The benefits of music and culture in society is widely recognised, yet it’s still often considered a leap of faith to pursue your passion and forge a career in the music and entertainment industry.
This perception couldn’t be further from the truth in an industry with booming employability and growth. For starters, national research has found that the live performance industry alone contributes more than $1.5 billion to the Australian economy and outperforms retail trade, accommodation and food services.
It’s also a myth that you can’t make money – the live music industry alone has created over 65,000 full-time and part-time jobs to the value of $2.2 billion.
Take an average Saturday night in Melbourne for instance – you’ll find around 900 musicians, 740 DJs, 235 production staff and 2,700 venue staff happily employed – not to mention the music broadcasters, journalists, promoters, managers and music educators supporting the industry.
The misconception of a shrinking industry comes from the fallout of the recorded music market, but this was a “blip in the history of music,” explained Program Leader for Audio Production at Collarts, Dr Paul Doornbush.
There has since seen a boom in live music. “There is more live music than ever before – it’s alive and well everywhere from small local venues to giant festivals – which means there is more work for performers, managers, live sound engineers, publicists, and more.”
Every industry needs music
Just as music is part of every facet of our daily lives, it is essential to nearly every industry – from being a mood manipulator in advertising, to creating atmosphere at events. This means that job opportunities for musicians, engineers, publicists and so on are endless.
In addition to the booming live entertainment industry, not-so-obvious opportunities are everywhere from film and gaming sound production, to installation work for fashion shows and even the County Court.
“The opportunities are much more diverse than simply live sound or studio work. People can find their niche, discover what interests them and what suits their personality.”
The infrastructure of the industry is more wide-reaching than we might think, too. Beyond performance venues there are rehearsal spaces, performance training institutions, production companies, logistics and touring companies, promotion, media and more.
Let your entrepreneurial side thrive
Doornbush has experienced first hand the diverse career opportunities within the music and entertainment industry.
One of the most valuable aspects of pursuing a career in music and entertainment is the ability to create the life you want. Doornbush has embraced a portfolio career working as a composer, sonologist, researcher and occasional performer.
Collarts prepares students to seize the varied opportunities within the industry, added Doornbush. “We train students so they can find employment pretty easily … there are opportunities everywhere and we encourage students to seize them.”
Don’t be fooled into thinking you need to leave Australian shores to find work. Even though Australia has a relatively small population and vast distances between capitals, there are just as many opportunities per capita as Europe, explained Doornbush.
“Music is embedded everywhere. Have an open mind and leverage opportunities. Don’t be scared to look around in unexpected places and be entrepreneurial.”
Find out more about starting your career in the music industry with a degree or diploma from Collarts.
Stats and figures from The Economic and Cultural Value of Live Music in Australia 2014 report (PDF 10.2 MB)