Musicians compose, sing, or play music. They might perform solo or as part of a group. They perform in sound studios and on stage. They also perform on television and in movies. Some musicians go on concert tours, traveling all over the United States and the world. However, not all their time is spent performing for audiences. Musicians and singers also spend a lot of time practicing and rehearsing. Other music jobs include music directors who might lead choirs and other musical groups. Arrangers change the style of music by turning a country song into a rock and roll song, for example. Composers create new music.
Pay: Earnings depend on how popular a performer is. But musicians often have to hold down other jobs while they're building their careers.About 50 percent of musicians, singers, and related workers work for themselves. They are usually paid for each performance or recording. Their earnings vary greatly and depend on how many jobs they can get. Other musicians, singers, and related workers work for organizations for a set amount of pay. In May of 2008, these musicians had average hourly wages of $28.28.
Training: You need musical talent to be a musician or singer. People who become musicians often learn how to play an instrument at an early age. Some of the most popular instruments are the guitar, piano, and drums. It helps any musician to learn to play more than one instrument. Many songwriters now write music on computers, so technical skills are handy. Also, skills in choreography or dancing are sometimes useful for musicians. To start getting ready for this job, you could join a school band or choir or perform in a school musical. Many community centers and art centers also have bands or choirs. You could also sing or play music with friends. It helps to take every chance to appear in front of people. You may be able to perform at parties or other events. Musicians and singers have to be comfortable performing on stage in front of lots of people.
Citation: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Recreation Workers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/k12/music06.htm
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