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How do I get a head start on my music career while still in school?

I'm going to be attending college in the fall to pursue my major in music technology, but I really don't want to wait until I've gotten my degree to make moves in the music industry. What steps/initiatives can I take to give myself a head start in my career while actively working on my degree?
#music-production #music-industry #music-producer

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Julian’s Answer

Hi Jastyn! I'd recommend three primary activities to get you stared:

1. Network

The best way to kickstart your career in an industry is to meet people in the industry! This can be done in many ways. A great place to start is through online professional networking sites (i.e. your school's Career Center, Linkedin, Twitter, Medium) and music-industry specific sites (i.e.. Beatport, Pinterest, Bandcamp, Music SubReddit forums) - these are great places to start conversations with like-minded professionals about production, performing, and furthering your skills and knowledge. Another great place to start is through getting involved in events; see if you can work the door or the bar or the backstage at concerts, recording studios, and venues, and make a point to talk to other professionals while you're there.

2. Create

Whether you want to be a producer, work in A&R, or an acoustic musician, it is always important to keep your creative juices flowing. Figure out what excites you and start creating! There are millions of hours of free youtube videos that can teach you systems for creating cool new music of your own, and plenty of ways to distribute it online, seek feedback, and get better! Plus, it's really fun.

3. Learn

Never stop learning your craft - this applies to all careers. Most DAWs have student discounts and some schools might even reimburse you when you purchase a DAW. Most schools also have music centers and practice rooms. Make it a priority to study best practices in the process of creating, composing, mixing, mastering, and distributing original music, and you'll be miles ahead of most students your age!

Hopefully this gives you a sense of where to start. Good luck!

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Alex’s Answer

Network. Practice. Network some more. Go and meet the contractors. Grab lunch with the people doing what you want to do. When you are good enough, if they get extra work that they can't fit into their schedule they will give your number out. If the contractors enjoy hanging out with you at the bar after work, they will call you again. Being in music is all about networking. In addition to that, try to do as many projects as you can and add the best to your portfolio. Leave at least a mini portfolio in the cloud so that you can access it if you run into someone unexpectedly. Never stop developing your skills and never stop networking.