.

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Make a list of your priorities. Really take the time to think this through. Then, ask yourself if what you are doing each day reflects them. For example, if you believe your top priority is spending more time with your family, but you consistently take on extra hours at work, you’re not really prioritizing things in the way you think you are.

If this is happening, it’s time to make a change.

2. Do One Small Thing Each Day

As stated above, doing what you love doesn’t have to mean finding that perfect job that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning. If you want to do what you love, start with one small thing each day.

Maybe you love reading a good book. Take ten minutes before bed to read.

Maybe you love swimming. Get a membership at the local YMCA, and go there for thirty minutes after work each day.

Dedicating even a short amount of time to something that brings you joy each day will improve your life overall. You may find that, over time, a career path related to what you love to do pops up. After doing the thing you love each day, you’ll be more than prepared to take it on when the opportunity arises.

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If you need help making time for your passions, check out this article to get started.

3. Prepare to Make Sacrifices

If you are an exceptionally busy person (aren’t we all?), you may have to make sacrifices in order to make space for the things you are passionate about. Maybe you take on less extra hours at the office or take thirty minutes away from another hobby in order to develop another that you enjoy.

Looking at your priority list will help you decide what can get put on the back burner and what can’t. Remember, do this thinking about what will help you feel good about how you’re spending your time. 

For example, if you love writing but rarely make time for it, consider getting up 30 minutes earlier than normal. Or instead of browsing your phone for 30 minutes before bed, you can write instead. There is always a way to find time for what you love.

Final Thoughts

If you love what you do, each day becomes a joyful adventure. If you don’t love what you are doing, life feels like a chore. The best way to achieve success is to design a life you love and live it every day.

Remember, doing something you love doesn’t have to include big gestures or time-consuming projects. Start small and grow from there.

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Featured photo credit: William Recinos via unsplash.com

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