Music As a Career
C/o Lovemusic.co.nz - July 2007
1. A Brief Overview
2. Which part of the Music Industry is for You?
3. The Creative Side - Record Engineering Producing Music Video Directing?
4. The Business Side - Retail Artist Management Touring Crew Public Relations/Media?
1. A Brief Overview
An army of people work on an album.
Making music is both a creative and a collaborative process. In this section we look behind the scenes at the kinds of specialist skills and practical experience needed to do some of the many varied jobs that help musicians and artists attain their vision and get it out to the world. After reading below and deciding what inspires you you can check out the attached links and go for it! * Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand – Audio Engineering Management and Contemporary Music courses
* SAE Institute – Audio Engineering courses
* University of Canterbury – Music and Entertainment / Copyright Law degrees
* CPIT – Business degrees
* NZ Music Managers Forum – A great starting place for up and coming managers
* New Zealand Scholarships – Application for Music scholarships
* Creative New Zealand – VariousCommunity,Music Organisations,Community,Music Organisations,Community,Music Organisations,Community,Music Organisations, Funding for the creative industry including music
* Smokefree Rockquest – Yearly music competition for school aged bands to enter
* Play It Strange – Host of the Secondary Schools Song Writing contest
* NZ on Air – new recording artists grants
2. Which Part of the Music Industry is for You?
There are two sides to the industry: the creative side and the business side. If you enjoy things like writing performing and recording music and you would like to be involved in some stage of the creative process of recording music or making music videos then you fall into the creative side. If you think you would enjoy working in retail band management tour booking tour promotion touring crew venues publishing or at a record label dealing with music as a product then the business side is for you. Further some of these jobs are easier to access at entry level but can be used as a stepping stone to other jobs within the industry.
3. The Creative Side
Common jobs in the creative sector are: songwriter performing artist recording artist (musicians) audio engineer mastering engineer producer and video producer. A musician’s role is obvious but you may not have heard of the rest. These other jobs potentially allow you to be as creative as the musician (checkout soundjunction.org).
(a) Record Engineering
The engineer records the musician’s performances using microphones and recording equipment. This is a job for creative people who love working and experimenting with recording technology to help shape an artist’s sound. The Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand SAE Institute all offer a variety of certificates diplomas and degrees in audio engineering (The Chart Articles,Resources Section has a full list of music schools). These institutions are a great way for anyone to learn the art of engineering music to help them migrate into the music industry. Previous qualifications such as School Certificate and NCEA are needed for entrance into most of the linked courses. MAINZ and SAE have no strict requirements but Universities through New Zealand follow this convention described here.
A producer creates and moulds the sound of an artist’s entire album during the entire recording process in the studio. A producer is given creative right over the sound of the album. This is a job for creative people who can interpret the music and then produce ideas on how to improve and help shape an artist’s recorded music. The Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand offers a strong focus on producing in their Diploma in Audio Engineering as well some other Christchurch audio engineering courses. Of course producing can come naturally by being accustomed to a library of music styles or from the experience of working alongside producers as an audio engineer. (c) Music Video Directing
A music video director is similar to a producer but they put a visual narrative to the music. This is a job for creative people who have a passion to express music visually through video. The CPIT Broadcasting School offer diplomas and degrees in film making which would help shape your visual career in the music industry.
4. The Business Side
Common jobs in the business sector are: retail artist management booking tour promotion PR and Record Company A & R promotion marketing and distribution. (a) Retail
The retail sector covers all means and methods of selling music both physical and digital. Working in a physical format record store is a great way to learn about the music business. Its also the easiest way to get a foot in the door of the music industry. All it requires is a love for music. Regularly visit record stores’ websites and Newspaper Situations Vacant columns to check for available job opportunities: JB Hifi The CD & DVD Store Real Groovy Galaxy Radar Spin Static etc (b) Artist Management
Artist management entails dealing with musicians booking agents promoters concert venues record companies music publishers sponsors and the media – basically everybody else in the industry. You are in some cases an invisible member of the band and are in charge of continuing and elevating the success of the band/s you manage. Experience in artist management can perhaps best be gained by starting off managing a band of friends and developing from there. Marketing business and management studies can give you a good grounding in general management but there is no real prerequisite other than motivation and commitment. For a very detailed summary including audio and video of what being artist manager is like click here. The NZ Music Managers Forum is another great place that you can use to talk to other managers and learn the trade. (c) Touring Crew
Putting on a live show or tour requires the input of many behind the scenes people – more often than not there’s more people “backstage” than on it. The roles include Tour Manager merchandise door person (ticket sellers) security lighting operator stage Tech (sometimes general sometimes particular instrument specialists) rigger and driver. Be aware – most of the backstage jobs involve being first up and last to bed each day!
Michael Coppel – Concert Promoter
Frontier Touring – Concert Promoter
Pacific Entertainment - Concert Promoter
Ticketek – Booking Agent
Ticketmaster – Booking Agent
NZ Music Managers Forum – A great starting place for up and coming managers (d) Public Relations / Media
PR (Public Relations) is a job for an individual who loves to present music and musicians to all types of media. PR involves controlling the media coverage of an artist and promoting and selling the artist their music and their touring. The main two skills a PR representative needs are outstanding communication and written language. For a very detailed summary including audio and video of what being a PR / Promotion rep is like click here. (e) Publishing
Music publishers acquire the copyrights for songs and promote them for financial gain through licensing the rights to record companies advertising agencies film and TV producers and others. They often act as copyright administrators and implement systems to oversee tracking licensing and payment collection efficiently. A good publisher is experienced in all areas of the music business and has a good understanding of industry players and dynamics an ear for a tune and a knowledge of copyright laws.
APRA | AMCOS
Mushroom Music NZ
Native Tongue Music Publishing
Level Two Music Placement (f) Record Companies
Lastly there’s the record companies – the labels that find the artists and music pay to record the music and then have responsibility of distributing promoting and marketing the music. Majors - SonyBMG Universal Warners EMI
Independents - ChCh Labels Independent Music NZ
or talk to the NZ Music Commission. A&R
A&R stands for Artist & Repertoire". The title harks back to the days when a record label's A&R person would find an Artist sign them to the label and "develop" them by selecting the songs they would record and matching them with the right producer engineer studio etc. These days most artists write their own songs and there's a tendency to sign artists that are already at a level where they have a following. A&R reps now mostly concentrate on signing artists and recording with them. Promotion & Publicity
The publicity department arranges for feature stories interviews or album reviews in newspapers magazines and websites as well as pushing for broadcast opportunities including coverage on radio stations and television. Marketing
The marketing department creates develops and implements the overall marketing plan for each of the record label's releases. They also coordinate the promotion publicity and sales campaigns. Distribution
Record labels sell records into physical stores and to on line retailers. major labels handle their own distribution. Indie labels either distribute through major labels or through specialist distributors. A large directory of NZ record labels publishing companies and recording studios can be found on the RIANZ website. C/o Lovemusic.co.nz - July 2007