Job

For many people music can help them concentrate and keep them focused on a specific task this applies to studying, working out and many other tasks, however sometimes we ask ourselves, does it really helps with work or is it just a distraction to make something tedious and boring a little less heavy?

It is known that music has strong effects on our state of mind, change our mood and helps the brain release dopamine which makes us happy, but does that really mean we can be more efficient while listening to music? not necessarily, at least not for everyone.

Even though it may not work out for everyone, there is good reason to believe that it can boost productivity while working.

There are a few things to consider when trying to listen to music to concentrate while working.

No Lyrics

Music with no lyrics tend to be a better choice when trying to focus on a task, so anything from classical orchestral music to electronic dance music are definitely a good choice.

Headphones

This may be a bit obvious but when using headphones to listen to music, there is a sort of bubble that isolates the listener from other distracting sounds, this makes it so that the person listening to music, is willingly choosing what to hear while blocking other sounds. The result is that it’s easier to concentrate due to being in control of one of the most distracting factors when trying to concentrate which is unwanted sounds.

Music That You Know

Working with music that is very familiar also helps to concentrate. According to neuroscientists, after recent studies: “The regions of our brain that improve concentration are more active when we listen to music we’ve heard before”.

According to Karen Landay, a former professional violinist and graduate student at the University of Alabama:

Historically, music and work have always been intertwined. Think about romantic visions of peasants singing as they harvest, or sea chanteys sung by sailors as they work on their ships. And since most people enjoy listening to music of some kind in at least some contexts, it’s perfectly natural to feel that music must have some sort of positive impact on our work.

In an article from the BBC, there is a great example of working with music:

Michael Vettraino, who founded the London-based music consultancy MAV music, says the company has helped to introduce background music to several offices. While their main focus is on providing bespoke playlists for restaurants, casinos and hotels, recently they have branched out into supplying offices, many of which are introducing music for the first time.

“Our clients have told us that it’s increased their productivity when they’ve had the right music playing in the office, in terms of staff motivation,” says Alex Hill, who works as MAV’s head of music and operations. They are always careful to factor in the demographics of their audience – their age, etc. – and fit the music to how they’re likely to be feeling at different times of day.

“When you’re concentrating you’ll want calmer, more relaxing music and at the end of the day when you’re feeling tired, you’ll want something more upbeat. We know that a graphic design agency in Shoreditch is going to want very different music to a high street bank Gloucester. But if you get it right, it should hopefully help people to work harder.”

Of course one thing to bear in mind is that there are many factors that make all of this a bit subjective, this means that it’s not something that comes with a set of rules and then it will definitely work, it’s more like something each person has to try and find out how it can work for them depending on the job, the place and the music. It can also happen that after trying to concentrate with music, a person can find that it just doesn’t work, and that’s ok.

In the end, music in the workplace is not for everyone, but it is a interesting aspect of music that is worth trying out.

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If you chose to study music or just live your life with music as your main goal, chances are you made the choice because you love music, however the question about whether or not it can give you a good job and a stable income, will come from many people around you, yourself included.

As a way to ease that little voice in your head telling you it’s very hard to have a good job through music, here are some examples of career paths in music.

Composer

Being a composer can lead you to many different paths when it comes to a job, as it’s not just about music itself, there are so many areas in entertainment and media that needs new original music such as movies, TV shows, videogames, commercials and platforms such as YouTube.

Of course one of the most common dreams is to be a composer and get recognition for your music alone, but this is the hardest path between all of these options, not just because of the fact that it’s harder to get an audience, but there is a lot of investment involved in order to get your product out there, so as a job, being a succesful artist/composer is the most risky.

On the other hand, to compose music for a film or a videogame, means that you just have to do that, make music and give your music so that the full artistic process can be done.

Job

Session Musician

If you love to play music but you don’t want to be a composer, that is also one of the most common jobs, or even if you do compose, it’s a great side job.

Music Producer/Recording Engineer

These types of jobs may be the ones that require a more broad kind of knowledge. Being a producer or a recording engineer it’s not just about being a musician, but having a good understanding about the commercial side of things and in case of recording, a good amount of skills with mixing, editing, and knowing how to use the latest technologies required in music production.

So to summarize, these jobs requires, creativity, music knowledge, commercial knowledge, and being able to use the softwares and technology necessary for music making.

Music Teacher

This is a job that some people think it’s reserved for failed musicians, but that couldn’t be further away from the truth.

The thing about being a teacher is that you are not just teaching, you are also learning from the students, and it’s not as if you need to be at least 60 years old to be a music teacher. While still finding yourself as a musician, being a music teacher is a good experience to have.

Mistakes When Looking for a Job

Keith Hatschek, author of “How to Get a Job in the Music Industry” was asked in an interview with Berklee Online, about the mistakes musicians make when looking for a job, he says:

One common mistake I hear about when I coach young professionals is holding out for their “dream job” rather than taking a position at a company or in a role that they don’t see as their top choice. Since the music industry is intrinsically built on relationships, staying out of the game instead of diving in and starting to build a solid reputation as a reliable contributor is a classic mistake. Take the first decent offer at a company that is reputable and build your network from day one. The opportunities to move toward your dream career will come with time.

Another is to mistakenly believe that by spending most of the job hunt on the computer and applying for jobs and internships, you are making your best effort. Getting out and pressing the flesh (shaking hands and meeting people) is exponentially more effective than simply applying for jobs online. I would recommend that job seekers spend roughly 50% of their time in the field (you’re going to need a business card!), meeting people, attending or volunteering at industry events and securing informational interviews; about 30% researching and applying for positions; and the remaining 20% continuing to enhance and expand their skill set.

Weak in HTML? Take a coding class online. Need to brush up on how to best leverage YouTube? Spend a week with the YouTube Creator’s Playbook and then do a video project using your new knowledge to demonstrate proficiency. The industry is moving ahead very quickly, and you need to keep enhancing your skills.

The dream job will naturally come if you keep surrounding yourself with music and work hard towards it, just remember to have an open mind when it comes to jobs.

 

 

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