Music Career and Jobs in India


Music Career and Jobs in India – if you have just completed class 10 or even after 12th,you can earn a good salary without doing graduation.Music has been part of my life since i was 7 years old and i have studied it since then.In India,music is still seen as a hobby and not as a stable career for a good job.But this is not true and people have realized that after Indian idol and other reality shows.

I have known people in the music industry who are family friends and because of this i know how much a person can earn even if he/she is not a top level musician.There are various jobs and opportunities that are available if you have the passion and are willing to take up this career path.

Music Career and Jobs in India

Where can you learn music in India

FSM – This is a new music school that ties up with schools all over the major cities in India and has excellent infrastructure as far as musical instruments are concerned. This is a good choice if you are in school and wish to start learning the basics of music.

+Read the Furtados school of music review

Music Career and Jobs in India

Trinity College of Music – This college of music is based in London but you can give the exams every year for their grade and diploma level.It is highly recognized and the progressive system of learning is excellent.You can get private classes for these exams and get the certificate for each exam after you complete it.

+ How to appear for Trinity College Examinations

True School of Music (TSM)One of the best institutes in the entire country which is situated in Mumbai city.It has all expatriate instructors who are the best in their fields of music.A Bit on the expensive side,but no doubt value for money.You can learn all instruments,Dj Courses,Bollywood music and everything in between.

ABRSM – The royal School of music also based in London is a competitor to Trinity college. The course curriculum and standard of learning is almost the same as Trinity College but there are lesser teachers in the city that will train you for ABRSM

Furtados High – This is a new app whereby you can learn piano,drums,vocals and guitar and the app which is easy to use.You can search tutors in your area and many even come to your home to teach you.This is good for beginners who want a good start to learning music.Prices are on the high side but the  advantage is that you get home tuition.

+ Check the Furtados High Application Review

Private Tutors – Most private tutors require you to go to their homes for classes.You can learn either pop music or western classical or Indian classical depending on your choice and can also appear for exams or simply learn to get you a head start in music as a profession.Many private tutors also have good professional links to others in the music field and industry which can be useful.

Diploma,degrees and Bachelor courses -These courses are offered by local colleges and universities all over can opt for –

  • B.A Music
  • Bachelor in Performing  Arts
  • BPA in vocal
  • B.A Honors in Music
  • Diploma in classical vocals
  • B.Sc in Audio and Music Production

These bachelor courses are full time and run for 3-4 years depending on the state you are doing it from.Diplomas and certificate courses are of lesser duration- diplomas can be 1-2 years long and certificate are usually 1 month or more.

How much do music courses cost?

A simple way to look at it is the duration of the course.If you enroll into a college for bachelors degree,it will at least 50,000 onward upto a lac per year.These types of courses are slow and will teach you lots of theory which is not ideal for someone who wants to earn from this profession fast.

A quicker approach is to take private home tuition one on one with a tutor.Within a years time you will have all the basics set and even though wont be proficient to earn from it,but its a much faster way especially if its an instrument you are trying to learn.Vocal classes are much easier and if you have some natural talent you get voice training done within 1-2 years.

Private tutors charge about rs 2000 minimum  per month for 4 weekly lessons,these rates may be more or less depending on city and reputation  of the teacher.

How to play and “learn by ear “

This is for people who want a super fast method to learning an instrument. I’m sure you may have seen some small children playing very difficult fast music pieces on the piano.Its like magic how they can master such a complex compositions at such a young age.

The secret is “learning without reading the music”– they learn only by listening to the sounds and replicating it on the instrument,each line 100 times over and over – like an automatic machine.

Of course – for pop music it is much more simpler to learn this way and you can master a song within a few weeks.

Music Career and Jobs in India – scope and salary

What types of jobs can you do to earn a decent living from music?

1.Backup singing – If you are into vocals then you can lend you voice to a performing artist either on stage shows,live concerts or commercial films.The most sought after backup singing is done in Bollywood movies and is also the highest paid.

2.Do stage shows abroad – If you are into instrumentals then many Bollywood performers and singers like Anu Malik, Shreya Ghoshal etc require musicians to accompany them on stage shows in gulf countries and western countries.The pay is very good and you can earn Rs.15,000-30,000 per show.

3.Jingles and Commercials – You can sing for commercials or do the music for them.Pay again is excellent and vocal singers for commercials earn Rs.35,000 – Rs.50,00 upwards for each jingle.

4. Performances and Plays – If you are on the stage or even backstage behind the scenes there is lots of opportunity for you because almost all theater production plays and performances require musicians.You will be paid by the theater company as a lump sum for each city production.

