Career Guide for Music Majors by liaoqinmei


									                                                            A Career Guide for Music Majors
Throughout history, music has been an                                  While music is a performing art, few individuals
important element in most cultures, a rich and                         are able to support themselves as
diverse experience that is used in many ways.                          full-time musicians. Many music majors elect to
Music can be a form of communication, artistic                         combine performing with jobs that allow them to
expression, entertainment, therapy, and                                be closely related to music in the workplace.
worship. Within the broad field of music, there                        Some music majors continue their education in a
are many areas of specialization. A                                    graduate or professional school program.
concentration in music, with its emphasis on                           Listed below are some characteristic skills
performance, analysis, and critical interpretation                     developed by music majors as well as
provides a foundation for careers in education,                        representative occupations of graduates with a
business, communications, and the arts.                                music degree.

The study of music develops skills ranging from                        graduates to contribute and to succeed in many
musical expression to analysis of musical works.                       professions. For example, the ability to put
Music also develops the ability to concentrate                         feelings and impressions about music into words
intensely, to listen introspectively, observe                          is needed by such diverse professionals as a
keenly, work under pressure, meet deadlines,                           music librarian, a music critic, and a music
and to maintain composure when faced with the                          therapist. A sampling of representative skills
unexpected. Well-developed communication                               and abilities follows:
skills, along with aural sensitivity, enable

Artistic/Technical                   Communication                    Research/Analysis                         Education

Creating and performing         Writing and speaking               Gathering and analyzing             Informing, explaining
music                           effectively                        information
Interpreting symbols            Ability to give and                Examining evidence                  Group dynamics
and images                      accept criticism

Sensitivity to and              Conveying complex                  Hearing and recognizing             Organizing information/
appreciation of diverse         information                        tonal and harmonic                  materials
musical styles                                                     balance, rhythm, and

Doing detailed and              Describing impressions             Working with primary                Teaching a skill,
accurate work                   about music                        sources                             concept, or principle

Directing a performance         Presenting                         Perceiving                          Program planning
                                theories/ideas                     patterns/structures
                                                                   Considering historical

         Fine Arts Career Services • The University of Texas at Austin • DFA 1.103 •
                                     [512] 232-7333 • Twitter@utfacs
                                                            A Career Guide for Music Majors

                                                                                              Career Opportunities
There are many career and job options for music                        Music teaching can take place at elementary
majors. There are all kinds and types of                               and secondary schools, colleges and
performance settings from symphony orchestras                          universities, private studios, and at public and
to wedding gigs. What you are paid and how                             private community music schools (which may be
often you work depends on your skills,                                 associated with a performing organization).
reputation, and the demand for your music.
However, most professional musicians do a                              Composers often write works on commission.
combination of jobs and professional activities                        They look for grant and competition money to
that are equivalent to, or more than, full-time                        pay for the commissioning of new works. In the
work in other fields. Many music majors make a                         more commercial arena, composers may create
living in non-performance jobs and perform on                          music for movies, jingles, multi-media projects,
weekends.                                                              viedo games, Broadway revues, or they may
                                                                       arrange, adapt, or transcribe the work of other
The music industry is broad in scope and                               composers.
encompasses retail, wholesale, manufacturing,
importing, exporting, publishing, recording,                           Conductors have a wide spectrum of activities
repair and rebuilding, tuning, and other                               and responsibilities. At the level of the smaller
businesses. People who are successful in the                           community and metropolitan orchestras, the
music industry frequently have training and                            conductor may have to function as a jack-of-all-
experience in both music and business. Many                            trades - raising funds, rehearsing, scheduling,
new businesses have grown out of recent                                and performing. As the orchestra increases in
developments in technology and computers.                              size, length of season, and budget, the
                                                                       conductor and music director tend to confine
The recording industry is huge, covering                               their activities to performing, programming,
thousands of independent labels as well as the                         supervising personnel, and working in
handful of major record labels. Technical jobs                         educational programs. In addition to his or her
entail the actual studio work of recording,                            performance responsibilities, a conductor also
producing, and mastering the music. Production                         can take on the duties of a music director.
jobs entail the duplication and packaging of the
recordings and of their promotional materials.                         Music librarians work in libraries with large
Administrative jobs cover the promotion,                               collections of music books, recordings, musical
research, and budgeting of the industry. Then                          scores, and periodicals associated with music.
there are the jobs connected to sales and                              They can be found in public and academic
merchandise, and the jobs involving contracts                          libraries, radio and television stations, music
and legal issues. People in the industry often                         publishers, and professional music associations.
move from job to job acquiring diversified skills
and climbing the ranks to better jobs.                                 Music therapists use music to accomplish
                                                                       therapeutic aims: the restoration, maintenance,
Performance includes playing music of all                              and improvement of mental and physical health.
types. If you are just getting started it may be                       Music therapists can be found at hospitals,
worth it to do some volunteer or low pay "gigs"                        treatment centers, nursing homes, hospices,
for the experience. Research the performance                           rehabilitation centers, prisons, and mental health
options in your own community, read the local                          clinics.
newspapers' calendar sections, and look for the
entertainment listings on the web for your town,                       Media encompasses a wide range of music
city, region. All performance careers start                            careers including composition, scoring,
locally!                                                               production, editing, clearing copyrights, and
                                                                       licensing. There are many types of media.

