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True, the prime significance of music lies in its unison with inner chords of our life, creating a harmony that often translates us from the immediate din and bustle of life to a state of relaxation and enjoyment. But it would be rather novice to say that the significance (or utility) of music ends here. It is rather the beginning point. Apart from all the lengthy speculations as to the utility of music and so on and so forth, music today has turned out to be a great career option. With the immense growth in the entertainment industry, career in music is increasingly turning out to be a lucrative option.
Before approaching any further, let us have a brief look as to what music precisely is. Singing, Instrument Playing, and Dancing - all three of these arts are elements of music. Singing refers to expression of music vocally; Instrument playing means expression of music with the aid of instruments; and Dancing expresses music with the aid of body movements. These three are broadly the fields in which a person can pursue to build a career in music

Nature of Work

A huge range of job options are opened by the three above mentioned fields, namely singing, instrument playing, and dancing. It depends upon the specific interest and capability of the person concerned as to which particular job option sjhe is going to choose in this fast growing industry of music. A very broad categorization of the music related jobs will leave us with :

Besides there are also fast emerging job options that were not considered to be something belonging to the 'main stream' even a few years back. The job of a music therapist is one such that is increasingly becoming a popular means of alternative treatment.


It is only too obvious that anyone who wants to pursue with a career in music should first and foremost have a genuine liking towards music. It is not always mandatory that the person has to be a performer, i.e. a singer, or dancer, or the like. But it is mandatory that the person should be deeply involved with music. Music has to be something that one has a great sense of affinity for. But that is not enough. Else, you will end up with it as a good 'hobby' only.
To build a career in music, you also need to have sound knowledge in the field. For instance, there are various job options that revolve around Recording or Sound Engineering. For that you need to be a qualified person who, besides having sound technical knowledge regarding the recording technicalities also is strong in the theoretical as well as practical aspects of music. Another word of significance: you are suitable for a career in music only when you have this confidence in you that you can stand periods of struggle. Remember it is still not a 'mainstream' job option for the mass, so to say. It calls for that element of metal in you.

Eminent Personalities

India as a country has always had a rich cultural base and music has played an important role in establishing it as a nation with a heritage to boast of. Whether it is the famous Tansen, in the Akbar's court as we read of in history books or the popular A.R Rahman whose cassettes and CD's we come across at every music store, the song composition scene in India has vastly changed over the ages. It is here that we have classical seen music greats like Pandit Ravi Shankar and Bhimsen Joshi and it is here that names like Khayyam and R.D Burman have flourished.

Professional Courses

Music as a career option has increasingly been becoming popular in India. Various colleges and universities all over the country are offering professional courses in music. As a matter of fact, almost all states in India have one or more universities that offer specialized courses on music. Besides there are several music schools that only concentrate on music (unlike the universities where music is only a part of the extensive types of courses on offer) and create students who will fit perfectly in the professional world of music. For instance, Dakshini is an institute in West Bengal, based in Kolkata, which offers course on the various aspects of the songs of Rabindranath. This includes both vocals and the theory of this particular genre of songs. People possessing certificate from this institute, for instance, have high chances of making it big in the professional world; be it as a performer, or some other related job. Courses offered include vocals as well as instrumentals. There are also centers that give certificate on various software courses that are nowadays so vital, especially for the recording chores.
Some of the known professional courses in Music are:
  1. B.Arts (Hons) Music
  2. B.Arts (Visual Art/Music/Dance & Drama)
  3. B.Arts Music
  4. B.Arts in Tabla
  5. B.Fine Arts in Sitar
  6. B.Fine Arts in Tabla
  7. Certificate course in Music
  8. Certificate course in Music & Dance
  9. Certificate course in Music Appreciation & Music
  10. Diploma in Music
  11. Diploma in Sitar
  12. Diploma in Tabla
  13. M.A Music
  14. M.Phil in Music
  15. Ph.D in Music

Colleges, Institutions and Universities

Some of the Music Colleges are:
  1. Akhil Bhartiya Gandharv Mahavidyalay Mandal, Bhramanpuri, Miraj-416410 Maharashtra
  2. Andhra University, Vishakapatanam-530003 Andhra Pradesh
  3. Faculty of Music and Fine Arts, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi-221005 Uttar Pradesh
  4. Indira Kala Sangit Viswavidyalay, Khairaghar-491881 Maharashtra
  5. Kala Academy's Goa College of Music, Panaji-403001 Goa
  6. M.S.University, Baroda, Pushpa Baug, Vadodara-390002 Gujarat
  7. Nagpur University, Rabindranath Tagore Marg, Nagpur-440001 Maharashtra
  8. Punjab University, sector-41, Chandighar-160014 Punjab
  9. Rabindra Bharati University, B.T. Road, Kolkata.-700050 West Bengal
  10. Rukminidevi College of fine Arts-600041, Chennai Tamil Nadu
  11. SNDT Women's University, 1 Nathibai Thakarsey Road, Mumbai-400020 Maharashtra
  12. Sangit Bhavan, Vishva-Bharati, P.O.Santiniketan-731235 Gujarat
  13. Shriram Bhartiya Kala Kendra , College of Music & Dance, New Delhi-110001 Delhi
  14. University of Delhi, Delhi-110007 Delhi
  15. University of Mysore, Crawford Hall, Mysore570005 Karnataka

