Welcome to the 2009 updated online version of the Music Education Directory. Even I can remember how it felt when I was exploring which University I wanted to go to and didn’t even remotely consider whether it could be combined with my passion for music. My two tips as you look through this directory would be:
1. Remember Universities or Colleges want good candidates as much as you want to go to that educational establishment. Go visit and research as much as you can. When considering suitable courses, look at how long they have been established; have they industry visitors or placements; seek out previous graduates and get their feedback.
2. Manage your expectations. They are no guarantees in this world – and certainly none when it comes to employment – especially in the creative industries. Gain as many transferable skills as you can and never turn down the opportunity to actually work (sometimes for free) in the commercial environment you wish to enter as this will give you firsthand experience.
Good luck and I wish you the very best with your education and career.
Currently, 102, 200 individuals ranging from musicians to composers to recording & publishing personnel are employed in the music industry in the UK. Getting a role in the industry or starting something up yourself takes skill, knowledge and talent. So when considering any training for a career in music industry it is important to remember to –
• Identify the element of the music industry in which you are genuinely interested and passionate about. The Industry maps can help provide an overview of the industry and its functions. Also, take a look at the advice and guidance on job roles in music on Creative Choices°.
• If you are still unsure of your direction then you should possibly consider one of the "hybrid" courses which contain elements from one of more areas (e.g. business/creative or creative/technical) and which allow you to specialise later.
• Give yourself the greatest chance of gaining a place on the course of your choice by applying to as many relevant ones as possible (suggest a minimum of 3). NB. Many music courses are generally over-subscribed.
• Gain valuable insight into the nature of the courses you are considering by asking questions, particularly when applying for a specific course. Possible questions include:
1. What level of music industry interaction does the course have (e.g. industry guest lectures, opportunities for work placements, the nature of in-house music businesses, lecturers and staff industry relevant backgrounds)?
2. Can you view the course facilities (i.e. studios, rehearsal rooms, teaching areas, libraries, computer and internet access)?
3. What are the progression routes? Which higher level courses can you enter on completion of the qualification/training?
4. Where have students gone on to (industry organizations/companies/own businesses) after completing the course?
It is true to say that the Music Industry is renowned for its ‘mavericks' who are imaginative entrepreneurs, although not always specifically trained they are still successful. Plus, a qualification from any of the courses listed in the Music Education Directory will not guarantee you a position in the music industry as the vast demand for jobs outstrips supply.
However, the value of the right training and education as perceived by employers is increasing as the skills and knowledge to succeed in a rapidly changing, technology driven, global environment grows ever more necessary to the overall industry’s survival and growth.
There are no easy ways into the music industry but an appropriate education, the right approach and a desire to succeed will give you the best possible start.