         Fine Arts Career Services • The University of Texas at Austin • DFA 1.103 •
                                     [512] 232-7333 • Twitter@utfacs
                                                             A Career Guide for Music Majors
including video games, radio, television,                               organizations, have a number of administrative,
Internet, and print. When you use any of these                          business, or management functions. These roles
media and you notice music played, printed, or                          require people with creativity and an
referred to, chances are there was a person paid                        understanding and passion for the arts, as well
to make that happen!                                                    as skills in a range of areas from finance and
                                                                        marketing to education. If you are employed in
Church/Temple musicians combine music                                   this sector you will need to be well organized,
performance and teaching. Most are employed                             have good computer skills, and, for many of the
part-time, although large congregations may                             jobs available, have some understanding of
employ a full-time music director or minister of                        financial management.
music. In addition to being competent
performers, church or temple musicians must                             The specific positions available at an arts
understand composition, transposition,                                  organization will depend on what the
arranging, and be familiar with the theology and                        organization does and how large its budget and
liturgy of worship.                                                     staff is. An opera company, concert hall, or
                                                                        theater needs box-office and front of the house
Music critics are a unique combination of                               workers to manage ticket sales, write press
journalist and musician. Their views are                                releases, market the productions in the
published daily, often providing quotations to be                       community, and create visibility. A symphony
used as publicity for performing artists. They                          needs managers to schedule tours, monitor
affect their audience both indirectly and directly.                     union agreements, and run the business side of
Indirectly, by determining which artists will                           music performances.
survive in the performance media and will
therefore be available for the public to choose                         Over the last decade, arts management has
from, and directly, by influencing the choices the                      become a growing field with increasing
public makes, its understanding of                                      specialization and training. A number of new
performances, and its reactions to them.                                graduate training and certification programs
                                                                        have emerged. These programs may be useful,
The preparation of music critics is largely as one                      depending on your interests and goals. Some
might expect. More than two-thirds of the music                         arts managers, for example, suggest eventually
critics in large US cities majored in music, with                       pursuing a business degree with a specialization
performance and then music history identified as                        in non-profit management. Almost without
the leading areas of specialization. Nearly half of                     exception, however, arts managers advise
the music critics have earned at least a master's                       getting work-related experience first and
degree. Music criticism is a highly specialized                         considering graduate study later on. If you
field, one that blends music and expressive                             decide to investigate graduate study, begin by
writing skills. The glamour of attending concerts                       asking professionals what programs they think
and meeting performers is an undeniable                                 are valuable and respected in the field; do not
benefit. The quick pace, objectivity and late and                       just ask one or two people and assume their
sometimes long hours may be less appealing,                             opinions are representative.
and require a sincere desire and dedication.
                                                                        Other careers exist for musicologists,
Arts management and arts administration are                             ethnomusicologists, music business
often used interchangeably. Arts organizations,                         attorneys, and acoustical consultants.
like most for-profit companies and non-profit

