Musicians and Singers

Last updated January 01, 2015

What's your dream? To become a hip-hop artist in Los Angeles? A bluegrass fiddle player in Nashville? Or a star soprano with the Metropolitan Opera in New York? Whatever your goal, you'll need top technical skills, talent, stage presence, and a thick skin to put up with the intense competition. While many musicians hope to win a big solo contract with a recording studio or one of the larger record labels, the majority spend most of their time working in ensembles, rehearsing, and performing live.

Musicians and singers play musical instruments or sing as part of a group or solo. Many musicians and singers perform for live audiences, though others play only for recording or production studios.

Did You Know?

Many young musicians and singers pursue work in other countries, where there are more orchestras and opera companies than in the U.S.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Spend long hours practicing
  • Attend regular rehearsals for one or more performance groups
  • Perform solo or as part of an ensemble
  • Work nights and weekends
  • Tour nationally or internationally

It Helps To Be...

A versatile and talented musician or singer who is self-disciplined and able to take criticism. As a professional musician or singer, you’ll also need to be comfortable performing in front of a crowd.

Make High School Count

  • Play in as many performance groups as you can: try everything from symphonic bands and chamber orchestras to choirs and a cappella groups.
  • Take private music lessons in your instrument. If you need financial aid, look to groups like the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, which help out young musicians.
  • Take music theory classes at school or through a private teacher.
  • Attend summer music camps and workshops.

Did You Know?

Many opera companies have apprenticeship programs for young singers who want to develop their repertoire.