The Professional Musician

What is a professional musician?:

A professional musician is one who plays an instrument or several instruments proficiently; performing is their primary source of income.

What does a professional musician do?:

There are many career options for a professional musician; they can be session musicians wherein they are tasked to learn music pieces and perform it either onstage or in a recording studio. Session musicians provide music for film, TV shows or commercials, they can play in a band or be a member of an orchestra.

General musicians are those who are knowledgeable on many types of music, especially popular music. They can play in various functions such as birthdays, weddings and anniversaries. General musicians may either perform solo or as part of a group.

What are the qualities of a good musician?:

  • Education and experience go hand in hand in becoming a professional musician
  • Plays an instrument or several instruments proficiently
  • Knows how to read and transcribe music sheets
  • Has a good understanding of music genres and styles

    What other pointers should a musician keep in mind?:

  • Be adaptable, usually a professional musician needs to travel to various locations for performances
  • Be disciplined, often musicians are expected to master several new pieces in a short period of time
  • Be sociable, musicians like to perform with fellow musicians who are easy to get along with. This camaraderie transcends to their performances which is in turn felt by their audience. Also, a good reputation will get you great referrals when you need to audition.

    Why become a professional musician?:

    If you play an instrument, love to perform and a "people person," becoming a professional musician might be a career option for you. True, it is a highly competitive field, but those who succeed reap the benefits of doing something they love and earning a living at the same time.

    Related Resources:

    Extensive list of musician and composer profiles arranged by period or alphabetically.

    Related Web site:

    The Music and Entertainment Industry Student Association (MEISA)