5.Private gigs at events,parties – This is best for freelance musicians who either have their own three-four piece band or are solo performers.You can perform to just a laptop and sing to the minus 1 track at small parties,coffee shops,restaurants and earn rs.4000 – rs.6000 for a 3-4 hour performance.

6.Indian idol– You can join a reality show if you are very talented.There is lots of competition for this with many contestants from each city.The prize money is good even if you do not reach the final levels.Also better than the money is the exposure that you get and appear on TV.This can be very beneficial for your career.

7.Join an Orchestra ,Symphony,Choir – If you are at a good level at playing an instrument or good at singing then you can be part of a good national level group like Bombay chamber Orchestra,pop group or company from which you receive a salary for performances and get to travel all over the world.Some choirs also pay you for performances.

8.Solo and opening act performances – After you reach a certain level in either instrumental or voice training,you can start performing either in small restaurants,cafes,clubs and then finally on larger stages.These can be live solo performances or part of an act of a bigger can start of this way,until you can get a large enough audience who wants to see you just by yourself.There is tremendous amount of money to be made as you will be paid per performance- small cafes pay about Rs.1500- 2000 per performance,clubs – Rs.5000 – 20,000 and larger shows pay you Rs.50,000 – Rs.1 lakh+

9.Production and Curation – This is similar to what a producer of a show,theater,musical,advert or concert can do.It is more than just organizing and arranging the entire event.the most important part of an event curator is collaborating with other artists in the same field and bringing them together under the same roof as well as managing the business part of it.In order to reach out to other performers and artists,it is imperative to have good connections in the industry

10.Recording,Mixing and Sound engineering – This is a behind the scenes job that is very crucial to any stage production,live event or studio.The demand is very high due to events happening every day all over the city and there are many short duration courses that prepare you to be a “sound engineer”.You will be a freelancer and will be paid atleast 1500-2000 per day minimum,plus if you arrange for the sound equipment and mixers on hire you can earn even more.The amount you can make in this line is limitless.If you have a little inclination for hardware technology,its a very promising career.

11.Arranging,Composing and Direction – Once you are well set in the industry and have many years of musical knowledge,artistry and talent,only then can you get into these professions.It requires an advanced level of musical mastery to become an arranger,composer or director,be it Bollywood or musical theatre production.

12.Disc Jockey,Radio Jockey and Video Jockey – although these three are quite different from each other,they have tow common need to love music and hav a vibrant personality.

Out of these,becoming a VJ is the hardest because you not only need an excellent knowledge of music,good presentation skills and should speak well.Also the selection process is much harder,but if you can crack that,you instantly get famous!

Becoming an RJ needs a decent voice and good communication.There are many radio jockeying courses that teach you ways to “smooth talk” on air and how to train your voice to make it more mellow.There are hundreds of FM radio stations all over the country opened up since the last two decades

Becoming a DJ is relatively easier and you can get classes from any local classes or from another DJ who will show you the ropes.This is highly paying job and is super fun too! if you love the club scene and love music then you can get permanent employment with a nightclub or freelance for events and parties.One of the drawbacks of this profession is you need to invest initially in mixers and other consoles as you need to practice at home as well as sometimes take some equipment to the event.


How expensive is it to start a career in music?

This depends if you are pursuing vocals,instrumental or production.There are many ways to set out on your journey to your musical dream.Firstly,is to check the waters and see if you actually have passion for it,or its just a passing fad.

Out of vocals and instrumental,vocals does not require any serious investment and lesser time also to get started,but the competition in this field is also much higher.

Firstly the classes cost anywhere from Rs.350 per session for a low level beginner to 2500+ per session depending on your skill level and also the person who is teaching you

Should you buy an instrument?

If you want to seriously pursue learning of an instrument then you definitely need to invest in one.there are cheaper instruments like guitar,violin,harmonium,tabla etc.The bigger more expensive like pianos cost more than a lakh.

You should be ready to devote a good part of your day to practice also which is an investment by itself,though not a monetary one.Time is money and if you cannot set aside few hours per day to practice then you wont be able to make it a career and full time income.

MY Personal experience

I also studied music from age 7 to age 26 but as my level of study got more advanced i need more time to practice and it was difficult to manage my engineering college,work and music all together.So i had to give up taking classes,but i still play for fun.

I also know lots of people who now teach music,mostly instrumental and earn approx Rs.60,000 per month.It may not seem like alot,but the good part is that you need to do it just for a few hours per day and you can choose your timings as well.

I know others who now do theatre musicals,and they now have the opportunity to perform all over the world,even though they are just mediocre artists.

HOWEVER,the most money that is to be made is is BOLLYWOOD.Be it instrumentals,vocals,backup,lead,stage shows,performances – the highest paid are those that are associated with the film industry- and hindi pop music


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