          Fine Arts Career Services • The University of Texas at Austin • DFA 1.103 •
                                      [512] 232-7333 • Twitter@utfacs
                                                               A Career Guide for Music Majors

                                                                                                                       Job Titles
It is important to realize that the activities                            These job titles are examples of some of the
represented by these job titles might be found in                         ways that music majors have applied their skills
business, government, educational institutions,                           and abilities. An internship is a good way to
non-profit agencies, or arts-related businesses.                          explore many of the occupations listed below
A performer for example, might be employed by                             and receive on-the-job training at the same time.
a symphony, by an advertising agency, or by the                           In general, additional education or specialized
armed forces. Similarly, an arts writer could be                          training is required for those occupations
working at a foundation, for a local arts council,                        marked with a * on the following list.
for a national magazine, or in a federal agency.

  Arts Education &                      Music Business                               Applied                         Technical
Arts Council Director            Recording Engineer                      Chamber Musician                     Electronic Music
Fundraising Director             Business Manager                        *Conductor                           Music Software
Public Relations                 Music Retailer                          Composer                             Acoustical Engineer
Educational                      Sound Technician                        Accompanist                          Piano
Coordinator                                                                                                   Technician/Tuner
City Cultural Events             *Attorney                               Club Performer                       Bow Restorer
Clinician                        Instrument/Equipment                    Church Music Director
Private Lesson                   Restoration Specialist                  Arranger
Band Director                    Promoter, booking agent                 Orchestrator
*College Professor               Music Publishing Specialist             Film Scorer/Music Editor
*Music Librarian                 Music Critic                            Music Director

*Music Therapist                                                         Studio Musician

Music Teacher                                                            Lyricist

                                                                        Some Employers of Music Majors
Television/radio/film                                                     Record companies
State and federal government agencies                                     Cruise lines
Churches                                                                  Magazines and newspapers
Colleges/universities/schools                                             Music publishers
Production companies                                                      Hospitals
Theaters                                                                  Music stores (retail)
Libraries                                                                 Entertainment law firms
            Fine Arts Career Services • The University of Texas at Austin • DFA 1.103 •
                                        [512] 232-7333 • Twitter@utfacs
                                                            A Career Guide for Music Majors
Software development firms                                             Performing arts organizations
Instrument manufacturers                                               Film companies

                      First Jobs Held by Recent UT School of Music Graduates
Marketing Segment Specialist                                           Production Assistant
Choir Director                                                         Assistant Band Director
Investor Services Representative                                       Medical Researcher
Band Director                                                          Music Festival Administrator
Acoustical Design Consultant                                           Museum Intern

From the 2008-2009 Occupational Outlook                                perform in local clubs. Soloists or headliners
Handbook: Median hourly earnings of wage-                              usually receive higher earnings than band
and-salary musicians and singers were $19.73                           members or opening acts. The most successful
in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned                              musicians earn performance or recording fees
between $10.81 and $36.55. The lowest 10                               that far exceed the median earnings.
percent earned less than $7.08, and the highest
10 percent earned more than $57.37. Median                             The American Federation of Musicians
hourly earnings were $23.37 in performing arts                         negotiates minimum contracts for major
companies and $13.57 in religious                                      orchestras during the performing season. Each
organizations. Annual earnings data for                                orchestra works out a separate contract with its
musicians and singers were not available                               local union, but individual musicians may
because of the wide variation in the number of                         negotiate higher salaries. In regional orchestras,
hours worked by musicians and singers and the                          minimum salaries are often less because fewer
short-term nature of many jobs. It is rare for                         performances are scheduled. Regional
musicians and singers to have guaranteed                               orchestra musicians often are paid for their
employment that exceeds 3 to 6 months.                                 services, without any guarantee of future
                                                                       employment. Community orchestras often have
Median annual earnings of salaried music                               more limited funding and offer salaries that are
directors and composers were $39,750 in May                            much lower for seasons of shorter duration.
2006. The middle 50 percent earned between
$23,660 and $60,350. The lowest 10 percent                             Many musicians belong to a local of the
earned less than $15,210, and the highest 10                           American Federation of Musicians. Professional
percent earned more than $110,850.                                     singers who perform live often belong to a
                                                                       branch of the American Guild of Musical Artists;
For self-employed musicians and singers,                               those who record for the broadcast industries
earnings typically reflect the number of jobs a                        may belong to the American Federation of
freelance musician or singer played or the                             Television and Radio Artists.
number of hours and weeks of contract work, in
addition to a performer’s professional reputation                      The above information is from the Occupational
and setting. Performers who can fill large                             Outlook Handbook and is online at
concert halls, arenas, or outdoor stadiums                   
generally command higher pay than those who

