Love music and love people? Lesser Known Jobs that Suit Musicians who Enjoy Working with People
One of my dreams as a child was to be a hotel lobby pianist. I longed to play a Steinway in a hotel lobby, allowing my fingers to tinkle the ivories. I’d see which guest was there, make a quick judgment of his mood and personality, and play a song that he’d enjoy. Just to cheer him up. When I was a kid, I would sit at my piano for 6 hour piano marathons, making sure I played a different song each time, in preparation for this dream career. However, my dreams were quickly dashed when my mom told me that it wasn’t the most lucrative or safest job - I’d have to deal with late working hours, people didn’t always appreciate the pianist, sometimes people might get drunk….
A Whole New World Recording Session
I still continue to dream, although a few of my dream jobs have become a reality. Well, here is a hub about possible jobs that aspiring musicians can dream about. Not all these jobs are easy to find or are easy to get. But still, dreams are meant to be kept alive, especially if you are the musician who makes music to connect with people.
1.Voice Acting / Voiceovers
Have you ever heard a commercial or watched a movie where the singing voice of the character was just amazingly mesmerizing? One of the coolest jobs that many dream of is to be the singing voice of an animation character. These voice actors have the power to inspire with their voices, taking their audience and listeners on a fairytale journey each time they sing. Disney songs have actresses like Lea Salonga, Liz Callaway, Mandy Moore who provide the singing voices of their lead princesses. Up till today, these songs continue to bring so much hope and joy to listeners all over the world, who sing these songs in their own language.
Even commercial jingles and advertisements have more influence than we often realize. Singing a short catchy jingle might be one of those cool experiences that feel rather surreal, especially when you hear others singing a jingle about detergent that you might have recorded!
Music Therapy Session
2. Music Therapy
This is a field that is so inspiring to say the least. Music is used to help individuals who have special needs, other health problems such as dementia, or motor coordination skills… this is a newer field of study that is slowly gaining international recognition. Watching music therapy videos on youtube can really be one of the most inspiring things to do – just watching the love and tenderness a music therapist has with their clients… and witnessing the power of music in action.
There are several settings that music therapists work, and each context can be rather different from the other – such as working with children, the elderly, and with at-risk youth…. However, music therapy is a field that people need to go rigorous training in order to gain the theoretical and clinical knowledge and experience in order to practice professionally. If you have a special heart for people in need, and you are musically capable, music therapy is really worth checking out.
Rehearsal for Wicked the Musical
3. Piano Accompanist
Piano Accompanists can be found in school choirs, musical productions, churches, and even in ballet classes. The job of a piano accompanist seems rather straightforward, but good accompanists are hard to find, as there is so much unspoken dynamics that work invisibly in different musical settings.
One less common place to find piano accompanists is in the ballet class. Some ballet schools have live pianists playing music for each set. Working in this setting requires pianists to be well-versed in the dance routines – not the dance itself, but the kind of music that is played, and the boundaries of improvisation they are allowed. Watching a pianist who is playing for dancers can be a really beautiful sight, especially when the pianist and the dancers are accomplished in their art form.
Rehearsal pianists for productions and musicals are often admired and envied. They need to know through and through the music in the entire musical, even though they may not actually be playing in the real musical itself. These pianists have to be especially versatile, as they might have to play a piece of music to make it sound as though the rest of the instruments are playing together. They need to know the audio cues and transitions such that the actors and stage hands are able to sing with accurate timing or push props out at correct intervals.
4. Music Arranger
Music arranging can be a people oriented job when you are arranging for specific musicians in mind. It can be a very rewarding experience if you enjoy composing and arranging, AND if you are working with young musicians or older musicians who need arrangements that are sensitive to their needs and taste eg. Easy fingering, technically manageable music… Whether it is for special music in church, arranging a contemporary Sunday School song in a way that is easy to for children to master, or arranging music for adult learners to enjoy… when people master the music that they need to learn quickly, the joy and satisfaction that you will feel as the arranger will make all that effort and extra time worthwhile. The most memorable situation when this happened was writing a part for an older cello player who wanted to be part of the musician team in a Christmas production. The appreciation expressed and the joy and confidence that emanated from her as she played her part was just amazing.
One drawback about these jobs are that they may not always pay well, and might provide seasonal employment, for the period when classes, rehearsals, competitions… were on. But the intangible rewards from them are beyond measure.
Aside from teaching, these are some of the less commonly featured jobs that musicians who enjoy working with people can check out. Do you have more ideas? Do leave them in the comments section!
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- Tips to Writing a Good Song : Keep the Music Simple
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- How to be a Good Choir Accompanist? Tips and General Guidelines for Pianists working with Choirs
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