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Topic: Music Careers

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  1. #1

    Lightbulb Music Careers

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    Hey, everybody!
    I'm a freshman in HS and was considering different career options in the music biz. I'm a good cellist, like to compose, and (I haven't tried it yet) developing sound libraries sounds like fun, too!

    Could y'all tell me your level of education and current occupation?

    Thanx,
    Chris

  2. #2

    Re: Music Careers

    CP,

    Ha ha ha. It's not that your question is wrong it's just . . OH I don't know.

    I actually temping right now. So probably not much education needed. BUT, I've been getting some amazing music done because I have desk job with a straight 9-5. I've gotten a couple of things on TV and have been regularly writing AND practicing music; something I haven't been or felt I've had time to do over the last few years.

    How did I end up here you ask? Lets see. I have a bachelors of Music in a program called Music media and Industry. Pretty much it's a music degree with everything but a junior recital and then you take a slew of business courses and a few art management courses.

    After college, I got a job with video production house with the job description of music supervisor, but I was kinda of a Jack of all trades: sound editing, voice over work, location sound mixing (EFP, ENG), and trying to sneak my occasional cue into a mix. Did that 5 years. I would say that I used a few of the legal things I learned in college on my job. Some of the basic music technology things I picked up in college help me rebuild the company's studio. I did use some of the counterpoint stuff I learned to write a few cues. Everyone I worked with had at least one degree in the arts or business degree.

    Went to NY, and got jobs do sound mixing for film and TV. Bought a lot of gear, got into debt, blah blah blah, and now am slave to media to pay off debt. Up until this desk job, I've been doing location sound mixing for about 6 years. Funny, I know a couple of people-one a composition major and full sail certificate, and the other a bachelor of music in sound engineering who have been finding more film mixing to do as opposed to studio work. Film is a great business to be in, tricky to get in or get in and be paid well, but working 14 hours a day on a film set leaves little room for music. Hmmm I would say that the knowledege and reel from the previous job got my foot in the door to gigs. In film, hmmm I'd say it's 50/50 on the degree thing. Most people, even union folks with out a degree know somebody and get in that way. Normally with folks in school, I usually meet someone who's ready to drop out of film/music/journalism school for job in a film. I say, 'NO. get your degree. There might be a paid film for a few weeks, but not when the job wraps. So unless your ready to be in the music/film/journalism business as a self employed/entrepreneur/free lancer GET YOUR DEGREE.'

    I hope this helps. I'm thinking of going back to school for me and my edification-not a job, but to learn more and then perhaps I'll see some other job opportunites

    Sincerely

    Jonathan

  3. #3

    Re: Music Careers

    Quote Originally Posted by cptexas
    Hey, everybody!
    I'm a freshman in HS and was considering different career options in the music biz. I'm a good cellist, like to compose, and (I haven't tried it yet) developing sound libraries sounds like fun, too!

    Could y'all tell me your level of education and current occupation?

    Thanx,
    Chris
    Do all you can. There are very little "career options". It's more like, "what can I do to eat and feed my family today?" As a freelance person you do whatever you can get.

    I've done record arranging, midi editing, filmscoring, recitals, conducting, teaching, music production.

    The only real stable jobs in music are teaching and symphony orchestra playing. If you don't do that then the only options are to do everything. The more you know the better your chances of getting work.

    Don't think of "career options" that's a guidance conselor's word for 9to5 business work. Your career is music. You've already chosen your option. Now you either play for an orchestra, teach or do all you can to be a jack of all trades master of all.

    Jose

  4. #4

    Re: Music Careers

    I'm not in the business. But a few months ago I met a guy who taught me a lesson.

    I attended a group function. A woman there brought her reluctant husband. The guy was low-energy, furtive, disengaged - just a bump on a log.

    Somehow the guy ended up mentioning that he had a degree in music composition (and it came through as a source of pride), but he was working at Dominos. But the guy had so much negative energy that I didn't engage him on the subject.

    The lesson is that you can work at Dominos or some other regular job with a degree and a bad attitude. You sell yourself during one job interview, then keep the job for years. In music you need to be a self-starter and be able to sell yourself over and over. And you have to motivate the people with whom you've worked to hire you again and recommend you to others.

