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Home » An Ultimate Guide to Careers in Music: Tuning in to Your Passion

An Ultimate Guide to Careers in Music: Tuning in to Your Passion

careers in music

Can the sound of music be sweeter than the smell of money? Are you passionate about music? Do you find yourself lost in the melody and rhythm of a song? If so, then a career in music might be perfect for you! If you choose a career in the music industry, the options will vary from performing in front of an audience to catering to the audio levels behind the console during a performance, including everything in between. 

In today’s digital age, the music industry has evolved significantly, creating new and exciting career paths. From performing on stage to working behind the scenes, many roles in the industry require different skills and expertise. A career in music can offer you the chance to express your creativity, connect with audiences, and make a meaningful impact through your work.

However, pursuing a career in music can be challenging and competitive. It requires dedication, hard work, and a willingness to learn and grow. But, if you have the talent, passion, and drive, you can make a successful career in this field.

So, if you’re ready to learn more about careers in the music industry and pursue your passion for music, then let’s get started!

What does a musician do?

A musician is an individual who creates, performs, and/or records music. Musicians use their talent and skills to produce sounds, melodies, and rhythms that are pleasing to the ear and evoke emotions in listeners. The role of a musician can vary depending on the genre of music and their specific area of expertise. Some musicians specialize in singing or playing an instrument, while others focus on composing, arranging, or producing music.

Following are the roles & responsibilities of a musician- 

  1. Creates, performs, and/or records music
  2. Uses talent and skills to produce sounds, melodies, and rhythms
  3. May specialize in singing or playing an instrument, composing, arranging, or producing music
  4. Performs on stage or in a studio
  5. May perform solo or as part of a group
  6. Works in a variety of musical genres such as pop, rock, jazz, classical, and folk
  7. May work in other areas of the entertainment industry such as theater, film, and television
  8. Composers, arrangers, and producers are involved in the creative process of music production
  9. Works closely with performers, sound engineers, and other professionals
  10. Must have a deep understanding of music theory and technical skills
  11. Must have an ability to connect with their audience
  12. Must have a passion for their craft and a willingness to continue learning and growing as musicians throughout their careers.

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Types of musicians 

There are many different types of musicians, each with its own set of skills and specialties. Here are some common types of musicians:

  1. Singer: A musician who specializes in vocal performance, often accompanied by instruments or backing vocals.
  2. Instrumentalist: A musician who specializes in playing a particular instrument such as the guitar, piano, drums, or violin.
  3. Composer: A musician who creates original music and writes down the notation for other musicians to perform.
  4. Arranger: A musician who takes existing music and creates a new arrangement or adaptation for other musicians to perform.
  5. Conductor: A musician who directs an ensemble of performers, such as an orchestra or choir, in a musical performance.
  6. Producer: A musician who oversees the recording and production of music, working with performers, engineers, and other professionals to create a final product.
  7. DJ: A musician who specializes in mixing and manipulating recorded music to create a live performance.
  8. Songwriter: A musician who writes the lyrics and/or music for songs that are performed by themselves or other musicians.
  9. Session musician: A musician hired to play on recordings or perform live with other artists.
  10. Music teacher: A musician who teaches others how to sing or play an instrument.

Note: These are just a few examples of the many types of musicians out there. Many musicians may also specialize in multiple areas, such as being a singer and songwriter or a producer and arranger.

Why become a musician? 

Becoming a musician can be a rewarding and fulfilling career choice for many reasons. Here are some reasons why someone might choose to become a musician:

  1. Passion for music: Many musicians are driven by a deep love and appreciation for music. They enjoy creating, performing, and listening to music and find it to be a fulfilling and meaningful pursuit.
  2. Creativity: Musicians have the opportunity to express their creativity and unique perspective through their music. They can experiment with different styles, genres, and techniques to create something truly original.
  3. Connection with others: Music has the power to connect people across cultures, languages, and backgrounds. As a musician, you can touch people’s hearts and bring them together through your music.
  4. Career opportunities: There are a variety of career paths available to musicians, including performing, composing, arranging, producing, teaching, and more. With dedication and hard work, musicians can build successful and sustainable careers in the music industry.
  5. Personal growth: Becoming a musician requires dedication, discipline, and hard work. Through the process of learning and practicing music, musicians can develop important skills such as perseverance, problem-solving, and teamwork. They can also experience personal growth and fulfillment as they progress in their musical abilities.

Why career in music in India? 

Fortunate is a man who can earn through his passion. Now, given a choice between working seven hours in a cubicle and earning Rs. 50,000 per month, or performing on a stage three times a week and earning Rs. 20,000 per month, what would you choose? Well, there are only a brave few who tread the road less taken, as the fact of the matter is that a career in music is not considered a lucrative field as compared to other corporate fields for earning.

