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Way to a melodious career

No more a hobby

Gone are the days when music was merely considered to be a hobby or a good way to pass time. With the growth of the entertainment industry, music has become a highly respectable and lucrative career option.

In keeping with the overall entertainment boom, the Indian music industry is expected to thrive alongside. Driven by organised music retailing, promotion of music albums on TV, and the Internet emerging as a powerful distribution channel, the music segment is expected to cross Rs 1, 900 crore this year according to a FICCI report.

Music is one of the most profound human achievements. It is a universal sound that can create emotions and express feelings. Talent, genuine interest, sincerity and willingness to work hard can guarantee a big success in the field of music. Having an inborn talent to sing is a wonderful gift. But making a career out of this talent, demands regular devoted practice. Joining an institution and getting trained is one of the first steps towards making a career in music but the main emphasis should be real dedication and commitment.

To launch forth as a professional vocalist or instrumentalist, you need proper training and regular ‘riyaz’ (practice or rehearsal). Traditionally, this begins very early in life under a qualified ‘guru’ so that you can fully assimilate both the theoretical as well as practical aspects of the music. Pop artistes, though are often self-taught. As either vocalists or instrumentalists, musicians have to practice regularly in order to maintain their performance at peak level.

Personal attributes

A person considering a career in music should have a genuine love for music, a musical sense, which means a sense of time and rhythm, besides versatility, creative ability and also stage confidence.

Among the attributes, one that tops the list for a singer is a good voice. Other attributes required for people keen to pursue a career in music include inherent talent, dedication, determination and hard work, creativity and adaptability, teamwork, accept criticism in the right spirit, self-confidence, ambition etc.

If you want to seriously pursue a career in music, you must get professionally trained. A strong professional training will help you to make your space in this highly competitive industry. Make sure to train well for a good number of years to gain confidence and go a long way in your career.

Job Prospects

Talented and qualified persons can find numerous employment opportunities in the music field with the advent of satellite television, music channels etc. Various employers in this area are:

  • Television channels like Doordarshan
  • AIR and private FM channel stations
  • Music channels
  • Government departments of culture and public relations
  • Production houses
  • Music troupes
  • Music research organisations as a musicologist
  • Music companies
  • Educational Institutions, Kala kendras etc.
  • Hospitals as music therapist
  • Newspapers and magazines as music critic or correspondents

There are also many opportunities for self-employment in the form of holding private classes at home or opening a music school or producing and directing independent programmes.

Career Options

Music is an art form that is an inherent part of our culture. It offers a choice of careers mainly in performing and teaching either vocal or instrumental music. The growth of the entertainment industry has opened many new avenues for those who want to seriously pursue their love for music professionally.

Just as there is a wide variety of forms in music like classical, folk, jazz, pop, fusion etc there are also a variety of opportunities in this field.

The electronic media radio and TV offer openings to talented musicians based on their performance in audition. TV and Radio artists may also be signed on for public performance.

Qualified and talented musicians are offered full-time jobs in AIR, DD and in departments of culture. Appointments are made on the basis of educational qualifications and performance in audition and/or screen tests. Certain schools and colleges also offer full-time jobs for music teachers. Professionally trained musicians may also set up their own schools and offer training programmes for different age groups. There is great demand for good teachers.

Today with music getting into the league of big business, there is a list of careers one can choose from in the music industry.

  • Performer (vocal or instrumental)
  • Music teacher
  • Music composer/song writer,
  • Music publisher
  • Music journalist
  • Disc jockeys/ video jockeys
  • Music therapist
  • Music librarian
  • Artist manager/PR
  • Musicologist (research)

Likewise, creators of computer games need composers who can produce original soundtracks. With video and PC game industry turning into money grossers, there is no dearth of demand for hi-fi kids that can compose techno beats. On the technical side, there is a perennial demand for engineers who can handle recording equipment.

Basic qualifications

There is no specific qualification required to enter into this field. However, to take up a course in this subject the basic requirement is 10+2. Courses offered in this area are certificate courses, bachelor courses, diploma courses and postgraduate level courses. Duration of certificate course is of one year, bachelor courses is of three years, diploma and postgraduate level courses is of two years. Many schools and institutions impart training in this field.

Prominent institutions

  • M.S. University, Baroda
  • University of Madras, Chennai
  • University of Delhi
  • Annamalai University
  • University of Bombay
  • Calcutta University
  • Visva Bharati University, Sangit Bhawan, West Bengal
  • Banaras Hindu University
  • Kalakshetra, Adyar, Chennai
  • Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad
  • Bhatkhande Sangeet Vidyapeeth, Lucknow
  • Bharatiya Kala Kendra, Delhi.


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