         Fine Arts Career Services • The University of Texas at Austin • DFA 1.103 •
                                     [512] 232-7333 • Twitter@utfacs
                                                            A Career Guide for Music Majors

                                                                  Common Graduate School Options
Master of Music (MM): Usually a two-year                               two years to complete the course and residency
program that is offered with concentrations in                         requirements. For performers, this usually
performance, composition, theory, music                                involves 3-6 full solo recitals. For composers, a
education, and musicology. Applicants must                             number of compositions are expected. A thesis
hold a bachelor's degree in music or its                               or doctoral research paper is also required.
equivalent. Typical master's programs require                          Language requirements, coursework/seminars
about 36 credit hours, which for performers                            in theory and history, and ensembles may be
usually include large ensemble, chamber music,                         part of the degree requirements.
lessons, master class or repertoire class,
language competencies for singers, and at least                        Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): These doctorates
one academic course per year in theory or                              are usually offered in musicology, music theory,
history.                                                               and music education. After two to three years of
                                                                       coursework, general exams precede work on the
Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA): This is the                              dissertation.
doctoral degree in performance, composition,
and conducting. The MM is usually a                                    Diploma or certificate programs: These
prerequisite to enter a DMA program. Programs                          programs are geared for performance with few
vary greatly, but it usually takes a minimum of                        or no academic requirements.

                                                                   FACS Resources for Music Majors
 2004 Guide to Competitions
 Music, Money, Success, & the Movies
 Music & Money
 Exploring Careers in Music
 Creative Careers in Music
 Great Jobs for Music Majors
 Careers For Culture Lovers
 Gigging: A Practical Guide for Musicians
 Music, Money, and Success
 OPERA America: Membership Directory
 Succeeding in Music: A Business Handbook
 Making Your Life as a String Player
 Complete Guide to Film Scoring
 Your Own Way in Music: A Career & Resource Guide
 Booking & Tour Management for the Performing Arts
 Making Music in Looking Glass Land
 American Music Center (Folder)
 100 Careers in the Music Business
 Career Opportunities in the Music Industry
 Texas Music Industry Directory
 Career Guide for Singers 6th Edition

         Fine Arts Career Services • The University of Texas at Austin • DFA 1.103 •
                                     [512] 232-7333 • Twitter@utfacs
                                                            A Career Guide for Music Majors

 New England Conservatory Music Career Informational Handouts
 Chamber Music: The 2005 CMA Membership Directory

                                                                  Online Resources for Music Majors
                                                                       The mission of Chamber Music America is to
Career Information, Job Listings, Grants                               promote artistic excellence and economic
                                                                       stability within the profession, and to ensure that
AccessUT                                                               chamber music, in its broadest sense, is a vital                                   part of American life. CMA offers seven
UT's online job and internship database which                          competitive grant programs.
posts professional opportunities for all majors.
                                                                       The College Music Society
Fine Arts Works                                                                                      Publications include the Music Vacancy List,
finearts/student/home.aspx                                             The Directory of Music Faculties, and The
Fine Arts Career Services' database of art-                            International Directory of Music Organizations.
related opportunities. Fine Arts students can
post a resume and view job postings and                                League of American Orchestras
upcoming career events.                                      
                                                                       The American Symphony Orchestra League
American Music Center                                                  provides leadership and service to American                                                    orchestras. This site has an excellent section on
The American Music Center (AMC) is a national                          careers.
service and information center for new music.
They offer information on grants, calls for
scores, and other opportunities for composers                          Musical America
and performers                                               
                                                                       The site is divided into three sections, Industry
Americans for the Arts Job Bank                                        News, Directory Articles, and Listings, and                                             includes a Career Center. Named one of the 50
This advocacy organization supports the                                best Web sites by Chamber Music magazine.
arts in many ways. Their job bank contains
listings from many different arts
                                                                       New England Conservatory Bridge
organizations across the country. Check out                  
the rest of their site for other helpful arts                          includes over 2700 opportunities in music
resources.                                                             including performance, teaching (Higher Ed &
                                                                       K–12), arts administration and music industry
                                                                       jobs as well as competition, festival, scholarship
The Center for the Promotion of                                        and grant listings. Current students can get the
Contemporary Composers                                                 login information by contacting FACS.
An Internet based service organization providing                       Opera America
a comprehensive resource of opportunities for                
composers.                                                             Their professional development page includes
                                                                       links to employment, internships, and
Chamber Music America                                                  fellowships.
         Fine Arts Career Services • The University of Texas at Austin • DFA 1.103 •
                                     [512] 232-7333 • Twitter@utfacs
                                                             A Career Guide for Music Majors
Orchestralist is an international forum for                             American Music Therapy Association
conductors, composers, players, and their                     
colleagues in the orchestra business.                                   This site provides answers to many questions
                                                                        raised by students considering music therapy as
Texas Music Educators Network                                           a career.
Site includes a job database and other helpful                          American Musicological Society
information for music educators.                              
                                                                        The AMS was founded in 1934 as a non-profit
Worldwide Internet Music Resources                                      organization to advance research in the various                        fields of music as a branch of learning and
/societ.html A useful list of online resources from                     scholarship.
the Indiana University music library. Includes
comprehensive list of professional associations                         American Society of Composers, Authors
for specific instruments and other areas of                             and Publishers (ASCAP)
                                                                        ASCAP is a membership association of over
Government Agencies                                                     140,000 U.S. composers, songwriters and
                                                                        publishers of every kind of music and hundreds
The Texas Commission on the Arts                                        of thousands worldwide.
Includes links to numerous visual and                                   Association of Performing Arts Presenters
performing arts sites, opportunities, and                     
assistance for artists View their                                       Excellent site for those interested in arts
                                                                        administration positions in the performing arts.
employment links by going to New
                                                                        Includes a job bank.
                                                                        Concert Artists Guild
Texas Music Office                                                      Concert Artists Guild's mission is to identify,                                   nurture, and support the careers of young
The TMO is a clearinghouse of music and                                 classical musicians.
music-related industry information. They also
sponsor internships.                                                    Music Library Association
Other Colleges & Universities                                           National Association for Music Education
                                                                        MLA is the professional organization in the
Eastman Office of Careers and Professional                              United States devoted to music librarianship and
Development Materials                                                   all aspects of music materials in libraries.                        Includes job listings for a variety of music
Includes excellent information on music                                 librarian functions.
resumes, cover letters, and securing an
academic job in music.                                                  National Association for Music Education
Professional Associations                                               Containts information for teachers, job postings,
                                                                        and a great guide to careers in music.
American Federation of Musicians
The AFM is the largest union in the world
representing the interests of the professional
   The information in this guide was compiled from resources available online and in DFA 1.103. Updated July 2009.         8
          Fine Arts Career Services • The University of Texas at Austin • DFA 1.103 •
                                      [512] 232-7333 • Twitter@utfacs
                                                   A Career Guide for Music Majors

Fine Arts Career Services • The University of Texas at Austin • DFA 1.103 •
                            [512] 232-7333 • Twitter@utfacs

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