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On Being a Musician: Should You Pursue Stardom or Stay Behind the Scenes?

“Musician” is such a broad term for people in the music industry. They can be a part of an orchestra, a composer, a member of a band, or a singer. So if you’re aspiring to be renowned musician, it’s important to know that there are different career paths ahead of you.

How do you think famous singers like Ariana Grande and Beyonce started? Or how Beethoven and Bach became notable composers up to this day? Simple — their passion for music took them to great heights, earning them legendary statuses.

But of course, it wasn’t an easy journey for them, and for anyone in the music industry, be it performers or behind-the-scene staff. So here’s a simple guide on how to make it big as a musician:

Get Educated

While musicians can also be business or law graduates, it can be more advantageous to have a music-related educational background from the get-go. Start by enrolling in your area’s most outstanding piano lessons class. If not piano, you may be interested in guitar, violin, singing lessons, or etc. Discover your forte so that you can sign yourself up for the right lessons.

If your strength is in composing, pursue a music degree program. While this isn’t required, it will give you a profound theoretical knowledge about music, which be helpful in composing a piece for an orchestra or any other musical artist.

A degree in music starts from an associate’s degree up to PhD. Depending on your goals and the type of career you want to chase, you may or may not need to complete a higher education.

Job Options

If you don’t plan on being a performer, here are ten other behind-the-scene jobs that you may like, along with their median salaries:

  1. Video and Sound Engineer – $40,000 to over $120,000
  2. Recording Engineer – $25,000 to $150,000
  3. Music Franchise Owner – $69,327
  4. DJ – $58,907
  5. Musical Therapist – $57,094
  6. Songwriter – $51,360
  7. Music Agent – $50,255
  8. Music Journalist – $50,011
  9. Music Director/Conductor – $43,908
  10. Music Teacher – $42,009

person playing the piano

On Becoming a Performer

Being a performer — a singer, specifically, is an interesting career choice with lots of ups and downs. It’s advised that you start young so your talents will already be fully-developed when you debut. You also need to be coached by a professional. But note that you need to be careful in selecting a vocal coach. If they instruct you to use your vocals to the point of straining, they’re not doing a proper job.

Be prepared for countless hours of practice. Expect going on endless auditions and being criticized. You’ll also work with a lot of agents and record demos. To accomplish all these, discipline is imperative.

Mind your stage fright as well. Singers and entertainers are expected to be confident both onstage and off-stage. You have to be pleasant toward producers and other behind-the-scene personnel.

And since fame cannot be achieved overnight, patience is crucial. It’ll be normal to go through several rejections before a record label recognizes you. But with constant practice and help, you’ll get there.

Bonus Tip: Making it in K-pop

A lot of young girls and boys in K-pop fandoms are showing interest in becoming a K-pop idol trainee. But K-pop idol training methods are known for their rigor and harshness. You may be compelled to give up your schooling to focus on your training. You’ll most likely leave your family home, too, and move in to a dorm with your fellow trainees.

To groom a K-pop artist, entertainment companies will provide lessons on image management, dancing, singing, weight maintenance, basic etiquette, media training, and more. There will also be a number of restrictions, including the use of social media and dating.

But the immense fame K-pop groups and any other singers earn after debuting may make all your sacrifices worth it. Similarly, it’s also rewarding to help performers behind the scenes. Hence, no matter what career path you choose in the music industry, hard-work is extremely vital for your success.

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