Most people think a career in music entails a life of performing on stage. While that’s true for certain music careers, many don’t require performing at all! If you love music but aren’t interested in a job with an audience, here are just a few career pathways you could take to remain in the realm of music. 

Marketing and Communications: The Engagement Experts

Like most art forms, music is best shared with others, and the marketing and communications team makes sure there are people to share it with. Generally, the marketing and communications department is meant to promote brand image and visibility, stir up public interest, build brand loyalty, and drive community engagement using a strategic combination of traditional and digital media. For non-profit organizations like orchestras and youth orchestras, success could mean meeting ticket sales or donation goals while a music school’s success would be measured in enrollment rates. Music lovers who are also interested in social media marketing, promoting, networking, and creating content may find their footing on this career path!

Laura Young, a member of our public relations team at Becker Communications, was drawn to PR because of her “passion for storytelling and fostering connections,” and she loves being part of the PMI PR team because she gets to learn about and share the stories of how music is changing the lives of kids all over Hawaiʻi. “Having been in band throughout middle and high school myself, I understand and appreciate the lifelong impact of music education,” she states. “I have found that every lesson I’ve learned through music—from artistic expression to time management—has supported my growth in my career as a PR professional.”

Administration: Masters at Efficiency

Behind every successful music organization is an administration team—made up of general managers, operations managers, project coordinators, and more—that keeps things running efficiently! Administrative responsibilities include managing staff and faculty members, coordinating day-to-day operations and large events like concert performances, and even monitoring legal & accounting practices. Since they’re often required to take on multiple roles and diverse tasks depending on the needs of the organization, admin team members are flexible, well-organized, and handle their work with great attention to detail! Administrators who are musicians themselves have the unique perspective it takes to make sure the organization runs smoothly for everyone. “As a member of HYS/PMI’s admin team, I have the incredible opportunity to shape Hawaiʻi’s premier summer music education experience,” says PMI General Manager Jeremy Lawi, who’s a substitute percussionist for the Royal Hawaiian Band and Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra as well as a member of a local ska band!

Don’t put yourself in the box

“Throughout my years in concert and marching band, I learned a lot about collaboration, taking pride in my work, preparedness, perseverance, discipline, leadership, and handling my emotions. Demonstrating these skills not only got me my current job, but continuously helps me to thrive in the workplace every day.” — Laura Young, member of the PMI PR team

One of the best things about music education is that it equips you with skills that translate into many careers, especially music careers. So don’t be afraid to try out new things or explore different career options! “Starting with piano lessons in my youth and percussion in middle school, I realized my calling for a career in music during college,” says Jeremy. Aside from being our general manager, Jeremy is also a music teacher at Mid-Pacific Institute. “Balancing my role as an administrator with being a classroom teacher has given me a deep understanding of the faculty’s needs and importance.” 

Music Education: Shaping Future Musicians

If you have a knack for working with children or teens, consider a career in music education! With the right certifications, you can teach music up to the K-12 level at public schools, private schools, music academies, or even your own studio. As music is such an essential part of every child’s education, there will always be a need for more music educators who are passionate about shaping the next generation of musicians. That’s why we’re so grateful to have such dedicated educators in the PMI community! 

You can teach AND perform!

If you enjoy performing but want another career, consider becoming a teaching artist—professional musicians who have dual careers as music educators. That’s what many of our faculty members are! “To be a well-rounded teacher, I feel it’s important to stay active and perform as an artist,” says PMI violin clinician Dr. Helen Liu. “I stay connected to the community by being present whenever I perform and teach.” Dr. Helen uses her teaching and performing experience in her work as the Education and Community Engagement Coordinator for local music organization Chamber Music Hawaiʻi, where she coordinates performances across the Islands to promote an appreciation and understanding for chamber music.

Audio Engineering: Capturing the Music

Also known as sound engineer or sound technicians, an audio engineer’s main job is to combine their technical skills and various audio engineering programs to ensure the best sound quality! Sound engineers are in charge of the mechanical and technical aspects of sound, like recording, mixing, and producing music. There are many types of audio engineers, each with their own specializations: live sound engineers work at live events, studio engineers collaborate with or double as music producers while game and audio design engineers deal with the sound effects and music in video games. If you’re an audiophile who’s creative and detail-oriented, this may be just the career for you!

A Good Mentor Can Help!

Having an experienced mentor can make all the difference when making important decisions about your future! Read more about the importance of good mentors in your music journey here.