Career Prospects

Career as a music teacher has become customary with Public and private schools. In the preparatory schools, kids are made to grow a sense of affinity towards singing, playing instruments, body movements and dancing, the act of listening in general, and experimenting with the various music patterns.
The middle, junior, and high schools appoint music teachers for singing, instrument playing, several instrumental as well as choral events, production of musical theatrical events, and the like.
Secondary schools have proper courses on theory and history of music, relation between music and other arts (including the connection between music and literature) which sees a large proportion of music professionals being recruited in the schools as music teachers.
The Higher Educational Institutions have options for music teachers with specialization, such as in Theory of Music, Music history, Literature and Music, Performative Music, Music Composition, Music Therapy, etc.
There are also several music teachers who are Self-Employed. That means, instead of getting recruited in some school or like institutions, they teach privately. Such private music teachers often have their studios at some office building or music store. Many also take to teaching music as a part time career option. However, to be a music teacher one needs to have proper professional training and should posses some degree in the concerned field, preferably from some reputed institute.
Boom in the Entertainment Industry has opened up a wide array of music related jobs. The market today is flourished with so many recording related jobs. Recording a song or some instrumental piece involves so many steps, right from composition of the piece to the post production activities including the marketing aspects. This naturally accommodates so many job options. Audio Engineering, Music Arranging, Music Composition, Recording Engineering, Music Software Development, Conducting, Editing Personnel - the list seems virtually never ending. No wonder, being a professional in this realm of the entertainment is increasingly been chosen by people who are enthusiastic about music.
Music itself has turned out to be a rather encouraging Industry of late. It involves business of various kinds - Wholesale and Retail, Manufacturing, Exporting and Importing, Recording, Publishing, Repairing, Rebuilding, Tuning, and so many and so forth. But one thing needs to be kept in consideration, to thrive and flourish in the music industry one needs to have profound knowledge in music as well as business. Implementation of modern softwares is taking this particular industry to newer heights. Consequently, job opportunities too are on an ever increase, with an equal boom in the job varieties.
The Television and Radio Industry should be mentioned separately in this regard. People who have established themselves as performers or those who have profound knowledge in music have good openings in this field. Career options such as Composition, Production, Scoring, Copyright Handling, Editing, and Licensing are some of the most popular ones in this regard. Huge number of people gets job opportunities in one or the other television and radio stations - the production houses, several post production jobs, and many related organizations who are involved in the task of production and distribution of various sorts of television and radio programs.
There are a lot many people who are not that directly involved with Singing or Playing Musical Instruments but have a great fascination for it. In choosing their career options, such people often go for the flourishing job of a Disc Jockey (DJ), Radio Jockey (RJ), or a Video Jockey (VJ). It would not be an overstatement to say that most of the radio stations nowadays depend a lot on the expertise of the radio jockeys in keeping the audience glued to their radio sets. Same applies for the disc jockeys in terms of the several discos.
Performing in concerts is quite lucrative to especially the young enthusiasts in the field of music. The glamour that is associated with a successful performance artist attracts many musicians (both vocalists and instrument players). But it needs to be kept in mind that such glamour comes only after a lot of effort and toiling. Also, the opportunities for being successful in career in music performance are rather limited. It needs a lot of metal in one to ultimately succeed in this particular field.
One of the oldest and traditional job opportunities in the field of music is Recruitment as a Musician in Church/Temple. This involves both the job of a Music Performer and Music Teacher. Religious institutions mostly employ professionals on a part time basis. However there are some really big congregations that employ full time directors or Ministers of Music. Other than being a quality performer, such a music professional needs to have a good understanding of the various aspects of music such as composition, arrangement, transposing, etc. Besides, it also calls for a good level of familiarity with Theology. The posts that are usually on offer in such a place are that of a Choir Director, Organist, Minister of Music, Choir Soloist, and Liturgist.
Just as there are so many close relationships between music and the various fields of arts (including literature), music has a very close connection with the medical domain as well. Music Therapy provides the medical field with an effective means of pain management. It is increasingly being applied for purposes mostly related to psychological treatment and counseling. Relief from emotional stress, depression, proper emotional release (including self expression), group cohesiveness, creative exploration of the self, body awareness - all effectively employ music therapy with positive results. Music, despite being of a non-threatening and non-invasive character, reaches deep down the psychic level of an emotionally stressed (or similar) person and becomes so effective as an alternative tool for effective pain management. No wonder, this has been drawing the attraction of so many music enthusiasts towards this alternative job opportunity. However, it is needless to say, one needs to have professional medical expertise besides sound knowledge in music in order to choose this career option.
Another career option open to music enthusiastic people is that of a Music Librarian. Music specialists with proper professional training are often recruited by several public libraries and schools. Such people should have knowledge of the library and research oriented techniques. Research, reference works, indexing, cataloging, selection of materials that need to be purchased, community relations, etc. are the key things that a music librarian is expected to do. These days, they are needed to have a first hand knowledge of computer operation so that they can handle computerized information.
Apart from the variety of career options in music described above, there are also other job options. The Musicologists, Architectural Acoustic Consultants, Arts Administrators, and Music Business Attorneys have good job opportunities ahead of them. There also exist recruitment scopes in several newspapers and magazines as Critics. One of the best things about choosing music as a career option is the level of job satisfaction that it provides to countless people. Really, it is something that enthusiasts of music should never let go off them.


Career in music can be highly rewarding in terms of remuneration. But, it is not that easy all the time. As said earlier, one needs to have that metal factor in order to thrive and succeed in this particular field. It is as typical of music as a career option that you spend the first few years without much return in terms of money. But once you find the footing, there is no looking back. Music has traditionally been a very popular art with the Indians. Today it is a premium industry. Naturally, the competition is quite tough. It is true that possessing a certificate in some music course from one of the premium institutes will invariably help one in getting her/him noticed in the industry, but that is only the beginning. To thrive, one has to have the quality and perseverance factor.
When a career in music is being considered, the remuneration figures are difficult to detect since it is largely dependant on the performing artiste and issues related to him or her. In more cases than not how much an artiste will be paid will be affected by his or her popularity, experience and also whether that kind of music has many takers or not

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