SXSW took over Austin this past weekend, and we can’t wait to see what great new music rises up to the top! Over the years, the festival has become one of the most important events of the music industry, giving both the opportunity and the atmosphere for aspiring artists to get ahead in the game. Many of today’s top talents were discovered there in past years, including John Mayer and Bon Iver.
Are you ready to join in and share your own talents? If a career in music is in your future, it’s time to get serious. It requires more than just practicing for hours on end in your room – at some point, you’ll need to sit down, set goals and then get yourself out there. Here are 3 essential tips we found on the String Vision website that are worth noting:
1. Commit to the Long Haul
Don’t buy into the myth of overnight success or the lucky break. The idea of being discovered on YouTube, landing a record deal, a manager, and being set-up for long-term success is simply a fantasy. Success is a process and a journey, and you need to be in it for long haul. Getting a lot of performance experience is crucial and most musicians must book their own performances in order to gain the needed experience. So if the next goal is to gain additional performance experience, what can you do about it this week, this month, this year? Long-term career goals are realized through everyday choices about the use of time, talents, energy and money. Whether you’re just starting out or are in midstream, these everyday choices are critical.
2. Clarify Your Intent
So, what exactly is your dream? What is your desired future and your long-term goal? If a fairy godmother were to appear suddenly and bonk you on the head with her magic wand, what would you ask for? Write down your answers. Detail what you plan to be doing professionally. Consider how you want to be involved musically in your immediate community. Be specific and concrete about your future goals, because you will need to think strategically about how to reach them. Write everything down – it will help motivate you to act on your goals.
3. Assess Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Career advancement involves two kinds of work: the internal and the external. The internal work is about self-reflection and assessment. The external work focuses on research and networking. To help with the internal work, think about your strengths, weaknesses and your reputation. For example, how would colleagues and mentors describe not only your abilities music-wise, but your interpersonal skills, teamwork and leadership abilities? Are you known as someone who is easy to work with, who shows up on time and is well-prepared? Ask people whose professional opinions you value, such as coaches or former teachers – and be prepared for honesty. Take time to think it all over carefully. It takes maturity to ask for and to process this kind of critical feedback. Humility and objectivity are called for and these are the characteristics of a committed professional.
What’s the best music career advice you’ve received? What are you doing to ensure your own success? Leave a comment on our Facebook page and join the discussion! Like these posts? Sign up to receive daily updates right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe.
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