Beyond the shimmer that a successful career in music brings, lies years of training, persistence and a lot of soul searching. If you are planning a career in music, reading this article might help.
Music is the elixir for the soul. Wake up early one morning and you can hear the musical chirp of birds, at night you can hear the beetles sing. On a still afternoon, you can hear the breeze whizz in the trees. But I suppose the question is : Do you enjoy music? Yes? Would you like to make a career in music? Yes. Then read on. Let me help you in choosing music as a career for yourself.
1. Make up your mind
Most people are unable to decide whether they want to enjoy music as audience, or they want to learn to sing or play a musical instrument because that will make them happy or help them understand music better. Or is it that they want to carve out a career in music? While music as a hobby can be every bit enjoyable and can be pursued at will, when it comes to making a career, things get serious and require greater thought and planning. A career in music involves a lot of hard work and may require years of dedication before it can make you any money. So, take some time out to introspect what music means to you. Once you realize that music is your life and blood and you want to pursue a career in it, the clarity will automatically make your efforts more pointed and improve your chances of getting success. Knowing what you want is the first step towards achieving what you want.
2. Training is Useful
There are enough singers and musicians who have taken the music world by storm without any formal training. Kishore Kumar and S. P. Balasubraemaniyam are the names that instantly come to mind. Unfortunately not all of us are as gifted as them. A formal training in music is not a must but it helps. Training brings out your latent talent as a singer, musician or instrumentalist and gives you a strong foundation that gives you the confidence to compete and create a space for yourself in the commercial market. It also instills a discipline towards your craft which goes a long way in determining your success. Even the most popular and accomplished musicians have Gurus to mentor them. Think of your favourite singer or musician and it is likely that behind their glittering success lies years of hard work and training with a Guru. Enroll yourself in a University offering a comprehensive B. A or M.A course in Music. Music is not only about holding the mike and singing, there are other aspects such as music management, playback singing, sound recording, music composing, lyric writing, music production etc. Enrolling for a course will introduce you to the various aspects of music, making it easier for you to identify your true interest.
Being talented and trained helps only when you meet the right people at the right time. Networking and meeting other musicians and singers can open a host of new opportunities to showcase your talent. You can team up with them to perform at events and music gigs. Don’t be shy to reach out to people who you feel can assist you and be helpful in pursuing your dream.
4. Look for Job Opportunities
It is essential to practice what you learn. Don't wait for your music course to get over before you start looking for a job in the music industry. It is advisable that you look for music industry jobs in whatever capacity possible to familiarize yourself with the work environment. The sooner you start the better it is. You can perform at events, do stage shows, join a radio station or if you find likeminded people, form your own band. Look out for reality shows on television and radio. Many shows like ‘Indian Idol’ or ‘India has got Talent’ are the stepping stones to getting quality exposure, and getting yourself an audience to boot.
Until you enter the commercial work space, you will not be able to move out of the practicing mode. Experience counts and each work experience will add to your confidence.
5. Harness Social Media
Social media has a reach that is beyond any medium conceived till now. Social media has the power to make you viral but even if you don’t get viral you can generate a decent audience. And the icing on the cake is that it is all free. Just upload a video of yourself on Youtube or Facebook or Instagram or whichever medium floats your boat. If you are a budding artist, and put in good work, the likes and views are sure to follow. It won’t be long before you come to the notice of those who matter, and viola you have a contract or a job.
In effect, then Music is a great opportunity to marry fun and work. And yes, you can get fame and rewards too if you cultivate a good work ethic, and hone your talents. So why dither! Look no further ahead, and plunge into the world of music.
What to say when you meet new people: The 9 secrets to success
On an average day, you are going to meet a great many new people. Some of them might seem of no value to your life - a waitress, a delivery man, a house cleaning staff and so forth. Yet, never underestimate the value of any individual. Remember, the art of networking can lead you to you achieving greatness. With that in mind, let's look at what you should say and talk about when you meet someone for the first time!
1) Speak without speaking: Your physical appearance and demeanor will say more to people about who you are and what you think of them than any initial greeting. So, keep your body clean, your appearance neat, and dress nicely.
2) A good first line: Don't start off with something like: "Hey, what’s up?" Unless you're talking to a bunch of excited teenagers; that is not how you address someone in the professional world. A proper phrase along the lines of: "How do you do?" or "It's a pleasure to meet you" is appropriate.
3) Eyes and hand: You want to connect with someone at once. So, look them straight in the eye, and offer them your hand. A firm handshake that isn't brief, and yet isn't too long either, and don't crush their hand. That's something a professional wrestler does to intimidate an opponent; not what you do when you want to make a good first impression.
