String Performance

String Performance

Performance

Employers

  • Orchestras:
    • Philharmonic, symphony, and chamber
  • Armed Forces bands and orchestras
  • Small ensembles
  • Rock or jazz groups
  • Dance bands
  • Concert soloist
  • Clubs and restaurants
  • Community choral groups
  • Opera companies
  • Musical theaters
  • Ballet productions
  • Recording industry
  • Radio, television, and motion picture industries
  • Cruise lines
  • Amusement parks

Strategies

  • Develop musical talent and skill.
  • Obtain formal training to acquire necessary skills, knowledge, and ability to interpret music.
  • Demonstrate ambition and showmanship.
  • Join campus bands and choruses, church choirs, and other performing acts.
  • Seek competitions, apprenticeship programs, and workshops to gain experience and recognition.
  • Be aware of and participate in open mic nights.
  • Auditions are generally required to join bands or get jobs.
  • Create a demo recording to submit agents or music companies.
  • Network with people in the industry to learn about potential jobs.
  • Opportunities are very limited. Most performers have other careers.

Education

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Private lessons

Employers

  • K-12 schools, public and private
  • Colleges and universities
  • Conservatories
  • Daycare centers
  • Recreation centers
  • Children’s music programs:  franchises, local
  • Studios
  • Self-employed (private instructor)

Strategies

  • Acquire teaching certificate for public school teaching. Learn about requirements by state.
  • Earn a graduate degree to teach in higher education. Specialize in an area such as music theory, composition, music history, etc.
  • Performance skill on one instrument or voice is required.
  • Gain experience working with children through volunteer or part-time work experiences.
  • Join the National Association for Music Education as a collegiate member.
  • Develop business relationships with schools and/or music stores to increase client base.

Conducting

  • Directing
  • Planning
  • Leading
  • Musician Selection

Employers

  • Orchestras:
    • Philharmonic, symphony, and chamber
  • Armed Forces bands and orchestras
  • Various bands
  • Opera companies
  • Musical theater companies

Strategies

  • Develop superior musicianship and leadership.
  • Acquire extensive experience in performing groups.
  • Develop advanced site-reading skills.
  • Learn other languages such as French, German, Latin, and Italian.
  • Gain acceptance into a conductor-training program or related apprenticeship.
  • Opportunities are extremely limited.

Composing / Arranging

  • Composing
  • Arranging

Employers

  • Self-employed
  • Record companies
  • Publishers
  • Muzak
  • Motion picture and television industries
  • Production companies
  • Orchestras:
    • Philharmonic, symphony, and chamber
  • Opera companies
  • Musical theater groups
  • Ballet troupes
  • Broadway

Strategies

  • Knowledge of composition, harmony, arranging, and theory are important.
  • Skill on one or more instruments and voice are necessary. Play an instrument in a professional arena.
  • Become familiar with all types of music productions.
  • Learn how to use electronic instruments and synthesizers.
  • Develop computer and desktop publishing expertise.
  • Attend music conferences and workshops.
  • Seek grants and awards through foundations (e.g., National Endowment of the Arts).
  • Very few musicians earn living through composing.

General Information

  • Majoring in music provides students with a sense of aesthetics and an understanding of human expression valuable to many employers.
  • Develop competencies in business management, computers, marketing, or other areas to broaden range of employment possibilities.
  • Finding positions in the music industry requires a combination of talent, training, connections and some luck. Perseverance is required!
  • Develop a variety of skills. Become “multitalented.”
  • As an undergraduate, gain as much experience as possible, paid or unpaid, through college and local organizations. Seek internships or volunteer positions with relevant organizations.  Audition with local musical groups, choirs, or orchestras.
  • Confidence, personality, a positive attitude, and a love of music are important to success in many arenas of music. Learn basic tools of self-promotion.  Create a YouTube channel and post performance videos.
    Some jobs may require you to join unions or guilds. Research the industry to learn which ones are appropriate.
  • Performers often travel frequently and must be flexible regarding their work schedules.  It is important to consider how this will fit with your work and lifestyle values.
  • Conduct information interviews with people who work in the industry.  Attend related professional conferences or events to network.

Professional Associations

Occupational Outlook

Related Resources

Employment Opportunities