Non-Traditional Career Paths for Classical Musicians
Updated: Jan 19
As a classical musician, it can be easy to feel like the only career path available is to perform as a soloist or in an orchestra. However, there are many non-traditional career paths that classical musicians can pursue, allowing us to use our skills and training in unique and rewarding ways.
Photo by: Heshini Goonasekera
1. Pedagogy & Education
One option for classical musicians is to develop your own pedagogical ideas for your instrument and become a teacher. This could involve teaching private lessons, leading a school music program, or even teaching at the university level. Teaching can be a fulfilling career for musicians who enjoy sharing their passion for music with others and helping students develop their skills.
2. Recording Artist
Classically-trained musicians are also a great fit to record parts for film and video game scores, as well as samples for other genres of music. There are also opportunities to do this remotely if you invest in the right equipment.
3. Music Business
Another non-traditional career path for classical musicians is to work on the business side of the industry. This could involve working as a music agent, managing a music venue, or even starting a music production company. Musicians with a business mind and an entrepreneurial spirit may find this type of career to be a perfect fit.
4. Music Therapy
Classical musicians can also use their skills and training to work in the field of music therapy. Music therapy is a form of therapy that uses music to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. Musicians who are trained in music therapy can work with a variety of populations, including children with special needs, seniors, and people with mental health conditions.
5. Arts Administration
Another option for classical musicians is to work in arts administration. This could involve working for a performing arts organization, managing a music festival, or even starting their own arts organization. Musicians with a love for the arts and a desire to make a difference in the world may find this type of career to be particularly rewarding.
6. Music Journalism
Finally, classical musicians can also use their skills and training to work in music journalism or music criticism. Musicians who have a strong background in music theory and music history can write articles and reviews for various arts publications, and even branch out to other mediums such as documentaries.
No matter what career path you choose, it's important to remember that there are many options available beyond the traditional ones. Don't be afraid to think outside the box and explore your passions and interests. With hard work, determination, and a little bit of creativity, you can create a fulfilling and successful career as a classical musician.