How to maximise your time while studying for a career in the music industry

You’ve decided to study music at university. The next three years will be full of new challenges, new experiences and the first major step towards your chosen career. It’s an incredibly exciting time, but more importantly, this is where you need to double down on becoming a well-rounded and attractive prospect for future employers and we’re going to tell you how to do it…

Don’t settle for the basic requirements

What we mean by this is don’t focus solely on your qualification. Of course, this is what you enrolled to do and you should remain dedicated to achieving the best grade possible, but this is the perfect time to broaden your skill set, experience and contacts.

drumrecordingDo you enjoy discovering new music and going to gigs? Get involved with some local publications and review the gigs, or write for the dBs blog [You're on it now!] You may not get paid for every article, but there’s an early stream or a free ticket in it for you and usually a +1 too! Plus, it’s all great experience for your CV and to add the people you meet to your contacts list in the industry. The same goes for DJing, live sound production and even providing music and sound for TV, film and games.

At dBs, you can get involved with our own commercial, non-profit arm, dBs Pro where students can work on major TV, film, game and music projects! Often students are paid to work too and recent projects have included full movie scores for Sony Pictures and an award winning ambient literature project.

Which leads into our next point…


It’s possibly the most repeated tip whenever you see articles about finding success in the music industry, but it’s for good reason. Finding and engaging with the key people in the industry is your ticket to being involved with projects that would otherwise pass you by. Attend all the guest talks from industry leaders, speak with your lecturers about the right people to get in contact with and get yourself out there performing, DJing or behind the desk. You never know who you might get chatting to.

This kind of thing isn’t restricted to just the music industry. Getting involved with programmes like Helpfulpeeps or joining local Facebook groups is a great way to meet like-minded individuals who share your passions and can introduce you to new ideas and get you involved with your community’s music scene.

Now that you’ve got the contacts, you need to make sure they remember you and for the right reasons…

Making a good impression

The network you build whilst studying will stay with you once you’ve graduated, so look around at your fellow classmates and colleagues on other courses and connect with them! The way you made those around you feel will have a direct impact on the opportunities that come your way and how people remember you. Were you unreliable, unorganised or difficult to work with? They’ll remember and they won’t be afraid to tell those who may be looking for someone with your skill set. It sounds simple, but if you’re a reliable, good communicator that can meet deadlines and be proactive you’ll find your name at the top of the right people’s lists for opportunities. Try and say yes, figure out the how, afterwards!

Get out of your comfort zone

One of the greatest parts about studying music is being surrounded by people with a variety of tastes and styles, so make the most of it. Talk about what artists excite them, get involved with their projects, collaborate and try something different. As creatives we are constantly having to find ways to stand out in the crowd, so being able to learn from your peers and incorporate new elements into your music is key.no-input-mixing_webMake the most of the facilities and tutors

Your lecturers are the experts that arm you with the skills needed to pursue your dream, so make sure you listen to everything they have to say. There may be times when something seems irrelevant to your current path, but it could be what sets you apart from others further down the line. Their primary focus is to help you learn so ask them questions and learn everything you can from them before you’re out on your own. It’s always hard to balance starting your new life and social schedule with Uni, but book the studios as much as possible while you can! Use the gear, the studios and the space; you will probably never have free bookable access to professional studios like these again.

Stay open-minded

We’d love to say that everybody around the world that studies music lands right into their perfect job, but that simply isn’t realistic, even if you follow the above steps. It’s important to avoid fixating on a role and waiting for it to come along, because it just doesn’t work like that. Plus, you’ll often find that your perfect job is something completely different than you expected!

Think outside the box, and look out for positions that will get your foot on the career ladder. It’s better to be working a job that has some relevance to your desired career, and puts you in a relevant world of opportunity, rather than working in a supermarket waiting for your dream job to come around the corner.

But most of all...

Have fun! If you enjoy what you do and get involved with true passion and positivity it will reflect back on you with the opportunities you are offered! 


Are you #driven by sound? Join the dBs Community today. LEARN MORE