7 Careers in Music Your Kids Might Love

So, your child has discovered a love for music that might one day fuel a successful, fulfilling career. But, aside from following the well-known paths of music teacher or performer, you’re not exactly sure how that love can translate into a paying job. After all, not everyone makes a career performing or teaching music. So how can those music lovers find a way to align their passion with their career?
Fear not! Music education opens the door to far more job options than you may think at first glance, and exciting ones at that. Advances in music technology — which have affected the way music is produced, performed, bought, and shared — have created countless avenues for budding musicians to follow. Developments in psychology and neuroscience have impacted the industry, too. As we continue to understand how the brain functions and the way music affects it, we learn more about how to use this incredible medium to our advantage.
The modern era is a remarkable time for music education and creative career opportunities. We’ve compiled a list of 7 music-related careers that could be just the inspiration your child needs to pursue a career in the arts that is both fruitful and fulfilling!
1. Audio EngineerAs one of the most diverse career options in the industry, audio engineering covers a range of jobs that handle the technical aspects of sound during the recording, mixing, and reproduction process. Live audio engineers, for example, ensure sound quality at live concerts and other events; a systems engineer may set up the entire sound system for the event, and manage both the live engineer and the monitor engineer — the person who makes sure musicians can hear themselves playing or singing at the event.
Other audio engineers work in-studio, mixing tracks, recording songs, or even adding sound to video games. In all instances, a bachelor’s degree in audio engineering is the preferred accreditation, although vocational certificates can also be obtained.
2. Music TherapistWith healing potential for the mind, body, and spirit, music therapy represents an exciting and fairly new career avenue — definitely worth considering for musical children with a desire to help others. Music therapy can be used in a clinical setting to treat issues such as emotional trauma, speech and language impairments, substance abuse, and developmental disabilities. Outside of the clinical setting, it has a wide range of other applications, including working in the field with geriatrics or children.
Music therapists must complete a bachelor’s degree in music therapy, and 1,200 hours of clinical training that includes a supervised internship. They must also pass a certification exam to obtain the MT-BC credential necessary for professional practice.
3. Instrument Repair and Restoration SpecialistIdeal for the technically-minded musician, instrument repair is perfect for music lovers who just need to know how things tick. A repair and restoration specialist fixes instruments for musicians of all kinds, from professional performers to beginner students, and may work for an instrument shop or be self-employed.
In either instance, an apprenticeship is the recommended path for starting this career, as it is a hands-on and highly skilled job, requiring many hours of practice. Few academic programs can match the expertise an established repair technician can offer new learners. Repair specialists should have strong performance skills, so they understand the needs of professional musicians and the quality of sound they’re seeking. They should also be willing to repair across a range of instruments — not just those they can play themselves.
4. PhysiotherapistThis might seem like a strange one, but as a result of their hours of repeated movements and postures, musicians are highly prone to repetitive motion injuries. From chronic neck and back pain to more serious issues — such as tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and bursitis — a physiotherapist trained to work with musicians has the opportunity to treat a range of pains and injuries. Physiotherapists also teach preventive measures, giving musicians the right knowledge and techniques to keep their bodies healthy and functioning, especially in accordance with the particular risks of their instrument of choice.
5. Video Game Music ComposerIs your music-loving child also a video game fanatic? Young gamers with a passion for music may have no idea that their two favorite things can actually be combined and harnessed into a dream career. Video game composers create evocative musical scores and individual character themes for games, tapping into the emotions of the gameplay to create their composition. (This usually means that you have to be able to play the game, of course.)
Perhaps more exciting still, this career requires no specific accreditation — an aptitude for composition, a love for music, and an understanding of gaming tropes and genres are the main requirements here. Being a self-starter is also essential, as jobs are found primarily through self-promotion and networking.
6. ConductorRequiring highly advanced performance and theory skills, a conductor can work in a range of settings, from professional orchestras and musical theatre groups to college, community center, and youth ensembles. Conducting is an immersive, creative profession that will allow your child to live and breathe music, working with and learning from exceptional musicians every day.
An undergraduate degree in music performance is recommended to pursue this path, along with courses in orchestration and composition within that degree. A graduate program in conducting would also be beneficial, or courses in music education, which will provide a general knowledge of most instruments.
7. Music Critic/ReviewerIf your child loves seeing live music and has a talent for writing, perhaps consider the career of a music critic. Employed by newspapers and blogs or working freelance, critics review performances and albums and interview musicians. This is a great outlet for anyone who appreciates the task of analyzing techniques used in composing and performing music or enjoys the creative challenge of putting a musical experience into words.
While no specific degree is necessary to get into the field, many music critics have a background in either English or Journalism. With or without a degree, however, a critic should be immersed in music culture as much as possible; attending shows, reading blogs, researching bands, and — of course — listening to music, and lots of it!

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