The most important skill sets in the music industry.
Whether you're a talented singer, instrumentalist, artist, producer, engineer, band manager, whatever it be in the music industry, we all want to accomplish a fruitful and satisfying career spent doing what we love.
I draw many parallels between the experiences I've had in my career as an audio professional and those of my clients, building their careers as artists and producers. We both have specialized expertise; however, being talented isn't always enough to carry you forward in your career without additional skill sets.
I've built up a repertoire as long as my arm of additional skill sets throughout my 5-year journey owning my studio. These skills include writing, designing, accounting, consulting, networking, data management, hospitality, the list goes on... but I want to narrow down on four specific skill sets and traits I've developed which are THE MOST important, commonly recognized and respected skills amongst all professionals in the music industry;
Communication, do I need to spell it out to you? Communication is the key to successful relationships, and in the music industry, no one works alone. Regularly we engage with different parties, our ability to articulate and comprehend one another's ideas fluently is an incredibly valuable skill.
My English has never been outstanding, and I scrapped through my high-school English class with a 52% score. Since studying at university and later on opening up my own business, I've made a conscious effort to improve my language skills. Two resources which have helped me do so are; Grammarly, an online grammar checker and The Elements of Style, a writing style guide which I read and reference.
2. Time Management
Time is not only your most valuable resource, but it's also the most valuable resource of others. Managing and respecting your time commands a great deal of courtesy to those who you work and engage within the music industry. I urge everyone to get familiar with their calendar on their smartphone and the invitation function to coordinate projects with their peers.
All in all, it's nice to have a plan, task list and be conscious of what needs to be done. Knowledge and action are what separates the thinkers from the do-ers, and to move forward in the music industry diligence is required. Diligence makes or breaks our abilities to fruitfully engage in projects, professional relationships, personal development and skill development.
A practice I find useful is not allowing myself to leave the office until I complete all the tasks I have set out for the day — no "leaving it for tomorrow" or procrastination.
We've all heard the horror stories of unreliable parties in the music industry. It's critical for your name not to be on the footnote of any being passed around, but instead to be recognized for your outstanding ability to deliver on what you promise. Nothing stinks worst than a string of sorry's and excuses. Be reliable!
Not everyone can and will be a shining light of perfection across all these skills. Nor am I saying it is expected of you to be so; however, being conscious of these skill sets and having the self-awareness to improve and set up systems to help you deliver on these skills will help you in all facets of your career in the music industry.