August 15, 2016

#MusicMonday // Why I Want to Work In Music

I have not wanted to go into music for as long as I can remember, like so many music majors have. I did not play in a garage band with my friends in middle school or try to manage a bunch of high school-aged musicians. I did not know that this— a career in music— is what I was supposed to do until May of last year, after I had finished my first year of college. For lack of a better, or less cliché expression, I had an epiphany. Sitting in a coffee shop, wondering what I would do with the rest of my life and refusing to accept the dead-end of a nine-to-five desk job, or a curriculum with a corresponding set of careers I wasn't excited about, I asked myself what made me the happiest.

What do I enjoy doing the most? When and where do I feel my best, most myself? I did not really need to think about the answer: at a concert.


Something clicked at that moment. I cannot imagine my life without music, and I have been to enough shows and am active enough in the music community to know that all kinds of careers exist in the industry. Not even just the actual band or the guys who set up the equipment or do the sound. The sheer number of different careers is overwhelming. I knew that all these careers existed, but I was unable to see that it was an option for me, that I could do that, too.

When I finally made the realization, it felt like something had fallen into place. I could work with a band, travel with a band, be a part of it all, even though I'm not a musician (well, not since the 6th grade) or a vocalist. In the back of my mind, I guess I'd always just thought that, to have any career even remotely related to music, you had to be a musician, too. But, as assumptions tend to be, mine was wrong.

I can be a part of something that brings me so much happiness and fulfillment, while helping to make that same experience possible for others. Part of what drew me to pursuing a career in the music industry is that it is an industry that is constantly changing. There are always new bands emerging, new festival lineups, new techniques to be used, and new sounds to be had. There are virtually no limits on the creativity inherent in the business. Why tour management specifically?

I've always loved traveling, and, honestly, even though I know there's nothing glamorous about tour life, I can't shake the appeal. I've been lucky enough to meet and talk with a couple of my favorite bands (even if I couldn't ask them the million and one questions that I have), and they've been so genuine and passionate about what they do. And relationships formed on tour are like no other. The connections you make traveling around the country—or the world— on a bus or in a van with the same group of people just can't rival everyday connections. Not to mention all the new people you'll meet on the road.

I think I'm well-suited to tour manage, at least personality-wise (I'll admit I definitely have plenty of logistics still to learn) and that I wasn't drawn to it by coincidence. It's not something you work up to overnight, but I am so ready to get there however I can (I'd love to start out doing marketing/promo for a venue!).


Last fall, an amazing opportunity fell into my lap. I applied for a curatorial internship at a local museum and walked out with an internship in music programming. My interviewer, and consequently, boss, noted from my resumé that I was a music business minor and asked me a few questions about music. There was no holding back my enthusiasm at that point. She then mentioned that she wanted to refresh the museum's music program and asked if I'd be interested in helping with that. I didn't even have to think about the answer. I walked out of the building with the biggest smile on my face, and it didn't go away even as I got into my car and drove home. 

Over the next six months, I booked three different bands for the museum. I sought out local bands for gigs, initiated and continued contact with the band/band managers, drafted performance agreements, helped promote events, and attended the shows to help oversee setup and make sure everything went smoothly. I met some really cool people through this, and I believe that this was all part of a bigger plan— God's plan— for my life. This experience gave me my first taste of what it would be like to work in music, and I absolutely loved it. It solidified my commitment to the music industry and only reinforced what I thought I knew. Now, I'm looking at two other amazing opportunities come spring and, hopefully, something great this fall and even greater things to come.

Have you had a defining moment in your life when you just knew what your calling was?

2 comments

  1. I love this post! You're a beautiful writer. I realized my passion and purpose when I was 18, just about to go into college. My brother had been sick for a while and I had been looking into religion to answer my questions. I ended up falling in love with it as an academic subject!

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    1. Thank you so much, Sara! That's awesome that you realized that so early on. I definitely believe that my faith/God has led me to pursue what I'm after! :)

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