On the other hand, for those who are into the field of music due to a burning passion that cannot be contained within the walls of a corporate office, you should read the rest of the article carefully. This is because you are among the select few who can walk the lonely road to a place where passion and money are synonymous with each other. There is no doubt that a career in music will be challenging, but here are some of the things that can help prepare you for the path ahead.

As is the case with any field within the realm of passion, there are no prescribed educational requirements that need to be fulfilled to pursue a career in music. The people who usually opt for this field come in from various educational backgrounds and are usually people who find out that they have been doing something that had no significance to them from the point of view of passion.

Skills required to become a musician 

Becoming a successful musician requires a combination of musical talent, technical skills, and personal qualities. Here are some skills that can be helpful for aspiring musicians:

  1. Musical ability: Musicians must have a good ear for music and be able to play an instrument or sing with skill and accuracy.
  2. Creativity: Musicians need to be creative and able to come up with new and interesting ideas for their music.
  3. Technical skills: Depending on their area of specialization, musicians may need to have technical skills such as music theory, sight-reading, music composition, arranging, or production.
  4. Discipline: Musicians need to be disciplined and able to practice regularly to improve their skills and maintain their level of proficiency.
  5. Communication skills: Musicians often work with other musicians, producers, or songwriters, so strong communication skills are essential to collaborating effectively.
  6. Performance skills: Musicians need to be comfortable performing in front of an audience and able to engage with their listeners.
  7. Business skills: Musicians who want to make a living from their music need to have some business acumen, such as understanding contracts, negotiating fees, and promoting themselves effectively.
  8. Passion: Finally, musicians need to have a passion for music and a strong desire to pursue a career in the field. Without this passion, it can be difficult to maintain the motivation needed to succeed in the competitive music industry.

Top Indian institutes for becoming a musician 

Here is a table showing some of the top institutes in India for studying music, along with the courses they offer and their average fees:

Institute NameCourses OfferedAverage Fees
Swarnabhoomi Academy of MusicBachelor of Music, Diploma in MusicINR 11-14 lakhs
KM Music ConservatoryBachelor of Music, Diploma in MusicINR 7-12 lakhs
Furtados School of MusicCertificate in Music Performance, Diploma in Music ProductionINR 50,000 – 1.5 lakhs
True School of MusicDiploma in Music Performance, Certificate in Music BusinessINR 4-6 lakhs
Shankar Mahadevan AcademyCertificate in Hindustani Vocal Music, Certificate in Indian Classical MusicINR 5,000 – 15,000 per course
Global Music InstituteBachelor of Music, Diploma in MusicINR 7-10 lakhs
Eastern Fare Music FoundationDiploma in Music PerformanceINR 50,000 – 1.5 lakhs

Top International institutes for becoming a musician

Below is a table showing some of the top international institutes for studying music, along with the courses they offer and their average fees: 

Institute NameCourses OfferedAverage Fees
Berklee College of Music, USABachelor of Music, Master of Music, Diploma in MusicUSD 44,140 – 50,960 per year
Juilliard School, USABachelor of Music, Master of Music, Artist Diploma in Music, Doctor of Musical ArtsUSD 47,370 – 51,040 per year
Royal Academy of Music, UKBachelor of Music, Master of Music, Artist Diploma in Music, Doctor of Musical ArtsGBP 28,430 – 31,650 per year
Royal College of Music, UKBachelor of Music, Master of Music, Doctor of Philosophy in MusicGBP 23,500 – 33,000 per year
Conservatoire de Paris, FranceBachelor of Music, Master of Music, Advanced Diploma in Music, Doctor of Musical ArtsEUR 500 – 2,000 per year (for EU students)
Sibelius Academy, FinlandBachelor of Music, Master of Music, Doctor of MusicEUR 5,000 – 15,000 per year
Hochschule für Musik und Theater München, GermanyBachelor of Music, Master of Music, Diploma in Music, KonzertexamenEUR 500 – 2,000 per year (for EU students)

Eligibility criteria to become a musician

The eligibility criteria to become a musician in India can vary based on the type of music career you are pursuing. However, here are some general eligibility criteria that are typically required:

  • Education: While a formal education is not always required to become a musician, having a degree or diploma in music can be beneficial. Many universities and music schools in India offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses in music.
  • Skill: To become a successful musician, you must have a strong musical talent, which can be developed through practice and training.
  • Age: There is no age limit for pursuing a career in music. However, it’s important to start training and gaining experience as early as possible.
  • Experience: Experience is an important factor in becoming a successful musician. This can be gained through live performances, studio recordings, and collaborating with other musicians.
  • Specialization: Musicians can specialize in a specific genre or instrument, so having a clear focus on your area of expertise can be beneficial.

