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I wanted to start a music career but not sure if I should continue right now

#career-counseling #career-development #career-path #music
I’m from Hong Kong and I want to study undergraduate program in US. Preparing for Toefl and DSE right now. I like music and wanted to make it as my career, but other than that I also want to study one extra subject in college. #music-industry

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Ro’s Answer

If music if your passion, then keep it as your personal goal, but prepare to also be flexible. Some people want to sing and be a professional musician, but later find that they really like writing songs, or really like the production aspect more than performing. It is unclear from your post which area of the music industry you wanted to start a career in, but the music industry is vast: from contracts, recording/production, marketing, etc. Depending on your area, you could choose a major specific to you once you're accepted into a college.

Right now your focus should be getting your grades and TEOFL score in order, and choosing a school or state you want to attend college at. Next, keep up to date on the COVID19 situation and the Immigration policies that may affect your status as an international student. You don't have to pursue music only in the US, I'm sure that HK has vast opportunities as well. For the immediate future, your academic side should be your focus. Once you get accepted into the school of your choice (maybe with a good music program?) then you could choose a subject/major that will put you on the path to your desired career. Doing what you love is an amazing experience, but remember to take the necessary steps in front of you first! I wish you the best of luck!

I totally agree with Ro..... well put. I've been playing over 40 years and have been many places I wouldn't have seen if it wasn't for the music. It has been my passion since I was young. If it is yours...... follow it. Best wishes. :) Kevin Stiles

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Robbin’s Answer

There are many facets to the music industry. If you have an interest in law, then you can attend an American law school that has an entertainment law specialty. If you like working with numbers, you can enter the field with a CPA, accounting background, or finance background. It is a good idea to study these subjects in a school that has a music business major because the finance side is very industry specific. The latter would apply to the American music business industry because other parts of the world handles the business side very differently.

If you are concentrating on performance, then the audition is very important. Contact the school that you wish to attend for audition requirements and then spend about a year in preparation. Many American colleges are moving towards classes on an online platform due to the global pandemic. Unfortunately, music performance is one of the most difficult majors to study exclusively online.

Robbin recommends the following next steps:

Look at the websites of all the schools that interest you. Note their admission requirements for foreign students.

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Eliandra’s Answer

You have time and you can take as many courses as you want. It is important to keep one thing in mind, any profession you choose has to dedicate yourself and be an entrepreneur in your field, especially music I believe. So it's nice to study the environments and think about what will be good for you and make you happy at the same time.
I'll give you an example, I love to sing, but for me this is a hobby now, it doesn't mean that in the future I can't change my mind.
You have infinite possibilities, you can change the direction whenever you want.
Trace a path to be able to do all the things you want, in a short or long time. Good luck!

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Ragon’s Answer

The route I took was to pursue a degree in electrical engineering and also take elective music classes. That was 30 years ago lol. I am still an active musician and recording artist and also work as an engineering manager for Verizon. Having the financial flexibility has allowed me to fund numerous opportunities in my music endeavors that I could not have done otherwise. Remember there is no one size fits all approach. Listen to your dreams though and good luck!

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Melisa’s Answer

Hi Stephanie,

You already have some great answers here so I’ll just add some resources you may find helpful in learning more about careers in music.

Similar to what Eliandra shared, music is a hobby for me right now and I did major in music my first couple of years in college, then switched to a business related major. I still enjoy using what I learned in my two years of college focusing on music.

Check out these resources:

#music-industry #music

Melisa recommends the following next steps:

Seek out a mentor or individual in a career that interests you who may have more insight to share.
Check out these helpful TED Talks on "music." https://www.ted.com/topics/music
Keep asking great questions on CareerVillage and learning all you can from others, to help you make informed future decisions.

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Crystal’s Answer

You can always do baby steps towards a career that you desire! For example, if you are really passionate about music and want to know if it's a feasible career for you, make a Youtube, soundcloud, and/or spotify accounts and release your music on those platforms to see how the reception is. That way you have a portfolio you can point to and a way to keep track of all the things you are creating.

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Alexis’s Answer

Hey Stephanie!

First, I would suggest to identify what are of music you want to pursue. Is it that you want to be a performer? or any role (business, analytics, operations, stage artist, etc.) in the music industry? Identifying such will help you find what you want to focus on in college and have success in finding a career path after that can involve your passion of music.

My sibling has pursued a major in music in the past so I know that finding a 'career' in music just as a performer is tough. So having that flexibility of what role(s) you want to take on in the industry would be very helpful for you in the short-term (deciding another major) and in the long-term (securing a job)!