February 29, 2012

Non-Music Clubs & Activities That Can Help Your Music Career

So you want to work in music but feel like there's no way to get experience? Maybe you're stuck in the middle of nowhere or your major isn't exactly related? Or maybe you just feel stuck and need something new for your resume? Here's some ways to find local resources to get hands-on experience related to the music industry without needing to uproot your life.

Even extremely small towns and schools tend to have some sort of written news outlet. If you can, try to get a job, internship, or volunteer position writing for their entertainment department to learn how to cover show reviews and local events. If your local paper is too small to have an entertainment section, any role can really help you get experience. Writing for a paper will help you understand press releases, build your writing skills, and help you build relationships in your area.

I know this is broad, but there are numerous professional organizations with local branches all over the country, both related to music and not. Some music ones to look for include GRAMMY U and MEISA. However, there are more general organizations for marketing, advertising, PR, broadcasting, and nearly every area of business.

Student Activities Board
The name of this organization may vary by college, but many schools have some sort of organization that plans events for the student body. These events may include educational panels, movie screenings, concerts, homecoming, or other university-wide events. Getting involves can get help you learn to plan and run events and, if you're lucky, you may have the chance to work with local or national musicians to plan concerts.

Your School's Theater or Local Venue
Work at even a small theater or coffee shop that hosts local singer-songwriters can help you learn what it takes to plan, run, and promote a show. Your time spent directing freshmen orientation may seem unrelated to the music industry, but major concert venues need people to handle logistics too.

Any Radio Station
Experience at any radio station, even one that only handles talk or news, can help you gain an appreciate for the way the broadcasting world works. So see if your loca area or your school has a radio station. Many major stations don't just offer internships either, many have part time promotion teams that work at events on behalf of the station and allow you to get your foot in the door without much previous experience.

Start Your Own 
If you can't find an opportunity you want, then channel your inner entrepreneur and start you own! You can start you own branch of an existing organization like MEISA, create a new organization, book your own concerts, start your own online radio station, or whatever else. Get creative and find a way to create your own opportunities.

What creative things have you done to gain experience? Do you have other ideas or tips? 

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