Explore how you can work in Music

Choose your course

Why study Music?

  • The UK is the world’s most competitive and diverse digital music market, with around 50 legal services catering for all different kinds of music fan
  • There are 7,480 music businesses based in the UK and the industry contributes £3.5 billion annually to the economy.
  • There were 39,034 full time jobs in the UK sustained by music tourism during 2015.
  • 30.9 million people attend music events each year!

Start your Career in Music Performance

  • IS IT FOR YOU?
  • WHAT CAN I BE?
IS IT FOR YOU?
  • Music will probably be your main passion and you will need to have invested time into learning to play an instrument or developing your voice.
  • If you are a music performer then you are likely to be self-employed. Being self employed means you will need to deal with business matters. Is this something which would suit you?
  • Being an original artist is a role where you can really express your creativity. However, many artists have to compromise in order to gain income from their music. Record labels will often put pressure on artists to be more commercial.
  • If you are a session musician, or working in a tribute act, the emphasis is on musicianship and on creating professional convincing performances.
  • If you are in a group, then teamwork skills are essential. It is also important that you are able to communicate effectively with support staff, such as sound engineers, producers and management.
  • The industry is very fast moving with constant technology developments, especially in relation to how people consume and experience music. You need to be a quick learner and enjoy learning new skills.
  • Music performance artists need to be prepared to gig and tour. This means working in the evenings, sometimes far away from home. It also means lots of travel and staying in cheap accommodation, or tour buses. Is this something which will suit you and your family/relationships?
WHAT CAN I BE?

Original Artist

You are an artist creating, recording and performing songs for public release. As well as creating music, you will also need to build your artist image, brand and develop your fanbase. Unless you are a signed artist with management, you will need to undertake your own promotion, so a good head for business is really useful.

Session Musician

You are a freelance musician who is hired to play on recording sessions or live gigs for artists or for
commercial uses with business / brands. Session musicians are not permanent band members, which
is great if you like to mix your music performances up!

Soundtrack Artist


You are an artist creating music for adverts, film and TV. Media has a constant thirst for new music to promote brands, or to provide music in videos and films. You will create tracks and license these, probably via an agency, from whom you will get fees and royalties when your tracks are used. Here the emphasis is on creating music which will have commercial appeal to clients, so the criteria is very different to an original artist, who is creating the music they are passionate about.

Music Teacher


One way in which many musicians supplement their income is via freelance teaching and instrument tuition. There are always going to be those who want to play the guitar, keyboard or drums. You will need to have excellent communication skills, be well organised and have lots of patience.

Start your Career in Music Technology

  • IS IT FOR YOU?
  • WHAT CAN I BE?
IS IT FOR YOU?
  • You will need to love how music can be created and manipulated by technology. You will be someone who is into the latest software and hardware releases. You will be someone who lives to create and process music using tech.
  • Many job roles relating to music tech suit self-employment, from producing and remixing tracks through to live sound. Being self employed means you will need to deal with business matters. Is this something which would suit you?
  • Artist roles, such as being a dance music producer or a DJ, are very creative.
  • If you are interested in a non-artist role, such as sound engineering, then people and teamwork skills are very important. It is essential that you are able to communicate effectively with promoters, musicians and DJs.
  • The industry is very fast moving with constant technology developments, so you need to be a quick learner and enjoy learning new skills.
  • Working hours can often be unsociable, going on late into the night. DJs and PA crews may not finish work until the early hours.
WHAT CAN I BE?

Music Producer

You are an artist creating tracks for public release. As well as creating great music, you will also need to build your artist image, brand and develop your fanbase. Unless you are a signed artist with management, you will need to undertake your own promotion, so a good head for business is really useful.

Soundtrack Producer


You are an artist creating music for adverts, film and TV. Media has a constant thirst for new music to promote brands, or to provide music in videos and films. You will create tracks and license these, probably via an agency, from whom you will get fees and royalties when your tracks are used.

Record Producer


You are the person responsible for realising an artist’s work into a recorded format, such as a single or album. You will have an excellent knowledge of the recording process from micing up instruments and acoustics, through to mixing, post production and mastering. You will also need to have great people skills to get the best work out of artists.

Live Sound Engineer

You are in charge of live sound at an event, making sure that the audience and artist get the best experience possible. At smaller events you may be working on your own, setting up the PA and micing up and mixing the acts. At larger events you will be working as part of a team. This may include front of house mixing, monitor mixing and stage work (micing and DJ requirements). You will need to have good people skills for working with artists and promoters, as well as excellent tech and problem solving skills.

DJ

You are in charge of playing music at club nights and events. Being a DJ can vary from DJing at local events, such as functions and clubs, up to being a DJ playing at top international clubs and festivals. You will need an excellent knowledge of music in your genres, good DJ tech skills and know how to work a crowd.