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Exploring Music Work Experience Opportunities for TY Students


I've received numerous inquiries from parents and students regarding the types of work experience available in Transition Year (TY) for those interested in pursuing a career in music. This can be particularly challenging for parents without prior experience in the music industry. The world of music may seem mystical, but it's not as daunting as it appears. In this blog post, let's explore various job options available to TY students who have a passion for music and want to gain valuable work experience.

Before You Begin

Before delving into the opportunities, it's crucial to determine your specific area of interest within the music industry. Here are some steps to get you started:

Pick an Area of Interest: Identify the aspect of music that fascinates you the most.

Research Career Paths: Explore the career path associated with your chosen area.

Connect with Local Experts: Reach out to professionals working in your area of interest.

Meet and Discuss: Set up meetings with these professionals to gain insights into potential career paths.

Areas of Interest

Now, let's explore some possibilities and what you can expect from each area of interest:

Musician: Full-time musicians typically perform in bands, groups, or orchestras. Income can vary, with some earning on a freelance basis, others as part of cooperative ventures like wedding bands, and some receiving a salary (e.g., orchestra members). There are also niche roles such as pit work for musicals and session work in recording studios.

Event Management: Event management roles involve organizing music events, including hiring venues, booking bands, selling tickets, and generating profits. These roles can vary, from entrepreneurial event organizers to stage crew members or road crew positions with touring bands.

Recording Engineer: Working in a recording studio, you can offer your services to musicians looking to record. Assistant roles often provide a learning opportunity. Recording engineers often run their own studios as entrepreneurs, while studio engineers, mixing engineers, and mastering engineers typically work on a freelance basis.

Composer: Composers write music for various purposes, including personal projects, video games, films, or advertisements. This role can be entrepreneurial, with freelance opportunities prevalent in the industry.

Teacher: Music teachers can work in music academies, either as freelance or contracted instructors. Similar positions are available in private schools, and you can teach privately or establish your music academy as an entrepreneurial venture. For a salaried teaching position in a school, a Higher Diploma may be required, while third-level positions often require a Master's degree.

Gaining Real Experience

If any of the above areas pique your interest, consider taking the next step to gain practical experience during your TY module. It's important to note that jobs in the music industry are rarely 9-to-5, so flexibility is key. While other students may have regular office hours, you may need to work evenings, weekends, or unconventional hours. Here's how to proceed:

Performing: Consider participating in your school's musical band or offer assistance to a local school using live bands. This can be a rewarding experience and may even lead to opportunities with large touring productions.

Event Venues: Explore work in live music venues like the Button Factory, the 3 Arena, Bord Gais, or local venues. Opportunities may include working at the ticket desk, backstage, or in their office.

Recording: Reach out to local recording studios like Camelot Studios, Windmill Lane or Hellfire Studios and inquire about a week of work experience.

Teaching: Contact local music academies to observe music teachers in action, work at the desk or office.

Writing/Composing: Approach organizations like The Nucleus or musicians to discuss songwriting and observe the creative process.

Session Work: Consider contacting RTE to inquire about observing live bands during shows like the Late Late Show Band or RTEs Arena, where artists promote their albums.

Rockjam: Explore opportunities for shows, workshops, jam sessions, recording sessions, and various behind-the-scenes tasks.

In Conclusion

Exploring work experience in the music industry during TY can be a rewarding journey. It's essential to be proactive and flexible, as music-related careers often require unconventional hours. Communicate with your TY coordinator to make the most of these opportunities. Remember, early networking and exposure can pave the way for a successful career in the diverse world of music.

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