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what steps are important for getting involved in the music industry?

Is music school super important?? What's the most important thing for me to do to get involved with music?

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david’s Answer

Speaking directly from my college experience, you do NOT necessarily need to major in music. I say that because the topic is too broad. In my first freshman semester, I was required to take courses in brass, piano, voice, choir, and theory, plus mandatory practice hours in each of them (plus be responsible for other non-music college courses). If your desire is to perform, you need a coach. If your desire is to manage within the music industry, focus on marketing and counseling courses. If you are already an accomplished performer, then college should be only for whatever else you want to pursue. A college experience can be valuable, if only for the broadening and maturing experience that it brings to your life, but not if just to be involved in music. NOTE: I do not mean to imply that a major in music is a waste; there are many people who want that broad exposure. All the best to you.
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Kyle’s Answer

I love the other answers. Just wanted to chime in that being extremely good at what you do is the most important thing for anyone in the music industry. There's tons of talented people out there, literally tens of thousands of people. Being good at what you do, and being nice and professional will make you stand out so people will want to work with you. If you can become good, nice and professional without college, great! If college seems like it would help, that also is great!
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Brianna’s Answer

Hi, Bee.

This link has a good list of well-known music schools: https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/best-colleges-for-music/

That being said, you In all honesty, you don't *need* any classes or an art degree to be an artist. It's mainly about having a good reputation as someone who is talented and good to work with and having a strong body of work you can show potential clients, employers, or collaborators.

You can go to community college or a 4-year university and major in something directly related to music. This can be performance art, composition, sound design, sound engineering, production, etc. This gives you the very valuable gift of time to dedicate to that craft. It helps you learn and hone your craft. And it helps you build up your networks early with classmates, professors, and working professionals. It also provides you with support and infrastructure to break into the field via student fellowships, grants, and internships. Most people begin applying to schools in the summer before their senior year of high-school throughout that fall semester. It's a good idea to asl for recommendation letters from your teachers or other supervisors/mentors earlier than that so they have time to write you a good letter. Especially if you intend to go into an arts program, many colleges ask for a video or recording of your work in addition to your standard college application essay. So it's good to have a nice portfolio of work.

If you can, try taking music classes and/or workshops while in high school. There are also very many programs for high school age artists, such as YoungArts, that help you build your portfolio, hone your craft, look good on your resume, and help you network with other creators. You should also research to see if there are any hobby groups/clubs in your area that you can join.

Let's say you decide against majoring in a field of music. I would still suggest all of the above in terms of preparing for applications and networking. Many people major in related fields such as marketing, communications, etc..

Another option is to minor in some type of music while majoring in a separate field. Many people do this because it gives them a more financially secure place and broader reach in the job market. Here, it's still a good idea to hone your craft and build your portfolio of work. The difference is that it will be a bit tougher to carve out time to do it if it's not the core of your coursework.

Brianna recommends the following next steps:

Build your portfolio of work
Determine if you want to go to music school or major in something separate
Network with other artists
Consider posting performances on social media to build a following
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Thomas’s Answer

Music school is optional. If you choose to go to music school you really need to give your all if you want it to be beneficial. What do I mean by this? First off- don't just go to classes, ensemble rehearsal, and do your homework. Work on personal projects, interact with your classmates, write as much music as you can or do anything you can to do what you want to do as your career. The most important thing about getting into music is the PASSION. If you think you will lose your passion for music by making it a career then I recommend NOT going into music. For me, music was the one thing that every side of the industry I enjoyed and there wasn't really anything I found as "work" or "tedious". I added steps that are optional but will really help with creating a career in music.

Thomas recommends the following next steps:

Start now- if you write music then share it online. Invest in a music distributor to release your music to every streaming platform.
Don't wait because you don't have the "right equipment". Create with what you have.
Work with others. Create a band or work with artists that have a similar sound to you OR a completely different sound if you want to challenge yourself.
Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. If you play and instrument- practice. if you write music- write a song a day. if you produce- take every opportunity you have to make your music.
If you stop having fun with it- change it up. Don't make music a chore.
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