Getting Started in Music Administration

Getting Started in Music Administration

Susan de Weger
Melbourne, Australia

Getting Started in Music Administration

Question: 

I'm a 20 year old violinist in my 3rd year Bachelor of Music at uni right now, and I'm interested in the different type of music administration career options I could pursue after study, but I don't know where the best place would be to start. Would you have any recommendations of any courses/workshop/career opportunities there are here in Melbourne?

Answer:

What a great question, it’s awesome to read that you are already thinking about your career options and looking to see what skills you will need to create career success. Go YOU! Music administration is a great option, it can be a flexible career allowing time and employer support for you to continue making music. You have a few options, if you are serious about arts management as a professional career then further study to give you the skills required for advancement into management and then executive positions would be a good choice. UoM offers a Master of Arts and Cultural Management degree and there will be other post-graduation options that would be good pathways. For good advice on specific course pathways you can make an appointment to meet STOP1 as they have access to all the course information. If you are not at UoM your university will offer similar academic advice through their student centre.

In terms of fellowships, AYO offer Orchestral Management, Sound Production and Words About Music programs as part of National Music Camp and MSO offer a work experience program.

Volunteering is a brilliant way to get real world experience, and start to develop your networks. Why not choose a community arts organisation who work in your area of interest, maybe an orchestra or a musical theatre group or different arts discipline entirely, and email them with an introduction and offer to volunteer with the administration of this organisation. You never know what could happen! Work experience through volunteering or internship will be a great way to see if this is the right place for you and to work out what skills you will need to develop to meet the requirements of the industry.

How about as a starting point, you tackle a little exercise? Why don’t you have a go at writing a job application for your first job in arts management? There is an old listing here which would be a great template to start with. You can write a cover letter, fine tune your CV to highlight experience and skills that match the job description then prepare a response to the selection criteria that explains in detail how you have done the things they are asking for, or how you have the skills to do this. It takes time and practice to write good job applications, so making a start now while you don’t have the time pressure of a real deadline for a real job is a great exercise. 

If you are a student at UoM, you can book an individual session with the new Entrepreneurship and Career Development program, called IgniteLab who can help you fine tune all your written content for job applications. Just email the link on the bottom of the page. For those not at UoM, your university careers program should also offer individual sessions where they can offer a similar service. If you are not currently studying, ask an adult who works in a professional job to read through your documentation and offer advice on content and layout. Make use of these really valuable resources. Good luck!