Career Development

How To Become a Music Consultant: Step-by-Step Guide

Learn about the steps important to pursuing a career as a music consultant, including education, skills, salary and more.

Music consultants are music industry professionals who offer their expertise and services to clients in the music industry. Music consultants can work with a variety of clients, including record labels, artists, managers, publishers and more. If you’re interested in a career in the music industry, becoming a music consultant may be a good option for you. In this article, we discuss what music consultants do, how to become one and what the average salary is for this profession.

What Does a Music Consultant Do?

Music consultants are music industry professionals who offer their expertise and services to a variety of clients, such as businesses, advertising agencies, film and television production companies, video game developers and more. Music consultants typically have a wide range of knowledge in the music industry, including an understanding of the business side, marketing, licensing and copyright law.

Music consultants may be responsible for any of the following tasks:

  • Identifying potential songs or artists for a client’s project
  • Negotiating licenses and fees for the use of music
  • Coordinating with music supervisors, producers and other members of a production team
  • Providing feedback on demo recordings
  • Researching trends in the music industry
  • Attending industry events and networking with music professionals
  • Keeping up-to-date on the latest news in the music industry
  • Maintaining relationships with music labels, publishers, managers and other industry contacts

Music Consultant Salary and Job Outlook

The average salary for a music consultant is $74,675. However, salaries can vary based on factors such as experience, education, and geographical location.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job growth for music consultants will be slower than average over the next decade. This may be due to the fact that many companies are cutting costs by outsourcing their music needs or using pre-recorded music instead of hiring live musicians.

How to Become a Music Consultant

Here are several steps you should take to become a music consultant.

1. Earn a bachelor’s degree in music, business, or a related field

A bachelor’s degree is the minimum education requirement for a music consultant position. Music, business and related fields such as marketing or communications are common choices for this career path. Coursework in these programs typically includes classes on music theory, music history, studio production and other topics relevant to the music industry.

It’s also helpful to take electives that develop your skills outside of your primary major. For example, if you earn a bachelor’s degree in music, consider taking courses in accounting or finance to help you understand the financial side of the music industry.

2. Gain experience working in the music industry

While a music consultant career requires a bachelor’s degree, it is beneficial to gain experience in the industry before pursuing this role. Consider interning at record labels or music publishing companies where you can learn about copyrighting and licensing, two important aspects of being a music consultant. You may also consider working as an assistant for a music producer or manager who can teach you about artist development and management.

3. Develop strong interpersonal and communication skills

Strong communication and interpersonal skills are essential for music consultants because they interact with a wide variety of people in the industry. They need to be able to communicate effectively with artists, managers, record label executives, venue owners and other professionals in the industry.

It’s also important that music consultants can listen carefully to their clients’ needs and concerns and respond accordingly.

4. Understand the business side of the music industry

Music consultants need to understand the business side of the music industry. They should be familiar with common contracts and licensing agreements, as well as copyright laws and royalty distribution. This knowledge can help them advise clients on how to best protect their intellectual property and earn money from it.

Business skills are also important for music consultants because they often work with independent artists who may not have a lot of resources or experience in running a business. Music consultants must know how to guide these artists so that they can continue to produce music and make a living from it.

5. Stay up to date on trends in the music industry

Music consultants need to be aware of the latest trends in music so they can advise their clients accordingly. For example, if a client wants to open a new restaurant that will feature live jazz performances, a music consultant needs to know which musicians are currently popular and where these performers might perform.

It’s also important for music consultants to stay up to date on technological developments in the industry. Advising clients about how to use streaming services or other technology-related matters requires knowledge of the most recent developments.

6. Join professional organizations such as the National Association of Record Industry Professionals (NARIP)

NARIP is an organization that provides networking opportunities and educational resources for music industry professionals. You can join this organization as a student or an associate member, which allows you to attend events but not vote on issues or run for office. To become a full voting member of NARIP, you must have worked in the music industry for at least two years.

7. Consider earning a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in music business

A master’s degree in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in music business can help you advance your career as a music consultant. An MBA program provides the knowledge and skills needed to work in management, marketing, finance and other areas of the music industry.

Some MBA programs offer concentrations in music business that focus on music law, intellectual property rights, digital media, entertainment entrepreneurship and more.


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