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If you have musical talent and some training, you can get music work experience in a variety of ways, but before you attempt to find jobs or internships that might benefit your career, you will need to make some decisions about what types of careers you want to pursue. This will help you determine what types of music work experience will be best suited to your goals, talents, and ambitions. If, for example, you want to play a specific instrument, you might start by applying for an orchestra or band. If, however, you want to become a sound engineer, you can get more applicable experience at a local theater or music venue.
Some jobs in the industry will require you to earn a college degree in music. If you are working toward such a degree, you may be able to get music work experience by discussing options with an academic advisor or a career counseling center on campus. Music teaching jobs, for example, will require you to have a degree in music as well as a teaching certification. In order to get such a certification, you will need to do a teaching practicum in which you get music work experience in a real world classroom. Your college or university should have resources for you that will help you get such experience.
Getting music work experience on the performance end can be a bit more difficult. You can, of course, start a band and play shows in public, though this may not have many practical applications if you intend to make a career in the industry. One way to get good music work experience is to volunteer at a studio as a studio musician, or apply for an internship or even a paying job at such studios. Studio musicians must have a solid understanding of music theory and must be able to play creatively across a wide variety of musical genres.
Sound engineers can get music work experience a number of ways. Volunteering at local theater productions is a great way to get valid experience that can be posted on a resume, as can sound engineering at a local television or radio station. Any media outlet that requires sound engineering will generally have work experience opportunities for people with some training, skill, or education. Make sure you earn any relevant certifications, licenses, or degrees that will make you a more valuable job candidate in your field.
I'd say if a musician wants to get some work experience, he or she should consider performing for religious services. Affiliation with a particular religion or denomination is not necessary a requirement in some cases. Church accompanists learn a lot about the practical applications of music, such as choral performance, solo work and ensemble playing. The job itself is often voluntary, although some larger churches may offer a salary to a dedicated musician.
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