Note: some music careers may have additional eligibility criteria, such as physical fitness for performers or knowledge of music production software for music producers. It’s always a good idea to research the specific requirements for your desired music career and work towards meeting those qualifications.

Musician salary in India

In terms of salaries, popular musicians in India can earn a significant amount of money from live shows, endorsements, and royalties. For instance, top Bollywood playback singers like Arijit Singh, Neha Kakkar, and Shreya Ghoshal reportedly charge between INR 10-15 lakhs per song for film projects. They also earn a substantial amount of money from live shows and brand endorsements.

On the other hand, musicians who are starting or who are not yet well-known may struggle to make ends meet. Some musicians work as session musicians or music teachers to supplement their income. According to, the average salary of a music teacher in India is around INR 2.5 lakhs per year. Session musicians can earn around INR 3,000 to INR 10,000 per session, depending on their experience and skill level.

Career progression in music

  • The career growth in university and college states from Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor, Professor, and Professor Emeritus. Professors can also get administrative positions such as Director/Dean/Vice Chancellor, etc.
  • if you are working in a band, you will be a lead instrument player or singer. You may continue to work in the same band or start your own. 
  • If you are working in a music company as a trainee musician, then you will become a musician then a senior musician, and then a lead musician. 
  • In schools, you will start as a music teacher and then become head of the department. You may also move to the administration side later. 
  • If you join as an assistant sound engineer, you may become a sound engineer; then you may be promoted to the senior sound engineer and finally chief sound engineer.

Job opportunities in music

A Bachelor’s Degree in music can open the doors to several opportunities, which can then be used to make it big in the heavily competitive and alarmingly fast-growing music industry. Here are some of the job opportunities or titles that one can claim after earning a degree in music:

  • Music Teacher
  • Music Therapist
  • Sound Technician or Sound Engineer

On the other hand, here are some job profiles where you can be benefitted heavily if you possess a degree in music;

  • Radio producer
  • Event Organizer
  • Band Manager (degree in the art entertainment industry)
  • Community arts worker
  • Arts administrator
  • Theater stage manager
  • Disco Jockey


The music industry in India has been growing rapidly in recent years, with a diverse range of genres and a huge audience base. Musicians in India have the opportunity to make a decent living if they have the right skills, talent, and perseverance. However, the salaries of musicians in India vary widely depending on several factors such as experience, genre, location, and popularity.

According to a report published by the Indian Music Industry (IMI) in 2019, the music industry in India was worth approximately INR 12.2 billion, and it was expected to grow at a rate of 15% annually. The report also revealed that digital music was the biggest contributor to the industry’s revenue, accounting for around 80% of the total revenue.

Whether you’ve already planned a career in it or just starting to dip your toes in the thoughts of it, allow us to make it a bit easier for you. Hope we have served you enough! Still, got questions? Why don’t you connect with our industry experts? Yes, you read it right! You can get your queries resolved in just 60 seconds from our Career counselors. So, what are you waiting for? Download the iDreamCareer app now! 

iDreamCareer always believes in helping young minds discover their true mettle. We try to help young confused minds from 9th class10th classclass 11, and class 12 with an aim to select their most-suited career choices.

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What are some career options in music?

There are many career options in music, including performing as a musician, teaching music, composing music, producing music, sound engineering, music therapy, and music journalism.

What qualifications do I need to pursue a career in music?

The qualifications required to pursue a career in music depend on the specific field. For example, performing musicians may not require formal education, but a degree in music or a related field can be beneficial. Music educators typically need a degree in music education, and music therapists need a degree in music therapy.

How do I get started in a career in music?

To get started in a career in music, you can begin by developing your skills as a musician or composer, building a portfolio of work, and promoting your work on social media and through live performances. You can also network with industry professionals, such as record labels, producers, and talent agents.

How much money can I make in a career in music?

Salaries in music vary widely depending on the specific field, experience, location, and other factors. Some musicians and music producers can make a significant amount of money through royalties, endorsements, and live performances, while others may struggle to make ends meet.

Do I need to be famous to have a successful career in music?

No, you do not need to be famous to have a successful career in music. Many musicians and professionals in the music industry have successful careers without being well-known to the general public. Success in music can be defined in many different ways, such as financial stability, artistic fulfillment, or the impact on the industry.

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2 thoughts on “An Ultimate Guide to Careers in Music: Tuning in to Your Passion”

  1. This is a interesting article by the way. I am going to go ahead and save this article for my sis to read later on tomorrow. Keep up the first-rate work.

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