Musicians, including members of bands and orchestras, perform and record music for live or remote audiences. In addition to classical music or jazz, some musicians may specialize in hip-hop or rock and roll. Along with playing and recording, musicians may also engage in promotional activities or scout out performance locations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2012, California, New York, Tennessee, Florida and Ohio had the highest levels of employment for musicians in May 2012.
Many musicians begin their training in elementary and high school. While a formal education is not required for a career in popular music, aspiring classical performers may benefit from bachelors' degree programs in musicology. Admission requirements can include an audition or an audio recording, after which, students may pursue training in music history, performance and theory. Additional training can be found through fellowships or music camps; master's degrees in music are also available.
In addition to talent, musicians must have the physical stamina necessary to perform for extended periods of time and go on tour. Dedication and discipline are key; interpersonal and promotional skills can also be helpful when it comes to working with other industry professionals and attracting a fan base.
Career and Salary Outlook
The BLS reports that job opportunities for musicians nationwide are projected to increase by 5% between 2012 and 2022, a slower-than-average figure in comparison with all other occupations. An increased demand for musical entertainment is expected to contribute to higher numbers of singers and musicians being hired as backup artists for tours and recordings. In 2012, according to the BLS, musicians earned median hourly wages of $23.50 (www.bls.gov).
A musician usually plays a musical instrument, especially (although not necessarily) as a profession. Musicians can be classified by their roles in performing music and writing music. It's also a person who makes music a profession, anyone (professional or not) who's skilled in making music or performing music creatively, or one who composes...
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