Berklee today

JUN 2015

Berklee today is the official alumni publication of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a forum for contemporary music and musicians.

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18 Berklee today Getting That First Job In the third edition of the book How to Get a Job in the Music Industry (Berklee Press 2015), authors Keith Hatschek with Breanne Beseda walk readers through a methodical approach to fnding a way into the music industry. They provide tools for assessing where you will best ft, what skills you will need, and the practical steps that can lead to a sustainable career. What follows is an edited excerpt from chapter two entitled: "Today's Job Market: The Big Picture."* Job Supply and Demand Like all industries, the music industry adheres to the law of job supply and demand. When it comes to jobs and opportuni- ties, the supply of industry jobs falls well below the demand of those wishing to enter the industry. This gap makes every job precious—even those internships that don't pay one cent. It also means that in order to better your chances for success, you have to take advantage of every ethical opportunity to improve your skills and status in the industry. One music industry manager reports that she receives an average of four to fve unsolicited résumés a week. Some of those job seekers follow up with phone calls and express their willingness to work for free as an intern or assistant. This is a time-honored tradition in the music and entertainment feld, a form of paying one's dues to build knowledge and gain con- nections to working professionals that can help advance a fedgling career. The frst reality you'll discover about entry-level posi- tions in the industry is that with many people willing to work for no pay, it makes it harder to get paid. The second reality is that when it comes to succeeding as a performing and recording artist, what now constitutes "success" is vastly different from what it was 15 years ago. Today, fewer art- ists reach the threshold of platinum sales, and album sales have declined more than 50 percent since the advent of fle sharing. New, artist-centric labels are challenging the mo- nopoly held by the major labels for nearly 100 years. Artists and savvy music managers are no longer looking to major la- bels or large management frms to shape their careers. They realize that maintaining control and ownership of their ca- reers and music can allow for a very proftable, yet smaller- scale, business model. It's just these types of artists and managers that are seeking the next generation of do-it-your- self-capable team members. Back in the day, artists needed to sell 250,000 to 400,000 copies of their album to pay off the investment a label made in getting that album out to the public. While superstars such as Beyoncé, Radiohead, Taylor Swift, or Enrique Iglesias may still sell hundreds of thousands of albums, today's industry is realigning to a much more modest model of what success means. Younger artists, schooled in the realities of earlier contracts that made proftability a long shot, are not rushing to sign record deals and the album is no longer seen as the be-all, end-all of the artist's career. From the perspective of a job seeker, this new music in- dustry offers a nearly limitless range of possibilities, especially for those that are prepared to develop and demonstrate their fexibility, ingenuity, and creativity. Those desiring a career in the industry should not only look at careers as recording artists or record producers, but also at the cornucopia of other jobs in the music business. Don't lock yourself into one career trajectory too early in the game. The same skills and passion you've developed for your music can be a tremendous asset in the business side of the industry. Skills not Jobs One of the only constants in the current music industry is that the rate of change is likely to keep up for the foreseeable future. To succeed in such a rapidly evolving environment, one must look at the types of skills that are valued in what is largely transforming itself into a stream of the information economy alongside video gaming, flm and TV, etc. Job- hunting is still a part of your activities, but before you start researching openings, it's essential to understand that to- day's music industry employers are seeking candidates with a range of skills that allow their employees to continually adapt to the changing industry. In 2013, we surveyed music industry employers and asked them what skills, knowledge, and attri- butes were most critical when they were evaluating potential new hires for their companies. We've broken the highest ranking results from that survey down into four broad areas that will capture the capabilities that enable you to be well prepared for a long and successful music industry career. 1. Communication, Interpersonal, and Problem-Solving Skills • Professional written, oral, and presentation skills (net- working skills) • Persuasion or sales skills • Problem-solving and confict-resolution skills • Listening, following instructions, and effectively collaborating By Keith Hatschek with Breanne Beseda *Reprinted with permission of the authors and Berklee Press. Tools and methods for fnding a way into the music industry and a sustainable career

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