Careers in Music

Careers in Music

Music is one of the few universal languages you will hear regardless of where you are. It is an art form that uses different collaborations of sound as an expressive medium. It has been said that the earliest form of musical expression derived from our ancestors came from nature sounds such as interactions between animals and of birds singing. Because of this, having a career in music can be very rewarding on many different levels.

There are many different types of music careers. Some of the most common music careers can also be the most difficult to pursue. It is important to familiarize yourself with all options in the field of music to find out which best suits your interests.


Singers are most often referred to as a vocalist. They use their voices as the sole instrument. There are many different types of singers: Broadway, opera, classical, jazz, pop, country, rock, and rhythm and blues just to name a few. Musicians on the other hand create music using an instrument. Some of the morecommon areas of study when pursuing a career as a musician include guitarist, pianist, drummer, and cellist to name a few.  There are several sites that can give you more valuable music related career information such as Another resource is the United States Governement.

Pursuing a career as a singer you will need to be confident, independent, and willing to seek out any and all opportunities when you are just starting out. The best way to get noticed as a professional singer or musician is to join a band that plays at regular venues and keep your eye out for amateur musician casting calls and open mic nights. You don’t need formal education to become a professional singer or musician although taking courses in specific musical genres and music composition can enhance your career and knowledge of the music industry.


Composers and songwriters both write songs and create music. They are the ones that provide the lyrics, melody, harmony, and downbeats to the singer and/or the musician. They write the vocal parts and instrumental parts to the songs we hear on the radio. They are the masterminds behind the sung word.

Pursuing a career in this field requires formal schooling. You must attend a 4 year college or a college that specializes in music as a major. You will need to take courses relates to the business aspects of the music industry, specific courses in different musical genres, music composition, courses in how to play certain instruments, and reading music. You can become a freelance composer or you can seek out opportunities through music industry professionals to get your talent noticed.

Music Teacher/Conductor

A music teacher teaches the fundamentals of music as well as leads, or conducts, a band, orchestra, or choir. They teach proper technique on how to play an instrument or sing. They teach the fundamentals of music including how to identify a note on the staff and how to read music.

A conductor leads a group of singers or musicians in the form of choirs, orchestras, or bands. They choose the style of music their groups will play or sing and they organize events to showcase the talent of those groups.

Music Therapist

Music therapy has become an increasingly popular career. With all the new advances in mental health it has been proven to be a “saving grace” for individuals with autism, severe depression, anxiety problems, and ADHD. To become a music therapist you will need formal education and in most states you will need to become licensed. Music therapists treat many problems such as social, psychological, cognitive, and physical through musical healing.