Once the initial meeting is over, Follow up by asking for their name, and make it a point to remember it. Nothing is better at pleasing someone than a person they just met remembering their name.
4) Body language: You want people to feel comfortable when they are talking to you. So, stand up straight, maintain good eye contact - without being domineering, and pay close attention to what they say.
5) Be courteous and speak in a clear, polite tone: If you are in a job interview, let the interviewer ask the first question. After all, you're after a job from them; time is money, and they're busy. So, let them control the situation. Now, at some point, they're going to ask you if you have any questions. That leads to the next point.
6) Be ready to participate in the conversation: Again, if you're on a job interview, check out the company, and have some questions ready to ask. If you're in a social setting, be ready to ask the other person questions about them and their life; or be able to talk about yourself and what you like.
7) Pay attention to what's going on: If your eyes glaze over and you’re not engaged in what's going on, people won’t want to have anything to do with you. So, concentrate on what they're talking about.
8) Select the right things to say: This is a function of the type of conversation you're involved in: interview, a social gathering, a dinner party, and so forth. After the initial meeting, you want to either talk about something interesting - a recent market trend you have observed, a deck that impressed you the most or even a movie you enjoyed recently. Also, ask the other person some questions.
9) Keep the conversation balanced: On one hand, you do not want the other person to have to do all the talking; on the other hand, it's impolite for you to monopolize the conversation. So, allow the other person (people) to talk, and then you "chime in" with a contribution.
Finally, remember the Golden Rule; treat people as you want them to treat you. Treating people decently is a true sign of having good manners. It's said that first impressions are last impressions.
• Bovee C.L., Thill J. V., Chatterjee A. (2011), Business Communication Today, Pearson Education
• Butterfield J. (2011), Soft Skills for Everyone, Cengage Learning India Pvt Ltd
Authored by Ashish Vilas Thite, Faculty of Commerce and Management, Vishwakarma University, Pune.
Sounds and Visuals of Aesthetics
Imagine you buy an expensive ticket to your favorite singer’s concert but instead of the singer’s melodious voice you hear disruptive shrieking sounds. Would you enjoy your evening? Or imagine a badly pieced together film where the sound and visuals are out of sync. Or a super hero film with tacky visual effects. Divorce technology from art and the effect would be lackluster. No film, live show, tv series or news can be conceived without technology. Behind the scene technicians of the Media and Entertainment industry are as important as people who appear in front of the camera.
From one state owned channel in the 1900s to more than 800 24*7 active channels today, it is not surprising that in India the Media and Entertainment industry is expected to grow at a rate of 14.3% and touch 2.26 trillion by 2020. The growth is directly proportional to the demand for media technicians.
Sound mixing is such an important part of the entertainment industry today. Commercials, jingles, radio, TV, films, advertisement, videos, websites, computer, mobile games etc all require trained sound engineering professionals. A sound engineer is responsible for correcting every note before it gets to your ears. Imagine a live music concert with bad sound quality. No matter how hard the singer tries to pour in emotions in to the song, if it fails at the technical level it will fail at the emotional level. In India sound engineers have always been integral to the entertainment industry but Resul Pookutty lent respectability to the profession after he won the Oscars for Slum Dog Millionaire in 2009.
A film or a series actually gets made at the editing table. Before that it’s a raw footage with no coherence and sound. A video editor is responsible for matching the audio and video clips and keeping only the most essential and relevant parts of the film. The editor needs to have a knack for the flow of the story. A good editor can make the average footage into a powerful one while a bad one can sometimes render the video embarrassing. A few years ago during an award show actress Kangana Runaut was shown to be receiving an award on the stage while she was also shown to be sitting in the audience applauding in the very next shot. Indeed a true example of bad editing!
The hallmark of a good visual effect is that the audience shouldn’t notice it at all. It is not easy to achieve an intricate fusion of technical finesse and artistry. The visual effects make the story and characters plausible. Cheaply done visual effects will always be a hindrance to the easy absorption of the story by audience. If in Jurassic Park, the dinosaurs didn't seem as real as they do, it would not be difficult to hold the story plausible. Visual effects are now an inseparable part of the entertainment industry.
Learning on the job
A degree or diploma is a good starting point to learn the basics, it gives you some hands on experience of handling the equipments. You can begin by assisting a senior in the industry. Thats when the real learning takes place. It is one field where complacency can cost you your career, technology is evolving everyday and you have to keep pace with the latest development to stay relevant.
Fresh after the diploma, one can expect anything between 10,000-15,000. However, with experience and a zeal for experiment, the sky is the limit. The renumeration can vary from the project to project and the production house one is working with.
The author of this article, Richa Singh is a content writer with Investronaut. She is a voracious reader and a keen traveller.
Copyright © 2020 Vishwakarma University
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