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Music

Careers

Careers directly related to music include:

  • Armed forces musician
  • Composer
  • Conductor
  • DJ
  • Music development worker
  • Music director
  • Music / sound editor
  • Music producer
  • Music promotions manager
  • Music therapist
  • Music tutor
  • Musical instrument maker / repairer
  • Musician
  • Piano tuner / technician
  • Sound engineer / technician
  • Teacher / lecturer
  • Visiting music teacher

There are other jobs where music is useful although other skills are needed too:

  • Agent
  • Arts administrator
  • Backstage crew
  • Band / artistic manager
  • Broadcast engineer
  • Children’s entertainer
  • Choreographer
  • Community arts worker
  • Instrument / equipment distributor
  • Licensing / royalties administrator
  • Lighting designer / technician
  • Music education worker
  • Music journalist
  • Music publisher
  • Music retailer
  • Radio broadcast assistant
  • Radio presenter
  • Radio producer
  • Rigger
  • Road crew
  • Stage manager
  • Stage hand
  • Studio manager
  • Tour manager

Skills

Studying music can also help you develop wider skills such as:

  • Analytical
  • Communication
  • Concentration / listening
  • Confidence / self-belief
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Giving / receiving feedback
  • IT
  • Organising / planning
  • Problem solving
  • Research
  • Resilience
  • Self-discipline
  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Using technology
  • Working independently
  • Working under pressure

These skills are needed for jobs at different levels and with a range of entry routes,  including apprenticeships, further and higher education. Here’s a selection:

  • Advertising account executive
  • Box office manager / staff
  • Costume designer
  • Customer service assistant
  • Events manager
  • Film distributor
  • Film / TV producer
  • Front of house assistant
  • Fundraiser
  • Games designer
  • Hairdresser
  • Interior designer
  • Journalist
  • Marketing manager / assistant
  • Public relations (PR) officer
  • Radio programme controller
  • Radio sales executive
  • Receptionist
  • Sales representative
  • Set designer
  • Youth / community worker

Routes

The routes into these careers vary but include apprenticeships, further education and higher  education. You may need other subjects alongside music, particularly GCSE maths, English and sometimes sciences (e.g. for music technology). Always check entry requirements. 

There are higher education courses in classical, contemporary and popular music. You could focus on performance, composition, production, technology, history, analysis, teaching and more. Some courses expect music at either A Level or Grade 8 ABRSM (or equivalent) plus at least one essay based A Level. Courses with similar titles may vary so do plenty of research. For performance-based courses (including those at the conservatoires) there are normally auditions. 

Some of the creative industries are developing apprenticeships, traineeships and internships.

Not all musicians have had formal training and there are many ways of finding an audience,  for example you can upload your music online or use social media to promote yourself.

Did You Know?

One of the most successful Hollywood stars of all time is the composer, John Williams, who   wrote the music to Star Wars, the first three Harry Potter films and many more. He has had 50 Oscar nominations – the only person ever to have had more was Walt Disney!