    Chris, you're young, enthusiastic and optimistic. Develop the chops, get the degree and you will succeed. The other guy? He'll still be at Dominos!

    -JF

  5. #5

    Re: Music Careers

    Chris

    I think John has tapped into what I was saying. A lot of artists quit school for that one good paying gig/film/project, but what they don't realize is what John is sayin: Freelancing is an ongoing process.

    Quote Originally Posted by JonFairhurst
    In music you need to be a self-starter and be able to sell yourself over and over. And you have to motivate the people with whom you've worked to hire you again and recommend you to others.

    Also, I think Jose is the man. I think the last 11 years of my life have been what he's talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by josejherring
    Do all you can. There are very little "career options". It's more like, "what can I do to eat and feed my family today?" As a freelance person you do whatever you can get.

    Now you either play for an orchestra, teach or do all you can to be a jack of all trades master of all.

    Jose
    I mean I wish there was this set career path, but I really don't think there's any. I think you do what you love and figure out how to earn a living at it. If you CAN'T earn a living at it, You figure out how to survive until you can and keep nurturing that thing you love.

    Didn't mean to hijack the other posts but they're right on target.

    sincerley,

    Jonathan

  6. #6

    Re: Music Careers

    Hey JF, Chris, Jonathan, Jose -

    Interesting problem...just starting out, in HS, and trying to strategize into the music biz. With a home studio setup less than 8K getting as good (better) than pro studios 10 years ago, and contract work won via the internet, how do people get an edge these days? Are there any rules that still hold true? Seems like there are too many options for too many people. With such a broad open field, overwhelming. I wonder if composers like Jon F, Sharm, Bruce are getting any real competition from the vast number of new people or is winning work about the same difficulty as it's always been.

  7. #7

    Re: Music Careers

    Thanks, guys!
    That's the kinda stuff I was looking for.
    I beleive that I have a good chance (I really don't mean to brag ) at becmoing a professional in an orchestra, so maybe that and composition and other stuff on the side would be good for me.
    Well, I've got quite some time yet.
    (a little off topic)
    I just ordered GS3 last night from "an authorized Tascam dealer" on ebay and I have some ideas for a library.
    Just thought I'd mention it. (I don't know why, but I did )

    Chris

  8. #8

    Re: Music Careers

    Quote Originally Posted by Joanne Babunovic
    Hey JF, Chris, Jonathan, Jose -

    Interesting problem...just starting out, in HS, and trying to strategize into the music biz. With a home studio setup less than 8K getting as good (better) than pro studios 10 years ago, and contract work won via the internet, how do people get an edge these days? Are there any rules that still hold true? Seems like there are too many options for too many people. With such a broad open field, overwhelming. I wonder if composers like Jon F, Sharm, Bruce are getting any real competition from the vast number of new people or is winning work about the same difficulty as it's always been.
    I think you're doing the right things. A composer can be on top today and out of work tomorrow. The reason why people like Bruce keep working is because........he's a jack of all trades master of all. He's got a lot to offer that makes it hard to compete with. He'll win a lot of times because of that.

    Do whatever work you can get. Make it as good as it can be. Stay up late nights and make sure everything that you do is top notch. Then people will start to notice.

    I always say that there isn't a lack of work there's just a lack of people that are willing to do what it takes to get it. For the few that will do what it takes the world is wide open. For those who sit around waiting for people to recognize their talents; the door is closed. Period. Everybody's got talent. But hardly anybody has the guts to be a professional. I learned this about as slow as anybody. I hope others learn this faster than me.

    Cheers,

    Jose

  9. #9

    Re: Music Careers

    Jose,

    Good advice for any profession, and how did you learn this?

  10. #10

    Re: Music Careers

    Quote Originally Posted by Joanne Babunovic
    Jose,

    Good advice for any profession, and how did you learn this?
    By winning and losing. I'm still learning this to some extent. I guess the only real crime is just not trying for fear of losing. Or, just giving up. I see a lot of people giving up and it always saddens me.

    Jose

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