Musicians write, arrange, conduct, and perform musical compositions.
Musicians may do some or all of the following:
- play a musical instrument or sing to a high standard
- study and interpret music
- accompany singers and other soloists
- compose or conduct songs or instrumental music
- promote and market themselves or their band
- perform in public places such as bars, concert halls and clubs
- audition for parts in musical productions
- make or take part in recordings
- teach music
- research, learn and rehearse music.
Useful experience for musicians includes:
- playing and composing music
- performing to an audience
- participating in music competitions
- reading and interpreting musical scores
- private or community courses in music
- teaching music
- marketing or promotion work.
Musicians need to be:
- punctual and reliable
- able to work well under pressure and accept criticism
- able to work well in a team if rehearsing and performing with a group
- dedicated to practising
- able to keep time
- confident about performing in front of large groups
- persistent and determined
- good at working with people and building relationships
- willing to promote themselves to people such as club owners and agents.
Musicians need to have knowledge of:
- how to play musical instruments
- acoustics and tuning
- how to compose and arrange music
- recording methods and equipment
- vocal and performance techniques, and correct breathing methods
- basic music theory
- business and marketing principles
- the New Zealand music industry.
Musicians may work:
- long and irregular hours, including evenings and weekends
- indoors or outdoors in places such as theatres, clubs and concert halls
- in conditions that are noisy, dark and hot
- locally, around New Zealand, and overseas.
There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a musician. However, English, music and languages are useful.
Musicians may move into music therapy, education, publishing, promotion, and production roles.
Musicians can specialise in a number of roles, including:
- Composers create new music or rewrite existing music for bands, orchestras, singers, plays or films.
- Conductor/Music Director
- Conductors and Music Directors direct the performance of musicians in an orchestra, vocal/choral ensemble, band or musical performance.
- Instrumental Musician
- Instrumental musicians play one or more musical instruments as part of a musical composition.
- Singers perform as soloists or as part of a group to entertain an audience.
- Songwriters write music and lyrics for songs, either for themselves or others.
Years Of Training
There are no specific requirements to become a musician. However, a tertiary music qualification may be useful, for example:
- a jazz performance degree is useful for becoming a jazz musician
- a degree, such as a Bachelor of Music, may be useful for becoming a classical or contemporary musician.
Musicians also gain skills on the job through practice, training, rehearsals and performances.