Careers in Music - Part 6

Part 6 on the series of the types of careers in the music business and music industry. Here are a few more for all to consider.

Arts administrators are trained in one of the art forms: music, dance, drama, or the visual arts. The potential arts manager probably has organized events such as concerts, tours, performances, or guest lectures at one time or another. He or she has performed or worked in productions in school, in the home community, and most likely in a professional setting following undergraduate training. In school, the potential arts manager exhibited leadership ability and liked to work with groups of people to achieve common goals. At the same time, he or she could articulate well, could write clearly, and did well in mathematics. In addition, this person has come to see that he or she would be happier serving the arts as a manager, using creativity to improve those basic support systems that make it easier for the artist to produce the highest quality art on a regular basis.

Academic training should include music or another art form in depth. The study of economics, accounting statistics, behavioral science, planning, the tax system, corporate affairs, marketing, computers, and information systems, law and the arts, and fund raising, will all help impart knowledge useful to one who works in the business of arts administration. Many colleges now offer arts administration degrees/programs. Advisement by properly qualified faculty into courses and practical experiences of value is crucial to the formation of the future arts administrator. A serious student in this field should be willing to invest during the undergraduate years in learning the art, in sharpening writing and analytical skills, and getting as much production or entry-level administrative experience as possible. These early years also should be used to get a broad-based education in language, history, literature, science, philosophy, and mathematics.

Music publishing involves choosing materials to publish; editing and proofreading music manuscripts; promoting serious performance; and nurturing composers. Everything else is common to any other business with similar marketing and distribution procedures.

Publishing, no matter what the subject matter, is a business, and business expertise comes first. It is, therefore, impossible to identify specific training that would open the way to employment. Certainly, anyone wishing to enter the field should be literate, with a broad knowledge of music and the arts, as well as competence in all the fields of business, including accounting and some law. The ability to communicate, both in writing and verbally, is as vital in business as in education and may be the key to success within any organization.

For the person who is truly convinced that music publishing is the one way to spend a life, I would suggest a thorough study of the different companies. One of the best ways to get to know the publishers is at the exhibits of an MENC national or divisional meeting. There you may meet the publishers' representatives, study the publications, and make some contacts. A personal approach is an excellent "extra" in addition to your resume or letter.

WANTED: Audio Engineer, great travel opportunities, work with big name stars and artists, making records, films, live concerts, etc. Excellent money, fame, and excitement!

Have you seen this ad in trade magazines? Probably not. More likely, you might have seen an ad like this:

TECHNICIAN WANTED: Must know basic electronics, tape machine maintenance, studio setups, remote recording experience. Must have knowledge of state-of-the-art equipment. Must be responsible for inventory control, assisting in scheduling, entertaining clients, etc. Hours from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m., seven days a week. Christmas off (if nothing is booked). Starting pay minimum wage.

This ad is more typical of the work involved, the long hours, the frustrating hard work, and the anxiety and pressure to accomplish the job. If you are still interested, let's see how you can achieve this goal.

Many short-term schools are available to people desiring training in the audio field. In addition to a college degree, an engineer should have a good personality. Being able to smile when the going gets tough is highly desirable. Do you get along well with people? Can you apply psychology to accomplish a task? Positive responses to these questions are a must in this field. As you work with one composition over and over, will you be able to remain patient? Can you stay calm when all goes wrong technically and musically? These problems will occur!

Job opportunities are available in the major markets such as New York, Hollywood, Nashville, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, and many other lesser known locations where some excellent studios are located. Besides the recording field, jobs are also available in sound reinforcement (concert tours), hotels, night clubs, the film industry, television, and radio. Pay scales vary according to the location and job, beginning at minimum wage and escalating to private terms worked out between artists and the engineer himself or herself.

With the field of recreation virtually untapped, people with arts, music, and theater degrees have a place to go. Although the generalist still may coordinate recreation programs in some areas of the country, the tide may be turning in favor of specialization in arts administration. A department often works directly with community arts groups, acting as a catalyst for their efforts. Among the community groups or activities that a department of recreation can help sponsor are children's puppet theaters, county-wide dance companies, county-wide arts shows, local symphony orchestras, community theaters, and local music groups.

No comments: