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Transcript of Music Careers
EDUCATION Electronic Production
and Design Songwriting Business Management Performance
Performing artists specialize in the performance of music, either original or cover material. Their performing skill defines their marketability. The performing artist may work as a solo act with or without backing musicians, or be packaged as a group. performing
artist A vocal/instrumental soloist is similar to a performing artist and may perform in much the same capacity. But this artist may also work as a contracted performer with a group or in a recording situation. For example, an orchestra, church group, or a recording ensemble may hire a soloist. When performing as a contracted soloist, the artist has a responsibility to rehearse and perform the selected music as directed by the group or project leader. Vocal
Performer Background vocalists back up other singers and musicians on recordings, jingles/television commercials, or in live performances. They may work full-time or on a freelance basis, or travel with a performing act, holding responsibility for learning repertoire and attending rehearsals. Background vocalists must be versatile and flexible; those performing on recordings, jingles, or television/radio will need the ability to read music quickly and record it quickly with a minimum of errors. Harmony and improvisation abilities are a plus as well. Background
Vocalist Floor show bands work in nightclubs, hotels, resorts, cruise ships, cafes, bars, and concert halls putting on show for patrons. They not only perform, they entertain! Show groups may perform many different types of music in their act. Show groups must have pizzazz, and usually involve extensive planning and rehearsal to appear professional at all times. Floor show groups may work in one place for a few days or even weeks before moving on to the next gig, and they travel frequently. A theatre musician is an instrumentalist that plays in the pit orchestra of a music theatre production. Floor/Show Band Theatre Musician A theatre performer is a singer/actor or actress who performs in a music theatre production on stage. Theatre Performer The accompanist/rehearsal pianist primarily works with vocalists and/or music theatre groups for rehearsals, live performance, or audition settings. Accompanist/
Rehearsal Pianist A musician or vocalist that plays, sings, or conducts during the musical portion of a worship service. Church Musician: Choir Director, Worship Leader, Praise & Worship Band Member, Organist, and Soloist There is always a demand for highly trained, highly qualified musicians to step in and add support on an album. This is not limited to any instrument or genre and can range from freelance work to working contractually for a major label. However, as the demand is high, so is the competition - in order to work as a studio/ session musician, you MUST be able to read music at a fluent rate and be able to adjust your playing to suit the needs of the client. Studio/Session
Musician A product demonstrator is a musician that is employed by a music equipment manufacturer to demonstrate the company's product line at trade shows and conferences. Usually, someone with strong playing ability as a musician is selected for this role. Product
Demonstrator Elementary school music teachers work in public, private, or parochial schools. Their duties vary depending on the school and the ages and grades they teach, but for the most part they teach a general music class in kindergarten through sixth grade, introducing students to the different aspects of music and the varying degrees of skill study. They must often follow guidelines for what they teach that are set up by the school music department heads, district music supervisors, and state music education supervisors. Elementary Music
Teacher Secondary school music teachers generally teach in grades seven through twelve, and they work in public, private, or parochial schools. Their duties vary depending on the type of job they are hired for. They may teach specifically on one instrument or many. They may be responsible for leading a school band, orchestra, or choir, and for putting on school concerts and competitions. They may handle rehearsals and conduct the school groups as well. Secondary Music
Teacher College/conservatory/university music educators may be hired for a variety of different positions. They may be brought into a school as a general music educator to teach areas of music theory, music arranging, music history, or vocal or instrumental performance. Educators are also hired to coach chamber music groups or to conduct choruses or orchestras. College/University
Music Teacher A private instructor usually does not work through a school, but gives individual instruction to students on a regular basis. They set their own fees, unless contracted by a music store or teaching group, and develop their own teaching plans and guidelines. Private instructors may work alone out of an office or home, with a group of teachers, or at a music store that offers lessons. They may teach individual lessons or offer group lessons. Lessons generally run 45 minutes to one hour and are usually scheduled once a week. They may teach at different levels of skill, from beginner to professional. Private Music Teacher A choir director provides direction and guidance to a vocal group or choir in a school, church, or elsewhere in the community. The choir director is responsible for researching and selecting material, rehearsing and conducting the choir, and preparing and presenting public performances of the choir. Choir Director A school music supervisor is responsible for directing and coordinating activities of teaching personnel who are engaged in instructing students in vocal and instrumental music in a specific school or school system. This person may teach a few days a week and administer programs in the remaining days. The music supervisor plans and develops the music education curriculum. Music Supervisor These teachers work specifically at private, independent, parochial, or cooperative home school programs. Usually state certification is not required to work at these schools. Independent School
Music Teacher Primarily, a music therapist uses music as an aid in healing, relieving pain, providing emotional comfort, and even entertaining patients with various mental and physical health related ailments. A music therapist develops a treatment plan and applies various strategic techniques to accomplish goals for the patient’s improvement. It is also a unique opportunity to help and contribute to improving the lives of patients who are at various stages of illness and recovery. Music therapists work either freelance or in clinical settings such as in hospitals, nursing homes, psychiatric centers, and oncology and pain management treatment centers, as well as in drug treatment programs, correctional facilities, and hospice care programs. Music Therapist The music librarian is responsible for cataloging scores, recordings, and song folios, and they work primarily at an educational institution such a school, college, or university. Employers in this field generally prefer a master's degree in library science. Music Librarian Music Composition Composers create instrumental pieces, either stand-alone or combined with lyrics. They may compose for a specific situation, such as film/TV composers who score/compose music to enhance videos or films, or they may compose for live performance and/or recording situations. Composer An arranger provides musical arrangements of a musical composition or song for an artist, band, orchestra, or other ensemble. The arranger determines the voice, instrument, harmonic structure, rhythm, tempo, and other aspects of a song or composition based on the artist, producer, or conductor's specifications. Training in music theory, orchestration, composition, and harmony is required. An arranger should have experience as a copyist, writing music, and playing one or more instruments. Arranger An orchestrator is responsible for transposing music from one instrument or voice to another in order to accommodate a particular musician or group, and writing scores for an orchestra, band, choral group, individual instrumentalist(s), or vocalist(s). Orchestrator A transcriber notates musical performances onto a score from a recorded performance. Transcriber An editor manages and develops a print music publishing company's product line, which usually includes instructional music books for people of all ages and abilities. An editor in this field should have the ability to develop products, topics, and concepts; write; compose; edit; proofread; and manage the print/production process. Prior experience in creative design layout and consumer publications is extremely helpful. Editor A film scorer/composer scores music to accompany a motion picture for film or television. This could include dramatic underscore as well as popular songwriting. The traditional role of a film composer is to provide the orchestral dramatic underscore, and only more recently has the popular soundtrack begun to stand on its own. Film Scorer/Composer The film arranger provides musical arrangements of a musical composition or song for film and/or TV usage. The arranger determines the voice, instrument, harmonic structure, rhythm, tempo, and other aspects of a song or composition, based on the conductor or film producer's specifications. Training in music theory, orchestration, composition, and harmony is required. An arranger should have experience as a copyist, writing music, and playing one or more instruments. Film Arranger The sound designer is employed to develop a sound library of synthesized original sounds and effects for artists/bands, production and multimedia companies, and music equipment manufacturers. The sound designer also uses various sophisticated electronic equipment to arrive at conclusions and find sonic solutions in their work. Sound Designer The film/video sound designer designs creative sounds for images. As Berklee Electronic Production and Design faculty member Chris Noyes states, "When the earth shakes in a film or video, what does it sound like? This is the job of the film/video sound designer." The film video sound designer would determine if this sound can be recorded, or if it would have to be created? Film/Video
Sound Designer Most of the audio, music, sound effects, and spoken word (dialogue) that we hear in TV and film productions is edited on digital audio systems. The digital audio editor works with sound designers, composers, and directors to put all these elements together in a highly controlled environment. Digital Audio Editor A Electronic Production and Design performer utilizes music technology and MIDI for live performance. Performer The synthesist/producer has the ability to creatively produce and incorporate (his/her own) sound design into the production process. The producer functions as the creative leader of any studio, film, television, or radio recording project. Producers work mainly with recording acts and record labels to produce records. They also work with composers and produce sound recordings for film, TV, and other forms of multimedia, as well. The producer supervises all aspects of the recording process, including contracting session players and overseeing the recording budget. A producer may also help the artist select songs to be recorded. A producer should be an excellent musician with a lot of experience and have a great depth of musical, acoustical, and studio technical understanding. Synthesist/Producer Whenever a film/TV composer is trying to be hired for a film scoring project, they will attempt to convey their ideas or musical themes to the film/TV director. In order to communicate their musical ideas effectively, they will often hire a MIDI pre-producer to prepare their compositions in a MIDI studio where the orchestration can be economically realized. This is much more cost effective than hiring an entire orchestra to record your musical ideas and themes. MIDI Pre-Producer Multimedia developers specialize in formatting and producing audio content for CDs and websites. They primarily combine two or more of the following formatstext, still images, video, animation, or soundand prepare them as part of an interactive software package. Multimedia Developer
(Interactive Multimedia Specialist)
The product representative tours and demonstrates the latest audio/MIDI software and musical instrument technology available to musicians and producers. Product Representative A consultant in the field of Electronic Production and Design usually is employed by companies that manufacture and design technology-based musical instruments and software. These music technology companies desire to have consultants with musical and technological backgrounds and perspectives. Consultant (Other: Manufacturer Representative, Technical Support, or Sales Representative)
Performing songwriters create and perform their own music. They write both lyrics and music and seek to find success as the performer of their material. Performing songwriters may work as a solo act or as a leader of a group featuring their material. Performing Songwriters Staff songwriters are hired by music publishers, record companies, producers, and other production or recording groups. The staff writer's services are reserved exclusively for this employer. Most staff writers receive a weekly salary, which may be treated as a recoupable advance on the writer's future royalty earnings. Or they may be contracted to write "work-for-hire" pieces that are owned and copyrighted by the employer. Early in a career a writer may have no option other than a "work-for-hire" position, but should take advantage of any opportunity to move to a more attractive long-term strategy to earning a living as a writer. Competition for staff songwriter positions is tough. Staff Writer Freelance writers may work on their own or under a part-time contract with various companies, securing single-song agreements either under a "work-for-hire" contract or a songwriter agreement. Freelance Songwriter Jingle writers are songwriters/composers/lyricists who specialize in writing music for radio and television commercials. They are responsible for representing their client musically as directed. They must be skilled in all styles, be strong arrangers, and be able to compose well for a very short form. Jingle Writer Individuals who are talented in expressing themselves with words can develop careers writing words to songs. A pure lyricist would create only the words, and may work as a team with a music composer or may create lyrics for a previously written piece of music. Lyricist The film producer hires the music supervisor. He/she may act as an A&R scout to find and license popular songs for inclusion as theme or background music within the film (called source music) and/or selecting songs for the soundtrack. Sometimes the music supervisor may be in charge of only the songs for the soundtrack, and other times he/she may be in charge of all the music involved with a film, including hiring and supervising the film composer for dramatic scoring. Music Supervisor (Theme Specialist: Film/TV) Personal managers represent one or more musical groups or artists and oversee all aspects of an act's career. They deal with and advise the act(s) on all business decisions, as well as many of the creative decisions an artist must make, and attempt to guide the artist's rise to the top. Personal Manager Booking agents work to secure performance engagements for musical artists and groups. They work to find talent to book and may be involved with developing the talent toward a goal. They must possess good communication skills to sell talent and develop contacts in the music industry. They often work closely with an act's manager and may be involved in setting the fee and negotiating with promoters or clubs. A booking agent is paid a percentage of the negotiated fee for an act's performance. Booking Agent The concert promoter presents, organizes, advertises, and in many cases, finances concerts at performance venues such as arenas, festivals, clubs, church buildings, auditoriums, etc. The promoter often secures money for the concert by finding others to share in the profits/expenses. However, it is often times the concert promoter who absorbs all the financial risk. Concert Promoter The independent radio promoter (IRP) has a similar role as that of a promotional staffer at a record label, except the IRP is usually employed by an independent radio promotions company or works freelance. Often, a record label, artist/band, or manager will hire the services of an independent radio promotions company to generate airplay of a particular song or record.
The IRP contacts radio station program directors, music directors, and disc jockeys in a local, regional, national, or even an international market. They set up appointments with these station people and bring a number of new album releases as well as a supply of promotional or press material relating to the artist or band. An IRP may socialize frequently with program directors and music directors to help improve the chances that a radio station will add a song to its playlist. An IRP often will often take key radio station personnel out to lunch, dinner, or for drinks. They may also bring a program director to a club in order to listen to a group play songs live and gauge audience response.
Independent Radio Promoter A retail sales manager works, runs, and operates a retail music store. Duties would include employee supervision, training, ordering, coordinating the timing and arrival of distribution shipments to the store, budgeting and financial planning, and coordinating sales promotions for specific CDs. Retail Sales Manager An entertainment attorney handles any contractual matters conceivable within the entertainment industry. Entertainment attorneys can be freelance, hired on retainer, or an employee of a company or business within the entertainment industry. Entertainment attorneys generally specialize in one of three separate fields within the entertainment industry: sports, film and television, and music. An attorney that specializes in the music industry usually has a solid depth of understanding with regard to copyright laws and artist/band agreements with managers, publishers, record labels, booking agents, etc. Successful completion of law school and a state bar exam are requisites for being an entertainment attorney, as well. Entertainment Attorney The business manager handles the financial affairs of musicians and entertainers. Most have degrees in business administration with concentrations in accounting or management. The business manager should have knowledge of negotiating, accounting skills, investments, and tax laws. Business Manager A contractor is responsible for hiring musicians or road crew staff and tending to all the necessary contract obligations through the appropriate union organizations. It is in the contractor's best interest to procure the best talent possible while working within given budget guidelines. Contractor Record Label Business Record Company Executive
Artist & Repertoire coordinator
Artist & Repertoire Administrator
Public Relations Director
Artist Development Representative
Advertising Account Executive
Record Label Salesperson
Regional Sales Manager
Consumer Researcher Music Publishing Business Careers Music Publisher
Song Plugger (Professional Manager)
Tour/Road Work Business Careers Tour Coordinator