Career Advice for Teens: Musician/Music Production
This week I have a really special series of posts I’ve put together for you, all about career advice for teens!
I’ve interviewed many of my friends and friends of friends who are professionals in their chosen fields to find out what advice they’d give, and what they wish they’d done differently as teens.
I hope you enjoy the posts! If you get something out of them, please be sure to thank my interviewee in the comments section.
Where did you go to school, and what did you study?
I went to Berklee College of Music, and I studied Music Production and Engineering.
Would you change anything about your college experience or choice?
I absolutely loved my college experience. A lot of that is because I chose a school that was extremely diverse, and let me pursue whatever I wanted. If I could change something, I would have taken better advantage of the networking opportunities and the career development center.
What was the most helpful thing in getting your first job?
Experience. I started working in music and stage production in high school, with my school auditorium. Throughout college, I worked for the school’s stage crew, and free lanced with a local production company I found through my stage crew boss. By the time I graduated, I already had several years of experience in live sound production, which made getting a job with a new production company pretty easy. If at all possible, start dipping your feet in the shallow end before you finish college. It’s much easier than diving off the deep end.
What do you love about your job?
I love that I make music every day. I now work for a company making music for cheerleading and gymnastics competitions. I never even knew there was a market for such a thing until a year ago. I get to use almost my entire unique set of skills in one place, which is amazing. I may not be the best engineer, producer, composer, or musician in those fields, but it’s a great feeling to know that I’m one of the few that gets to do all of that at the same time.
What do you not-so-love about your job?
There’s not much challenge left in my job. There’s a formula that you learn for making this music, and there’s not much deviation from the norm. Essentially, I do the same thing every day, with different songs. There’s very little creativity left in it, and I don’t feel like I have the opportunity to improve myself through this job.
What books or websites should someone interested in your job check out?
Honestly, craigslist is the most amazing website ever. I’ve found three of my jobs (including my current job), both of the bands I currently play with, and several gigs on it. There’s a lot to sift through, but diligence pays off.
If you could give any advice to a teenager contemplating your career, what would you say?
Diversify. You should know that your chances of making a living working in a recording studio making original music are getting smaller every year. But that doesn’t mean there are not plenty of opportunities! Work for a music production company, learn to play some instruments, take some composition classes. The wider your skill set, the better your chances of finding work.
You could be the best Electro-Gansta-Folk producer in the world, but there’s only one position for that, and it’s taken by the guy who’s been doing it for 20 years. You don’t want to be stuck waiting for that dude to retire because that’s all you know how to do.
For example, I’m currently working for the cheerleading music company, playing bass in one band, keyboard in another, playing solo gigs on guitar, doing freelance work recording local bands, freelancing as a live audio tech, and I’m planning to open up my own recording studio. When one of those falls through, it’s not a problem because I have the others to fall back on.
Tags: Career Advice for Teens
LilMusicalKid on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 2:39 am
What guitar is that? Some sort of Ibanez?
I really like the design. o.O